Reviews: February 2013 Archives
We are lucky enough to have another great free kids' pattern in our Free Pattern Download section: Create Kids Couture Taylor's Pj Pants. It is a great pattern and fun to make. This is an excellent beginner's pants pattern too. Everything from the cutting to the assembly is a great introduction for a first pants project. I decided to add a ruffle detail to the bottom of my pants to feminize it a little bit more for my little girls (more on the ruffle below). The pattern is very comfy, according to my 4 yr old, and quite roomy too. I made the size 4 and size 6-12 mo for my 5 mo old. Both fit well with room to grow. I do recommend if you cloth diaper, like me, to make a size bigger to fit the diaper. Both pants run long, as evidenced by the picture, so make sure your intended child tries them on before you hem the bottom. I measured mine against a pair of pants from my daughter's wardrobe. I love that the pattern is the same front or back; this makes it super easy when dressing either of my children who are only still when sleeping. The Riley Blake Flannel that I used is really soft and washes very well with little shrinkage. The elastic measurements for each size were spot on which makes it easy for moms who will make this during nap time or school time when children are unavailable for measuring. The designer's cutting suggestion was a great little time saving tip and helps line up those stripes, chevrons or patterns just right. I suggest cutting several pants at one time because these will be a big hit. They also make wonderful shower presents for new moms. I like to gift larger baby sizes (6 mo and up) that are often overlooked when gifting a new baby and PJ pants are perfect for that age range.
To add a ruffle to your completed Pj pants you need approx 1 ½ to 2 yds of 3'' wide flannel per pant. Take your strip and fold them in along the length and press. Run a basting stitch down the open end of the strip ¼'' away from the edge with your bobbin tension very loose. You will see the fabric start to gather as you sew. Repeat ½'' away from the edge. Pull your bobbin thread to gather your fabric to your desired fullness. Press your gathers to help keep them in place. Line up the raw edge of your ruffle with your hem stitchline with your ruffle upside down (see picture below) and stitch in place with a ¼'' seam.
Press you ruffle towards the bottom of your pants and topstitch ¼'' away from the top. Depending on how deep your hem is your ruffle may cover your cuff or it may sit above it like a little skirt. You can stack ruffles for a very feminine look or add bigger ruffles to suit your style. Either way this is a simple ruffle to spice up a simply great PJ pant pattern. The addition of the ruffle will not significantly increase your time making this a great one day project!
A great tip: I recommend stitching your seams then serging them (or zig zag if no serger) this will reinforce the seams (because you know kids don't just wear PJ pants to bed) and will keep away any stray threads that might irritate during sleep.
This is my first time using a Jalie Pattern and since completing two tops I can say that the pattern is excellent. It is well written with pictures and instructions that were both helpful. The sizing is also top notch. I did not have any of the issues that I find with the major pattern companies (I usually have to size down 2 sizes with the big 4 companies). On first glace the Jalie 2806 Scoop Neck T-shirt pattern is very similar to a HotPatterns pattern in that there are many sizes, it is printed on paper (which I prefer) and the instructions are not separate. I really enjoyed the many modifications that came with this pattern: 3 different sleeves and 2 necklines. Jalie also provided instructions for using your sewing machine and serger. If you need some extra help in your construction be sure to check out Jalie's video here. It is excellent; very well produced and filmed.
This pattern went together very well and I am pleased with the look. My only complaint is with the fabric of the blue shirt which is a Modal blend. This blend makes it very soft with a wonderful drape that just didn't work with this pattern (It also wrinkled as soon as I looked at it). The fushia shirt is 100% organic cotton and has much less drape but more stretch that the Modal Blend. It works and fits much better than the blue and was easier to sew up. I recommend a high cotton blend or 100% cotton if using a light weight knit or a medium weight knit. I tried both necklines and am a fan of both. The gathered neckline is very flattering and falls at just the right place on my chest. I opted for the ¾ length sleeve because it is still chilly out but I added a band to match the banded hem on the bottom of the blue shirt. Since I made the blue shirt first and I liked the sleeve band so much I added it to the fushia shirt as well but omitted the hem band. The length of the pattern is a generous length to hit at your hips with a ¾ '' hem without the hem band. The hem band adds a nice flounce at the hips not the belly where it would just look frumpy. I had some trouble once I added on the neckband with my stitches showing from when I serged the band before I attached it. I fixed this on the fushia shirt. On the blue shirt I attached the neck band with my knife disengaged. On the fushia shirt, I engaged it when attaching the neck band to the neckline but only cut about 1/8'' off. This is not enough to affect the appearance but enough to cover any stitches.
For my sleeve band, start at the elbow notch on the arm and draw a straight line down to the bottom of the sleeve adding width at the bottom (see picture below). Measure this and add 2-3'' for the length of your sleeve band. The width is the same as the hem band. Cut out 2 and assemble and add onto the sleeves just like with the hem band. This added enough length to make a ¾ sleeve a full sleeve so that it hits right at the wrist.
As a wrap up the blue shirt features the gathered fold over neckline, hem band and modified ¾ sleeves with band. The fushia shirt features the ruched neckline with a ¾ hem and modified ¾ sleeves with band.
If you are looking for a quick monster consider knitting one up from our "oh so cushy" Lion Brand Wool Ease Chunky. That's what I did and it was swift and lovely. I choose one of Dangercraft's many monsters, Claude the Closet Monster (from The Big Book of Knitted Monsters by Rebecca Danger), and paired him with Lion Brand Wool Ease Chunky in Orchid to make him super big. Claude was worked in size 15 US knitting needles and 2 strands held together. I ended up using 4 skeins with plenty left over for a smaller friend. The finished result is approx 24'' tall. It is a very good size for any kid to play with. Claude's eyes and one lone tooth are embroidered on with one strand of yarn and the same tapestry needle I used to close Claude up. I really got into the stuffing. I decided that I wanted my monster to look well fed with a nice tushy so I added extra padding in those areas and then pounded it into shape.
Claude came together beautifully but I am really in love with the yarn. It is so soft and squishy and it was a dream to knit. The best part however is that is machine washable so should any incident befall Claude I can toss him in the washer and he is as good as new. I am quickly growing tired of these new fangled toys that can only be hand washed. Give me a good washable toy any day. Wool Ease is the perfect blend of wool and acrylic so you get the warmth and softness of wool but avoid the itchiness of wool. So Claude can be cuddled close and often without regrets.
Please be careful though I caught Claude climbing out of the crib early the other day with the help of one of his knitted buddies. I am sure he is behind all my missing socks.