MAKING MY KIDS PAJAMAS

I really needed a quick make after making up so many Sutton Blouses and doing the sewalong so I decided to make some pjs up for my kids with some fabric from my stash.  I know that a lot of people like to make pajamas for their kids around the holidays so I thought I would share in case it helps anyone out with theirs.

Both of the main fabrics are from Art Gallery Fabrics.  I’ve said it before and I will say it again that I really love their knits for kids stuff.  They have some really fun prints, but most importantly I just feel like the weight of the fabric is just right, especially for kid clothing.  It holds it’s shape well which makes it easier to sew.  It’s a good medium weight which is good for lots of washings and abuse from my two kiddos.  The navy rib knit for the cuffs and neckband was from Fabric.com.  It’s much thinner, but it worked well.

For the top of the pjs I used the flashback skinny tee from Made by Rae.  I have used that pattern so many times.  It’s just a great basic and perfect for a simply pajama outfit.  I followed the pattern exactly with the 2 inch cuff option and just did a simple zigzag stitch for the turned up hem.  Super simple and fast.

For the bottoms I traced a pair of leggings for both of them.  Pretty simple to do, but if you don’t feel confident there are tons of free patterns online for leggings.  I did a 2 inch cuff on the bottom and a 1 inch elastic for the waistband.

If you want to go an even simpler route there is this winter pjs pattern from peek a boo patterns or this amazing vintage pattern.

How about you guys?  Do you make new pjs every year for yourself or kids?  Do you have a go to pattern?  I’m still looking for a good nightgown pattern for my daughter if anyone knows of one.

 

THE SUTTON BLOUSE SEWALONG DAY 7 : HOW I WEAR IT

I get a lot of questions about styling and have recently had some requests for styling tips for the Sutton Blouse in particular, especially in the colder months.  I thought it would be fun to show you how I wear it, both on it’s own and as a layering piece to give you some ideas.

1 – Under a Fitted Jacket

This is how I have been wearing my Sutton Blouse the most this fall.  Jeans and a fitted jacket with either boots or flats.  I like this outfit because the deep V makes me feel less buttoned up and the fact that the back extends out the back of my jacket and covers my bum in super skinny jeans is always a good idea.

 

2 – With an Oversized Sweater

I love wearing oversized sweaters in the fall.  Paired with skinny jeans or leggings and boots and I am ready to head out the door and be super comfy.

 

3 – With my Hudsons

I think that you have to be careful when pairing a loose top with loose pants, but I have found that if I do a little front tuck and wear it with heels then the silhouette is much more flattering.  This is one super comfy outfit.  And if it gets cold I would just throw my leather jacket on top.

 

4 – With a Skirt and Blazer

To dress it up a bit I paired my Sutton Blouse with a fitted blazer and knit pencil skirt.  I like wearing the Sutton Blouse with this outfit because the deep V allows me to feel less librarian and a little more edgy.  Otherwise I think that I would feel super conservative and a little clausterphobic.

 

I hope these styling ideas helped give you some ideas for wearing your Sutton Blouse when it’s cold outside.  Today was the last day of the sewalong, but I am working on some variations that should be popping up over the next few weeks.  Thanks so much for sewing or following along!

THE SUTTON BLOUSE SEWALONG DAY 6 : HEM AND SIDE SLITS

So excited to finish sewing up the Sutton Blouse today!

Turn the hem on both the front and back 1/4″ up towards the wrong side of your top (at the bottom small dot).  Press.

Match the two small dots, right sides together (folding up 1 inch). Pin and press.

Stitch from the small dot down to the bottom of the shirt at 3/8” seam allowance.

Turn the corner of your hem so that it’s now right side out and press. If needed clip the corner before turning to reduce bulk.  Repeat for the remaining three side seam corners.

Press the remaining open seam allowance flat between the large dot and hem at 3/8”.

