Today’s the day!
And – as an early Christmas present – I’m offering all sew-along posts at once! I am also offering a prize package to anyone who completes the sew-along this year. Please read my first comment, for more information.
This post is the second in a total entry of four sew-along posts for footed pajamas! Our first post concerned supplies and preparation. If you want automatic updates on the sew-along, you must send your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
OK? Let’s go!
So, we’ve reviewed the supplies in depth already. Today, we’re tackling cutting and marking, as well as step one in the Jalie pattern: 1. Pocket and Assembly. This is by far the longest step of the sew-along, due to how Jalie organized their steps.
If you really like to read ahead, I suggest you read my step two post – where I discuss my zipper installation, which is slightly different from that of the pattern.
But first, let’s talk a bit about sizing. The fit of these PJs is relaxed, but not overly-roomy. If you have someone who is tall for their girth, you can simply make the size corresponding to their height, and let the pajamas be a little loose-fitting. If you have someone with a larger girth for their height, you can make the size that corresponds to their girth, and know that the sleeves, legs, and torso will be a bit long. Longer legs in footed pajamas are far better than legs that are too short!
However, I made a custom fit job for my son. His girth corresponded to a size K (size 7); his height, a size R (adult 33″), so I made those adjustments. Yes, he is a little string bean! This resulted in adding about eight inches to the total length of the garment – and considerable addition to foot length in the size K. Here is the result:
Of course, there are many ways to address fit, but this is a construction sew-along and I don’t tackle fit in any great detail. Questions are always welcome – if you ask in the comments, future sew-along adventurers may benefit!
Here, however, is what I did:
I am simply adding length to the garment in the body and in the sleeve – and adding length to the foot (tall, skinny people usually have longer feet than their girth size would indicate). Jalie includes a lovely diagram, indicating how to add length to your pattern pieces (the same methods work for removing length, too):
Note the diagram also shows how to re-draw stitching lines after you add length – the dashed lines shown above. Note that when we add length or remove length in the body of a garment, in general we avoid disturbing shoulder seams and crotch curves. If you are using the Peek-a-boo pattern, you can use the same methods.
And remember: if you are adding or removing a great deal of height, you will want to check and if need be adjust the size of the “slipper” in the footed version. Here is my son, with his foot on piece F – a piece that needs to include a bit of wearing ease, as well as 1/4″ seam allowance:
As you can see, if I don’t add some length to piece F, the footed part of the garment won’t fit! There are several ways we can remedy this, but remember – if we make the bottom of the foot larger, we need to add the same length to the top. I enlarged the piece along the lines drawn below, toward the front of the foot:
The bottom of the foot – aforementioned piece F:
Let’s talk about zipper length. I dislike shortening zippers (although it’s not a difficult process). So I modify the zipper notch at center front to make sure my zipper fits the exact length of the garment: the top of the zipper tape will be at the raw edge of the pattern piece: the zipper stop, at the notch. Here you see me measuring:
After our pieces are cut, the first thing we do is make our pocket. As you can see, we’ll have the body of the pajamas all finished by the end of this post:
If your fabric needs to have seam finishes – whether out of necessity or your aesthetics – you will want to finish the entire curved part of the pocket piece, as well as the section of raw edge on the sides, corresponding to the pocket opening. You will also benefit from interfacing the center front where the zipper will be installed – the straight edge of the pocket, and the side seam front pocket section:
Then we sew our pocket pieces to the front sides, lining up our notches (Figure 7). I simply sewed very slowly using a zig-zag, on the wrong-side of the garment, right on the edge of my pocket piece. In the picture below the right-side of the garment is shown on top; the wrong-side, at bottom. My stitch work is exact enough you can’t really tell there is a second smaller piece on the garment:
Voila! We already have our pockets done!
Next, it’s time for that center back and crotch seam (Figure 8). Since I want strength in this seam, I sewed with a zig zag, then another, and trimmed 1/8″ away from the second zig-zag. This is a gorgeous-looking seam finish that will last forever:
You finish the front crotch seam below the notch in the same way (Figure 9). I sewed right up to the notch – you can follow the pattern instructions and leave yourself 1″ of room if you like. I am pretty confident installing zippers.
And now we join the side seams – from ankle to wrist, I like to pin in just a few places, and go slowly (Figure 12). When sewing over the pocket edge, notice that the finished pocket opening is very close to the seam. Take care here to neither catch the pocket opening, nor veer off course from the “bump” the pocket opening creates (you can see this bump just to the left of my sewing foot, below):
See how easy it is? Just a few steps, and we have most of our pajama formed! Give yourself some props!
We are now moving onto the second third of the first step: FOOT (VIEW A) or ANKLE CUFF (VIEW B). The ankle cuff is super-easy – I will be showing how to make the footed version.
First, we match the notches at the short end of the back and front of foot, and sew them (Figure 13). Then, we pin this assembly to the legs – making sure the top of foot is affixed to the front leg (Figure 14):
Next, pin and zig-zag your elastic to the seam allowance (Figure 15), stretching the elastic as you sew. Reminder: make sure to anchor the elastic first, before stretching. Sewing with elastic isn’t super-fun if you’re new, but a little practice goes a long way!
Now it’s time to make the foot sole! You want your non-skid sole on the bottom of the foot, and a soft fabric on the inside. You can see that the Tough Tek fabric caused a few skipped stitches: this is not a big deal, but be aware a fabric like this is a bit of a challenge:
Next, we’ll be putting together the zipper. In the meantime if you have any questions you can email (kelly AT hogaboom DOT org), @kellyhogaboom on Twitter, or comment here.