Minty Fresh

striped pjs

I know, I know; when it comes to blogging about this year’s Me Made May I’m both a dollar short and, what, 11 days late…

In my defence the dog ate my homework, I was abducted by aliens AND we had a plague of locusts. So, you know, I’ve been busy.

Having reached my established target (of sewing something once a month) right at the beginning of May, I threw down the gauntlet to myself of sewing something ‘specially for Me Made May.

And here I am, finally bloggin’ ’bout it…

*Party streamers*

Of course, because I’m an utter show-off, I picked a project that actually involved sewing TWO bloomin’ garments *planning fail face*; a pair of summer pyjamas.

Having followed Sarai’s Wardrobe Architect series on her blog (and made a couple of notes and realisations, thanks Sarai!), I realised that what I need most is loungewear and nightwear (will blog about my adventures in architecting my wardrobe soon, scout’s honour).

After too many nights wrestling between my flannel pyjamas and an assortment of t-shirts, I headed into my walk-in fabric store AKA The Stash.

I wanted something cooling, lightweight; something that would feel comfortable against my skin; something which, if I’m honest, would use up fabric too unflattering for the regular light of day.

I’ve had this silk/cotton mix mint-green-and-white striped fabric for well over a decade (maybe longer and no, not since the 1980s, you cheeky sod).

In its time it was going to be dress, a full skirt, even an attempt to make a Vivienne Westwood-style striped bustier top (I know, I know), all the while with me kicking myself that I didn’t go for the pink version.

(Yes. Am an idiot. It’s been noticed before. Ta for noticing…)

Consulting my extensive collection of patterns, I found two old and trusted friends;

patternsSimplicity 5923 is the reason why I’ve had an amazingly comfy pair of blue flannel pyjama bottoms to fall back on, lovingly, for umpteen winters. I’m planning to FINALLY sew a top using the utterly-basic-but-useful raglan sleeved pattern featured (maybe extending the length for a night-dress, creating a wearable toile). Given the pattern was printed in 2002, I clearly feel it’s best to give these decisions a slow, considered approach…

New Look 6070 is the blouse pattern I used for a City and Guilds sewing course I took many years ago. I made it in broderie anglaise, meaning the facings showed, so I put it to one side to remove the facings and .. yeah. It’s somewhere, buried, like a latter-day sewing Ark of the Covenant or some-such, waiting to be rediscovered and procrastinated over again. Le sigh.

Still, that prior (failed) experience meant that a) the pattern was already adjusted to my personal figure quirks and b) I wasn’t gonna go down that facing route again. No sireee…

My only problem now came from fitting two garments, needing a metre each of 150cms wide fabric, into just shy of 1.8m of 56″ wide fabric. Whilst matching stripes.

Dear lord, when will I pick something EASY???

So, what did I do this time around? I can just sense you’re dying to know…

For the bottoms;

  • Matching stripes was key so I did fake french on the outside seams, and a kinda flat-fell on the inside seam, keeping it as strong as possible.
  • I chose to ignore the pattern’s ‘put ribbon around the outside to make a casing’ for the waist, and used silky bias tape inside instead. Mmm, silky bias tape…

For the top;

  • Proper French seams, teeny tiny French seams, were calling me with their siren allure. So I did ’em. How hard is it to match seams through this method? Very. Did I succeed? Not really. Do I care? Pffft
  • A problem with employing French seams? No way to leave a gap for the waist tie to thread through. Bugger. So I centred a buttonhole over the seam, utilising the strongest point, and now it is a thing of much loveliness.
  • I dispensed with any facings. Which meant bias binding. Given I lacked yardage for self-fabric ones, shop bought it was. Except shop bought looked clumsy and cumbersome. Yuck. So I did what any sane person doesn’t do for pyjamas; I cut the bias down the middle, used each half in the usual way one uses bias binding, and sewed the internal edge by hand. As you can see from the photo above, it’s like tiny pixies came and sewed it for me in the night. Christ, I wish they had; a day of doing it almost broke my eyesight…

And the final result? Oh, OH .. It’s a vision. In them I’m a vision.

They’re so light, so airy, that I waft about making ooooh and ahhhh noises at the very gossamer-ness of them. They make me smile and want to quaff a gin and tonic.

For each time I try them on I’m transported to a hotel balcony on the French Riviera (it’s those seams), wearing a white silk turban and huge sunglasses, whilst a beautiful young man pours me something intoxicatingly alcoholic. He’ll say, ‘Shall we go out tonight?’ and I’ll reply, ‘But darling, the view here is just so divine…’ and he won’t know whether I’m looking at the view or just at him *wink*.

Which is also a problem. I’ve made something that’s TOO GOOD for its intended wear. I don’t want to sleep in these pyjamas. I want to waft about in them. I want to be seen in them. I’m almost prepared to be seen in PUBLIC in them.

When you make something so good it outstrips its original intentions, well, darn, it’s a problem. But hey; what a quality problem to have 🙂




One thought on “Minty Fresh

  1. Pingback: Ooh La La | Everything Just Sew

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