On the right side of the top, stitch at 1/4” starting from the bottom back corner of your blouse and continuing up past the large dot by 1/4”. Pivot and stitch across for 1/2” and then pivot and continue down the front edge at 1/4” until you reach the bottom. Back- stitch at both ends securely.  Repeat for other side slit.

Press the remaining hem up and pin at 1”. Press.

Stitch at 7/8″ across the entire front and back hem to finish it.  Backstitch at both ends.

Now is a good time to give it a final press, clip threads, and remove any visible basting and tailor tacks.  You are done!  Here is my final blouse.

I hope you will let me see your finished blouses by tagging it #suttonblouse on instagram. Please let me know if you have any questions.  Tomorrow will be the final day of the sewalong and I will show you how I style and wear the Sutton Blouse, especially in the colder months.

THE SUTTON BLOUSE SEWALONG DAY 5 : SIDESEAMS AND SLEEVES

Welcome back for day 5 of our Sutton Blouse Sewalong.  Today we are going to sew up those sides and finish the sleeves so that it actually looks like a top and you can try it on.

Finish the edges of your side seams (all four) separately from top to bottom by either pinking or serging (I am showing serging here).

Turn the finished edge towards the wrong side of your blouse pieces by 1/4”. Pin and press.  Stitch down at 1/8″.

Underside:

Right side :

Open your garment out flat and check to make sure that your sleeve is one long, straight edge (Sometimes seams get stretched slightly during sewing.). If necessary trim to make straight again.  You can see in my photo below that I have to trim a bit around the point where the front meets the yoke.

To finish your sleeve, fold the edge towards the wrong side of your blouse at 1/4”. Press.

Fold again at 1/4”. Pin. Press.

Stitch at a scant 1/4” making sure to catch the edge of the folded edge underneath.

With right sides together, pin the side seams between the armhole and the large dot.

Stitch at 3/8” seam allowance.  Backstitch securely at both ends.

Press the seam open between the armhole and the large dot.

With the seam allowances of the side seams pressed open, flip your blouse to the right side and stitch over the existing stitching at the bottom of the sleeve 1/2” in either direction, catching the seam allowance underneath. This will keep the seam allowances flat and out of sight.

Here is the finished under arm with the additional stitching.  Although I know that it’s hard to see.

That’s it for today.  Go ahead and try it on just for fun.  Tomorrow we will finish it up with the slits and hem.

THE SUTTON BLOUSE SEWALONG DAY 4 : BACK PLEAT AND YOKE

I hope that you feel good about what we accomplished yesterday and are ready for a much easier day today.

Prepare the back inverted pleat by matching the circles (marked on my fabric by yellow tailors tacks) to the center back (indicated by a notch) on the upper edge of the back. Pin and Press.

Baste at 1/2” over both sides of the pleat to secure. Basting is a long (usually the longest stitch on your machine), temporary stitch used to hold pieces of fabric in place until the final stitching is done.  Do not backstitch on either end.  You can remove these stitches later on.

With wrong sides together, pin the back piece top to the back edge of the yoke, matching notches.  Stitch at 1/4″.

Trim the seam allowance down to 1/8″.

Open the yoke up and away from the back piece with right sides up.  Press the seam allowance up towards the yoke.

Fold the yoke back down towards the back piece with right sides together and press the edge.

Pin and stitch at 1/4″.

Press the french seam allowance up towards the yoke.

And that’s it for today!

Tomorrow we will sew up those side seams so it starts to look more like a shirt and less like a rain poncho :)

SUTTON BLOUSE SEWALONG DAY 3 : NECKLINE AND FRONT

So excited to be sewing finally!  Today we are going to tackle what is probably the most technically difficult aspect of the blouse – the neck facing.  We will also do some french seams.  By the end of today we will have our neckline finished and our center front all sewn up.  It’s a very photo heavy post, but I promise that it looks like a bigger job than it actually is.  Let’s get started.

