Posts made in December, 2013

Pajama Extravaganza Butterick 4406 and 5433

Posted on Dec 25, 2013 | Comments Off on Pajama Extravaganza Butterick 4406 and 5433



Pajamas are an important garment to most everyone right!  Lots of stores certainly have this figured out.  They are meant for wearing when you sleep of course but they’re really not just for sleeping.  If you are in my family unit, they are what we change into when we want to get out of  our not so comfortable street clothes; they are the necessary attire for movie marathons on Netflix; they are what we wear when we are putzing around the house doing whatever we want,  their warmth and comfort validating that in our own little domain, we are in control… for the moment!  Each of us gets to fly our own colors and flaunt our favorite animals and symbols.  When one of us puts on our P.J.’s, it’s an unspoken message… “yes, I am home and I’m not leaving for a while.”  They may be flannel, fleece or jersey but no matter, pajamas are a keystone that holds my family together.


Pajamas a keystone? I know this may sound like an odd thing to say but it’s true!  They are one of the major elements that binds us together, especially during the Christmas season.  For a few weeks before Christmas pajamas are a focal point in the shopping experience.  I of course am always responsible for taking care of the kids, but they are in charge of taking care of me!  It gets pretty interesting for the boys.  The girls have drug them through lingerie departments and Victoria’s Secret! Of course they have no idea what I have in store for them.  They wait as patiently as possible for the official packages to present themselves under the tree!  The kids have dubbed them “tootsie rolls” because they are a always rolled up in tissue paper and wear ribbon ties on each end.    When the early Eve of Christmas arrives, we all get to unroll our tootsie rolls, don our pajamas and then the revelry begins!  Yes… we party in our P.J.’s for the whole evening!  Our friends and neighbors know of this strange custom and think nothing of it… anymore!


This P.J. addiction has been going on since the very beginning of my children’s existence though the tradition started long before then. As a little girl, I remember always getting pajamas. They were wrapped and placed under the tree for the grand opening Christmas Eve.  We of course wore them to bed awaiting the visit from the fat guy in the red suit! (another weird custom!)  I can’t say that I learned all my lessons very well growing up…  however I did hold on to the pajama mania, certainly an oddity but it has been so much fun through the years that I’m glad I did!  I owe it all to my mother… thanks Mom!


This year I decided to sew pajamas for my children.  A wonderful woman who is in the American Sewing Guild Garment Group that I belong to inspired me to do this;  Joyce, is her name.  She was making P.J.’s for all her grandchildren that included embroidered pictures on them matching each child’s interest.   I don’t have an embroidery machine but I knew I could do plenty of damage with fabric and color so I thought… why not!  This is going to be cool!  I’ll make my kids  P.J.’s for Christmas this year!


Okay… so I only had to make 4 sets of adult sized pajamas… 2 girls and 2 boys.  Yeah I know… how can I say…only 4? Sets?  Hey, I try to be an optimist regardless of how impossible things appear! First up… I had to purchase fabric.   What and where was a challenge.  I searched through my local fabric stores.  Flannel was either a blend of cotton and polyester or 100% cotton.  Sort of a purist by nature, I decided to go with 100% cotton and the softer the better.  I don’t know a lot about flannel, have never really researched it because I’ve never made pajamas before.  I ended up choosing flannel from Jo-Ann Fabric and ordered it on-line for quite a bit of savings due to an on-line sale.  This was quite helpful since I needed to purchase 26 yards.  The only draw back… the fabric didn’t arrive until December 10th.  So I had two weeks to make 4 pair of pajamas… what was I thinking!  Oh yeah, I wasn’t thinking!  I was determined though and was not going to give up – like the little engine that believed it could… I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!


I chose 2 patterns for my big pajama extravaganza challenge!  Butterick 4406 and 5433.

Butterick 4406



Butterick 5433


The patterns are very easy to follow… they are pajamas and so they should be right!  For the girls, I decided to make the pants and tunics.  I had already been informed by my daughter that she didn’t want long sleeves so that was the first style change.  For the boys, I  made the pants and shirts per pattern instructions though I did shorten the length of the shirts some.  Hopefully this won’t be a problem!  It’s just that the pattern pieces looked really long!  I also decided to throw in some  side-seam pockets on all of them.  Gotta have pockets!  They all have to have some place to put their cell phones… right??!!  I borrowed a pocket pattern piece from my Butterick skirt pattern.




