Flannel-palooza & Pajama Parties

Ben loves his soft clothes and especially pajamas. He’ll even want to wear his pajamas at home during the day. Problem is, it’s been so HOT lately! And still, he wants to wear his winter flannel pajamas. Oh, boy.

So, I also decided I would make him short-sleeved flannel pajamas with matching shorts. He chose the fabric – hot pink and black plaid.

He was so happy with the finished product but immediately went upstairs to layer his other TWO flannel pajamas on top. What? Yes. And slept that way – 3 tops and 3 bottoms. I may have to “disappear” the winter pajamas for a few months!

I guess if he’s happy, I’m happy!


But wait, there’s more!

Ben always wants to wear his “soft plaid shorts” and he would wear the same pair every day if we let him. Plus, he tends to wear holes through them more often.

So, for his birthday I thought I’d let him go to JoAnn’s with me and pick out 5 fabrics for new shorts. He of course convinced me he wanted 1 more to make a shirt – and it had to be lizards. That’s next in the queue. 🙂

I think this one is my favorite!

I used the same pajama pattern for the shorts only I took out 1″ in the width of each leg to make it a bit more fitted.


Pattern Review – S6427 (oop)

Pattern Description: The pajama top has front button closing, set-in sleeves and patch pocket. I made version 2 which has a notched collar, short sleeves, and shorts.

Pattern Sizing: I made size 10 for Ben who will turn 9 in 2 weeks.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Good fit and good pattern. The sizing was spot on for Ben although the shorts were quite generous in width.

Fabric Used: All are 100% cotton flannel from JoAnn’s. I had to use some careful layout of the pattern for the shorts since I only got a yard of each fabric and it shrank a bit in the wash.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: For the extra shorts I folded out 1″ in the width for the leg. For both the pajamas and shorts I took 1″ off the height of the crotch since he prefers to wear his shorts a bit lower. I didn’t follow the pattern instruction exactly for the fly since they called for an open fly with just a button to close it. I sewed it up completely and just topstitched the fly flaps down.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes. I’ll likely be sewing more and more of these and probably in the larger sizes too. They are Ben’s favorite type of shorts.

Conclusion: Easy make + happy boy = happy mom!

Fun Summer Dresses for the Littles

A few weeks ago my niece Miss A asked me to make her a dress. I couldn’t say no to that cute face! She insisted it had to be blue, and white, and red. Of course, if I was going to make a dress for A her little sister B needed one too…it’s only fair.

I looked through all my Ottobre magazines and found a cute summer dress, with an unfortunate name. The Three-way dress. I blame it on translation from Finnish since it is a dress that can be worn three different ways. Still, it makes me giggle. 🙂

Pattern Review – Ottobre 03-2009 #18

Pattern Description: From the magazine – One day is spent on the sun-drenched beach and the next exploring the alleys of the old town. We designed this wonderfully versatile “three-way dress” for such varied holidays activities. It is sewed from printed cotton poplins. The basic dress is a sundress made of front and back panels, with gingham-ribbon as shoulder straps.

The ribbons functioning as shoulder straps are also passed through casings at the top edges of the dress, and thus other garment pieces, such as frills and sleeves, can be inserted between the front and back panels. In the large photo, the dress has puffed sleeves on the shoulders. The armpits are left open, making the dress cool to wear even in hot weather. A gingham check bow is tied as an embellishment around the shoulder strap.

The small photo displays the basic dress with just the shoulder straps. This dress is a good example of how bold floral patterns look great on children’s clothes too! The rectangular scarf around the girl’s head is cut from the dress fabric. If you wish, you can also stitch the sleeves to the body of the dress as usual and thread elastic into the casing instead of ribbon.

Miss “A” with sleeves.

Miss “A” without sleeves.

Pattern Sizing: 92-146 cm. I made size 116 for the 6 year old and size 92 for the 4 year old. I took a guess on sizing and Miss B thought her’s was too small. 🙁 I felt like Miss A’s dress was a bit big but I guess that means she can grow into it. 🙂

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes!

Miss “B” showing off the sleeve frills.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. I made all the versions…so the dress and the extra ruffle and sleeve thinking they could interchange them however they’d like. Its a pretty straightforward dress so it wasn’t hard to make.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the versatility and how cute it is with contrasting fabrics.

Fabric Used: 100% cotton from the quilting section of JoAnn’s. I struggled with color choice since “A” requested red, white, and blue but I didn’t want to use specifically patriotic fabric so it could be worn for more than just one week. I think it turned out just right!

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Followed the pattern exactly and it worked out great! Only change was making all the views. 🙂

Comfy and easy to play in! These girls are hula hoop all-stars!

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? This was a one-time gift for the little ladies and so I likely won’t make it again. I do recommend it because it is easy and cute!

Conclusion: Cute, fun sewing project.

A Summer Muu Muu – V8959 (oop)

Well it’s now HOT so all I want is to sit under the swamp cooler. But, if I have to go out, I want to be comfy and cool. What better than a Muu Muu dressed up with a waist tie? I’ve had this pattern in my queue for a while and was just waiting for the right fabric for it. When I found this slightly stretchy crepe at JoAnn’s I knew it would be perfect!

V8959 – out of print.

Ready for a Hawaiian Luau!

I had a bit of drama with this dress, but it was of my own making. I thought I was being so smart when I cut out the waist tie…not! I folded it over twice (4 layers) and used my quilting ruler to cut the pieces, and then cut down the length, but cut off at the fold so I ended up with 4 small pieces instead of 2 long pieces. Argh. I had resigned myself to having extra seam-lines on the tie when I found the fabric again at JoAnn…yay! I ended up buying another 1/2 yard and this time correctly cut it out.