First, staystitch the neck edge on the front pieces and yoke at a scant (just less than) 1/4”. Staystitching is a row of stitching along a bias or curved seam to prevent the fabric of a garment from stretching during construction.   It’s a good idea to use a slightly shorter stitch length than usual to make the stitching even more stable.

Stitch the front v neck edge in the following directions:

And the yoke neck edge in the following directions:

Now that the staystitching is complete, let’s attach the yoke to the front pieces using a french seam.  Start by pinning the upper edge of the front pieces to the front edge of the yoke with wrong sides together.  Match notches and pin in place.  This edge has a tendancy to be very slippery so be extra careful to pin well and keep everything in place.

Stitch the edge with a 1/4″ seam allowance and backstitch at both ends.

Now carefully trim the seam allowance down to 1/8″.

Open the yoke from the front and press the remaining seam allowance up towards the yoke.

Now flip the front back towards the yoke and press the seam, now right sides together.

Pin in place and stitch at 1/4″.

Once stitched, press the french seam allowance up towards the yoke.

Outside of the garment :

Repeat for the other side of the blouse.

Now we are going to attach the neck bias facing to the neckline.  It can seem like a lot of little steps, but if you go slowly your neckline will lay nicely against your skin and not flip up.  Totally worth it.

With right sides together, pin the bias facing to the neck edge allowing about an inch of facing to extend off each center front. It’s fine if you have more than an inch at each end as it will be trimmed off later.

Stitch at 1/4” backstitching at both ends.

 

Trim bias facing seam allowance to 1/8” (Some of the thinner and more slippery fabrics that I have used have made this nearly impossible.  So don’t stress out if you can’t.  On the blouses where I felt like I was more likely to damage my fabric if I tried I just left it as is and they turned out just fine.)

Press the facing and seam allowances up and away from the garment.  If you have a tailor’s ham use that when pressing, or you can also use a rolled up towel.

Clip the curved areas of the seam allowance close to, but not through the stitching.

With the right side facing up, understitch by carefully stitching 1/16” inside of the bias facing catching the seam allowance underneath. (Understitching is important because it is used to keep the facing to the inside of a garment.)

With the wrong side of the blouse facing up, fold the bias facing towards the garment until the raw edge touches the seam. Press.

Turn the entire folded bias facing towards the inside of the garment, rolling the neck seam slightly towards the inside. (So that you don’t see the facing peeking out on the front of your neckline.) Pin and press.

Edgestitch along the open edge of the facing all the way around the neckline from center front to center front. (Try to keep this line of stitching an equal distance from the neckline as you will see this line of stitching on the front of your garment.  It should be approximately 1/4″ from the neckline edge.) Press.

Trim the excess facing so that it’s flush with the center front raw edge on both sides.

Now, match up the two front pieces along the center front with wrong sides together. Be extra careful that the neck edge and stitching line up perfectly. Pin. Stitch at 1/4″ from top to bottom backstitching securely at both ends.

Trim the seam allowance to 1/8″.

Open up the two sides of the blouse and press the seam allowance to one side.

Flip the sides back together but this time with right sides together.  Press the seam and pin.

Stitch at 1/4″ seam allowance and backstitch securely at both ends.

Press the french seam to one side.  If you want you can take a sewing needle and thread and tack the top edge of the seam allowance to the neck facing to keep the french seam allowance securely to one side.

Wow, that was a big post, but we are done for today.  Tomorrow is much simpler.

SUTTON BLOUSE SEWALONG DAY 2 : PRINTING / CUTTING & ADJUSTMENTS

Today we are going to prepare everything for sewing next week which includes printing, choosing a size, making adjustments, cutting out your fabric, and transferring markings.

Printing

I am not going to go too in depth with how to print out your pdf, but if you need more pictures and help click here for when I went over it more thoroughly for the Hudson Pant Sewalong.  Just make sure that your printer settings are set up to print at 100% with all scaling turned off. Print the first page of your pattern first and measure the 2 x 2 inch square to make sure that you are printing correctly before you print the remaining pages.

