Sunday, February 12, 2012

Reverse Applique Pyjamas - Menswear Contest


Ok, so I said I was going to do birds because Tigerboy is crazy about birds, parrots in particular. No, I don't actually think that these are birds. I just decided that I wanted to do something other than birds - he always gets bird things. I thought that as this is a replacement (in part) for the dive he was meant to do I'd do something to remind him of our holiday on Heron Island and the snorkelling. (The snorkelling is a big deal - a few years ago I was still trying to coax him to go out further than where the water was up to his knees when we were at the beach and now I've got him to the stage where he can be snorkelling in water where he can't touch, keeping his head under and sometimes not even close to land - we've come a long way.) So anyway, I thought of rays, we saw alot of them on Heron but I realised that I saw a lot more than him as I went snorkelling without him on the last day. So ....... turtles, we snorkelled with one in the Galapagos for quite a while, he saw one while we were snorkelling on Heron and he saw one just finishing up laying her eggs on Heron.
Galapagos - Green turtle

Galapagos - Green turtle

Heron Island - Green turtle covering eggs.

Heron Island - Green turtle returning to the sea.

Pattern Description:
Mens Summer PJ's - T-shirt top with 'raggedy' edge finish and reverse applique turtles. Long shorts with fly opening and elasticised waist. Contrast top stitching.

For the t-shirt I copied a RTW.
For the pants, I modified a Kwik Sew 2388 Mens Pyjamas pattern.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I didn't actually use them this time - not much can go wrong with pyjama pants.

When I taught Tigerboy to sew (a few years ago), he used this pattern to make his father some winter PJ's. I seem to remember that I thought their instructions for finishing off the cuff of the pants weren't too good and left a raw edge exposed? I got him to do it a better way.
Fabric Used:
This is a mystery knit. It's quite light and there is a fine rib on one side with loops on the other, the rib side has a slight sheen - I used the loop side for the outside. I find it a little scratchy, kind of like wool but as I had thought, tigerboy doesn't seem to notice.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Pants: I lengthened the upper leg so that the 'shorts' hem would be at the knee because that's where tigerboy likes his shorts. Instead of using a drawstring, I added elastic and sewed the top of the fly together, securing the elastic from each side). Instead of a snap in the fly, I used a press stud. I also used hemming web in the fly where some people might use interfacing just so that it had a nice crisp line.

Shirt: I reverse appliqued four turtles using a t-shirt that ended up at our place when my sister was going through her closets one time (good way to use up scraps). With washing the edges of the outer fabric should curl a bit. I decided to carry that over on all of the edges (neck, sleeves, hems) bysewing an extra strip of the fabric along the edge. leaving all edges raw. It's actually a treatment one of my RTW pairs of pyjamas has and it's quite effective. On the shirt I used the selvedge as it was already curled however the pants will need some washing to get the fabric strips to curl.

Seams are serged (except for front crotch going up to fly).
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I recently picked up 5 metres of flannelette for $1 a metre so that Tigerboy can make his Dad another set of PJ's, so the pattern will be used again.
The next time he needs some summer pj's, I can give him the patterns I made for the t-shirt and shorts and he can do it himself (because I am a mean, mean girl!).

This was a good way to get rid of some knit that I would never wear myself, decrease the stash, enter a competition, try a new finish and get brownie points from Tigerboy.
He loves them and tells me they'll be going to England with him when he visits his parents this year. He's not so struck on the (as he calls it) 'raggedy' edges but he'll live with it.
The raggedy trim:

The fly:
Turtles close up:

Now to get a pic of him wearing them .............

Action shot of pj's - this is what pj's are for in our house, after the shower and before bed.

Vintage lawn + cling wrap bodice block + hacked up Vogue pattern = new dress

Something I'd been wanting to try ever since I heard of it is the cling wrap (saran wrap) block. Apparently Glad Press N Seal is great for this however we don't have that here in Aus (it is on my list for next time I'm in the US though, yep, I really do have one of those lists).

So basically, you wrap yourself in cling wrap, cut it off you and viola! a bodice block just for you. Let me tell you that without the Press N Seal, it sounds much easier than it is. I tried to do it myself but in the end had to wait for tigerboy to come home. That little incident just provided him with more proof of my eccentricity. "You want me to wrap you in this stuff and then cut it off? Honey, is this really necessary?" Yes, it is.

As I wasn't sure how this would turn out I used some fabric that I wasn't very keen on, this is from the stash I got from Mum. Now that it's made up I actually like it and as this dress is as light as air it gets worn a lot. I think it's lawn, it's very light weight.

There's a step-by-step of making the bodice block here (it's not by me). I found that adding to the side seams didn't work the way I wanted it - I just ended up with too much fabric at the sides - so I ended up giving my bodice block an FBA to get it how I wanted it. If I remember correctly, in that tutorial, she advised not to make both sides the same and to basically trust that the differences are your shape. Of course I didn't - who's ever heard of one breast further from the centre than the other? Obviously a marking error. Well, turns out that I do actually have that - how can I possibly not have noticed until now? I can only put it down to wearing clothes that are not as form fitting as this one. In fact, I've probably overfitted this dress - ah well, it's not tight and fits me like a glove (just wouldn't want to put on much weight).

When Mum came to stay with us after Christmas, I wore this dress to pick her up. Her first words to me were "It was worth the 35 year wait to see that fabric made up."

For the skirt I used  the straight skirt of Vogue 8555 (which I made last year) and closed the darts to make it an A-line. I used a hot pink bias binding for the armscyes and neckline (more from Mum's stash).

I decided to try a side zipper for this dress (I've only ever done centre back zippers). Unfortunately, the one I literally spent 60 sec on throwing in while I was making sure that the fit was ok was perfect, no so when I took it out and tried to put the final zipper in the 'proper' way. In the end I just thought I'd live with it - the chances that anyone is inspecting under my arm is small, I'd say. Again, the zipper was a vintage zipper from Mum's donation to my stash.

I have to say that although I do like not having to contort myself to open and close a zipper, I do miss being able to just step into a dress.

The only thing I'd change is add just a smidge of room at the front bottom of the armscyes, but just a smidge. All in all, this dress is a winner and I will be making more.