It’s a Spring Pyjamarama!

Spring is a coming and with it the opportunity to toss the flannel PJs in the cupboard and make something a bit more girly. Having been brought up in England I didn’t have a chance to partake in the shenanigans that I’ve heard happen in North American spring breaks. That said, who am I kidding? I was a student nurse and while we worked hard we also partied heartily!

We have a pet Moose. He goes by many names; Lord Moose, LL Cool Moose, CM (Chocolate Moose). Last year he came to Hawaii with us and I made him board shorts, This year I made sleep pants using the EYMM Harem Pants. He likes these as they’re comfy to sleep in and also great for yoga! I made the newborn size and they’re still a bit big. Sadly stuffed toys don’t grow up and I didn’t follow the doll pattern, so I shall have to alter them.

The something else evolved from an original  historical American Girl pattern, now scanned in to computer land by AG Playthings and available as a free download. I altered ‘Molly’s Pretty Clothes’ to make Moose some spring PJs. The end result is pretty good and I recommend downloading them.

As for me, well I decided to sew another pair of Laela Jayne Comfy Cozy PJs. I was part of the tester panel and here’s the link to my original blog post. They are supremely comfy, I wear them a lot and it was a no-brainer for me to sew this pattern again. I chose a lightweight check for the top and (because I ran out of fabric) a lovely cool cotton for the bottoms. I decided that I wanted a nightshirt length top with 3/4 sleeves, so I don’t get chilly when I sit up to read. As the idea grew I decided to change the neckline to more of a V. To do this I cut the front piece on the fold of fabric up to the 3rd button, then followed the pattern’s original neckline. I did the same with the facing, cutting it off at the 3rd button placement. I’ve made several SisBoom Patricia tunics; it’s one of my favourites. I pulled up the instructions and morphed the Patricia neckline onto the Laela Jayne front neck and collar. I added button loops to give me the option of adding pretty buttons later, but currently I like the soft feminine look with the open neck showing the contrast facings. The same PJ pants fabric is used in the sleeve cuffs.

The pyjama bottoms have side pockets. My last pair didn’t, and I really missed having somewhere for  tissues and my phone. I added several inches to the overall length and cut the higher waistline. To continue the theme I added contrasting fold-up cuffs to the pants, by simply doubling the width of the cuff and pressing it up, tacking it at every quarter point, to keep it in place.

Before you leave, have a quick look at the 24 companies who have sponsored the blog tour as well as provided prizes. Do follow the links and enter the competitions; you never know when you will be lucky!

Note: No animals were harmed in this blog post. I owned the patterns already and am honoured to be part of this blog tour. Hopefully the photography is improving! 

There are 24 shops sponsoring prizes for this tour!
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Along with today’s daily giveaway (see below), there is also larger giveaway and a link up happening. Go to today’s post over at Sprouting JubeJube to get the full details on how to link up and to enter the giveaway! We are also lucky to have four fabric shops offering readers discount codes: Fabric Sponsors Mabel Madison is offering 20% off with the code JAMMIES. Code expires March 31st! PhatQuarters is offering 10% off OR FREE shipping to US addresses on orders over 40$ US (with an equivalent discount for international shoppers). Use the code PHAT10 for 10% off OR FREE40 for free shipping to US. Raspberry Creek Fabrics is offering 15% off with the code PJPARTYTOUR. Good through March 26th! Tangled Blossoms Designs is offering 10% off with the code PJPARTY. Code expires March 25th!

And now for today’s giveaway!

Today’s prize is sponsored by The Handmaiden’s Cottage. You could win 2 patterns of your choice! Visit The Handmaiden’s Cottage to see what they have to offer. The giveaway ends March 22nd at 11:59pm. See the Rafflecopter on how to enter! You have up to 7 chances to win! The winner will be chosen March 23rd and will have 48 hours to respond to the email before a new winner is chosen. a Rafflecopter giveaway

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook.

Want to win more prizes? Visit Create 3.5 tomorrow to see what new prizes will be up for grabs as well as see the previews for tomorrow’s bloggers.

 

Missed a stop on the tour? The full schedule is below:

Monday, March 21st

Sew Far North | The Wholesome Mama | From-a-Box | Pattern Revolution
Inspinration | Paisley Roots

Tuesday, March 22nd

Sprouting JubeJube | 5 Out Of 4 | Sew Happily Ever After | Beri Bee Designs
Phat Quarters | Connected by A Thread

Wednesday, March 23rd

Create 3.5 | Handmade Boy | HattieLu Handmade | Made by Melli
The Crafting Fiend | Sweeter Than Cupcakes

Thursday, March 24th

Lulu & Celeste | Sew Starly | Phat Quarters | Pear Berry Lane
Rebel & Malice | Creative Counselor

Friday, March 25th

Made By Jaime | Mae & K | Mabel Madison | SewSophiLynn
Amazing Adventures of Bubba & Bug | MahlicaDesigns

Harem Pants in the Great White North!