Once your pages are printed out you can cut off the borders and tape them together 4 to a row.  I like to use a paper cutter to cut off the right side and bottom of each page and then overlap while I tape them together, but there are lots of ways to do it.  Once it’s all taped it should look like this:

Choosing your size

The Sutton Blouse is intentionally loose fitting.  The hip has about 5.5 inches overall ease and the waist has almost 10 inches overall ease (it’s only slightly less than boxy).  The chest has 11.5 inches of ease, but this is misleading as the bust line runs into the kimono sleeve meaning that some of the with of the sleeve is in there too.  If you are between sizes or want your blouse slightly more fitted I recommend going down a size.  Some of my testers were different sizes in the bust / waist / hip.  They had good results just cutting out the size of their bust and relying on the ease of the rest of the garment to take care of the differences.  That is up to you and the amount of the difference.  If you want you can also grade between sizes.  The pattern pieces are all stacked in a manner that should make it really easy to do so.

Lengthen

I draft for a model that is approximately 5’5″.  If you are significantly taller or shorter than that you might want to consider lengthening or shortening your blouse.  It’s really easy to do.  First I will show you how to lengthen it.

Start by cutting your pattern piece along the lengthen or shorten here line.

Grab a piece of paper and put it behind your pattern.  Using a ruler separate your pattern the amount of length that you want to add to your pattern.  Make sure that it is even all the way across and lined up along the grainline, fold line, or center front line.  Tape in place.

Connect the side edge.  You may need to trim a little off of the pattern above and below the added amount to make the edge connect in a pleasing manner.  That is fine. Cut away the excess and your pattern is ready to go.  Make sure that you do the same thing (and open the same amount) on both the back and front.

Shorten

Shortening your blouse is essentially the same but in reverse.  Start by distributing the amount the you want taken away evenly on top and below your lengthen or shorten here line. For instance, if you want to shorten 1″ then mark a line 1/2″ above and below the line.

You can either cut along those new lines and then tape back together or just fold those two lines together and tape down. Just like before you will need to redraw the small portion of side seam affected by the adjustment so that it’s pleasing and gradual.  This may include shaving off a small portion of the side seam.

Neckline Adjustment

Necklines can be very subjective.  I find that I like a deep V, especially when paired with large sweaters and jackets because it makes me feel less buttoned up.  But, I totally understand wanting to feel a little more comfortable in something with a slightly higher V. If you want to shorten your V neck you can follow these simple steps.  I am showing you how to raise it, but the same would apply to lowering it.

Mark up (or down) the desired amount along the center front line. (I am raising the neckline by 1/2″ here.)  Starting at the top left, follow the original curve for about an inch so that it connects to the yoke at the correct angle.  Then gradually separate it from the original line until it reaches the new marking on the center front line at a pleasing angle.

Connect the dots, and cut out your new neckline.

Cutting

Now cut out all of your pattern pieces.

Once that is done it’s time to cut out your fabric.  Because some of these fabrics can be a bit slippery you may want to take some extra care when cutting them out.  For me I like to use my rotary cutter and “pattern weights” (one day I will get real ones :).  But if you want to try some other ways to cut out slippery fabrics check out this and this.

Transfer Markings

The last thing that we need to do today is transfer all of your markings.  There are triangle notches and circles that need to be marked.

for the triangle notches I suggest just clipping about 1/4″ into each notch.  (Be very careful not to clip too far into your fabric or it can enter into your seam.)

For the circles I recommend using a tailor’s tack.  You will need some contrasting thread and a sewing needle for this.  Thread the needle so that the thread is doubled up and 6 – 10 inches long once doubled.

Insert the needle into one side of the circle and through all layers of fabric.  Pull it back through the other side of the circle (the stitch should only be about 1/8″ total) so that it is exiting back through the pattern.

