Friday, August 31, 2018

Perfect Pajama Pants

Hello Readers. It is Friday and we are making pajamas. Friday is just the perfect day for pajamas. Everyone looks forward to relaxing on the weekend. Pajama pants are great to wear when you are relaxing.

This cotton dress was at a clothes swap and I think I took it because I really liked the white and blue pattern of the material. I would have called this a house dress. That is what my Grandmom called them. It was not quite a nightgown but it also wasn't for going out. This dress was too big and WAY too long on me. For a long time I wasn't sure what to make with this material because the pattern was really bold. This dress sat for quite a while until I decided to make some nice sleepwear for myself. 

The one great thing about this dress was that it had pockets! That is what I am pointing at in the picture below. I am always happy to find functional pockets in my clothes. The dress also had high slits on both sides under the pockets. That is the open fold of fabric below my hand.

I did not have a pattern for pajama pants but decided to try and make the pajama pants anyway. I closed the side slits with my sewing machine and then used a pattern for boxer shorts. I placed the pattern where it needed to be for the waistband and pocket placement. I wanted the pockets to end up on my hips. The length of the dress would determine how long the pants turned out to be.

I cut out my pieces and they looked like this. I sewed them together and made a casing for an elastic waistband. I accidentally sewed the legs together and had to use the seam ripper to remove all the stitches and re-do the legs.
It would have been very quick sewing if I had not messed up.

Everything turned out well in the end. I wore my new pants while cooking at home as you can see. The pants matched my kitchen exactly. I really do like blue and white.
I was able to keep the pockets intact and they are on my hips at a good height,  just like I wanted.

Thanks for reading this post, now go make something fun for yourself.

*Year end update- The title says it all, these pj pants are perfect.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Pajama Week Nightgown

Hello Readers. It is pajama week here at I Can Work With That. Why pajamas? I had a dress I didn't like very much and I didn't know what to do with it. Then I had an idea! Sleepwear!

I started with this VERY floral knit dress. I liked the feel of the fabric, it was soft and in great condition. The dress was a little too low cut on me and honestly, it's a snooze fest. It was just really boring. The flowers were pretty, but there were so many of them. And there was nothing to break them up. It was just flowers everywhere! It was too much.

That's a lot of flowers man!

I started by cutting off the top of the dress. There was a seam at the waist and I cut the seam off with the bodice. The shape of the top was wrong on me and didn't fit well. I was left with the skirt part of the dress. I didn't want to a skirt though. I wanted a comfortable summer nightgown to sleep and lounge in.

I used some soft cotton blue trim and stitched it all the way around the top of the "skirt" where I had cut it from the dress. The trim would cover the cut edge and it would provide some structure to my nightgown. The fit didn't have to be perfect, sleepwear is usually has a loose relaxed fit. I just needed to get the general shape correct.

After I stitched the trim all the way around the top, I added two shoulder straps. I made sure they were symmetrical and that they were the right length for my shoulders. I attached them on the inside, and I was finished.

The knit fabric is great for sleepwear and the darker colored trim made a great contrast to the floral fabric. Everything is cotton so it will be comfortable and wash well. I like the floral print much better as a nightgown. There is less of it and it just looked more appropriate as sleepwear.

Thanks for reading this post, now go make something fun for yourself.

*Year end update- I would wear this nightgown now if it wasn't winter. This was a great refashion.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Shorts; Done Right and Wrong

Hello Readers. Today's post is about the best and worst of sewing. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, if you will.

These were literally the longest shorts I had ever seen.
These shorts were so long on me it was strange looking. I gave them a big cut and a new hem. They turned out great. So great that it went to my head. I was sure that I was great with a needle and thread.
I wore them to Target to buy laundry soap.

I got over confident and decided to try and make some shorts from this blue skirt. It was very full and gathered. *Spoiler- It was a great skirt but it wasn't a great idea for a pair of shorts.

I used a pattern. I thought the full skirt would provide enough fabric to use the pattern. I was sure it would turn out great.
(It would not turn out great.)

 I thought I could use the waistband of the skirt in the shorts I was making. After I cut the pattern out, I started to get an inkling of an idea that this wouldn't work out quite as I wanted. I knew the full skirt would make full cut or loose cut shorts but this didn't look right.

I did make a pair of shorts. They were very full in the legs. I didn't understand how this would look on a human body. (My human body.)

Here are the shorts with the band of fabric that was left at the bottom of the skirt when I cut the shorts out of the fabric. What am I going to do with that? It's in the scrap pile.

These shorts looked so bad. I did not think they were flattering or attractive in any way. If you want your back-end and your upper thighs to look GIGANTIC, have I got some shorts for you!
  It was a huge mistake to have cut up the skirt. Live and learn, right?

Thanks for reading this post, now go make something fun for yourself.

*Year end update- I liked and wore the gray shorts often. The blue disaster was never seen again.

Friday, August 17, 2018

The Great Green Skirt

Dear Readers. The best thing about sewing is making clothes all your own. Even clothes that don't fit at all. A little sewing and those clothes can be all yours.

