Even though I finished the bottom two this past weekend I'm not counting these as part of my 2014 makes since I should have finished them in 2013 considering two of them are Christmas gifts! Well, better late than never!
Back in November 2013 I had this grand plan to make my friends PJ pants for Christmas out of some ridiculous cat print. Two of my close friends and I are huge cat lovers and we appreciate super cheesy stuff so I thought they would get a kick out of this horrid Timeless Treasures cat print.
Howeva, I wasn't loving the price tag of the fabric at about $10/yard. I was also concerned with the size of the cats' heads. I wanted the first handmade garment I made for someone else to look nice, so I opted to use a "nicer-looking" flannel print from Jo-Ann Fabrics.
I was hesitant about buying the Tofino pattern because did I really want to pay that much for a pajama pants pattern???? Well, in case you have the same reservations, let me make a decision for you. Yes, you do want to buy it because holy hell it's awesome! I don't think I've read a single negative review about this pattern and that is because it is fantastically easy to make.
I ended up making a pair for myself first so I could get used to the pattern. I contemplated making my own piping, but I seriously couldn't figure out where to get cording in Jo-Ann's and I was too lazy to ask someone. I settled for pre-made piping: white for myself, navy and pink for my friends. I also struggled with which elastic to get. There are just so many options! I decided to buy the "underwear" elastic because it felt like it would be comfortable, yet sturdy enough to hold up PJ pants. Oh, it is sooooooo comfortable!
Ok, onto the construction. I shortened the pants 4 inches for myself and left them as-is for my friends, since they're actually normal-people height. I didn't make any other adjustments to both pants. If you're wondering, I used 2.5 yards for myself and 3 yards for the full-length pants. I also was able to fit the belt onto the 3 yards even though it's listed under a separate "contrast fabric" section, which I totally did not see when I was buying fabric. It was a tight fit, but I made it happen. I did not interface the openings in the waistband in the version for myself, but the flannel fabric I used was prone to fraying easily, so I interfaced the openings on the next two versions. I'd recommend taking the extra minutes to interface since you'll want to wear these pants all the time and will want them to last forever.
I had never sewn with piping before so I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm glad I made my pants first because I learned a couple things that I was able to apply to the second pair. First of all, I didn't sew close enough to the cording so the stitches on the pre-made piping definitely show.
Second, I lined up the raw edge of the pre-made piping with the raw edge of the pants sections. It didn't occur to me to check the width of the pre-made piping (which by the way is 1/2") so I ended up accidentally adding an extra 1/2" to the waist on the legs. I had to reduce the waistband seam allowance to make up for the extra width.
So yeah, lesson learned: Check your pre-made piping width. On the second pair I made, I marked off a 1/4" line along the side panel leg sections to know where to line up the pre-made piping. And I sewed much, much closer to the cording!
There's not much else to say about the pattern. The construction was super easy. It would have been finished in a flash if there weren't such long seams to finish! Oh vey, that took forever. Having a serger will definitely save you a ton of time finishing the raw edges.
The belt is called out as constructed in contrasting fabric, but I used the same flannel fabric on all three makes. I would not recommend doing that because it gets really, really bulky around your waist line and it's difficult to tie in a bow. I agree with Tasia's recommendation to use a contrasting fabric. I've seen people use ribbon too, which looks really cute.
The flannel is so soft and comfortable and the pants have so much wearing ease. I usually make a size 2 in Sewaholic, but I made a size 0, which fits very comfortably around the waist and the legs are enormous! Not that I'm complaining though because I lurve wearing them! I really hope my friends like theirs too. I love them so much I'm willing to post a backside shot (ermahgerd it's my butt!):
I highly recommend this pattern, especially if you're looking for a beginner's pattern to get started in sewing or you just want a fantastic pajama pants pattern or you want something to sew for a friend or family member. Seriously, I want to make this pattern for every gal in my family! And even if you're still nervous about tackling it, Karen from 'Did You Make That?' had a sew-along on her blog last year with step-by-step instructions and photos.
Look who was being a good kitty during the taking of these photos:
Oh and I know you were checking out my socks:
Zori toe socks straight from Japan. True story: I totally thought everyone called flip-flops 'zori'. I was quite old when I realized zori is a Japanese word.
Ok, time to tackle my other 2014 goals! I'm almost done drafting pattern pieces for my modified trench coat. I hope it comes together like I have it planned in my head!