How did I do this?  I applied KISS (keep it simple stupid)

First:  I sewed 4 cut out pockets, 1 for each front and back side (4 in all).  I placed the top of each pocket right at the fold line for the waist band casing and then sewed them all in place.

Second:  Pinned the front and back sides together as well as the pockets which should be pressed away from the pant legs (forgot to take a picture for an example… I was sewing like a mad fool to make the deadline!)

Third:  Measured down from the fold line of the waist 2 inches, marked that point and then stitched the front and back together from top of waist (edge of fabric) to that point.  I then measured 4 3/4 inches down from the same fold line but this time started stitching the front/back side seam at this point and going clear to the end of the leg.

Fourth:  Sew the 2 pocket sides together starting perpendicular from where the 2 inch section stops, across the pocket and then down and around staying at 5/8 until having to quickly and sharply rotate the fabric until you are stitching straight across the side seam, perpendicular to where the 4 3/4 inch seam starts.  Voila!  Pockets!




The pattern for the girl’s pants didn’t include the styling for adding a tie that resides in the casing along side the elastic so I added this feature.




The other pattern that I used for the boys did have this.  Besides looking cool, my thought was that if the waist band was to big, they could remedy the problem by using the tie.  Awe…. I had my thinking cap on!  To do this, you just have to make 2 buttonholes, each off center 1/4 inch.  Remember though that you have to allow for the 5/8 inch seam so the buttonholes need to be 7/8 inch from the edge of the fabric, 5/8 plus the 1/4.  I reinforced the buttonholes by first basting a 1 inch square of fabric behind the area where each buttonhole was to be.  I used twill tape for the ties.


The girls pants still seemed like they needed something more so I ended up sewing a back pocket on them.




Since I was sewing in a medium weight flannel, I chose to not use interfacing on any of the tops/shirts.  I hate that iron on stuff anyway!  I don’t know why, I just do! On the girls tops, I sewed the facing to the top front rather than just tacking it to the shoulders. I personally like facings to be well attached so that I’m not having to smooth them down while trying to put the garment on!


The girls P.J.’s with the facing top-stitched.


















As I mentioned earlier, my daughter requested short sleeves so I indulged her!  My daughter-in-law however, gets cold easily, like me, so I thought I would give her long sleeves.  The problem here was that the pattern is a 3/4 sleeve length so I had to get a little crafty but it was manageable.  I just cut the sleeve pattern piece at the shorten lengthen line and added the length I needed between the two pieces.




These tops are tunics so the sides are not stitched clear to the hem.  The fabric in this picture doesn’t look as black as it.  Black flannel really attracts fuzz too!



The Butterick 5433 pattern shirt seemed simple enough when I started but ended up being about as much work as making a shirt!  It was still fun though.  Making the pleat in the front below the buttons was a little confusing  to me and so while it seems to be fine, I did have a wide space between the point where I sewed across it and the bottom buttonhole.  I decided to get creative and sewed an X across this space.  Awe Crap!  I am just noticing that the picture below which I had taken to explain the X’s doesn’t show them!  Another DERP moment!





Well… here are the boys pajamas minus the “X”!

















The bears and penguins are a bit cutsey for young men but they were the ONLY bears and penguins I could find in flannel!  I told you I could do damage!  It must be the South Pole Elf in me!  😉


The big moment still awaits… it is Christmas Eve day so the “tootsie rolls” are still waiting for their debut.  I am not going to post this until after this event and hopefully will have coerced my munchkins to do a photoshoot that I can share with you.  Hang tight and treat yourself to a hot tottie with me… I’m thinking hot buttered rum!  Be back soon…


I knew I could, I knew I could!  It’s just after midnight… rolling into Christmas Day, but in the best form possible, here they are!


ButkPJEx GangRS


We have an addition to the group… the gentleman wearing his P.J.’s with a Batman T-Shirt.  I cannot claim fame for making his but I’m proud that he was so willing to participate in the P.J. Extravaganza!


