Right off the bat, if you’ve just made your way over here from the Simple Life website, you’ve already read a bunch and I know how the day goes. There’s not enough time to keep up. But you don’t want to miss out on a giveaway either! (GIVEAWAY CLOSED) So pin this for future reference, if need be, and know that you have till Friday, Jan 26, to enter the giveaway.
If you happened upon this first, I was just over on Simple Life’s blog sharing these makes and gave a tutorial for how to add binding to a neckline for shirts that are otherwise meant to be lined.
So! That was fun over there at the Simple Life house. I’m super honoured to have been given the opportunity to share my makes there. The pressure was on. Those girls over there are always short and to the point, have you noticed that? And I ramble. You should see the amount I delete from these posts before sharing with you. Almost embarrassing. But not. It’s me.
I saved a few tidbits about this pajama collection to share over here. Mostly some finishing details, but I want to share with you my favourite method for adding elastic to the waistband of leggings or, in this case, pajama shorts.
The pattern I used for these shorts is the Tammy Tulip and Ruffle Shorts. They are a super cute short for a pair of summer jammies. Let’s look a bit closer at some changes I made.
I use my serger/coverstitch when sewing knits, but don’t let that deter you if you don’t own one. All of this can be done on your sewing machines using stretch stitches with the exception of the rolled hem I will mention.
Knit fabric hangs differently than woven so where this pattern calls for the ruffle to go all the way up to the waistband on the right, you’ll notice I stopped part ways up. Since one side will overlap the other, I didn’t want the lightweight knit to appear bulky and lay strange over the that spot. Especially without the extra weight of the lining, which I chose to omit.
The ruffle itself is meant to be folded in half lengthwise. Instead, I cut it narrower and used the rolled hem stitch on my serger for the edges. I did the same on the flutter sleeve of the top to match and felt that this gave a more finished look. Of course, this can be hemmed or even left raw. Just be sure when you’re cutting your ruffles, to cut the width that will suit your finishing choice.
Once the ruffle was sewn to the shorts, I flipped it to the right side and topstitched all the way around. You can do this with a coverstitch, twin needle or single line topstitch.
Then came the waistband. This pattern is designed with a casing style waistband where one would insert the elastic. I did not add the waistband so I added a bit of height to the top of the shorts instead. I didn’t have to. They would’ve been just fine without the added height. You will only loose the width of your elastic in height so you can make that call as you prefer.
I measured a piece of elastic to fit my daughter’s waist and sewed the ends together well. I sectioned my elastic into four and then did the same for the shorts. You can see that the shorts were quite a bit wider so when I went around to pin the elastic I had to give each section a good stretch till the elastic matched the width of the shorts. Does that make sense? Once it was all spaced and pinned well I serged the top edge of the elastic to the top edge of the shorts. I make sure NOT to let my cutter hit the elastic. I don’t actually know if that matters, but I just picture it unraveling and somehow ruining the elastic. I’m also careful to sew in small sections so I can properly stretch my elastic and get a nice finish. If you’re not stretching the elastic out properly you will get little folds in your fabric instead of the gathering that will happen when you let go.
With the elastic now attached it’s time to fold it over to the inside nice and snug and then secure it in place.
I topstitched around the waist catching the bottom of the elastic. Again, I’m stretching that elastic out so the fabric is smooth as I’m sewing. I used a long straight stitch, the same length I use for regular topstitching. You might be thinking I should be using a stretch stitch, but because I’m stretching this out as I sew, I know those stitches aren’t going to rip when these go over the hips. (Like my kid has hips.)
Voila! There we have it! That elastic is NOT going to twist.
The one other little tip I wanted to share with you was on the housecoat. Pattern used (though it’s impossible to see) is the Braxton Blazer. See how the imagination can take you? To be fair, I did use other methods of designing as well on this. Especially the hood.
I do love my serger and that it gives a finished seam compared to raw edges. But this was not the place for serger stitches and maybe you don’t have one. AFTER I had already coverstitched the entire opening of the housecoat all the way around, I decided that I didn’t like that serger thread look. So I spent hours picking seams and ended up with a couple holes in that fabric which also means I ended up with a bad attitude. This was a real test on my sanity, this housecoat.
I used the same fabric as the ruffle that is around the hood to make bias binding about 1½” wide and used it to cover those certain seams that I thought were quite visible. Let’s see if I can show you.
You can see I ironed one side of my strip over about 1/4″. Then I pinned the other side to the seam I wanted to enclose, leaving about 3/4″ or so hanging over at each end. I stitched together at my regular seam allowance and then trimmed the SA down by about half.
Next, lay everything flat and fold the binding over the seam keeping the ironed edge folded in nicely and pin lots all the way down. Make sure all your pieces are lying flat and taut as you pin.
On the ends where you left the 3/4″ longer, you will tuck that piece under BEFORE you fold the ironed edge and pin. Topstitch about 1/8″ from the edge to secure.
Here is the seam that attached the hood to the back intersected with the long piece that goes from bottom hem all the way up and over to the other bottom hem on the other side.
There you have it. Just a couple ways I choose to finish my makes.
So! Ready for the good stuff? I’ve put together a package for you with the generosity of Little Feather Fabrics and Simple Life. I’ve spent two blog posts telling you all about Simple Life, but let me tell you that I have only good to say about Little Feather as well. As a Canadian who relies on the postal system for my fabric purchases, I need good, reliable people to order from and she has been that. Always eager to help out when I need an eye telling me if those fabrics I chose will match! Jessie has AMAZING sales and happens to carry my favourite fabric lines. Be sure to check out her store and you’ll also find her on FB where you’re sure to be kept in the loop about those sales and new fabrics coming. I hear she’s got a whole bunch coming!
I’m keeping this simple for you. All you need to do is comment below with what you would like to sew with your new pattern and fabric! That was easy! I’m going to pick a name early Saturday morning CST. Whenever I wake up!
Again, I hope you found this at least a little inspiring, even if you already know all this stuff. 🙂 Till next time!!
You can also find me on Instagram where I love to post my creations and be inspired by others doing the same. Or you can subscribe to this blog. I’m not super regular with posts, but I like sharing once in awhile. 🙂
Affiliate links are used throughout this post.
Fabric for this PJ collection as well as the Braxton Blazer pattern have been generously provided by Simple Life Pattern Company. All other patterns are part of my own growing collection.