When I got my first batch of Oliver+S patterns around my birthday I was quite set on sewing up some Christmas jammies for the kids. I didn’t have a particularly clear vision for them, but I knew I had some large quantity of brushed cotton scraps from making PJ pants for Kyle. He has very long legs but is not very large around so making him pants results in very long narrow-ish scraps. I figured this would be fine and pulled out the fabrics to have a look and after lots of hemming, hawing and moving pattern pieces around on the cloth (laid out in the majority of the living/bedroom space in our appartment I came up with a design. Mistral would have white sleeves and bands, large scale red on the body and Sirroco the opposite, the main part of the pants, the collar bands and ties would be the same small scale Royal Stuart plaid for both. Is this outrageous print mixing? Yes. But these are Christmas Pjs for preschoolers, so we’re running with it.
The cutting was really the most complicated part. Some pieces run cross grain, some on grain (though with the shifty brushed cotton twill I was careful not to do any on the bias!!). There was absolutely NO effort at matching plaids in the tops other than having the sleeves in about the same place and purposely offsetting the (added) back piecing (necessary due to lack of wide pieces, as discussed above). The pants were cut on the fold and so match up pretty well. Sadly in my hyperfocused cutting session I was a bad blogger and neglected to take any pictures (not that there’s much light here this time of year, hah!)
After cutting out the big kids’ outfits I figured we could squeeze in something for the baby, but it was really pushing it. I cut a Lullaby layette top (sz. 6-12mo) with piecing on both the front and back as well as one sleeve. To tie things together a bit I chose to turn the placket to the outside so cut it from the same colour as the contrast sleeves. The neck binding is a scrap of premade red bias, barely long enough to fit. How’s that for stash busting?! The pants are the Wiksten bloomer pants but apparently my giant baby should be into the next size… *sigh*
Between the piecing and the fact that my darlings are inexplicably tough on sleepwear AND the fact that I would like to see the two larger sets handed down I really went to town on the seam finishes. I don’t own a serger, but have recently learnt to do flat-felled and french seams and I’m in love. Back piecing, shoulder seams and crotch seams are all flat felled for comfort and durability. The inside leg seams are “frenched” and look lovely too. I did just zigzag the side seams on the tops, but after looking at my favourite (slighly higher end) RTW shirtdress I am seeing I could have done french seams there too… Next time I suppose! Because I think there will be a next time – they are lovely to sew and wear.
Perfect for opening presents…
And playing with new toys…
One last note on construction – I decided to use some ribbon for the inner ties. I grabbed some satin ribbon I had in the stash and while it ties beautifully and doesn’t come undone one of Mistral’s did get eaten (read: completely unraveled) on the first wash… So I will be taking a few minutes and replacing those with some newly acquired and (presumed) sturdier twill tape!
Hope you all enjoyed a lovely and relaxing holiday!
Anyone have stash busting goals for the new year? (I don’t exactly… but you might!)
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