Monday, August 29, 2016

Margot Pyjamas for Holly

One more piece of clothing for my friend Holly. Not as dramatic as her yellow bird dress, but quite wearable! And it's got a story behind it...

Soooooo... I was supposed to teach Holly how to sew last year. And I failed.

I laid out a whole lesson plan and we got started on it. I had her review certain sections of Tilly and the Button's Love at First Stitch book as homework to get a little bit of background. Then we practiced threading the machine, talked about fabric types, fabric grain, pinning and fabric weights, etc. 

We practiced stitching with the machine: straight lined, curved lines, maintaining an even seam allowance. We played around with stitch lengths, did some zig-zagging. We picked out an easy beginner pattern, the Margot pajama pants from the Love at First Stitch, chose a size and a fabric, traced the pattern, and cut it out... 

And then life got in the way (work, travel, inertia) and somehow we never followed up. The pajama pants sat there, still pinned to the pattern pieces for months. I finally just pulled them out and quickly finished them up for Holly so that the fabric wouldn't go to waste. 

The fabric is a piece of Indonesian batik in a big yellow floral (remember, yellow is Holly's favorite color). We tried to line up the small border along the hems, but it was a bit off grain, so it's a little bit wonky in spots.

I strayed from the pattern a bit in that I added elastic to the waistband in addition to the drawstring since I think it's more comfortable that way. I used this little trick from Oliver and S to keep the elastic from spinning in the casing.

I also reinforced the drawstring area with some little scraps of interfacing and sewed vertical buttonholes 1" away from the center front seam for the drawstring rather than leaving a hole in the center from seam for it.

The fit on the pajama pants is quite good; maybe a little long, but no big deal. 

Holly likes them! And she doesn't seem too upset that I never got around to walking her through sewing them. 

As an aside, during the lessons I did give Holly, who is left-handed, I gained a profound appreciation for how difficult sewing (and, well, everything) much be for you lefties out there! None of the sewing tools are really designed for a lefty: the machine, the scissors... I am in awe of you lefty sewists out there!


  1. Interesting about left handedness, now that I think of it, you are totally right! I knew scissors were an issue, but there are left-handed scissors. But I hadn't thought about the machined - all the controls and the wheel are on the right side of the machine, with the left hand doing less important things. The fact that I've never thought about it speaks to my right-handed privilege, ha!

    Cute PJs! I have promised sewing lessons to my niece, hopefully I'll get a bit further. Is Holly still interested in learning or is more like "meh" at this point?

    1. Yeah, the machine is an issue - the way it's shaped, the controls... crazy!

      I think she would still want to learn, but she may be moving in the next month, so depending on how that goes, we'll see.

  2. Such a simple tip, thanks for posting.
    My sister is a lefty too. She once asked me to cut out a project for her, while she did other chores. Those lefty scissors were horrible, so much hand cramping...
    The pants look good. I don't think I've ever seen a batik with only two colours before.
    Mary in Thailand

  3. This fabric is divine! She looks quite happy with them.

  4. These look great! Sounds like you are an amazing sewing teacher. A lesson plan? I would have never even thought to do that! ;)