In what ever way you celebrate this time of year, I wish you the very best!  Now its time for me to get back to the revelry!




Salute! Jessica

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Edith Blouse Paired with Wool Butterick 5613

Posted on Dec 12, 2013 | 0 comments



Yes.. I am one of those who drags the yule log in the house and decorates it… with the help of my kids of course!  There were absolutely no squirrels in the branches this year but… there was another problem.  Monday morning at about… say 6:30 am, there was a tinkling, ringing, clanking sound that came from the downstairs room where this pretty little tree WAS (I’m emphasizing the “was”) standing.  The ornamental carnage that came with the falling of our tree drove me to drink!…  Tea!  HA… you thought I was gonna say wine!  I am unwilling to take the responsibility for this fate so I am blaming this incident on either the South Pole Elves or the crappy tree stand that we used.  Since there was no evidence of elves, I determined that the blame would be placed on the tree stand! After a trip to Lowe’s and the purchase of a new improved tree stand, we were able fix the disaster.  I did have to wait until today for the carpet to dry so I could put the skirt underneath but now it is finished and ready for Christmas.


Interestingly, this holiday season here in Oregon has started off with truly cold cold weather that has caused a lot of us to actually freeze our butts off!




For the last three weeks it has been in the teens and low 20’s during the day, getting even colder at night.  My understanding is that this hasn’t happened since the 70’s!  Believe it or not, during all of this coldness, I have managed to continue sewing, albeit a bit slower of a speed than my usual.  I haven’t left my skirt making mode and while making them, I got to thinking that I need tops to go with my skirts.


MariaDenmark, a fellow blogger has designed and created a blouse pattern, the “Edith Blouse”, that you can purchase on Craftsy .  She shares a little story on both Craftsy and her “Wool and Weeds” Blog about how this cute blouse came to be.  Last summer I purchased it with the intention of making it then but alas… so much was going on that it didn’t happen.  However… now, in my skirt-making-madness-mood, it seems the perfect time to make it.


This is a picture of the blouse.  The pattern also includes a dress, which actually is just added length below the level of the blouse.  It has that Retro look yet still looks modern and given that the blouse fits me so well, I think the dress will be a fabulous spring project!

Edith B Blouse Dress


This is a download pattern which arrived to me via PDF file.  I have never downloaded a pattern before so admittedly, I was a little nervous at first.   However, it truly went very smooth. I opened the PDF file and after reading all the instructions, printed off only the pages for the blouse.  While piecing all the printed sheets together, I kept the full pattern layout sketch picture that’s included, on my computer screen while I was cutting and matching and taping.




Before I started, I considered to first cut off all the right sides and bottom edges of the printed pages along the red dotted lines but… since I am really getting tired of re-doing ANYTHING.. I decided against this and instead, went one page at a time.  Here is a picture of my system.




Now that the printed pages were all taped together…




I was ready for step two.  Using tracing paper that I purchase by the roll from Nancy’s Notion’s, I traced the pieces that I needed for the blouse, adjusting sizes between bust, waist and hip.  I next made a muslin to see where I was at in the fitting.  Too much shoulder length, perfect bust, waist to narrow and hips WAY to wide.  It was back to the drawing board so-to-speak.  I rolled back out my taped together Edith Blouse pattern and re-traced my pieces making adjustments for all my fitting issues.  Now it was time to make muslin number 2!  It was a success!  The happy dance commenced!


I had found some fabric at Mill End’s in Beaverton, Oregon that I felt so drawn to.  Not sure why… it was a very nice fine cotton, but I knew that matching cut fabric pieces with a pattern like this fabric had would be tricky!  Nonetheless, I was determined to make this fabric into the E. blouse.




I spent a little time pondering my tactics before I started cutting.  I pre-washed, dried and pressed the fabric and when I laid it out to cut out my pieces, I discovered that it was not on grain!  Yuk!  I paid $9.99 a yard for this fabric which was only about 42 or 43 inches wide resulting in having to buy additional yardage to cut out all my pieces.  I decided to do what seems to be my usual these days… I tossed my fate to the rain  and cut my blouse pieces the way that I thought the printed pattern would look best.  I haven’t washed it since I’ve made it so I don’t know if I will get twisting or what, but…I will worry about that then!

