Simplicity 8179 Pajama Pants, Again

I haven’t been sewing very much lately, as I’ve been busy with work. I did, however, manage to sew another pair of Simplicity 8179 pajama pants:

These pajama pants are to replace another pair of pajama pants made from the same fabric (but a different pattern). The only modification I’ve made is to leave off the cuff and to take a 2-inch hem, since the pants are quite long.

I’ve already given them to him and he likes them. I personally love the giant pockets.

I haven’t made any progress on the quilt or on the Sew Over It skirt. I actually am thinking I would like to make another pair of Butterick culottes.

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Simplicity 8179: Lounge Pants with Pockets

I’d been looking for a pattern for pajama pants with pockets for a while when I found Simplicity 8179.

I like the way the pocket is formed, with a pocket facing and topstitching.

Simplicity 8179 Lounge Pants

Simplicity 8179, Lounge Pant Pocket

I sewed a size Large. The fabric is a flannel from JoAnn Fabrics. I decided to not add the leg facing due to the pants already being more than long enough for me, a woman 5’4″ tall. I plan on sewing these again for my husband in the same size.

Simplicity 8179 Lounge Pants

Simplicity 8179 Lounge Pants

I do like how the pockets are large enough to hold a packet of tissues (essential for the winter sniffles) or a phone. This was a “regaining my sewing energy” project, so it’s not perfect, but I am so happy to have the finished product. I’d like to find an easy top to sew to match.

Butterick 6178 Culottes in Black Linen

I started on these Butterick 6178 culottes about three months ago. I promise you that they don’t actually take that long to sew. With the one-two punch of my sewing room being uninhabitable due to summer heat and me being on travel for part of the summer, my sewing pace slowed considerably.

Butterick 6178 culottes

These culottes are made of black linen from Ebad Fabrics in Manhattan. The linen is flowy and slightly see-through. I sewed a size 18 and added about an inch to the back rise of the culottes to allow for more booty room. I did not follow the directions for the waistband; I didn’t interface it and I folded it in half before sewing it to the pants. The waistband is finished with a zigzag.

I enjoy these culottes and I am excited that I finally finished them!

New Look 6053, View E: African Wax Print

I sewed New Look 6053 again. This time, I used a fabric from my stash–an African wax print that I bought in a fabric warehouse somewhere in San Francisco last summer. Since I am in the process of moving, I did not have the chance to take modeled photos for the blog; those will come later. (Edited to add a photo of the skirt on me. Photo was taken quickly by my husband, so please excuse the slipper socks and stuff in the background!)

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Modeling pose.

New Look 6053 skirt

New Look 6053, modeled by the closet door.

I believe I sewed a size 18, although I probably should have gone down to a 16, due to losing weight. I used yellow ready-made bias binding to finish the edges of the facing, and I understitched the facing to help keep it in place. I used dark blue ready-made bias binding to finish the hem. This was much faster than easing in the hem to do a double-fold hem.

I used Kathleen Fasanella’s method of inserting a centered zipper. I like this method because it is fast, neat, and does not require hand sewing. I had a bit of confusion with the Pfaff zipper foot because it doesn’t look at all like the zipper feet I’m used to (see a picture of it here and compare it to a Brother zipper foot). I was basically like, “How do?” I put it on backwards at first. After looking at the manual (which I should have done first), I put it on the correct way. I then sewed the zipper on backwards, unpicked it, and sewed it on the correct way.

Even with the zipper hiccups, I went from cut to sew to finished within two sessions spread over two days. I would estimate that I spent four hours on this, which would make it my fastest item yet. I wanted to have it completed for the Black Panther release date, so I would have it ready to wear when we go to the movies.

I’m also proud of myself for sewing from my stash. One piece out!

McCalls 3830 and Cation Designs Dolman Tee

Hello there! I’ve been sewing rather slowly. My old Brother sewing machine decided that it likes to eat knits, even when I’m using the walking foot. I now have a Pfaff (with the IDT!) that my husband kindly got me for my birthday. It handles ITY knits like a champ! I’m excited about it.

I started both of these items about 25 lbs. ago, and it shows–they’re both rather too big for me know. I know I’ll still wear them on the weekend, though, as long as I can without them falling off.

I’ve made the Cation Designs Dolman Tee before. I love it for work because it comes off as elegant and it also has sleeves, which are necessary in a chilly office environment. This one is made of an ITY I got while shopping with my mother-in-law at the Fabric Warehouse in Rahway, NJ. It is a size XL; next time I sew it, I will use a L or M.

