Friday, July 30, 2010

Sleeping Shorts

I was lucky enough to inherit a bunch of fabric from a friend whose mother's friend was cleaning out her sewing closest.  Most of the pieces are small (1/2 yard or less) of quilting fabric but a lot of fun patterns and everything came neatly folded so how could I turn them down?!  Most of them will probably sit in my sewing closet until it needs to be cleaned out, and those that I use will be for linings or pockets or testing ideas (like French seaming in-seam works!).  There is actually a fair bit of this cute purple flower fabric, probably a little over a yard, and I thought it would be the perfect print for sleeping shorts.  I did have plans to make some make-shift bias tape out of another patterned fabric but these ended up coming together around 12:30 one night and hemming was just so much easier!
I used this tutorial from MADE with almost no modifications.  The only thing I changed was the length (I just copied some sleeping shorts I already had) and I skipped the elastic around the waist and just used the drawstring.  I must not have added enough allowance on the top because my casing ended up being fairly narrow and I was having a really tough time getting the elastic through.  When I had it about halfway through I realized that there was no way the drawstring would fit with the elastic in, and since the shorts weren't too loose I didn't really need elastic to hold them up, so I went with drawstring only.

I really love this pattern and plan on making a few more sleeping shorts (or pants) for myself with my fabric stash.  It will also be very useful come the holidays as I'm always stumped about what to sew for guys.  But what guy doesn't love a good pair of pajama pants...perhaps in a nice pink floral?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tie-Front Top

I've been wanting to make a tie-front top for quite a while, since trying one on at Ann Taylor (not available anymore) and seeing this cute dress version from Very Purple Person.  So I scooped up McCall's 5884 at a Joann's sale a few weeks ago and found a great cotton shirting on clearance.  The fabric is very very tiny checks and pale green, not a color I wear a lot but it's so pale it almost becomes an off-white.
I love how the shirt turned out and am so glad I checked out Pattern Review before making it--according to almost all of the reviews the front is cut way too low, and I followed their advice and raised the front neckline almost 3-4 inches.  Thank goodness I did: if I hadn't the keyhole formed by the slit and the tied tie would have been down at my belly button!
I used a new technique (for me) to finish the armholes: bias binding.  I sort of followed Amanda's instructions but I didn't look at them until after I'd sewn the bias tape onto the raw edge, sandwiching it.  The fold under and sew took me a couple of tries but I followed her advice and used lots of pins and went really slowly and pulled the fabric as much as possible and I think it looks great!

I'm so happy with my tie-front shirt and am excited to have mastered the bias binding technique.  After cutting this only took me about 4 hours to complete--and it probably would have been 3 if I'd gotten the armholes right the first time!