Monday, November 27, 2017

How I used my Japanese cotton double gauze.. PJ's!!

Catching up on my blogging!

Early in the summer I ordered some Japanese cotton double gauze from Marcy Tilton. The ones that I ordered are no longer available. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do with them...PJ's. However I had no idea what kind or any design idea at all when I ordered the fabric.

My package showed up and the 2 lengths of fabric that I ordered were just LOVELY!! There was only one slight problem... I had hoped that the 2 fabrics would be better matched in color and they were just too far off to be used together. (although for PJ's it probably would not have mattered!!)

I promptly serged the cut ends and threw these in the washer and dryer. Oh my!!! they washed up so lovely and so soft. I was very impressed. I hung them in my fabric closet and waited for inspiration to hit me. That's what it usually does, it smacks me right upside my head and I have this crazy feeling of hurrying to get the idea down on paper or completed before the inspiration dissolves into thin air and floats away.

Plans for a girlfriends 'sewing weekend' were planned for mid-august. Six of us were planning to get together in Maryland for a much needed no stress sewing weekend with the girls! Five of us made it and we sure did have FUN! I really wanted to make sure that my sewing plans were just as fun and non-stress related as possible. After all, I have had enough stress this year.
Having so much FUN sewing with my friends!

Monkey made sure that she got to enjoy in the fun as well!

My mind immediately went to sewing up a PJ's set. I really needed some new ones that were not so old and thread bare and that could be used when traveling with others as well as doubling as lounge wear.

I pulled out my 2 fabrics and decided that I really didn't like them together. So I choose the more lighthearted of the 2, the polka dots, and set off on a quest in my fabric closet looking for another fabric to pair with it. I came up with this red cotton fabric from my collection and just loved it! The turquoise in the print matched perfectly and the shapes in the print mimicked the polka dots. Perfect! I washed and dried both fabrics again and used a color catcher just to make sure we were good to go. This also made sure that any shrinkage was for sure done. With no dye on the color catcher I knew it was a match made in heaven.
Loving my new pajamas!
For the PJ pants, I knew that I wanted them to be long enough to be able to use some elastic in the ankle. I really, really hate sleeping in PJ pants that dont have either a knit cuff or elastic in the hem. I move around a lot in my sleep and regular PJ pants get twisted on my legs and become very uncomfortable. I used my master trouser pants pattern and cut them 3 inches longer, straightened out the side seams from hip to waist and ignored the darts. I used 1 1/2 inch elastic for the waist and threaded it through a casing. During our sewing weekend I had one friend help me determine the best length and it turns out that we both really liked them long so that when I added the elastic at the ankle it gives them a lantern effect at the bottom.

For the jammie top I used my master darted bodice pattern. This pattern is fitted with double bust darts for shaping. I eliminated one of the bust darts, the waist fitting darts in front and back and added in about a half inch of extra ease at each side seam. This meant I would have a jammie top that was comfortable and cute! And it still has a slight bit of bust shaping with the single smaller bust darts. I added a round applique pocket for fun. After all, you always need a pocket for tissues! I used the polka dot double gauze for the neck facing which I applied to the outside and for the armhole binding. Using the contrast facings really tied everything together!

oh boy are my legs white!!

I had enough of the red print cotton to make a pair of matching jammie shorts. The length was really dictated by the amount of fabric I had leftover. They worked out perfectly and I enjoy having the matching shorts for summertime slumbering.

Tester pj pants
So before everyone goes on thinking that I just willie nilly made some pattern changes and cut straight into my beautiful Japanese double gauze... worry not! I did make a test pair first out of this orange print lightweight fabric first. This orange was marked as being an African wax print. I washed all the wax right out of it! After some googling I found that these authentic African wax prints are pretty much knock-offs that are made in china. Which led me down a rabbit hole of info on fabric production! 

...anyway, this orange fabric was so inexpensive (read cheap!) that I knew it would be a great wearable muslin for my PJ pants.

My sewing buddies and I getting ready to hit the runway!

My jammies were so much fun to make and turned out so well that I decided to wear them on the runway! They made there debut at the 2017 ASG Chicago chapter luncheon and fashion show. So much fun and oh, so very comfortable!

As I am finishing up this post I am now thinking of winter jammies! Plans of sewing are swirling through my head :)

Smiles from the Princess!
She was so excited to trim the Christmas tree this year!

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