I really fell in love with this green and yellow floral print when I saw it at a clothes swap. I liked the midi length too. It was a great skirt, it just didn't fit me. That's OK, I am going to make it fit.

I decided to remove all the excess from one side of the skirt because the other side had a zipper. I didn't want to remove and replace a zipper so I worked around it. I tried to keep the skirt panels balanced and symmetrical. I gave it some thought and then I just did the best I could. (That is how I do most things.)

I also tried to make the tank a little less bulky in the mid-section where the waistband of this skirt was going to be on me. It was a small change but it helped improve the fit. And I really needed that white shirt because I have nothing else to wear with this skirt. Why don't I have any other white shirts?
 I don't know. I will work on that.

I was happy I could make this skirt fit. It only took a few minutes to fix this skirt the way I wanted. It was worth the time to get a fun twirly skirt like this.

Y'know, outside spinning in circles. As usual.
Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself.

*Year end update- This skirt is a favorite.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

This Skirt Is Too Sheer

Hello Readers. My daughter passed this peasant skirt on to me because it was too sheer. She didn't like it. I didn't like how sheer it was either. I decided to use it in a different way.

This skirt needed a heavy slip to wear with it. Heavy slips are just annoying and uncomfortable in the summer. I wanted to use this skirt to make a fun top instead.

I decided to cut the top of the skirt off. I ended up with a big ruffle. I wanted to use that elastic waistband in my new shirt. I gave the ruffle a new hem and saved the rest of the skirt for later.

I also had this very nice tank top from Black Market/White House. It was too low cut for my taste, but I liked the color and fabric a lot. When I look for clothing to refashion I usually look at the fabric, not the item itself. Good quality fabric can be made into something else. Cheap fabric will never look great, no matter what I make out of it.
 If I could make this tank top less low cut somehow, I could actually wear it.

I put the top of the skirt on to the tank top. I pinned them together. Easy-peasy.

I stitched them together and cut the straps off the shirt. I had an off-the-shoulder top. The elastic waistband of the skirt keeps the shirt up at the shoulders. And the cleavage is all covered so it isn't revealing at all.

This new top is a lot more fun that it was as a skirt.

Thanks for reading this post, now go make something fun for yourself.

*Year end update- This was a fun summer top. I still like it.

Friday, August 10, 2018

A Baggy Waistband

Hello Readers. Have you ever tried on a pair of jeans and had them fit everywhere except the waistband? Sometimes the waistband is too loose in the back, but it isn't difficult to fix.

These denim shorts had a lot going for them. The waistband was high enough. (I have had 3 kids and a low waistband isn't what my mom tummy needs at this point in my life.) The fit was great through the hips and thighs but the waistband was not working for me. The shorts were an awkward length for me too. I would fix that later.  

I started by taking the waistband in on the sides. I thought it would blend in really well with the existing side seam. I didn't want to alter the size anywhere but the waist. I put the shorts out on a table and cut a little triangle shape out of each side. You can see I stitched over the new seam 3-4 times so it will never come undone when I am out in public.A zigzag stitch or a serger would finish the raw edge.

 I wanted to shorten the length a little too. I cut the hemmed edge off the bottom of each leg.

I rolled the ends up twice to make a cuff. I liked the new length but I knew it wouldn't stay up by itself.

I tacked it down with a few stitches on the sides, front, and back. The rolled cuffs will stay where I want them. 

I love the new fit. They aren't tighter anywhere but the waist. I need to eat lunch and snacks. I need to breathe. Tight denim is not what I want.

They are great for lounging in the sun. Ha ha, just kidding, I am way too pale to sit in the sun. I hide from the sun.

Trust me, they are good in shade too. 

Thanks for reading this post, now go make something fun for yourself.

*Year end update- These were perfect for summer and got tons of wear.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Denim Jacket For Summer

Hello Readers. I decided to make an old denim jacket a little more light weight for summer.I thought it would be great over sundresses.

I started with a simple basic broken in jacket. I had removed the pocket flaps a while back because they were covered with shiny gold studs. I didn't like the shiny studs so I just cut them off. You can see how it looked originally here.

I cut the sleeves off so I had a denim vest. I just cut along the seam at the armhole. The stitching at the seam will keep the jacket together. The edge will fray a little in the wash. That will give it a great distressed look.

I cut out the back panel. I cut along the seams so the jacket would still have a good strong structure to keep it together and hold it's shape.

I needed to fill the back of the vest in with something. I decided to use this sweater. It had a nice crocheted back. (I didn't mind cutting it up because it was also too tight in the arms and I could barely squeeze into it last winter.) I cut the crocheted part of the sweater out of the back. It had a thick self-contained edging around it. I removed the whole thing and kept it it one piece so it wouldn't unravel.

It was easy to insert it into the back of the vest. It was really thick to stitch through, but not difficult. Whatever I wear under the vest shows through and highlights the crochet work nicely.

Thanks for reading, now go make something fun for yourself.

*Year end update- This is in my closet and I still like it a lot.