I live in that fabulous country affectionately known as the ‘Great White North’. The British Columbia (BC) Interior is dry, snowy and chilly in winter, and hot in summer. Participating in a March Blog Tour featuring Harem Pants seems a little daft, unless I make them from fleece or wool. But hey, what the heck! We’re off to the  California Desert in spring and maybe they will come in useful.

I have reservations about wearing harem pants and hope this exercise can debunk my own myths. I am curvy with hips, (my waist is disappearing on me though), have always thought they’re for skinny women, and will make me look a bit like a Sherman tank. For the same reason I’m not a huge fan of anything loose at the hips, baggy through the crotch, and narrow at the ankle. While my Himself has some strong fashion opinions, I’m also my worst critic. But ‘In for a penny, in for a pound‘ as the saying goes. What also doesn’t help is when people wear clothes inappropriately. My girlfriend recently commented that they aren’t appropriate men’s wear in the gym. It sounds like she had an ‘eyes-bleed’ moment at work yesterday. I don’t think it was the pants but the occasion. Poor love; I hope she doesn’t need counselling from the fashion faux pas.

The pattern, Women’s Freestyle Harem Pants and Capris is by Everything Your Mama Made and More (EYMM) and is a beginner pattern. If you choose to make any of the alterations it’s classed up to advanced beginner. The ladies’ pattern has a huge size range as does the children’s pattern, which has the added bonus of a doll pattern. EYMM has a website with a good blog. There’s a very active FaceBook page and an Etsy Shop. It’s worth watching their website or FaceBook page as every month they have a Manic Monday sale where some patterns are priced ridiculously cheap! These Harems were on sale for $2 last week! Yeah, I know, you missed it … BUT … read to the bottom where there is a 25% discount code. And feel free to share the love!

The pattern was easy to print off as it has an option for layers, allowing me to print just the sizes I want. The no-trim pages option took a little bit of working out for my blonde brain (it was one of those days) and I appreciated the instructions. Once I’d worked it out, it came together wonderfully easily, so much so I realized I’d not stuck previous no-trim patterns together properly. Ah well …

Following the pattern recommendation I chose a woven polyester fabric as it drapes beautifully. It’s navy and gold with diamonds and balls, though the detail is hard to see in photos without a close up. I don’t use a lot of polyester as I like the breathability of natural fabrics, but this is rather lovely. I have a long torso but there is very little distance between my last rib and my ileac crest (the top of my hips), and usually stay away from wider waistbands as they tend to fold over. Although my fabric isn’t knit it is soft, so I interfaced the structured front waistband; they’re elasticated in the back. The wider waistband extends over my ribs and hips, meaning the elastic measurement needs to be increased. The further the elastic is from my natural waist, the longer it needs to be, or it feels as though I’m being cut me in half. I also find that not all elastic stretches the same amount; some shrink in the wash. I plan washing some as an experiment to see if my theory is true.

Harems are a funny pattern; Himself came into my sacred sewing space, looked at the pattern and remarked “What on Earth are you making?” Like all pants they’re fabric hogs and despite my best pattern placement I found the fabric estimate to be correct, with a lot of large left over scraps. I am slightly taller, with a 33″ inside leg. The pattern is drafted for a woman of 5’5″ height. As such I added 3.5″ to the length. My failing was in not reading Joelle’s blog post on making Harem Pants for her daughters. These pants are narrow at the ankle; Adding length to the bottom as I did means I ended up with a pair of narrow from the calf down pants. Joelle added the extra length at the shorts cutting line; her pants look better than mine! That said, for summer my above ankle harems will be just perfect with flip flops or sandals, and they tuck nicely into my winter socks.

The pattern also instructs taller people to add extra length to the rise. I chose not to add it as while I have a longer rise, I wasn’t sure just how baggy these would be. I think I will add it when I make them up in a lovely soft cotton voile. They will be cool in the heat, but still flattering.

The sewing part was easy. Instructions are well written, and a standard 3/8″ seam meant I used my regular machine foot. The fabric is slightly stretchy so I used my lightning stitch and finished all seams on my Serger, where I have wooly nylon thread installed as standard.

