Thursday, October 17, 2013

The second project: pajama pants

It has been a month and a half, but hey!  I finished my second project.

Let's be honest here.  These pajama pants are not fabulous looking.  Mr. F. is going to wear them because 1) they meet some really low criteria established for pajama pants: they fit(ish), he can sleep in them, and they cover his unmentionables and 2) he is too much in need of pajamas to be picky.  They are, after all, pajama pants and pajama pants, unfortunately, will never be high fashion (much to my and Finn's deep regret.)

I was so close to not posting a picture of the pants, but the historian/archivist/storyteller in me won out.  These pajama pants almost undid me.  Pajama Pants!  It is a well documented fact that pajama pants are one of the easiest articles of clothing to make.  Everyone suggests whipping up a pair of these as an easy introduction to garment making.  Be that as it may, I think I had to redo almost every single seam in these pants at least once, if not more.  I did up the ante, by using a pattern that included pockets and a drawstring waist, but still.  I am going to take you through the whole gory sequence, whether you like it or not.

First I determined what size to make.  The pattern was lame in that it didn't have sizing. (!?) It just had measurements of the finished garment.  So, thinking I was being pretty savvy, I took a pair of Mr. F.'s pajamas and laid them down on the pattern piece to determine which size to trace.  It looked like XS would be plenty big.  I traced out that pattern (using tracing fabric--my new BFF), and sewed up a muslin.  Again, trying to do things right here, and thank goodness I did because......I sewed them up wrong.  There was some confusion on my part as to which was the right/wrong side of the fabric. (Lesson number 1: mark the sides on your muslin.) Unpick.  On my second attempt, I second guessed the directions (which were crap) and sewed it up wrong again.  Unpick.  The third attempt was successful, but they looked small.  Mr. F. put them on, and they were like a snug pair of breeches from some period drama.  Not necessarily unattractive, but not really the end product we had in mind.

Next, I cut out and sewed a size medium muslin.  Ding!  Winner.  Now to the next phase: making adjustments on the muslin.  The butt and crotch part of the pants seemed to be o.k. in size, but the legs were just clown pant huge.  I took in about an inch from the sides starting at the low hip and then went straight down from there.  I feel like this was a really inelegant solution as it made a wonky looking pattern.  I guess I will have to look into that.

It seem like it would pretty smooth sailing from here, right?  Cut up the fabric and sew up the pattern for the fourth time?  Except that I hadn't sewn the pockets for the muslin mockups.  But how hard are pockets?  Well incredibly difficult, if you are me, apparently.  First I messed up how they were attached, so that the seam was visible from the outside.  Then, after trying them on after I thought I was finished, I realized that I had sewn one of the pockets such that it was oriented towards the back, which made it practically functionless.  Gah!  Unpick.  Restitch.

My final thoughts?  I really wish I was proficient enough to adapt a pattern like I am able to with recipes.  I really didn't care for how the waistband was constructed.  I thought it was an elastic waist with an added drawstring.  But, in reality, it was a drawstring sewn on to some elastic and threaded through.  I think it makes the waist of the pants look (try to stay with me while I get technical) not awesome.  I feel like this would be a super easy swap----if I had enough experience to do that, which I don't.

It is hard for me to be patient with myself.  I want to have all of the skill with none of the painful learning process.  That's reasonable right?

1 comment:

yola said...

Heehee :) Sounds like maybe the pattern wasn't the best thing either. Believe me, I've spent a good deal of time unpicking my stitches and resewing. My last dress I need to completely undo because the bodice is just way too long for me, it doesn't look right. My sister and I just took another sewing class together to make the Washi Dress and we learned how to do bust dart adjustments--hello! Nicest bodice I've made yet! Fits the girls perfectly! ;) Practice and patience, my friend, practice and patience.


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