Monday, October 15, 2012

Egyptian PJ's for Mum

Poor Mum, she's currently recovering from knee surgery (reconstruction? Difficult to know - she's so squeemish, she doesn't let the doctor's tell her about it, ergo, unless one of us goes with her, we don't know either.) Anyway, she loved the PJ's I made her on one of her trips here and wanted more. Me being an incredibly kind and considerate daughter, scoured the web for some fabric that screamed 'MUM' and finally found this egyptian print cotton knit.

I tried and tried to line this fabric up but in the end I had to settle for close enough because naturally, the print wasn't straight!

I wasn't keen on the black cat but apart from that it was perfect for her as she's been fascinated with all things egyptian ever since I can remember. I showed her this fabric first, thinking that the black cat might put her off - she loved it and was so excited when I told her I actually bought it from the US, specifically for her (in fact, she told me to hide it, otherwise my nieces would want clothes made out of it - sneaky Mum!!). I think this is actually something to do with the Luxor Casino in Vegas (judging by the writing on it) but she didn't care.

So, as she's a bit down after the surgery (constant pain can do that to you), I thought I'd better whip her up a pair of PJ's from it before it got lost in my stash. After much searching, I finally found the pattern I'd made last time (copying her worn out rtw pj's). Even better, I'd even left notes to myself about lengthening the legs, adding 1.5" to the bottom front, length of elastic needed etc. (awesome tiger, you were on the ball). Unfortunately, I couldn't remember whether I'd made those adjustments last time when I cut and made them or they were notes for future renditions (face palm - not so on the ball at all!). Don't you just hate it when you do something so stupid? Gah! I added the length to the front and some to the legs but I have a feeling that they should be longer. There's still a lot of fabric left, so if I find out that I still need to make more adjustments, I can make another pair.

Good old floor pic. I know it looks like one side is smaller than the other but it's because I took the photo at an angle and I'm too lazy to take another one.
All of the seams were done on the overlocker which is playing up for me ever since I forced it over a zipper (yes, I know, what a numbskull!). And another little bonus - my overlocker needle actually put a hole in the fabric in the crotch, a couple of hand stitches fixed that (hopefully). Twin needle around the hem of the shorts and top. I had another go at knit binding for the armholes and neckline but the overlocked part has a tendency to want to flip up around the curves, it can't be seen from the right side but it still bugs me. I was considering twin needling the overlocked part of the binding down but decided that as I don't even know if I've made the right adjustments, I wouldn't waste any more time (these took me way longer than they should have - I was a bit under the weather that day).

Just look at that awesome binding ;) I think the shoulders might be a bit on the narrow side too. Ah well, they're pj's, not a haute couture ball gown.

As I have soooo much of this stuff, I thought I'd make her another top.

I copied this pattern from a top a friend made her years ago. As you can see, my overlocker decided to stretch out the fabric and give this delightful fluted look on the hem and shoulder seams - NOT what I was going for (I always tell myself I'm going to stabilise shoulders seams next time but I still haven't done it once!). The neckline also looks kind of small - what was going on when I copied that pattern? As I didn't have the original shirt or the body it was meant to go on, I thought I'd just make it as is and we'll see. For the hem I decided to try one of the stretch stitches on my sewing machine - never again! After many experiments, I finally settled on one but it took forever and didn't even look that good. What with all the machine and brain malfunctions I was quickly getting over this project so for the neck and arms, I just turned them over and twin needled them.

Of course, I'd managed to get chalk marks all over the fabric, so into the wash. Can you believe it? My Chaco liner is still showing on the top centre of the singlet top - it didn't come out in the wash! Usually, by the time I've mucked the fabric around sewing, it's worn off itself, this time it decided to stick ......... fabulous.

So, now I've reminded myself that I need to mark on the patterns the adjustments I did and didn't make for this egyptian set so that I'm not in the same position next time.

Tigerboy is on to me about putting the 'Handmade' labels I picked up in Korea in them but I realised that the pale linen ones probably need to be preshrunk first and I want these packaged up and out of the house! (I'll be posting about the couple of things I picked up in Korea soon)

Does anyone add labels to the clothes they make?


  1. Cute p.j.s! I think the fabric is really fun! I always sew labels in my garments. I made mine at home, and I just like sewing them in. It's the icing on the cake.

    1. Thanks! How did you make your labels? It's ironic, this last year, I've been really sensitive to labels in my clothes and I've been busily removing them, now I've gone and bought a stack!


      They soften up pretty fast when they are made of muslin. Also, maybe fusing them in would keep them from bothering you, as they can't flap around. Or, maybe you can just sew yours in a place where they won't bug you- like on the side seam of the bodice in a top.

    3. Thanks for the link, it's great. Something soft would be the way to go. I think you're right for these though - somewhere that's not going to drive me nutty (like the back of the neck).

  2. I love love love the fabric - including the cat (being a lover of everything feline!). Great jarmies. Will be wonderful for summer.

    I have thought about labels for my clothes but 2 things are stopping me. I too am sensitive to labels in clothes and cut them off - otherwise I would be scratching all day. Also I have yet to produce anything I would want to put my name on. Once I get more confident and produce better garments I will probably start attaching labels and scratching all day!

    1. I'm with you - labels drive me nuts! Your second point is something that was appropriate for these pj's too, as soon as tigerboy started in on me about putting labels in them I thought "I don't want to put my name on these." Of course the labels I have only have "Handmade" written on them but still... Hey, you've made some clothes, what about your red dress?

  3. These are so cute!! I've been thinking about labels, but the scratchy thing is an issue for me too....

    1. Thanks! Mum has received them now and loves them. She says the singlet top is her favourite but they both fit well. Now she's ordered a nightie :/