It can’t really be a sewing project if I don’t mess up somehow, right?

Pattern Review – V8959 (oop)

Pattern Description: From the envelope – Loose-fitting, mid-knee length, A-line dress, gathered into front and back yoke, has jewel neckline, front slit with button and thread loop closing, center front one-way pleat, and short sleeves or full length sleeves gathered into buttoned cuffs. Self tie belt holds in fullness at waistline.

Pattern Sizing: Size 14.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes. I chose not to add the button and loop closure at the neck since I figured I’d never want it buttoned anyway and I made my tie belt a bit longer and tapered the ends. But, other than that…yes!

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes! I especially liked the design of the front yokes. They are each one symmetrical piece that are then folded over to complete the facing.

Front yoke & slit finishing…so neat!

I didn’t follow the instructions for finishing the yoke and instead burrito-ed the back yoke and then folded the front yokes RST and stitched on the machine (the instructions call for hand stitching all of that down…not gonna happen!).

Back yoke burrito! The whole dress is rolled up as the “filling”

Also, instead of cutting the front as two pieces I placed the seam-line of the pleat on the fold. Otherwise, I followed the pattern exactly and didn’t make any fitting changes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The fit was perfect! Based on body measurements I should be sewing a size 16 for my bust but figured since it was loose fitting (and after comparing to my sloper) realized there was plenty of ease. I like how easy it is to throw on and even though it’s loose-fitting, the self tie belt really makes it look good.

Fabric Used: “Asian Floral Navy Stretch Crepe” from JoAnn’s. This is 93% poly / 7% spandex and is just stretchy enough to add a bit of comfort to the fit. It was pretty easy to work with although it was a bit more slippery than I am used to.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I realized after the dress was complete that the stitch line that holds the pleat down was just a bit higher than my actual waist and would show above the tie belt. So I unpicked that row of stitching and cut the pleat so it sat about 1″ lower. That solved the problem.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? It’s a bit of a distinctive dress so I’m not sure I’d sew it again. I did like the front yoke technique, though, so may consider that for other projects. If you can find the pattern, I recommend it. I found mine for $1 at the local thrift store…score!

Conclusion: Perfect summery dress that is really comfy but still looks put together. Its a win!

It took a year to add buttons!

I’m finally getting around to finishing sewing projects that have been lingering for a while. This works out well for #MeMadeMay2017 since I planned to complete 4 projects in May. This is only the 2nd completed project, but it was about time!

Here’s my first finish – McCall’s 7351 Shirt-dress

According to my project log I started this on April 24, 2016! Way back when. All it needed were the buttons. Seriously.

And then, in January I added buttons. However, ARGH! When I used my automatic buttonhole foot it created buttonholes that were too small for the buttons. Best I could figure, the bit of foam that sits on the back of the foot to cushion the button had been crushed too often so it didn’t add the right amount of ease for the button to fit through the hole. So I hid the dress in the back of the closet until I could work up the nerve to redo the buttonholes.

Wasn’t that a silly decision?!?

So, it took me until last week when I finally pulled the dress back out to realize I didn’t have to redo the buttonholes, just get smaller buttons. Wow, can’t believe it took me that long to realize it. I guess I was just blinded by my failure and wanted to ignore the problem. Well, now I had an easy solution…off to Joann’s for smaller buttons.

The original buttons were 1/2″ so I got 7/16″ shirt buttons. It was a matter of about 10 minutes to repeal remove and replace the buttons. And then …  dun, dun, dun … it was still really difficult to get them to fit through the buttonholes. What?!? Turns out, these “shirt buttons” are quite thick. 🙁

I wore the dress anyway but will probably go buy yet some more buttons and replace them. What drama!

Love the side seam pockets!

Pattern Review – M7351

Pattern Description: Dresses have pointed collar, collar and front bands, fitted bodice, back pleat, self lined yoke, forward shoulder seams, French darts and narrow hem. I made view D which also has a flared skirt cut on crosswise grain, short sleeves and side seam pockets.


Pattern Sizing: My envelope is 14-22. I made size 14 with the D bust.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes!

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, as far as I remember. It’s been a while. I also remember using the burrito method on the yoke for a nice clean finish.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I really like all of it. I think I’ll need to make a few fitting tweaks if I make this again the future but it turned out great for my first shirt-dress.

Fabric Used: Light denim/cotton chambray. I also used some quilter’s cotton as the contrast under collar, inner collar band and inner yoke.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made the dress exactly as called for (except for using a bit of contrast fabric). I also added belt loops at the side seams. Looking the photos, I didn’t realize the belt sat higher than the back waistline so I’ll probably end up adding another loop in the back.

I would make a few changes in the future:

  • I would use much lighter interfacing on the button band, as what I used turned out a bit stiff. Maybe it’ll soften up after a wash?
  • I will also need to add about 1″ length to the bodice between the armhole and bust dart. I need to lower that dart (and waistband) a bit for my personal fit preference.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I’d like to make this again. I’m thinking in addition the above mentioned changes I might like the longer sleeve (rolled sleeve) version. I also think this would look great in a light weight rayon or some such fabric…maybe with some patterning? Oooh, or maybe in a plaid flannel as a fall dress with a chunky belt and boots? So many options!

Conclusion: I like the options for bust sizes as that makes my fitting job much easier. The skirt shape also makes fitting below the waist irrelevant which is nice. This is a versatile pattern that would work for just about everyone!