I went out the other day to a new-to-me fabric shop. It was a little silly that I’ve never been there before, as it is directly across from the Fabricland I always go to!
I was looking for a double needle for sewing knits (which I used, and loved! And then broke, all in one day.). I found the needle, then decided to browse the fabric selection: as with every fabric store in town that I’ve visited… their focus was quilting. Now I’m not against a good print, or even a crazy print, but I would like to expand my sewing experience with some different types of fabrics. Or even try sewing something in a lighter-weight cotton! But I browsed the store anyway, because I can still appreciate a good print. I wandered in to the flannel section, and saw this:
Fair Isle flannel! Love! I immediately thought of a new pair of PJ pants, and thought I’d try out Tilly’s Margot Pyjamas from Love at First Stitch. I did a quick search on my phone, but couldn’t find anywhere online that listed the yardage needed, so I bought 2m, and that adorable green mushroom fat quarter, and went home. I had thought the mushrooms might make a cute pocket. (If you want your own faux-fair-isle-jimjams, you can find this same fabric for half the price I paid on fabric.com. There’s also a grey/black/red colourway, and some actual yarn and needles themed flannel too.)
When I laid out the fabric on my kitchen island to cut, I realized that the way it is printed, if I were to cut out the way you usually lay out fabric, the stripes would be running vertically up my legs. Beetlejuice-pants-style. No thanks. Also, the pattern actually calls for 2.5m of 45″ wide fabric.
Fine! Fabric is threads running 90 degrees to each other, right? I just need to line up the grainline 90 degrees to where it would normally be! I checked, and this is correct but you should let garments cut like this hang before hemming because it may stretch out more. Sadly, the fabric wasn’t wide enough for the pattern pieces. Even though I’m so short.
I’m short, and stubborn, because I really wanted to make those pants, from that pattern. So I did what any fairly new sewist would do, and drafted myself a waistband pattern. The fat quarter wasn’t big enough, so I decided that the waistband would have the uppy-downy stripes, and the rest of the pants would be sideways stripes. I just traced off TIlly’s pattern, making sure to include a seam allowance on both the pant and band pieces (I used 3/8″ to preserve that tiny bit more fabric!), and then sewed all the bands on to all the leg pieces. Voila, like I’d cut it out of one piece anyway!
The back leg is longer than the front leg, because the back leg has room for your bum. (The back leg is also wider than the front leg. I was worried I had cut my fronts & backs in two different sizes, until I noticed the bit where Tilly says that the bits may not match up, you just have to line of up the raw edges and all will be well.) My new front leg piece, a few inches shorter because of the waistband, fit on the width of my fabric. My back leg piece did not. So I decided I’d use the mushroom fat quarter at the bottom. I didn’t feel up to figuring out where to attach it, and how much would show, and all that, so I cut out my legs (which were now different lengths) and figured I would put everything together as-is, leaving a couple inches of the bottom side-seams unsewn to make it easier to sew the cuff fabric in later. Not the easiest way to do it, but I wanted to focus on making sure the waistband issue was ok first. That, and I was harbouring a secret hope that because I’m so short, the shortened leg would actually work out to be the right length for me.
I made a stripe-matching snafu because I’d picked a point and thought to myself “Right, line up the crotch of each piece with the green pointy line in the fabric, and we’re good.” Turns out, there are multiple green pointy lines in the fabric, and I chose a different one for the back leg, so my side-seams don’t match up.
The pattern was lovely, and I can see how easy it would be if you hadn’t added 8 more pieces of fabric to sew, like I did. I love the way the waistband folds in and makes the perfect little drawstring casing and opening. I have a large roll of that apple green grosgrain leftover from wedding crafts (still!), and it was just the right colour for a drawstring.
Above I’m sewing down the waistband fold/drawstring channel. You can see the seam where horizontal meets vertical.
All in all the pants are a little wonky, a little crazy, and so cozy. I could have thought more about adding the cuffs, so my stitching line would have been higher up, and not in the middle of the green, I’m counting these as a win over all. They were the perfect thing to be sewing as we had a September snowstorm (what was UP WITH THAT?!).
Do you love flannel PJs as much as I do? Especially handmade ones!