Nightgowns and Sewing Goals

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You see before you my two crazy girls wearing matching fleece nightgowns. I also made another matching nightgown for the daughter of our friends who moved away as well, but I couldn't get a photo with her, because, well, three, four, and five year olds aren't always the most cooperative or logical creatures.

This is the nightgown pattern I drafted from Jalie 2212 a year ago in the fall. This pattern draft works very well - the only change I have made is to swap out the sleeve with one from Jalie 2682. This one fits much better - slim, but not restricting. Clara now fits the size I then drafted for Lucy and Lucy only needed extra length.

Why fleece? I mean, we don't live in the tundra and we have a perfectly working heating system. Well, let me tell you. Lucy has this fleece nightgown that my sister-in-law sent her three years ago. She loves it and wears it all the time. We have to sneak it out of the rotation in the summer. But it is too short now (about tunic length) and the time had come to replace it. Since I had a simple nightgown pattern ready, and I knew that Fabricland had piles of novelty PJ fleece, that's the direction I took. Clara also needed nightgowns as hers were too tight and were splitting at the seams (and she likes nothing better right now than to be just like Lucy).

After I cut out the two nightgowns for my girls, I still had a lot of fabric left over and realized that I could make another nightgown if I split the pattern and gave it a bodice seam. That's how the third nightgown for our friends' daughter came to be (and thus, why I had to make a matching set of PJs for our boys). But even after cutting out the third nightgown, I still had too much fabric to simply recycle, but not enough to merit keeping, so I tossed the idea around a while, googled a bit, and came up with the beret.

And this, of course leads to my sewing goals for this year. Along with my previous goals of trying something new with nearly every sewing project, this year I want to sew every usable bit of every length of fabric I sew. Enough with the half-metres of fabric taking up space in my bins of fabric. If I am sewing the fabric, then I have matching thread in the machine, so I am going to just keep sewing the fabric until I am comfortable with recycling the remains.

In this light, I made Clara another fleece nightgown after I made a fleece pullover for myself (that will come in another post).


Because the fleece is a solid colour, I thought it needed a bit of jazzing up, so I quickly appliqued a butterfly using a scrap f fleece and some hem lace and a button from my mother's stash. Clara thinks it is lovely, and I didn't have any fabric to put away afterward! Hooray!

Pajamas!

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Very good friends of ours moved away between Christmas and New Year's. We used to live around the corner from each other, then we moved five blocks away and now they live a 45 minute drive away. Anyway, we had plans to spend the night with them in their new house on New Year's Eve, and my kids were needing new PJs, so I got it into my head to make matching PJs for the boys (and matching nightgowns for the girls - that will come later).

I wanted to make knit PJs, but it is next to impossible to find printed interlock or jersey that isn't baby-themed. So I spent a good chunk of time at the local Fabricland staring at all of the printed flannel. Seriously, I think I spent more than 45 minutes wandering around and around the racks of flannel. There just wasn't anything that would suit these boys who like bright colours and have parents who strive to not surround them with gender stereotypes. I ended up buying this absolutely gorgeous yarn-dyed plaid flannel. It is thick and luxurious. One of the nicest fabrics I have ever purchased. Luckily it was 50% off.

Of course, the plaid is uneven and has one direction of stripe far more prominent than the other, and no stretch whatsoever. I was concerned about the stretch because I intended to use Simplicity 9949 (previously used for Peter's Halloween costume), which has a tapered leg that I thought might be restrictive in a non-stretch fabric. So what did I do? I cut it on the bias! And then, after trying to figure out which way I wanted the dominant strips to go and struggling through and evening of cutting out the pieces and attempting to get them to match (if you notice, one boy's pants have the V pointing up and one has the V pointing down - oops!), I decided to sew the crotch seam and the outer leg seams flat-felled. I do like to make my life as complicated as possible.

What I didn't realize until part way through one seam is that the flat-felling messed up all of my careful plaid matching! LOL. So the boys' pants have plaids that match (or come very close to matching) on the INSIDE!! Oh well.

Clara helped me pick out the interlock used for the shirts. I bought it at Dressew and it is definitely not the best quality, but it was significantly less expensive than anything at Fabricland. The pattern here is Kwik Sew 3234 (previously used for PJs). I really like this shirt. Peter has moved up to the Small, but I cut the neck at XL because I wasn't confident that this interlock would be stretchy enough.

Next Up: Fleece nightgowns!

Last Post was December 21?? You are kidding me!

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I have not fallen off the face of the earth. I have been sewing, but it has been ridiculously difficult for me to get blogging again. Aaack.

Mostly I have been sewing for the kids. Fleece nightgowns for the girls and a PJ set for Peter. That one merits its own post because I made the pants on the bias and tried flat-fell seams!

I have also been doing a little sewing for pay. That's pretty fun, too. I thought I wouldn't enjoy it, but it's been fine. There will be more of that as well. I finally received some fabric I ordered ages ago. Either they shipped it via pack mule or the folks at the border all decided to play dress-up with it.

Currently I am working on a dress for Lucy. I finally found a drop waist jumper pattern that is nearly like the one she has that is getting to be too short (unless we travel back in time to the '60s). I'm making it out of wool plaid. I also started the corset-belt from the June 2009 Burda. But it is still in pieces.

I was going to try to sew down my fabric collection, but I mostly managed to accumulate more. LOL I should definitely do a post on my fabric acquisitions and the plans for the fabrics.

So there's lots to blog about. I just need to schedule some time every week to do so! Bear with me, friends.