Cation Designs Dolman Tee and McCalls 3830 Skirt

Awkward timed selfie.

The McCalls 3830 skirt is made of a rayon/linen blend. I think I got that at Joann’s, as I couldn’t find plain linen in dark colors online at the time I was shopping for it, for some reason. I like the hand of the fabric. The skirt is the shortest view with no back vent and I believe I used a size 18 or 20. I should use a 16 next time, I think, and also take a little off the side seam curve, as my hips are not as curvy as the pattern is. I am closer to success with this pattern!

Cation Designs Dolman Tee and McCalls 3830 Skirt 2

This one is much better and shows the drape of the knit.

I love the idea of #sewmystashseptember. My stash has gotten uncomfortably large from all these shopping trips while traveling and little gifts to myself when I am feeling blah and uninspired. Now it is time for me to make these lengths of cloth into clothes I love.

I am interested in going at it from a capsule + purpose perspective: travel capsule (quick-drying, anti-wrinkling, stretch, chic for tourist photographs); casual Fridays/weekends capsule (structured, but not TOO structured, colorful), and work capsule (basic, dark colors, opaque, full coverage). I wonder how I can fit my stash in there.

My grandmother used to buy me complete outfits whenever we did back to school or vacation shopping. I remember getting coordinated shorts and tops sets with matching socks and a coordinating cardigan (and maybe matching hair bows and barrettes too) when we prepared for our first vacation together to Seattle. So much pink! I would like to approach my sewing this way too: for every top, there must be a bottom, and every bottom must have a top. That doesn’t mean a 1:1 ratio, as many tops can match a bottom. However, the styles and shapes must go together. That’s something for me to think about as I approach the stash.

How do you approach building a wardrobe and managing your resources?

Simplicity 2258, View C: An Easy Skirt

Originally, I’d started out trying to make the shorts pattern (View E) included in Simplicity 2258. However, when it came to the basting and trying on stage, I realized there was not enough room in the seat to actually cover my whole bottom. There was, however, a lot of room around my upper thighs. 😦

So, I decided to try the shorter skirt pattern (View C) included in the packet, with a wedge added at the top back to accommodate the length I need to cover my bottom. I think it’s cute!

Simplicity 2258 in Denim

I particularly like the way the pockets are formed. They are one-piece pockets, where you fold over the fabric to make the pocket bag. Topstitching them keeps things neat. (My topstitching is not particularly neat here.) I like the curvature of the pocket opening as well.

Simplicity 2258 Pocket

I used a chambray from Joann’s, with Gutermann thread. I think I chose the size 20. This pattern uses very little fabric, even in the larger size range–1 5/8 yards of wide fabric. I would say, by that measure, that it is an economical sew.

By the time I was finished making it, I’d lost some weight, so now I need to adjust the elastic so that it stays up. The pattern has a good amount of ease as well.

What have you been making lately?

Simplicity 1716

Yesterday, I decided that I was going to tackle my pile of unfinished items. When I get to the end of a project, I make a mistake, and I get really frustrated right away. So, it goes in the drawer. I moved across the country with this one, unfinished. I made Simplicity 1716, view D, starting in 2012 I think. The problem here was that I sewed the armbands on the wrong way and then I doubled down on that decision. My solution last night was to cut off the armbands, since it would be really really hard to unpick the stitching, and to sew on new armbands. I left the hem unfinished, as the slinky jersey and my sewing machine were having a fight, even with the walking foot on.

Front View

Simplicity 1716, View D, front view

Actual Back View

Simplicity 1716, View D, front view

Looking at these pictures, I have some serious posture issues. My shoulders are uneven, and my high left hip has become even higher after having physical therapy for my right knee. This means that every skirt or dress I make gets caught up on my left hip, and hangs lower on my right hip. I need to learn the adjustment for that. I also have forward head and forward shoulders from using a computer all day for…years, plus a nerve impingement in my left shoulder that the posture probably doesn’t help. You don’t realize the toll time takes on your body until you look at pictures of yourself.

On a brighter note, I took these pictures with a camera and tripod that my kind and generous mother-in-law has lent me. The camera doesn’t use a remote, so I have to use the self timer. I need to learn how to use the setup better.

One thing I like about this pattern is the pleat detail that helps to make the cowl neck. One thing I don’t like is the lack of waist shaping. I also think that the shoulders should be narrower, although that might be a personal issue and not a pattern issue.

Have you made Simplicity 1716? If so, how do you like it?