Monday, 30 November 2009

Pillowcases with a side of pyjamas, and a dash of rolled hem

I have sunk. I am sewing pillowcases - almost home dec, which I usually loathe sewing. What is worse, is that I am writing a blog post about it. How uninteresting can you become? I will have to change my blog header, this is definitely not aspirational sewing. My excuse is that the fabric is quite appealing, and that I could never wear it. This is a requested purchase from Japan, a cotton with a beautiful soft hand. I love the colours, but the very wide stripes are not my cup of tea for a garment. I have made 3 pillowcases from my 2m or so of fabric, and it did not even hit the stash. I feel virtuous (that is the same deep purple piping from my Japanese print dress)

Materials cost $AUS 34.60 (the piping has been included elsewhere) with free shipping from Sharon.

This little project, and this post from Angie. a that must have been lurking in my brain since nearly last Christmas, gave me this year's Christmas-present-for-nieces (and nephew) idea. Pillowcases and pyjamas or nighties to match. Now that there are 8 of these little people, and my own 3, who always want a version for themselves just like their cousins, I just cannot fit in a smocked or knitted item for everyone at Christmas. I am mostly using fabrics that have been just sitting around being remnants, or large left overs that are too distinctive to be used for a second garment whilst the first one is still in general circulation. All the fabrics are cotton.

These two nighties are made from BurdaStyle 9- 2009-141 (the girl's dress). The square inset yoke appealed to me. Shown is one nightie from the front, and the other from the back (with buttons). I have left off the sleeves, and bound the armholes with bias binding. The larger of the two nighties is the smallest size (about size 3) and I scaled down the other one to about a size 2. These are for niece the 5th, and niece the 6th. They belong to different sides of the family, and will probably never meet whilst wearing their nighties, but I made the nighties a little different from each other anyway. I have embroidered their names on the more solid coloured part of the pillowcase. I have used a machine embroidery stitch over the bias trim on the smaller nightie.

Materials cost
Floral cotton print - Spotlight, last year (before my self imposed ban) about $ 8 per metre. Previously used for skirts for other cousins, and my daughters. Why did we buy so much of this? - $12
Red shaded quilting cotton - free with Australian Stitches subscription (I wish the freebie had been garment fabric)
Piping - from a previous project, free
Pink batiste - hard to quantify - at least 12 years old, bought in USA for about $5 per yard, large pen stain to cut around, call it $3
Pattern- first pattern from this Burda magazine, so cost of magazine - $10.20
Buttons- recycled
Thread - $3

Total $28.20

I felt like a wuss ( feeble, timid and non-adventurous person)( translation as I am using slang again) after Elizabeth poo-poohed my overlocker rolled hem (in the nicest possible way of course) so I thought I would practice rolled hems on these little nighties, remembering that I put aspirational sewing in my blog header of my own volition. Here is my original rolled hem attempt

Pitiful, don't you think? I trimmed the next one with vigour and attention, starched it firmly, and still ended up with those threads sticking out. I gave up at this point, and rolled the already rolled hem, so the hems are doubled. In fact on the size 3, the hem is tripled, as I kept going in a spiral and was not sure how to stop. I am not showing you the slightly dodgy stopping point at the centre back seam. My sister in law will never notice it, as she does not even know how to sew on a button (I am not joking, my brother does it for her, I am an eye-witness! I restrained myself from offering to help, as it was rather amusing - Remember, readers, I did not say at any point that I was a kind person).
Fortunately for me, the thicker hem, combined with the bias binding trim above the hem, has given a slight fluting effect that rather appeals to me. For a minute there these little girls were getting pyjama tops and matching bloomers as I considered chopping off the hem on multiple occasions due to consecutive failures sewing samples.

These sets are for niece the first (pyjama shorts, size 10 - Top Kids shorts pattern) and niece the 3rd (nightie, size 4, self drafted), differing sides of the family again. The singlet is purchased RTW. The floral fabric at the bottom of the nightie is curved to match the curved hem. It looks a little peculiar in the photo, but seems even to me in real life.
There are two more pillowcases from these fabrics, for my daughters.

Materials cost
Floral print - more from the same Spotlight purchase, $9 per metre, originally for 5 m dress for my daughter, but she changed her mind and made a sheath requiring about 2m. - $18
Green mottled print - a USA purchased quilting cotton, baby clothes for daughter the first, would not have been more than $3 per metre - $1.5 ( I am counting this as if it were $AUS, as I was earning my income as $USA at the time, and do not fancy the maths for exchange rates 10+ years ago)
Pink cotton voile - quite small odd shaped remnant from last year's Christmas dress for daughter the first - free
Patterns- self drafted and multiple use - free
Thread - $3

Total $22.50

I have boy sewing next, for which my fabric selection is rather dull. My son has forbidden trim or embroidery of any kind on his pyjamas. He is only 7. Fortunately my nephew will not see his pyjamas before completion, so cannot complain about unmanly decoration, so I may be able to slip some in.


Sew4Fun said...

Nice going on the Chrissy presents. Great idea! I must store it in the memory bank for future use. :)

Gail said...

You might be blogging about pillow cases but this ain't no ordinary pillow case. Beautiful Japanese fabric. The children's clothes are very cute too.

ejvc said...

Very cute. I was speaking merely out of serger lust, you understand. I admire your devotion to your family to such an extent that you are willing to sew pillowcases.

By your rolled hem I see where the difficulty lies with your foot, and I admire you for tackling it again.

So, from the top, the foot is shaped a little like an H, where the crossbar is the rolling bit, and then there are flat parts sticking out to either side; the one to the right of the curly bit is longer and sticks forward (I'll call that the "tongue") and to the left the flat part is level more or less with the curly bit - let's all this the "cheek". I'm pretty sure that's not the official word, but I'm going for it (and OK, it doesn't look like a letter H, but never mind.)

When you roll the hem, the fabric must go EXACTLY between the tongue and the cheek. Too little fabric, no roll. Too much, sticky-out threads, since the roller tries to feed too much fabric into the roll and can't handle it. So, put the fold just inside the tongue and make sure the cut edge is just inside the cheek.

The mis-position of the fabric is also why you are getting a spiral, since it's feeding too much in.

Vicki said...

What a good idea for pressies! I think all the nieces etc will love those.

Uta said...

All the sleepwear is so cute! I had to laugh out loud at the "spiralling hem", I could just see myself in that situation... Aand you're a far better sewer; it's always a relief when stuff like that happens to others, too!

KID, MD said...

Very cute, and what a fun idea to make PJs and pillowcases! Useful, cute and fun!

gwensews said...

Nothing wrong with makign pillowcases. All sewing is good!

Little Hunting Creek said...

This are so cute - what a great idea!