Monthly Archives: December 2015

Little elves…

… Would have been desperately welcome.


In the end, I did pull it off. Despite having as much No Time as usual, I made more Xmas presents than I think I ever have before. Four pairs of PJ pants, above.


Two Jalie raglans, one for my husband’s grandmother and one for my cousin

Jalie Raglan Tunic Dress. So hard not to keep this.

A couple of Jalie shrugs, and a Star Wars pillowcase.

Shrug + Pillowcase. Both have been gifted and no better photos were taken.


The only ones I have any energy to cover in depth are the PJ pants. I used some random Kwik Sew patterns for skinny sweats for my very skinny nieces, aiming for extra length and WAY overshooting.

Long enough?


For my own kids, I used the Sewaholic Tofino PJ pants, which I’ve had in stash for an aeon or two.

I cut the size 0 in both cases, because it was easier and the reviews seemed to suggest that Tofino was fairly ro0my (Tyo’s butt size would have put her in a size 2. I think either would have been fine.)

I took advantage of the part where these are pull on pants and DIDN’T grade up to a larger size at the waist (even Tyo, who is much more pear shaped than either Syo or I, would be at least a size larger in the waist.) This means not so much gathering at the waist, I guess, but I think it makes for pretty sleek looking pants. Other than taking off some length in Syo’s version, I MADE NO ALTERATIONS! No raising the rear waist or dropping the front, no round-butt alteration… partly because they’re PJ pants and partly because Sewaholic’s pants-draft is the bomb. Well, for those who are generous in the deriere*. Love it.

They are quite wide-legged pants. I wasn’t going for skinnies, so that was fine, but if you’re looking for sleek PJs this might not be the pattern for you. Personally, I’m in love with the side panel, especially in a contrasting colour. It just makes them so much more special than plain PJ pants.

Tyo's Pair

Tyo’s Pair

The whole PJ-Palooza actually started when this Monster High flannel came in at a REALLY good price. You see, Monster High came out (at least around here) a year or so after Tyo had officially “outgrown” dolls (Yes, Kid MD, I know… kids!) and Tyo was all like “where where those when I was little?” and will totally secretly watch the TV show and stuff if no one is looking. So it just had to be. And Monster High pants for my nieces were a no-brainer as well. I could have just included Syo in the theme, too, but I really wanted something that would bring about that inner squee…

Fairy Tail Logo

I may or may not have mentioned before that she’s all about the Fairy Tail these days.


Seriously, fan-fic-reading-ly obsessed.

Sadly, as far as I can tell, Fairy Tail fabric is non-existant outside prepared items (not to mention virtually impossible to Google since Google assumes you’re good with anything “Fairy Tale”.

However, it does have a fairly stylized and easy-to-trace recognizable logo. And that outer panel on the Tofino pants leg is just begging to be applique’d on. As always when applique’ing I used Steam-A-Seam to stabilize and stick everything together. What can I say—I’m a one-trick pony.

New Sewing Machine has fancy applique stitches!

I had almost enough fortitude to face three appliques—so I opted for the asymmetrical thing and put them all on one leg.

Fairy Tail Applique

Since she declared this the Best Christmas Ever on the basis of these pants (as well as some Fairy Tail jewelry from my brother and some more of the mangas from my Dad), I will deem my efforts successful.

Buttonholes for waist ties

One other cute feature of the Tofinos is the tie in the waistband. Now, the way I consructed it is NOT the way the pattern directs (I was kinda confused about the pattern directions, but I wasn`t reading very closely.) I added about a 5″ length of non-roll elastic between the two halves of the tie, so it’s both adjustable and elastic. The kids seem to be a bit mixed in reaction to this feature—I think they would’ve probably liked a built-in elastic, maybe with the tie as well, but that seemed like a lot of work. We’ll see—it can be modified at any point, after all. This was the fist time I’d done buttonholes (for the ties to run through) using my new sewing machine, and it did them very nicely indeed, although doing buttonholes on a single layer of waistband (plus a bit of interfacing behind that section) is pretty much the ideal conditions, so it doesn’t prove much.