Clip the thread near the needle so that the needle is no longer attached and make sure that there is about a 3″ tail on both sides of the stitch.  Once all tailors tacks are made on a pattern piece then carefully remove the pattern from the fabric while keeping the stitch in place.

Now carefully pull the two fabric pieces apart about an inch and clip in between so that there is a marking on both pieces of fabric.

That’s it!  Now we are all ready to start sewing.

SUTTON BLOUSE SEWALONG DAY 1 : FABRIC AND NOTIONS

Welcome to the Sutton Blouse Sewalong!  Today we are going to tackle possibly the most fun part of sewing a project – fabric shopping.

Fabric

The Sutton Blouse calls for light weight, woven fabrics with a nice drape such as silk crepe de chine, rayon challis, viscose, lightweight linen, and cotton voile. This pattern is not suitable for obvious diagonals or stripes.

The reason why the fabric needs to have a good drape is because the pattern has a more boxy shape and because it contains a lot of ease.  By using a flowey fabric it will hug your curves more and be more flattering while still roomy and comfortable.  I will go through each suggested fabric and talk about it’s pros and cons while giving some examples.

Silk Crepe De Chine –  I am such a big fan of this fabric.  It’s natural, opaque, presses well, and drapes gorgeously.  This is the type of fabric that I used for my Sutton blouse on my shopping page and the type of fabric that I will be using for the sewalong.  It can be a little slippery, especially when cutting, but if you take your time I am confident that most sewers can tackle it.  You can also get polyester crepe de chine rather easily at most bigger fabric stores such as JoAnns.  I think that the poly version is a little harder to work with, but it’s a good cheaper intro fabric.  Here is a time when I used poly crepe de chine to get an idea of what it looks like.  Below is an example of some washed silk crepe de chine (washed silk has a dull almost peach skin texture to it that I gravitate towards) from my stash.

 

Rayon Challis / Viscose – If you want something drapey, but are scared of silk this might be a great place to start.  Rayon challis has great movement and is really easy to find.  The only downside is that it tends to wrinkle.  I’ve sewn with it a lot, especially in the warmer months.  You can see some projects here, here, and here. (Rayon and viscose are the same thing.  If you order something labeled viscose just make sure it’s lightweight such as a batiste not a twill.)  Here is an example of some rayon challis from my stash.

 

Lightweight Linen – I love sewing with linen because it’s natural, presses beautifully, and usually has a nice texture to it.  The downside is that it also wrinkles really easily.  Just make sure that it isn’t stiff or else it won’t be flattering. Here is something that I sewed up in some lightweight linen recently and there is an example of some linen from my stash below.

 

Cotton Voile – This is another good option if you feel nervous about sewing with slippery fabrics, but still want something lightweight.  It is going to be a little more stiff than the fabrics above, but it is easy to sew with, presses beautifully, and still has some drape to it.  A lot of the quilting fabric companies are starting to offer voile which means that there are lots of fun print options.  You can get voile with just cotton or with cotton and silk which is even nicer.  Just be aware that voile can be on the sheer side.  Here is a time when I sewed with cotton voile and below is an close up example.

 

There are of coarse a lot of other fabrics you can use too.  Just look for fabrics that are going to move and drape nicely.  The pattern also suggests to avoid any obvious diagonals or stripes.  The reason for this is the one-piece yoke would make it impossible for the stripes to intersect nicely at both the front and back.  If you want to use a striped fabric I would suggest only using it on the front and back pieces and then using a solid fabric for the yoke.

Notions

The only notions needed for the blouse is some matching thread.  Hooray for that!

Sewing Needle

Since you will most likely be using a more delicate fabric for the Sutton Blouse I suggest making sure that you are using the correct sewing needle as to not damage your fabric when sewing. Universal is good, but you want a smaller sized needle for delicate fabrics so therefore a size 75/11 or 80/12.  Here is a chart that I refer to sometimes if I forget what size I need.

