We be jammin’

Pa-jammin’, that is. I don’t have a reggae bone in my body and don’t pretend to (unlike Sting, who apparently thinks he’s a Jamaican reincarnated. Never understood him).

Earlier this month, Karen at Did You Make That? proposed to host a pyjama party sew-along and I thought, “Hey! I can do that!” Not taxing at all and was actually something I needed to do. Why not make it fun in the process? Karen broke everything down one step at a time, which was a good reminder to me that I don’t necessarily need to finish all my sewing projects in one fell swoop.

French seams and a ribbon tag for the back

I chose a lightweight aqua cotton because it seemed like it would be nice for the spring/summer. I did have a passing horror of looking like I was wearing scrubs (which I understand to be quite comfortable, so I have nothing against you if you do wear scrubs to bed). I was hoping for a look a little less… utilitarian. I did a couple of things to counteract that. After much debate, I decided to gather the ankles with elastic rather than just a plain hem. One thing I’ve found with my current pajama pants is that they have a tendency to ride up and twist around my knees while I’m sleeping. I’m hoping that the gathered hem on this new pair will keep everything where it’s supposed to be!

Staying power

The other thing I did was to embroider cherry blossoms on one leg. When I first had the idea to embroider a design, I thought I’d flip through one of my two iron-on transfer books. That would have been great except… apparently they are in a box that I did not bring to the cabin. {sigh} Plan B. Somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I recalled seeing something about using tissue paper to transfer a design onto fabric. A little searching on the ol’ Internet and I found a nice tutorial on thread tracing . It’s definitely not a quick process, but it does the trick. First I had to print a line drawing (from free clip-art. No royalties theft here) and then trace it onto tissue paper. After that, I pinned the tissue paper to the fabric and took long stitches with sewing thread directly over the lines of the picture into the fabric.

Probably most people would have done this before sewing the pants together.

I took a tip from one of the commenters on the original tutorial to dampen the tissue paper before removing it. Let me just clarify that dampen is all you need to do. I inadvertently soaked my tissue paper, which made it disintegrate all over the place and curiously, dyed the tracing thread with the ink I used on the paper. So much for blending in.

Thread traced and remaining tissue paper particles

Then, using my rudimentary embroidering skills, I floundered through stem stitches, backstitches, chain stitches and fly stitches. I’m not sure they really evoke cherry blossoms, but at least it did turn out to be recognizably floral. Once the embroidery was done, I ironed a bit of fusible interfacing on the back to keep all the little bumps from scratching my leg while I sleep. I finished that up Friday (whew! Just in time!) and then commissioned Mr. Gren to take photos of me modeling my new pajamas.

Sakura! Maybe?

As part of the Pyjama Party, Karen requested that we all share a bit about the book currently on our nightstand (or, on the floor next to my nightstand, in my case, because my nightstand is otherwise occupied). First, my very best Vanna White to show you the new book I picked up at the dollar store the other day, Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan.

Would you like to buy a vowel?

I’m always a little suspicious of the books at the dollar store (Why are they here? How come they didn’t sell at their original location? Is the writer a hack?). I’ve been burned a couple of times (so I guess that puts me $2 out), but I thought I’d go ahead and take a chance again. For one thing, even though I’ve never read any of Amy Tan’s work, I at least know a bit about her. Secondly, a hardcover book for a buck? Even if it does turn out to be crap, I could probably use it for something crafty.

Why yes, I do sleep mere inches from death. Or at least broken bones.

I haven’t been able to do much bedtime reading this week since Mr. Gren has been working a goofy schedule and has had to go to bed earlier than I like. I did manage to read the introduction the other morning before the kids started fighting and continued on into the first chapter while Mr. Gren played photographer. So far it seems to be an intriguing book. It’s told from a dead woman’s perspective and memory of mysterious events; right now we’re attending her funeral. A little morose for bedtime reading and I have to admit this is a departure from my usual historical novels. But hey, it’s good to branch out, at the very least to confirm what you do like. I haven’t written off Ms. Tan yet, though! Has anyone else read this book? Looks like it was published in 2005.

A maman is never alone.

So there you have it! The results of my first sew-along! Thanks, Karen, for the fun idea! I’m looking forward to seeing all the other swanky new jammies out there today.

16 thoughts on “We be jammin’

  1. Oh wow, from the first modeled shot I thought, OMG she lives in a tree house, that’s awesome! Then I realised its 2:10 AM here and I should be in bed. Kudos on the embroidered pyjamas!

  2. I can’t believe you took the time to embroider them-they look amazing! And like the others, I’m more than a little curious about that “sleeping mere inches” from death, thing

    • Aw thanks! I had to do something to spice them up a bit!

      lol Ok, so I exaggerate a little bit. Our bed is in a loft and, as you can see in the pics, my side is only about 18″ away from the 10 foot drop off down to the main floor. Probably wouldn’t kill me if I fell off, but it sure would hurt!

    • Thanks! Yeah, for all the drawbacks of living in a cabin, it really is beautiful out here (click on the “Cabin Life” category on the right and you can find posts with better pictures). πŸ™‚

  3. Pingback: Live and Learn « Two Frogs and a Grasshopper

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