 In any case, I’ll call that Christmas Managed. 🙂

*I do not have a generous derriere at all, but a well-developed swayback mimics some of the bubble-butt issues, namely the unequal lengths in front and back rise and the gaping-above-the-butt issue.



Filed under Sewing

Old Professor cardigan 

  I’ve been basically obsessively fangirling over Thread Theory patterns since the first ones came out. I love their styling, their presentation, the whole vibe. Plus, Canadian! To the point where I actually re-purchased some patterns I already have in PDF when the paper versions came out. What I haven’t done, though, is make any yet. How terrible. I’m perfectly happy to hoard thrift store patterns til the cows come home, but if I’m going to pay indie prices, I should really be using them. 

Ever since I first got the Newcastle cardigan, like two years ago? I’ve wanted to make a version for my father. If only because I thought he might wear it and I know my husband won’t. The hold up was the fabric—nothing suitably classy ever seemed to present itself. 

  Well, I said before that this was a good fall for sweater knits* at my local Fabricland—one of them that came in was this gorgeous speckled thing that looks knitted on the outside but fleecy on the inside. A little bell went off inside my head that this was THE ONE. And just in time for my Dad’s 70th birthday, too. 

Since it was a rather pricy fabric, I had hoped to do it as a shop project, but a colleague yoinked the men’s cardigan slot so I had to resign myself to waiting for a sale and hoping the bolt didn’t sell out in that time. 

It didn’t, quite , and eventually the required yardage made it home with me. 

Once I pulled out the pattern again I remembered the cool contrast yoke option and really wanted to play around with it. A round of stash diving eventually turned up several meters of this olive green, slightly stretchy textured faux suede. It’s that odd olive colour that looks green under fluorescents and almost brown in regular light. But it was basically perfect, and a gift from another colleague who was de stashing last year. Win!


green faux suede also goes well with my costume gas-mask piece. Win! 😉

 Working with this pattern was really a pleasure.  I loved the drafting (lots of notches) which made things like setting the sleeves in flat super easy. (As per instructions! They actually instruct you to set in the sleeves flat!) They call for lots of knit interfacing, and I was happy to add it in wherever it was called for. Plus some knit fusetape a few other places. :)I made about a mile of bias tape with my faux-suede and bound the inside of the facing and also the top of the hem. Which is super yummy and I then got no pictures of. 😝 


pressing the button band. you can see the knit fusetape I added, too.

 My presser/clapper helped a lot with pressing the fluffy polyester fleece/knit. I used a wool setting and it was mostly fine except for the collar, which I over pressed a bit. It doesn’t look different but it feels a bit scratchy. 

 I throughly enjoyed the pattern and the construction, but I didn’t get a lot of good pictures. 


Buttonhole samples

 I finally used some gorgeous, manly buttons Claire of Sew Incidentally sent me AGES ago (seriously, like five years? She did not have the blog yet. 😁) they are beyond perfection. I had a bit of a crisis over buttonhole thread colour, but in the end that’s no big deal. 

  The biggest worry, with such a gift, is of course the fit. I made the XL, and since the reviews indicated the sleeves were long, I didn’t add to them as per the usual family adjustment. I think they will be ok, though. 

Though if they’re not, I will never know. My father will never complain, and he’s the sort that he’ll probably wear whatever I make, at least when I come over to visit.  Right now, the only thing missing is elbow patches… I’ll add them at some point when they’re required, I suppose. 

* I feel the need to add a caveat here—Fabricland got a much bigger variety with some interesting fabrics. The fibres and overall quality are very run of the mill—lots of polyester, a tiny bit of acrylic. My white sweater is already pilling like crazy. If you want genuinely gorgeous sweater knit, go drool over the O! Jolly shop or something. 


Filed under Sewing