Pattern illustrations can lie to you bigtime. For instance, when you see this illustration, don’t you get crazy ideas of being some glamorous lady in these pajamas…the kind that has nothing better to do but lay about looking beautiful all day?
Me too. But I should’ve read the fine print. If I had not been blinded by that silly illustration, I would’ve avoided a lot of mess. Oh, so much mess.
What I learned:
1. Give yourself a fighting chance: This pattern is big. Everywhere. The upside is that I didn’t have to add anything anywhere. The downside is that I took out no less than 10.5″ of flare in the pants (and yes, you can fit both of your legs in one leg), plus another 4″ that was pooling from the fullest part of my bum straight down each leg. I needed to lose 5″ of length in the top too (which might have been too much, but I like ending it at my high hip). What I didn’t know how to fix was the size of the collar. With 5″ off, it’s way out of proportion, and it engulfs my small frame. All of this could have been avoided if I had read HotPatterns’ size chart and noted that a size 6 was drafted for a person 5′ 7 3/8″–only 1/8″ shy of 5 FULL INCHES taller than me. I had no hope out of the gate. I made the pants work–for the most part. I know the fit is not perfect, but from where I started, it’s a lot lot better.
All that flare on the leg would not look so absurd on a taller person, and that collar would look really dramatic instead of out of balance. As far as pants go, I’m sticking to Burda petite patterns, in the future and I’ll pay attention to the size of design details like collars from now on too. The only thing I’m grateful for is that I made a muslin before I cut up my fabric. At least I’m not drowning in the final pair.
2. What muslins are for: This is a hard one. I’m of the opinion that if you make something up in muslin and it doesn’t work out all that great, you’re better off to scrap the pattern and cut your losses than sacrifice nice fabric to make up something mediocre that is going to speak failure over you every time you wear it. On my muslin, I DID, to my credit get a decent fit in the pants. The crotch curve on these pants, despite this strange little bump fits me pretty well, and by the time I took out all of the extra fluff, they look okay. But the top was a different story. There is something not right about the facings. I’m pretty sure it is missing the seam allowances because things just don’t go together. I’m not a newbie sewer, and I know what a shawl collar looks like and how to sew it, but this thing just didn’t go together. At all. There is all kinds of ugliness going on.
The good news is that the aforementioned monstrously large collar covers the ugliness well. It honestly makes me feel like a moron. Now, I figured out that this was a problem in the muslin, but I let it go. I’ve been dreaming of these PJ’s for MONTHS in this fabric and I couldn’t get it out of my head. I should have emailed Trudy at HotPatterns to try and get some insight, but it was too late. So I guess I’m glad that these are only pajamas, but this will sadly NOT be my TNT pajama pattern.
3. More color contrast: my aqua dress got me thinking about contrast in garments. I did not cut the contrast bands from the pattern because they were enormous, and I didn’t want to dwarf myself further by adding them. I just made plain hems on the top, but for the bottoms I tried my hand at something different entirely. I found this pretty sheer striped ribbon. I sewed the wrong side of the bottom edge of the ribbon along the bottom stripe, flipped it to the right side of the legs, pressed it, folded the other sheer part in on the right side and topstitched along the bottom and top stripe. This ribbon is rather stiff, but I don’t mind it on the pants. My other touch of contrast is the belt. Instead of cutting the belt from the pattern, I just serged a length of silk chiffon. I still need to add some belt carriers, but I really like the texture of the chiffon as a belt.
So these did not live up to what I expected them to be, but they are wearable and tremendously comfortable. So the collar and facings are a little ugly on the inside. I’m not crazy about that. I certainly will not make these again, but I’m not ditching these. They are still a step up from ancient pajama bottoms and scrubby t-shirts, and that is always a good thing.