Clothing, tutorial

shirred voile pajama pants: DIY tutorial

Firstly, I do want to mention how deeply saddened I am for the Sandy Hook shooting victims and their families.  Like many, I think I feel really helpless, but I’m hoping that it’s bringing to light some important conversations.

If you remember, I made a lovely pair of pajama pants in October.  So today I’m sharing the tutorial on how to make them!  The pattern  pieces are based off of your body measurements, so if you have kids you can make them some too!  Thank you to Art Gallery Fabrics for letting me use their lovely voile, in Impressions in Beige & Millefiori in Cream.

What you need:

  • 2.5 yards fabric, if you have 54″ wide voile, you can possibly get away with just get one yard (I did)
  • 1/2 yard contrast fabric, for waistband and binding on hem
  • elastic thread
  • thread
  • 1.5″ wide elastic
  • small scrap of fusible interfacing
  • ribbon for faux tie
  • pair of well fitting pajama pants to make your pattern

Make pattern and cut:
{1/2″ seam allowance used throughout, unless otherwise noted}
First we’ll take some measurements and make the waistband pieces.  Measure hip to hip and add 1″.  Measure around the back side of the fullest part of your body (your hips and butt usually) and add 1″.

Make two pattern pieces.
Front waistband will be 6″ tall by your hip to hip measurement.

Back waistband will be 6″ tall by your fullest body measurement around your butt/hips (measured from hip to hip around the back).

Cut one front waistband (fuse interfacing to wrong side of front waistband) and one back waistband.

Cut two front leg pieces and two back leg pieces by tracing a pair of existing pajama pants or using your favorite commercial pattern.  ** You’ll want to make sure that the front waistband piece will fit your front pant pieces, just hold the front waistband piece up to the front pant pieces and make sure they’re about the same width.

Cut two hem binding pieces 2.5″ tall by circumference of pant leg + 1″.

Cut elastic 1-2″ shorter than your back waist measurement.


1. Place one front leg and one back leg piece right sides facing.  Sew along outer leg and inseam.  Finish raw edges (I serged mine, but you could also do a french seam, zig-zag, etc.).  Repeat for other pant leg.

2. Turn one pant leg right side out and slip it into the other pant leg, aligning the inseam seams.  Sew along that ‘U’ shape.  Finish raw edges.  Turn pants right side out.

Next, take the back waistband piece, using the elastic thread in the bobbin, shirr the entire back waistband piece stitching rows approximately 3/8″ apart across the piece.  Using a spritz of water and and iron, shrink up the elastic thread, pressing gently on the elastic thread side.  Press in half lengthwise wrong sides facing.  Set aside.

Take the front waistband piece and fold in half lengthwise wrong sides facing.  Mark the half way point and on either side make two buttonholes for the tie/ribbon.

Open up both waist pieces.  Right sides facing align raw edges of each short side of waistband.  Pin.  Sew.  Now you’ll have a waistband loop:

Insert the 1.5″ elastic in between the folded back waistband piece.  Pulling elastic ends just past the side seam of either side of the waistband, sew “in the ditch” along side seam on either side to hold elastic in place.

Your waistband will now look like this:

Take pants and slip waistband with buttonholes facing the right side, aligning raw edge of waistband with top of pants, and aligning side seams of pants with the side seams of the waistband.   Pin. Sew. You’ll need to stretch the back waistband as you’re sewing. Finish edges.

Finish pant bottoms by attaching bias tape binding as you would a quilt or other project.  Insert ribbon or fabric tie into buttonholes.  That’s it!  Hope that this tutorial can be helpful for someone.

Enjoy!  ♥

Clothing, Sew Along, tutorial

simplicity skirt 2226 sew along – day 1

Hi there! Welcome to simplicity skirt 2226 sew along.  Whether you’ve been sewing garments for years, or if this is your first time using a commercial pattern, we’re going to sew along together and by the end of the week we’ll have a really cute skirt that’ll fit right in to your wardrobe.

Today we’ll discuss sizing, tracing pattern pieces (optional), cutting your pattern pieces and fusing on interfacing.

So you’re probably looking at the back of the pattern envelope where the sizing information is, right? Scratching your head.

I believe with my measurements I should have made a size 14 skirt, which would have been way too big.  I only really know that from experience that the wearing ease (or the amount of room built into the pattern) has typically been too much.  I used a size 6, but could have definitely gone with a size 8, and I typically wear a size 4 pants/jeans.  My best advice if you’re still unsure what size to use would be to use some muslin or junk fabric and cut out the waistband pieces (pieces 4 & 5) and sew them together, it should give you a pretty good idea on the sizing.