When Himself saw the finished item he remarked “They are great as lounge wear, but can you wear them outside?” I saw that as a challenge and packed them (because I needed to take photos, obviously) for our recent trip to the rainy city of Vancouver. I chose to prove that yes, they can be worn outside without people looking at me like I was in my PJs. My daughter-in-law gave her approval when saying, “I’d like something that isn’t jeans; I can wear out and still be comfortable.” I guess I will be making her some for her birthday next month. Having worn them round the city all day with my cowboy boots, a top and jacket, I can honestly say that they are tremendously comfortable. I don’t look like I have forgotten my horse either!

In conclusion, I debunked my own myth of whether I can wear Harem Pants. I had to think about what to pair them with, as a loose baggy top would make me look like the Sherman tank I was worried about.  They are extremely comfortable, fold up small, won’t need ironing, and will definitely be in the suitcase!

Disclaimer: Thank you to EYMM for providing me the opportunity to blog for them and giving me the pattern. My sewing and views are my own, as is the photography. 12790833_10153296879857016_6216027968750875319_n

If you enjoyed this week’s read please check out the other Freestyle Harems Blog Tour Bloggers. Note: The links below won’t be live until their scheduled date

March 9 – Joelle at EYMM

March 10 – Patricia from Sew Far North

March 11 – Tami from Sew Sophie Lynn

March12 – Kelly from Analog Bytes

March 13 – Lore from Blessed x Five

March 14 – Larissa from Connected by a Thread

March 15 – Aimee from Capture, Craft, and Cook

During the blog tour, you can get the Freestyle Harem Pants on sale. Use code FREESTYLE to save 25% on the women’s or youth sizing or on the bundle. The discount expires at 11:59pm PST on 3/15/2016.

Not Just For Your Kitchen Sink! The Rag Apron

Hello Peeps! It’s another date with A Vision To Remember (AVTR) this week. Following on from the recent rag-quilt baby car seat cover, I have a raggedy apron to review.

I must admit to being a bit perplexed about a rag apron. After all, rag quilts are several layers thick depending on the end fraying effect you want. Thats a lot of fabric! I’m a post menopausal cook, so I’m hot in the kitchen anyway. I couldn’t imagine 3, 4 or 5 layers of fabric. But 2? Now that had potential. Especially as I live on a ski hill. We have tons of snow, yet still manage to BBQ in winter. Plus, I can see me taking this to the lake to BBQ. Perhaps there is room for a warm apron in the kitchen?

My plan decided I looked at the pattern. The drawing at the end is very useful and gave me the idea to make the apron a scrap buster. After all, why not make a scrappy apron? With the right flannel backing (more scraps), the fraying effect could be most pleasing. I like using scraps. They bring so many memories of previous projects, favoured articles of clothing and fabrics I love. The smaller pieces of fabric were bequeathed from a dearly departed quilting friend. I decided to use lace from a thrift store as the ruffle. The large squares are the remains of a ‘layer cake’ I used to make my mum’s 75th queen bed quilt. The whimsy in me decided that the pea pods fitted in, though I nearly broke out all the fruit and veggie fabric when I saw how good it looked.

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All the pretty things

If you want a fairly quick project and are tired and grouchy, make this one. As the designer states, it is very forgiving as long (as you don’t snip through all the stitching). There were a few glitches, but credit to Bobbie the designer , who reviewed and tweaked her pattern before we started the tour. That did impress me.

The pattern came together easily and sewing it together was rewarding. I have a lovely 1970s Kenmore called Evelyn. She is solid and I use her to sew my heavier fabrics. With a size 16 needle she easily sewed through these many layers. I decided to use my ruffled eyelet lace as a ruffle, as I have so much of it! As such, I cut the scalloped bottom 9″ deep instead of 5″ and just sewed the ruffle to the top. I also measured the neck band and made mine 25″ long instead of 18″. When I came to pin it in place I measured it and re-pinned to a size that went over my head easily; it ended up being 22″ long. The back is made from a lovely green flannel. Yes, it was meant for a baby quilt, but now it can snuggle me. I added a couple of pieces of random beige in as a bit of a highlight.

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Soft and gentle colours

I’m really pleased with the end result. I did intend taking photos by the BBQ, but we had over 6″ of snow today.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my apron. If you’d like to check out some of the other creations here are their blog links:
2/22/16: Larissa from CBAT

2/22/16: JaNette from Merri Poppins

2/23/16: Patricia from Sew Far North

2/24/16: Melissa from Rebel & Malice

2/25/16: Ula from Lulu & Celeste

2/26/16: Denita from HattieLu Handmade

2/24/16: Essence from Amazing Adventures of Bubba and Bug

Disclaimer: To be able to make this item I was given the pattern. My views are my own, and not influenced by anyone. I hope you enjoyed the read!