So this is my second rendition of the "discarded top becomes baby jammies" thing I've been doing lately. As I mentioned in the last post, this is my way of learning to sew with knits. And I'm definitely learning as I go.
For instance: I got lucky with this pair of tops - they were both from Old Navy, and matched quite well. Except that the striped shirt is a good deal thinner than the solid gray one. I thought this wouldn't be an issue, but it became one. Looking at the first pictures again, you'll notice the cuffs at the bottom of the pants. (Apologies for the dirt all over them - it's a long story. I have a kid. That's the short story). Those cuffs are made from the same material as the pajama top, you know, to be cute and matchy. Well, they're so heavy they weigh down the rest of the pants, and end up sliding under Lila's feet when she walks and crawls. Also, I should have made them smaller than I did, so they would fit snugly around her leg instead of drooping there. It would have looked better too.
I considered removing the cuffs altogether and doing another lettuce hem, but decided to wait and see if she grows into them instead. Because, and this just proves how overly critical we are of our own sewing, I put the original store-bought pants on her, and guess what? Same thing. Not quite as bad with the drooping, but still, the pants are long on her and slide under her feet, something that never bothered me until I made her a pair myself. So they'll be a little long for a while.
Allow me to dissect the shirt next. I once again used Rae's Flashback Skinny Tee pattern, with great results. I spoke about this in the last post, gushing about how much I like the pattern. However, I had a sort of problem with the neck. I initially was going to finish the neck with ribbing to match the bottoms, but it just didn't work for me. When I measured around the neck and subtracted an inch, as the pattern says, I came up with a crazy big number. I remembered reading Gail's skinny tee post over on probably actually that mentioned a similar issue, so I headed over there to reread it. Gail's recommendation? Follow the suggested length included in the pattern, rather than using your own measurement. Which I did. When I held up the finished neck ribbing (before sewing it on the shirt, smart me!) it looked suspiciously small. Tiny even. I tracked down baby and tried to squish it over her great bobble head to no avail. Lila was not amused.
Here's the thing. Knits are stretchy. Some just aren't as stretchy as you need them to be to finish the neck. Now I don't actually know anything at all about knit fabrics - what's a jersey, anyway? This is why I'm learning with old shirts, and why I picked out fabrics that had matchy colors without thinking about whether their weight and stretch would pair well together. But now I know! Knits are like cheese and wine people! Cheese and wine. Except your cheese probably isn't stretchy. Or maybe it is. Um, I don't actually know anything about pairing wines either. Shoot.
My point is, even with the neck issues, I still love this pattern and happily recommend it. Here's what I did - I hemmed the neck to match the bottom of the shirt. Just flipped it under, pressed, and sewed in place. It made for a very nice, roomy, breathable neck that's easy to pull over Lila's enormous noggin. Oh I do love how the Flashback tee can be personalized in so many ways. As another example, I cut the seam allowance on the sides of the shirt in half, giving the finished garment more width and room. I'm wishing I'd given it a little extra length to match the extra long legs on the pajama bottoms so she could grow into both equally. Next time.
See the cuffs sliding under her feet?
And you can see how perturbed she is by that, right?
I do believe I shall be making more jammies in the future, so be on the lookout. First though, I have a long overdue baby skirt tutorial to put up, and Lila's first birthday is coming, so you can expect good things related to that.