The blouse sleeves finish in such a way that I was concerned about them raveling even if I used my pinking shears so I decided to dig out my old dinosaur serger.  I hate that machine!  If I was a better operator maybe I wouldn’t get so frustrated with it but it’s so rarely that I use it.  That is why I’ve not considered taking classes or joining a serger group but maybe I should reconsider.  At least I would know how to fix most of my problems!  It must have taken me an hour to finally get it to sew a decent seam and so now I was ready to actually sew together the blouse .


I had fun sewing it.   It was a little time consuming making all the darts but they are what makes the blouse fit so nicely.  There are two long ones that go to the hem in the back piece and one on each of the front pieces that are almost as equally long as the back ones.  The front center edges fold over to the outside towards the top like a lapel and blend nicely into the collar.





Next up was my skirt.  I found some beautiful wool flannel in black that I couldn’t wait to sew so I could wear it!  I am thinking really warm here!   I tried to take a picture of the wool but because it was black, the camera had a horrible time with it.  I was getting grays which were not at all true to it’s color so I bailed on the picture.   The skirt that I decided to make was a style from the Butterick 5613 that I made my previous skirt from.  My lining skirt that is!


Butterick 5613


This time I chose the option C style with pleats.  I made a few changes however.  There are five pleats in the front section and per the pattern instructions, all are folded in the same direction.  You are told to make the pleats on the outside, creasing along the lines of the small circles and then bringing those creases to the lines of the large circles.  I did this for the 2 outer pleats on the right side but did the opposite for the 2 outer pleats on the left side.  I still had the center pleat to contend with.  I decided to divide the width of this pleat in half and marked this as the center.  Then I folded one side of the pleat towards that center and then folded the other side of the pleat the same.   I pinned them in place and then basted them.  I wanted the pleats to hold their shape so I then top-stitched each fold, 6 in total, down 4 1/2 inches from the top edge of the waist.  The back pleats I folded per the pattern instructions though I did top-stitch them like I did the front ones.




The pattern doesn’t give instructions for lining the pleated skirt but because I made mine from wool flannel, I considered the itch factor so decided to line it.  An added plus would be that the pleats would drape better, especially if I used the straight lining that comes with the pattern.  This straight skirt lining is intended for the pleated skirt if you make a bubble hem so that’s why it’s included.  My method was my own for attaching the lining.  I followed the pattern instructions through until after inserting the zipper (excepting the change I did in the front pleats).  Then I made my lining and basted it to the skirt selvage, raw edges even, in a 3/8 inch basting seam with my sewing machine.




It was a toss up on what to do next, either sew the waistband yoke facing to the waistband yoke, or slip stitching the lining to the zipper.  I decided to sew on the waistband facing first.  I followed the pattern instructions for this… it’s pretty easy.  Just matching up seams and markings.  Next was slip stitching the lining to the zipper.




Almost there… now it was time to slip stitch the folded under waistband yoke facing over the skirt seam.




Then finally, the last thing to do… hem the lining.  Mind you I did do this before I attached the lining to the skirt but I had an oh crap moment!  I didn’t hem it short enough so it hung down below the hem of  the skirt after I basted it in place.  I just hate it when that happens!




I contemplated top-stitching the waistband yoke on the top and bottom, but for some reason my mind doesn’t want to let me.  I kinda like the plain wool look, it is so beautiful.  I absolutely love sewing wool flannel.  I don’t know what other colors it comes in but I plan on making more skirts from it.  It will be so warm and cozy to wear.


I am not sure if my cotton Edith Blouse is the best match for my wool flannel pleated skirt but their colors compliment one another so I decided to pair them up for pictures.   Here they are!





The back actually hangs quite smoothly but because I was turned a little, I think this feature was lost!




My daughter told me to tip my head a little, and then shortly later said left giving me a direction but I thought she said laugh!





That’s a take then!  We are finished.  I hope to next start on something blue.  I have never made myself anything in blue before but the ladies at one of my favorite fabric stores did a poll with some customers while holding the fabric up alongside my face and it was unanimous that I could pull off wearing blue!  So please note that if I look like crap, I am not responsible!  🙂




Salute!  Jessica

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