So this is a blog of all sorts. The pattern & instructions used are not my own I bought them so didn’t feel was fair to share how to make so its turned into a tutorial of laying out pattern pieces if recycling old clothes & how to sew stretch jersey.
I used this pattern: Alex and Anna winter PJs
When cutting a multi sized pattern ensure you cut to the size your using. Might sound obvious but I have done a project before where I’ve panicked because there was not enough material to realise I was trying to cut a size 8 out when needed size 5 lol!
My ‘material’ started life as my PJs I decided they would look so much cuter if the baby wore them!
I started with the trousers which was a 1 piece pattern. This means you will end up with 2 piece trousers instead of usual 4. It also means the pattern piece for front & back is joined. Because i was using clothes there wasn’t a big enough piece to have no seam so I cut up each inside leg to open the trousers out as above.
I then lined the join of the paper pattern to the exisiting seam on the old PJs, top & bottom before pinning rest.
Keep pattern & material flat to a table when pinning & cutting this is to stop you subconciously pulling on the fabric ( see below for summary of tips).
Make sure for 2nd trouser piece you flip the pattern piece over or cut it out on opposite side of material so have 2 pieces that are opposites.
Once that’s cut out you can cut the arm cuffs from same fabric & then you should have decent sized scraps. Here’s what I did with mine.
Like with the trousers I needed the top to be flat so cut up the seams to get this & folded seam to seam. The reason for this is to ensure the stretch is in correct place & best way to ensure that is to trust the manufacturer who made my top.
Once I cut out the front & back i concentrated on the other pieces. My fabric for the top has a 2 way stretch so was able to lay the back & 2 leg cuffs like this.
As can see the stretch arrows on pattern pieces face different ways but with the 2 way stretch this is ok. if you have 1 way stretch material you will need to slip this piece so arrows lay same way.
The front & back pattern piece is basically same piece but with differing neck lines.
I cut from dashed lined to solid (other dash & solid is a smaller size) & folded it under to cut front neck.
I then used the sleeves to cut rest.
Both babies sleeves out of 1 adult sleeve, remember to flip pattern.
Neck binding out of other. I folded this & cut on the natural fold of sleeve to save time cutting up the seam.
Now your ready to sew. At this point my blog turns to a sort of :
Before begin to sew you will need to set your stitch length a bit bigger this gives the material plenty of room to stretch without breaking your stitching.
I found the instructions easy to follow although different to how I would normally sew a top & trousers so ensure you read carefully. I did change 1 direction though.
It called for me to sew 1 shoulder seam then apply the neck binding then sew other shoulder seam. I decided to sew both shoulder seams then apply neck binding.
I found the centre back of the neck & matched up the seam on the neck binding & pinned in place. I added a bit of folded ribbon also so when dressing baby I can identify the back easily this also helps when sewing. I then did same at front of neck. Stretch it all out & pinned the sides. This works for me.
My 4 anchor pins in place.
Overall a great pattern & tutorial although would suggest some skill may be needed so not a beginner project but also not an experts either. ( I’m no expert so prove its a good intermediate project).
Also fab value. Cost me £5.50 & has sizes from 6 months to 8 years. If you use old clothes to make these all you will have to buy is the pattern & some elastic, ribbon optional. So bargain for as many pairs of mini PJs can make from big PJs.
SUMMARY OF TIPS
- When pinning, cutting & sewing stretch jersey keep it flat & handle as little as possible this is to reduce the of pulling it.
- Ensure you cut it out so the stretch goes around the body easy way to test is to pull gently both ways & the way it stretches further is the way the stretch goes.
- Use longer stitch length than normal so garment still has stretch at seams. Alternatively use stretch stitch