Preparing for a pyjama party! Practice makes perfect

Preparing for a pyjama party! Practice makes perfect

I have several workshops for all abilities, but wanted to start a few new ones, so I set about making a paper pattern for some pyjamas. I want them to be easy to make. I think pyjama trousers can be quite easy and perfect for a beginners class.

They include several simple skills that will help build on your sewing ability; start with cutting out and using a sewsimple paper pattern, draw string waist band, optional binding trim, (I will make them with this and possibly take away later, depending on how difficult it is) over-locking, make your own drawstring, inserting pockets and very straight top stitching.

I start to make my own pattern using my own measurements and looking at some old pj’s I like. Making a pocket shape I like and making sure the legs are nice and long and there is enough space for my hips.

I chose to go straight to the real fabric, so I used some lovely Liberty Tana cotton. I want these for myself, I rarely makes things for myself and saw this as a treat. I know I should make it in calico, I just have a few hours to test, so haven’t really got the time, how wrong was I. I really should remind myself that sewing should never be rushed.

There is so much I am not happy about now I have finished these trousers; the rise is too deap, I think I will take away the trim detail at the hem and I will make the waist at least 3 inches lower. It all needs simplifying. I will keep the pockets, as I like to have a pocket in my pj’s. It’s sew simple!

Toiling. Calico is a cheap fabric that you use when you make a toile, this prevents you wasting expensive fabric like I have today. Saying that I will probably give them to a friend, son not a complete waste.

I will now make the alterations to my pattern and remake these in calico first before making the final pair and before sending the pattern to a friend for grading. I have some more fabric for the shirt coming in the post and I will make the trousers again.

One of my first jobs was as a design room assistant, here I used to run up and down Oxford street every day, taking sample garments to the buying office, of a well known department store. Here the buyers would ask the runners to wear our clothes for the day, to test the fabrics durability and to basically see how comfortable they were. They would then send the garments back and we would make changes to the pattern, or change the fabric. This would happen before they decided on how many they wanted and before garments went into production. A long process, but worth it as making 1000’s of garments is a very expensive process.

So I will wear the next toile first and listen to my own advice more in future.

The moral of this blog is, take your time when you sew and toile a new style first. When you are making things for yourself you can make them to fit perfectly, never rush these things.