crabby pants

This girl... growing like the proverbial weed.

No longer does she fit into the hand-me-down PJs she got from Daniel last year. He doesn't have any more to hand down at the moment, since he's decided he prefers to sleep in his skivvies, even all winter long. (I fail to understand this, but he doesn't complain about being cold if he has enough blankets, so I guess it's okay.)

In any case, my girl needs some new PJ pants, like, yesterday. I mean that literally because yesterday we froze our tushies off watching a soccer game and finally turned on the heat when we got home. Then at bedtime, Anya didn't have any nice warm pajamas to put on, poor girl. Fortunately, a few weeks ago I anticipated this PJ shortage and we went fabric shopping to pick out some cozy flannel. Unfortunately, I didn't have the time to sew any of it up before today.

The fabric is rather cheap flannel from Joanns in this adorable crab print. I love how every once in a while there's a red one. I told Anya if she ever wakes up in a bad mood while she's wearing these, I get to call her "Miss Crabby Pants." She seems okay with that plan.

Anya's grown out of all the "up to size 5" patterns I had stashed away, and I had to find PJ pants in a new range of sizes, so I decided to go with the Sleepover Pajamas pattern from Oliver & S

These patterns cost more than the big brand companies, but I'm telling you they are worth every penny. The instructions are fantastic and the clothes fit. Too often I've bought patterns at the big box craft store on sale for $1 or $2 and then regretted the purchase when the kid pants I make have a 12" crotch and enough room in the butt to fit a grownup. Or the button down blouse I try for myself has way too much room in the bust but a neckline so small I'm choking. I'm done with those junk patterns!

Anyway, the sleepover PJ pattern is pretty basic, but with some nice details. Because Anya is most comfortable sleeping in t-shirts, I didn't make the shirt and just stuck with the pants. 

Now, normally I can whip out a pair of PJ pants in less than an hour. It's the only sewing project I'm reliable with. But this pair was a little more involved. The waistband and cuff are cut from contrasting fabric and sewn on separately; the cuffs make it possible to let down the hem if your kid has a growth spurt two weeks after you finish the pants. I do think the contrasting trim makes the whole garment look a little more polished...or at least it does in theory. I might have sewed the cuff on the wrong way. The topstitching shows and I'm not sure it's supposed to.

Here the cuff is folded up.

I also screwed up when I printed out the pattern and didn't realize it until after I'd cut out the main pieces from the crabby fabric. I printed out over a dozen sheets of paper and cut them apart and put them together to make the pattern pieces (it's tedious but worth the convenience of having it available digitally), traced and cut out the leg pieces, then went to measure the rectangular pieces for the waist and cuffs to cut out with the rotary cutter...and when I saw that the little grid squares on the pattern were not matching up to the marks on my ruler, yes that's when I finally I realized that I didn't have the printer set to 100%. It was set to 94%, just a touch smaller than full size. 

I'm not sure why I manage to screw up even the simplest sewing projects. It's why I don't find much time to sew, in fact, because I know nothing will be quick. Nothing will be simple. And few things turn out the way I want them to first time around. I need vast swaths of time to make mistakes and fix them with time outs in between for all the frustration I'm feeling and vast swaths of time I do not have. Ever.

I'm glad to say this little saga has a happy ending. After slapping my forehead and yelling "WHY CAN'T I EVER HAVE A PROJECT GO RIGHT THE FIRST TIME?!" I held up the pieces I'd cut out already to Anya and saw that they would probably fit just fine. Once I put the pants together (and that did go quickly, even with the extra pieces - at least I didn't make two left legs like that one time...oh never mind...), they fit her just swimmingly. I'd cut out the size 7, figuring extra room is good for a growing kid, and it turns out that size 7 at 94% is just right for her, with a little growing room, even. 

The only weird thing is that the slightly shrunken size made for a waistband that was a little too narrow. Instead of cutting out a new one, I just folded it down more on the inside than the pattern called for, so the elastic casing goes below the red waistband on the right side out. I'm okay with that, but I am going to do better with the next pair.

Meanwhile, Anya is warm and cozy in her new PJs, and hopefully not too crabby.


Anonymous said…
Maybe she is going to be very tall like her Opa.


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