Friday, July 23, 2010

Pajama Mama

My son, like most kids, is growing like a weed. He is not quite two and is already wearing 3T sizes. For whatever reason, it seems like his pajamas are the first items to get short and tight and he's been sleeping in skin hugging high waters for a couple of months now. Sensing an opportunity to practice my sewing skills, I bought a pajama pattern, some super cute clearance fabric, and set to work.

This was my first solo attempt. The other garments I made I sewed in the presence of my mother. So when my seam started to get crooked, or my machine tangled and stopped, or I needed pattern interpretation, I had an expert at my side. This time, it was me, alone, in my makeshift sewing room cursing up a storm. I got them finished and from a distance, they look pretty good. But close up....whew! Hemming itty bitty pant legs is excruciating! And despite my very best efforts, I could not make the waistline casing hem straight and after I had already ripped it out twice, I decided he was just going to sleep in the damn things....who cares if the hem is straight? Well, I care. And even though I was so DONE with this particular pair of pajama pants, every time he wears them I will cringe and focus on that one spot where it all went wrong.

I have more fabric on the way (I hit an on-line clearance sale) and he will need several more pairs of pajama pants. I'm considering this first one my "practice" pair. Now that I'm familiar with the pattern and am confident enough that I can actually make something resembling pants, I promise to slow down and focus on the details next time. And I will rip out the stitches as many times as it takes. Making these pants has taught me a few important lessons about sewing:

  • My Mom is amazing. She makes every seam straight. Every time. And now I realize how difficult that sometimes is.
  • Elastic can be a tricky fiend. My non-roll elastic kept rolling and the safety pin with which I used to thread it through opened in the casing and stabbed my finger. Curse words ensued.
  • Measure the boy....then sew. He was napping while I finished off the pants so I guesstimated. I got lucky this time but I realize now what a risky venture this could have been.
If my sewing machine and I kept score, it would be sewing machine: 1000, Stephanie: 1. But despite all the ripping of seams, the cursing, the finger pricks.....I still like it. I still want to sew. Because crooked and ugly or not, I made it. I used to think I had no tangible skills whatsoever. I could write you a novel but what good would that do me if my family needed to survive? I set about on this journey to learn the skills that have been lost and I'm doing that. Slower than some, but I'm doing it. And I'm pretty proud of myself to tell you the truth. I'm still a sewing "virgin" so I think I can cut myself a little break. A few more pairs of jammie pants and I'll be good to go.

P.S. Forgive the quality of these pics. My sweet boy DID NOT want his pictures taken, the room was cave dark and the flash cast a weird orange glow on things. Photography classes next perhaps?

No pictures Mommy!

The pants seem comfy enough...

Not sure what's going on here....he wanted everyone to see his tummy.


  1. I think you did a marvelous job! You should see the pathetic attempt at pyjama bottoms I did for Matilda! They would make you look and feel like a professional seamstress!
    The main thing is, you're doing it!!! I just keep sewing in spite of all my mistakes...I can only improve from where I am now!
    xo maureen

  2. Those look great. I agree with Maureen, the main thing is that you did it, and that you want to sew more.

  3. Those are terrific! Have you ever looked at how crappily made a lot of storebought clothes are? I figure if what I make fits and is comfortable, I'm already ahead of the game. Love the fabric. And I like you're will get better! My advice? Get a's used to string laces and elastic through casing. And practise on cotton until things get's not stretchy and stays put! Don't give up. My kids live in homemade shorts and pyjama pants. Use your hubby's old shirts (plaid!) to make them...flannel in the winter, cotton in the summer. Love 'em!

  4. Love it!!!!!!!! I smiled throughout. :)