Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pajama's Made of Fish - Who would have thought? Simplicity # 2481 Pattern Review

Summer seems to be a time of growing.  Every time I look at one of my children they are taller, older and eating more.  This is a timeless issue that leaves all mother's wishing they could pause time and keep their children young.  I admit I am guilty of not only wishing they wouldn't grow so fast, but also wishing they would hurry up and grow out of whichever phase they are in that is straining my patience at the time.  Well as we all know we don't control either of those things, and one of the biggest needs produced by growing is clothes.  Whether it's the new school uniforms I dread buying before school begins in August or their struggles with clothes getting to tight and small or worn out and holey it is a constant battle.

Not too long ago JoAnn fabric and craft stores had their Simplicity sewing patterns on sale for $1.99 each and I couldn't resist investing and buying a ton of patterns in the hopes of making a few of my kids clothes over the next year.  I also hoped maybe I would get to teach my older girls a little more about sewing as well.  My first project was a new set of pajama's for Clarissa since I am constantly catching her wearing her sister's.  This lead me to pick Simplicity Pattern # 2481 which is the first pattern listed in the sewing patterns section of my new amazon store.  I love this Amazon store because I get to share the products I love with you with the backing of a great company.  Plus when you buy it through my website I get a tiny referral bonus from Amazon at no extra cost to you.  I am hoping that this bonus will keep my creativity spinning since craft materials aren't free.  So feel free to check out my Amazon shop at the top of the page by clicking on the tab and see what products I love that you just might love too.  But I digress.

So pajama's made of fish you ask?  Why the strange title of my post today?  Well new pajamas turned out to be quite the little adventure in my house.  Clarissa was so excited about getting to pick out her very own fabric for these homemade pajamas, and she very thoughtfully went through all three of my under the bed rolling totes that I keep fabric in.  As I sat there watching her she oo'ed and ahh'ed as each fabric was brought out and I began to sound like a broken record telling her again and again that my quilting fat quarters weren't big enough to make her anything she could sleep in.  Eventually though she had a stack of fabric to choose from narrowed down that she said she loved.  There was nothing in it that I had expected.  When I think of my girls I still do so in a semi-stereotypical way: pink & purple with ruffles and princesses.  All of which applies less and less to my daughters as they grow older.

Her first choice was not the pink, frilly, or even the bright butterfly fabric I might have expected.  It was fish fabric I had tucked away from more then ten years ago.  I was shocked.  And then not only did she not want to put a pink or red to match to coral on the fabric, she wanted to use bright orange to match the pretty fish.  When I asked her why this fabric she told me because turquoise is my favorite color and I love dolphins.  The only girly thing about her choices were the 2 matching glittery buttons on the front of the shirt.

This particular pattern has several style options available in a single pattern.  Something I have come to appreciate because it means I have more creative options with each one.  Or as my daughter put it: 
 "This is so cool mom, I get to be my own clothing designer."
She choose the style A shirt with the buttons, and the B option to change the fabric on the bottom half.  With the pants she said very emphatically: "NO POCKETS MOM."  Because it had been fabric I had previously used I had various shapes and sizes cut out of it and she was put to work ironing it.  After a bit of creative pinning I managed to find just enough going the right direction to get all the pieces cut out.
Things I loved about this pants pattern:  It is absolutely great for a beginner and Clarissa is in the middle of making a second pair of pants all by herself so my hope that clothes would spark my kids desire to learn worked. Hooray!  Because it is multi-size I was able to easily adjust for her small waist and extra long legs.  My TIP:  It's hard to tell which side is the front and which side is the back without the pocket for orientation so do a one inch satin or zigzag stitch just below the elastic in the back as your last step.  The top will cover it up and you will always know which way to put it on.
Things I loved about this shirt pattern:  I totally love having built in choices like buttons or Velcro, and whether I want two different fabrics or to have it all be the same.  I also love that the neckline is finished with bias tape.  I always struggle with neck lining and interfacing and the bias tape is quick, easy and looks great.  Things that need to be fixed about this shirt pattern:  Step 5 should say inside instead of outside because you are pressing the edge of the bias tape toward the center of what will be the inside when it is finished.  It was a bit confusing at first.  My Tip:  For the last two steps 16 & 17 hemming the sleeves and bottom edge zigzag stitch the very edge and set you stitch width to the 1/4 inch they say to press.  This will give you automatic fray prevention and a fold line so you can skip ironing those teeny tiny edges and possibly your fingers.  I figured this out the hard way.
There are a couple things I think you could do to further modify the style of this pattern.  First put pockets on both sides of the pants instead or just one or not at all.  In the pattern they have the pockets match the pants fabric.  I think they would have looked really cute in orange on her outfit to match the solid color in the top.  Also you could easily shorten the sleeve length for a short sleeve pajama and the pant leg length and turn them into shorts.  Overall I give this pattern 4 out of 5 stars because even with the little bit of confusion on the bias tape it is super versatile and has tons of styling options.

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