My fabric

I decided to use silk crepe de chine for the sewalong.  I am using the abstract print for the front and back (from Mood), the black for the yoke, and the white for the bias facing.  I figured that using three different colors would make it easier to see what I am doing in pictures.

Tomorrow we are going to print and assemble our pattern, choose our size, cut out our pattern pieces, and transfer markings.  Make sure that your fabric is ready to go by washing and drying it if your fabric calls for it.

If you are looking for some sources to buy fabric online (I know that some of these fabrics can be really hard to find locally.) then try some of these stores out:

Tessuti Fabrics

Blackbird Fabrics

Girl Charlee – for some cheaper synthetic options.

Emma One Sock

Fabric.com – cheaper synthetic options.

Mood Fabrics

READY TO WEAR INSPIRATION FOR THE SUTTON BLOUSE

In preparation for the sewalong starting tomorrow I thought that it would be fun to show you some similar tops that I found online to get inspiration from for your Sutton Blouse.  Can’t wait to see what you all come up with.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

See you tomorrow.  We will be talking about fabric options for your Sutton Blouse.

STYLO MAGAZINE FEATURE

I was lucky enough to participate in the current issue of Stylo magazine.  If you don’t know what Stylo is, it’s a super hip online magazine dedicated to sewing (mostly children’s wear) and is the brainchild of Celina Bailey and Jessica Abbott.

I was asked to be a part of the One fabric Five Designers article which meant that I received some amazing surprise fabric in the mail from Miss Matatabi and I could make whatever I wanted with it.  It was really hard to decide, but in the end I went with the Small Fry Skinny Jeans by Titchy Threads that I have been wanting to make forever and then embellished a Voila Top from Cali Faye with some metallic thread.

First of all that fabric.  It’s a beautiful floral Japanese Nano Iro fabric from Miss Matatabi.  That base is gray with purples, pinks, and of coarse the metallic gold.  There are also some other color ways that she carries and I am drewling over her red and blue ones.  The fabric is a brushed cotton so definitely for the colder weather. It was really great to work with and I can confidently recommend it.

The Small Fry Skinny Jeans by Titchy Threads have been on my list for awhile.  I have seen so many versions pop up and they always look so great and professional.  I had a really positive experience sewing up this pattern.  It has photos for instructions so it feels a lot like a sewalong and she did a really good job of walking you through all of the steps.  I did taper the legs more and raised the back pockets to make them look more feminine (I feel like they were maybe drafted for a boy because the ease feels more like what I am used to seeing on boy skinny jeans).  If I made them again I may go down one more size.  The only negative thing I can say is that it’s a lot of work to put into kids clothing.  I am kinda a selfish kind of sewer and usually stick to really simple and quick projects for my kids unless it’s for a special occasion.  I am totally planning on making up the ginger jeans for myself, but not sure if I want to put the time into making jeans for my kids again.  Glad I did this time though.  Because they are pretty fun.

The top is the Voila top by the Cali Faye Collection.  It’s a really simple and fast make and I could see myself making up a few more daughter.  I lengthened the sleeves a little on this one to make it more fall appropriate.  I also added some topstitched embellishment with gold metallic thread.  I was a little nieve in thinking I could just buy the thread and start sewing with it – wrong.  It started unraveling and splitting and pulling immediately.  After doing some online research I realized that I should use a special needle for metallic thread.  I didn’t have time to hunt one down so I started trying the needles I had in my stash.  In the end my jeans needle worked fine.  I think it just needed a bigger eye in the needle so that the thicker and coarser thread could run through it smoothly.  The fabric is just some cotton voile that I picked up at Mood.

If you havn’t seen the latest issue of Stylo yet you can see it here.  You can see my daughter on pages 21-22 and page 215, but you really should look through the whole thing if you have the time because there are some great projects in there.