They do stress one thing in the pattern quite a bit, which is that the skirt is designed to be worn 1″ below your waist (your natural waist).  So if you’re used to wearing things lower on your waist, this skirt isn’t designed to be worn that way.  If you’re still determined to make a skirt that sits lower, you might want to make a size or two larger. Again, a muslin would come in handy to help figure it all out.

I use a large roll of tracing paper and a sharpie to trace all my patterns.  I never cut the actual pattern pieces for two reasons 1.) I want to keep the pattern intact in case I ever need to make the garment in another size (really essential for kids clothes) 2.) durability, the tracing paper I use is much more durable and sturdy than the tissue pattern pieces which tend to rip and tear.

So go ahead and trace the pattern pieces.  For view C (which I’ll be sewing, but I’m skipping the fabric ties/belt) you’ll need pieces 1,2,3,4,5 and 6.

You’ll want to be sure to trace and mark all the notches and dots as well as indicated grainlines and which pieces are to be aligned on the fold. Notches are used to help align pieces when sewing, dots are typically used for placement or stitching start/stop points.  The grainline shows you how to place your pattern pieces on your fabric, essential for when you’re using directional prints and ensuring your pieces will sew together well.

* Be sure to wash/dry and press your fabric before cutting.

Fold your fabric so that the WRONG sides are facing, aligning selvage edges.

Pin your pattern pieces in place like so (there are also cutting diagrams on page 3 of the instruction pages, I did mine a little differently, but it’s up to you):

You can either use a scissors, pinking shears, or a rotary cutter (28mm) and self healing cutting mat, which really makes quick work out of the cutting process.  Be sure to align pieces 1 & 4 on the fold.

To mark the notches cut outwards away from the pattern piece to note each notch.  To mark any dots, use a pin and water soluble pen to poke through the pattern piece and mark on the fabric.

And after all the cutting, you’ll have your pieces:

You’ll need to cut pieces 4 & 5 out of a lightweight fusible interfacing as well.

Fuse the interfacing to one set of the waistband pieces (you’ll have two sets, one for the waistband and the other is the waistband facing).  Follow manufacturers instructions to fuse on the interfacing to the WRONG sides of pieces 4 & 5.

That’s all for today, take a little break, pat yourself on that back, and I’ll see you here tomorrow for Day 2!

[I’m going to run this sew along a little differently than my typical blog posts, if you have any questions or comments or suggestions/tips please leave them in the comments section and I’ll respond to them there.  Usually I like to reply to comments directly by email when time allows, but this way the info will be there for anyone who joins along.]

Thanks for stopping by!

Baby and Kids, Clothing, kids clothes, tutorial

bias trimmed knit cardigan tutorial

Very honored that my friend Rachel of Stitched in Color asked me to hang out today and post up a little tutorial for Celebrate Color!  If you haven’t been following along, catch up on all her posts here.  Today I thought I’d share a quick little cardi you can make for that sweet little girl in your life (or heck, you could even make one for yourself!).  When I think of fall I think of bright saturated colors, so that’s what these little cuddly layers represent.

It’s fun, quick, and super easy, I promise.  All you need is some knit fabric, a ballpoint sewing machine needle, and some double fold bias tape.


  • 1/2 or more of knit fabric, depending on what size you’re making, interlock would be great
  • 1/2″ double fold bias tape (one yard)
  • thread
  • ballpoint needle
  • cardigan pattern

[1/4″ seam allowance used throughout]

I decided it might be easier to include a couple pattern pieces for the cardigan (download from link above), I made a size 2/3T and a 5T.  You can choose to use the pattern pieces or you could make your own, or if you have a simple raglan tee pattern you can modify that.  It’s quite forgiving, and quick, so if you don’t get it right the first time, give it another try!

Assemble pattern pieces, cut desired size and tape together at matching letters on pattern pieces.  Cut two body pieces on the fold and two sleeve pieces on the fold.

Stitch sleeves to body pieces right sides together.  I just used a regular stitch and foot on my machine. Here’s a diagram of how the sleeves get sewn to the body:

Cut an opening straight up one body piece (this creates the cardigan opening and will be the front).  Next you can align the top front edges and trim away a little scoop for the front like so:

Next, place the cardigan flat right sides of facing.  Pin. Sew, going under the arm continuing down the body of each side.

Lastly attach the double fold bias tape to the neck edge, leaving a tail of tape on either side.  You can either sandwich it on, or open it up, stitch on the fold then fold it over the knit to the other side and sew, being sure to sew all the way to the ends of the tape.

Tie a knot in each end of the tape, plop it on a cute kid, and you’re ready for fall!

And if you’re new to sewing with knit fabric, Luvinthemommyhood and I had a fun little series with tons of great tutorials and tips, find them here and here.