FO: Pajama Pants take 1

Okay, so these are the pajama pants that caused so much grief, the pants from Butterick pattern 6837.  I am even showing the photo that makes the fly flap fiasco (see the small pleat?) and the grain-line fiasco visible.  The problems could be the fault of my rusty-sewing-skills self and not the pattern itself.  The good news is I might have enough for another pair of pants.  But I need to modify the pattern to have a shorter crotch and use different fabric to back the waistband.  And they are successful enough to wear to bed.  The fabric is deliciously soft (I used a flannel from the shirting section of the fabric store).

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April 22, 2008. Tags: , , . Thoughts. Leave a comment.

Big Ball of Rage

It really isn't good when you find yourself becoming a big ball of rage while working on your sweetie's [late] valentine's day present.  It isn't that I am angry about making a present for TheHusband, making presents for people is one of my favorite things (second to making stuff for myself – I'm a bit selfish that way).  Is it that the pattern for the pajama pants is very poorly written or I have become rather stupid about sewing.  So as all customer service people have experienced my brain has decided the pattern is stupid instead of admitting that I might be stupid and I am angry at the pattern for that.  Yes, totally silly, but there you have it.

I picked up the pajama pants yesterday determined to overcome my frustrations.  I ripped out the wrongly sewed leg and re-stitched it.  I stitched up the crotch and then I started fighting with the non-zippered fly-front.  If I just had the pieces in front of me I felt like I knew what to do, how it was put together but whenever I read the directions and looked at the diagram it didn't mesh.  I might have marked the fly flap incorrectly but I'm not sure.  I tried searching for tutorials online, but only found mock fly-front and zipper fly front tutorials; and the results from searching my two sewing reference books were the same.  An online friend suggested I take a look at Diana Rupp's book S.E.W. and so I did (it seems like an excellent book by the way).  I took pictures but then didn't think to upload them.  Doh, I don't think many people who read this are that into sewing though so…

Anyway.  I finally put the fly together they way I think it is supposed to go and attach the waistband.  Then I discover I don't have the right width of elastic.  Gah.  So much for completing the pajama pants (flaws and all) today.  Also, I have become a lot more fearful of starting other clothing projects.  Sigh.

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March 29, 2008. Tags: , . Thoughts. 1 comment.

Grain-line eludes me

I've been sewing since I was about 9 or 10 (I wonder if I have any pictures of the first halter tops my mom taught me to sew?).  I've known the importance of grain-line since I started using patterns in junior high.  I always take lots of care with my fabric.  I pre-wash it, I iron it before laying it out, I take my time putting the selvages together, measuring that grain-line guideline on patterns in multiple locations, multiple times and measuring it again if I have to tweak a pattern piece.  I've read about grain-line importance.  I've watched Threads video on getting the fabric setup properly.  I've tried to do that trick where you pull out a cross grain thread/fiber but the dang things just break on me about four inches in from the side.  Okay, so I haven't tried to rip along the cross grain very often; frankly I worry that I would just end up with mishappen strips of fabric instead of a usable squared up fabric (or by the time I get it right I don't have enough fabric for my chosen project).  I would like to blame my sewing set-up (a queen size bed covered with a folding cardboard cutting mat that won't lay flat) but I'm not sure that is fair.  Many sewers face the same space and budget constraints.

Add my usual grainline woes to a 58/60" drapey flannel fabric and every frustration just gets amplified.  When open it is longer than my wingspan and too wide for my cutting surface, it drapes and grips at the same time. Grumble. Then I realized that the selvage edges indicate the pattern is woven in, which means cross-grain stripes are truely cross grain and I put faith in this during the layout and cutting of the pajama pants I'm making. I manged to get one leg of the pajama pants I'm sewing on grain, but not the other leg – I'm hoping it isn't too noticeable.  Then to top it all off I sewed one right sides together (correct) wrong sides together (incorrect).  And I forgot to mark a couple things from the pattern onto the fabric.  Needless to say I'm putting this project away for the rest of the day.

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March 26, 2008. Tags: , . Thoughts. 1 comment.