So I continue on my sewing adventures. Next step: pyjama pants! All ready for the long days of winter, which are … ooooh … many months away yet. However! How hard could it be, right? It’s some legs and some elastic. Sweet.

First step – cutting out the fabric. This is where I discover I have bought a perfect square of material, and that square is about 10cm too short for the pattern. And please note I am attempting the XS pattern. So I roll my eyes and pin them out anyway. Because for me, XS stands for X-Short, and I don’t need that extra 10 cm. We don’t need your steenkeng hemming length!

About this time I take the photo above, still chuckling merrily at my folly. Oh, what an amusing anecdote, I think to myself. How ironic and rich with lessons and learning experiences. And so I cut away merrily. Aaaand then … I notice what everyone else who sews has already noticed, and who are currently pointing and yelling at the screen like a pantomime whilst I do not hear them and cut irrevocably into my fabric. YOU ARE CUTTING INTO THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE FABRIC! TURN IT OVER! TURN IT OVER! Of course, I don’t hear you. YELL LOUDER NEXT TIME. Also, YELL BACK IN TIME because otherwise it won’t do me a damn bit of good.

About this time, Mr. T comes home and finds me sitting mournfully on the lounge floor surrounded by happy snowmen. “Are you sewing?” he asks absently, fending off dogs and thinking about more important things, such as what he can eat. “I was going to sew,” I reply sadly. “But I made stereoisomers.” This catches his attention, but not in a good way. I try to explain: “I cut on the wrong side of the fabric. They are mirror images, like a left hand instead of a right hand.” To better illustrate my point, I wave my hands listlessly in the air, very much like I just don’t care.

Mr. T looks at my handiwork for about 6 seconds before replying: “You have doubled that material over. You’ll still have two good copies. You would only have a mirror image if you had cut only one side of the material. Dumbass. And also I can’t believe you still think in chemistry terms instead of saying ‘mirror image’ like a normal person. Do we have any bread?”

So! I continue. Thank you for yelling, people, but it turns out it doesn’t matter as long as you are cutting out two pieces at once. Who knew? I thought that had just given me twice as many unusable pieces. As you may have guessed, I am not spatial. I’m not good at maps or other visual representations of shapes. Sad but true. I had to unpin everything and reassemble to prove to myself that I was still on the right track. But! Once I had done that, I sewed me up some pants. I can sew! And put in elastic! And after washing the done-but-not-hemmed pants, I can curse the fact that I DID need that extra 10cm on the bottom of the legs!

Next step: cuffs. How hard can it be, right?

2 comments to pyjamarama

  • Elie Khoury

    I think you need to make a whole outfit for Mr T

  • your pj pants will totally rock. i periodically make new pj pants for everyone in the house (ie The Squeeze and i) using neato kids flannellette (sp?) from spotty.
    cuffs: not as hard as you may think. Cut a rectangle of fabric as long as the circumference of the hem of your trouser leg + (5/8″)x2 for seams. make it twice as wide as the length you’d like to add to your trouser legs (here is where you can make up for the too-shortness), again + (5/8″)x2 for seams. if you have an overlocker, the next bit is easy, but if you don’t…
    sew the rectangle together, end-to-end to make a ‘loop’ of fabric. make sure it’s right side to right side, so the seam will end up on the inside. edge that seam with some zigzag action.
    ok, now pin the loop to the bottom of the trouser leg, right side to right side, so the loop is on the ‘outside’ of the trouser leg (your trousers should be right side out) and the seams are aligned. if you then turn the loop down, you can test how long your cuff will be – it will sort of fold down beyond the length of your trouser leg. now turn the looop back up so you can sew at the pin line. you may want to finish those edges on that seam.
    ok, now go to your ironing board and press the loop in half (wrong side to wrong side), folding the excess into the trouser leg (just like a normal hem). now you can just hem the trouser leg as per usual – fold under the raw edges, lining up that folded edge with the seam where you sewed the loop to the leg. press. then either hand stitch in place, or sew on the machine. you will get a line of stitching on the outside, but you can make that very close to the original seam so it’s invisible, or use a contrasting thread and make it a feature.
    there. now, don’t you wish we had the power of pictures to make all that coherent?

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