Sunday, April 21, 2013

How Not to Make Pajama Pants

By Vicky Nardone

So after a couple successful purse sewing attempts I decided I was ready to more on to clothing.  Pajama pants are one of my favorite clothing items in the whole world so I thought they would make the perfect first item to start with.  How hard could it be, right?  Well, I think the above pajama pants speak for themselves.  I want to blame the pattern but I think a lot of it is just me and my inexperience at sewing.  Let me share the issues I ran into with you in case they might help someone else who's new at sewing to avoid making them in the future.

 I found the pattern at Joanns on the cheap rack (maybe that's part of my problem - I keep getting all these patterns off the cheap rack) and took it home for a couple of days to study before buying my materials.  My purse pattern had shown exactly how much of each fabric you needed to buy to make the different purses.  I could not find this anywhere on this pattern.  So I guestimated.  It didn't work.  I thought that the fabric would be wide enough that I could fit both pajama pant legs across it.  It wasn't.  These were supposed to be the full length pajama pants on my pattern.  Luckily I had bought enough fabric that I could at least do the three quarter length.

I was really excited when I found the fabric at black and white kitty fabric at Joanns.  When I was taking it to get cut, a girl I passed even commented on how cute the fabric was.  I had an aha moment at the counter because the lady who was cutting it was chatting with me and reminded me since the fabric had a pattern, I needed to make sure to cut both legs the right way for the pattern so they weren't going opposite directions or didn't end up upside down.

The kitties are upside down.  I swear that I cut the pattern out correctly.  I really did.  The problem is actually that I sewed it upside down.  The pattern did not make any sense to me for how to fit the pieces together.  This is how they look.

And in my mind, this is how they should look.
Excuse my rough photoshop drawing!

 I'm still not sure I understand that one.

Also, somehow I thought that the two different pieces should be the same exact width (which they shouldn't because one is meant to fit your butt and the other your front) and that I had cut wrong so I trimmed the excess off the back end to make it the same as the front end.

As far as size goes, I was closer to the medium size that the pattern instructions talked about, but as far as actually having a medium size on the pattern pieces - they didn't.  All that was there was large and extra large (I'm definitely getting a new pattern before I try again).

The sewing part went ok besides being upside down, but with the waist being the legs, I had to trim that down to avoid having Steve Urkle (Family Matters anyone?) pants.  I think I would have had to have done that if I made them right side up too - look how long the legs were even though they're still a little short to be three quarter length.  They had a petite waist cut as well, which I had not done since I'm pretty tall.  Maybe instead of calling the waist sizes petite and regular, they need to call them regular and freakishly long waisted.

The two things I am prod of on these pajama pants are getting the elastic right - this was my first time doing that and it actually went really well, and the cute ribbon added to the bottom of the pants.  The ribbon was a last minute touch I decided to add and I really like the touch it adds to the legs of the pants.

Even though these pants are pretty much an epic fail, I happen to love them since they were my first attempt and have been wearing them a ton since I finished them last Sunday.  I will definitely be trying again.  I want to make an actual full length pair.

As a side note, I was going to take a full length photo for you because I know I enjoy seeing pics once in a while of the authors of the blogs that I follow, but my husband and photographer in this case refused to take a full length because he thought my tank top that I was wearing with the pajama pants was too low cut.  Lol, if you know my husband Matt, he's doesn't usually care about those types of things, but I guess it's cute that he was being so protective.  So instead you get a full length shot of our kitty Lily who snuck into the photo shoot at the last minute.  She matches my pajama pants.  :)