Month: June 2013

Pyjama party

Karen, the funny and talented lady behind the popular Did you make that? blog, announced last month that she would be hosting another pyjama party this year. Cooincidentally, the wonderfully talented Sewaholic released her Tofino pyjama pants pattern this spring.  Even before I knew of the pyjama party, I snapped up the Tofino pattern, as comfy pyjama/lounging pants are always something I can use. Many patterns don’t fit quite right on me, mainly because their rise and my rise are not the same.  I had high hopes for the Tofino, based on tester and earlier sewers reports.

However, I took my sweet time in making them up for the Pyjama Party, knowing that every week makes a big difference in my waist size.  At 5 months pregnant, I wasn’t even sure I’d fit in them when I finished them.  I sewed on, using the largest size provided in the pattern and using up the oldest piece of fabric in my stash.  I didn’t want to go out and buy new fabric for this make, since I wasn’t sure how they would fit a pregnant, inflated pear shape.

photo I looked at the fabric selvedge when preparing it for cutting and saw that it was from the Alexander Henry collection in 1999.  I’m pretty sure I didn’t buy it then, but it could very well have been 2000 or 2001 when I purchased it.  ^_^;;  I did use a length of the fabric for curtains when we lived in Texas, but it’s been sitting in my stash since we moved to Portland six years ago.  It’s not a very, um, subtle pattern, so I didn’t have any idea what to use it for.  However, with pyjama pants, it almost really doesn’t matter how loud and obnoxious they are, since only hubby and I will be seeing them.

Without further ago, here are the finished Tofinos on a definitely pregnant me.  (Apologies for the crap photos, as I was doing self-timer in the sewing/guest room.)IMG_2922

I opted to do without the trim on the side panels, as the fabric was busy enough itself.  I also opted out of the fabric tie waist, and just went with some buttonhole elastic, to allow me to expand their current length of use (hopefully).  IMG_2926

Overall, I am in love with this pattern!!  I can’t wait to make a pair (post-pregnancy) in flannel for the long Portland winters.  The fit is great, even with my inflated pear shape; these don’t gape in the back at all.  The only surprise I had was the cuffs on the legs.  I guess I must not have read the pattern correctly or something, but I ended up with 4″ (10cm) cuffs on mine.  Perhaps it’s because I had to size up a bit to accommodate my belly and thighs?  In any case, that’s more my mistake for not measuring properly beforehand.  Overall, LOVE for these pants!

Thanks, Tasia, for such a great pattern.  And thanks, Karen, for motivating me to make them through your Pyjama Party!

Stash pieces used in this make: 1
Stashbusting goal: Use 16 pieces in 2013
Stashbusting progress: 26 pieces used to date

Sewing for SHB

Although the month isn’t quite over, I’m well behind on posting my makes for the month.  It’s been a busy month of sewing here, as proper summer weather continues to elude us here in Portland.  I certainly don’t want to complain (too much) about the lovely rain that is keeping everything green in the yard, but I could really go for a week of unbroken sunshine right now. Really, I’ll take 70F (20C) any day, but let’s cut back a little on the grey and rainy, could we?  Pretty please?

In any case, lots of makes for the month, mostly pregnancy clothes and things for the SHB (aka Munchkin).

Back in the early part of the month when we did have a couple of sunny days, I stashbusted an IKEA duvet cover I’d picked up a year or two ago.  Hubby and I were walking through the store and I spotted this in the kid’s section.  It was so cute, I had to buy it.  I added a little (non-stash) navy cotton to the top to make a rod pocket, and whipped up curtains for Munchkin’s room.

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Then I finally got around to turning this piece from my stash into a noren (Japanese fabric divider, hung in doorways or on walls).  It’s Japanese fabric from my friend and depicts a Japanese lion dance, which is said to bring good fortune and luck.  I love the colors in this; it’s hanging in the doorway to Munchkin’s closet.  (Well, what will be Munchkin’s closet when we get around to transforming the guest room/my sewing room into the nursery.)


Next up was a pattern I had seen in an older issue of Burda Style magazine (03/2011 #149), a travel baby blanket/mat with some pockets at one end.  I used a piece of fabric from my stash, a wonderful Japanese cotton print from my friend’s etsy store.  For the knit, I used up the last of some waffle knit given to me by one of the lovely stashbuster Sewasauruses.

IMG_2865Completely rolled up and tied with a self tie.
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Unrolled, with three pockets at the bottom.  (The top is folded over, so you get an idea of the overall make.)  Whether this will actually be handy when traveling with Munchkin, I don’t know.  If nothing else, it will be a germ-free surface to set her on.  🙂IMG_2861

And the most recent make for Munchkin’s room (and later my sewing room when she gets tired of them), a pair of appliquéd pictures to hang on the wall.  I had the picture frames in the closet, so I wanted something to work with the blue and pink of them.  (I basically made cute things that I will enjoy looking at.)  The first is the cutest depiction of Aspergillus oryzae, a mold that ferments soy beans and sake, amongst other things.  This little guy is character in the Japanese manga and anime called Moyashimon.IMG_2875

Next up, Moomin Troll, the main character of the Moomin series of books.  Which, until we happened upon a Moomin cafe in Fukuoka, Japan, in 2008, I had never heard of.  Our Norwegian friend and traveling companion educated us, and we’ve since bought some of the Moomin books.  We don’t want Munchkin to have to wait 35+ years to discover the love of Moomin, so some wall art to start her off right.IMG_2877


And yes, there are a lot of creatures going on in Munchkin’s room. Rather than being afraid of strange things, I figure if she grows up surrounded by them, she will be fearless.  😉  I should probably hang a spider in her room, too.  Then only I will be terrified of them.  ^ ^;

Next up, I did some sewing for me and my ever-expanding pregnant belly.  The first make, finished early in the month, I dub the Third Trimester t-shirt.  It’s the knit top from Burda Easy pattern 8376.  I wanted to make it up to see how it differed from my favorite t-shirt pattern, the Renfrew.  It’s just bigger all over, is the answer.  Again, I used some of the waffle knit given to me, so while not a stashbuster, it did get rid of the very last of that fabric gift.  It’s very comfy, but huge on me right now.


Next up, another stashbusting top, made from some poly that was my first purchase after I moved to Portland in 2007.  I loved the print, then realized that baby blue isn’t my best color.  I also realized that I preferred natural fabrics that could breathe.  So, in my stash it sat, neglected until now.  I used Simplicity 3799 for the top; while not a pregnancy top, I figured if I made a large enough size, the front gathers would help accommodate a pregnant belly.  Sure enough, it’s super cute.  Now I just have to wait for weather to wear it in.  (You might have noticed that A. oryzae’s picture, above, uses  the same fabric for the background. I’m really working the stash this month.)

And next up were two necessary makes, though not from my stash.  The 100% organic cotton beige twill was a steal, though, from Fabric Depot and their clearance corner.  I used a 35% off coupon for one cut in the clearance corner, and managed to get three yards (60″/150cm) for about $4/yard.  I also got a little beige double knit for making the pregnancy panels.  I had enough to make both a pair of shorts and capris, using the Burda Easy pattern 8376.IMG_2930 IMG_2932


They’re not much to look at on the hangers, but they’re super comfy.  When warmer weather returns, I will be living in these for the summer.

There’s one more finished make to report on, but that will be in a separate post, coming soon.

June stashbusting, so far: 5 pieces
Stashbusting goal: Use 16 pieces in 2013
Stashbusting progress: 25 pieces used to date!!