Pattern Review ~ Little Jammies
|From Beth: Katie’s sewing expertise is clear when you read through her wonderful pattern review for the Little Jammies pattern. She shares some excellent modifications and tips we can all utilize to make some extra-special jammies of our own! Enjoy her review, don’t miss her introduction and check out Katie’s blog Daily Thread.|
|Favorite Things Little Jammies|
|The pattern package describes The Little Jammies as: Fun & comfy pajamas for children in 8 sizes. Choose from a long or short sleeved top. Low rise pants with elastic in the back waist and a tie closure in the front come in three lengths: boxers, cropped or full length. The camisole can be worn alone or under the top.|
Jammie pants and long-sleeved top by Katie, Daily Thread
|The pattern packaging doesn’t specify what types of fabric are recommended for this pattern. I chose two contrasting lightweight cotton wovens, but the pattern instructions do refer to flannel at one point. I have also seen them made with four-way stretch knit fabric online.There are minimal notions required for this pattern. The top requires four buttons for all sizes, and the pants require ¾” elastic (the length needed depends upon the waist measurement of the child).
A note on the yardage requirements: I made size 1. I wanted to make the cami, the long-sleeved top, and the cropped pants. The package states that the long-sleeved top requires 1-1/4 yards, the cropped pants require 2/3 yard, and the cami requires ¾ yard. If my math is right, those figures total 2-2/3 yards. However, I had 1.5 yards of the cupcake print fabric to work with, and I was actually able to cut all three of the garments with a little bit of fabric to spare. This would have upset me if I had purchased 2-2/3 yards of fabric and ended up with a lot of extra yardage (not that I don’t stash fabric, but I do usually need to be economy-minded with my sewing). I don’t know if this sort of over-estimating occurs on all sizes, but it is certainly a factor for the smallest size.
Jammie pants and cami top by Katie, Daily Thread
|I generally like the look of the jammies as designed. The pants are a pretty typical casual pant design, and it is great to have three lengths to choose from. The top is also cute, and the side slits and sleeve lengths allow for comfort of movement and versatility. The cami also looks very nice, but I didn’t like the front center seam. However, it is simple to make a few adjustments to the pattern to eliminate the seam and still keep the keyhole opening on the neckline. More on that later.||
|The written instructions are spare, but they get the point across. The first thing I noticed was that there was no cutting layout. Most garment patterns I have used show you how to fold your fabric, and where to place the pattern pieces before cutting them out. I felt that this was a serious omission, especially for beginners. The layouts help you to use the fabric most efficiently, and help ensure that you won’t run out of fabric, and I feel it’s an important part of any pattern.|
|Diagrams / Images|
|There are several hand-drawn illustrations accompanying the written instructions. They are well-drawn and easy to interpret. As I mentioned earlier, though, the lack of a cutting layout diagram is troubling. Here is a photo of the cutting layout that I used:
The fabric is folded, with the selvedges together at the right.
|The pattern pieces are printed on a slightly heavier-than-usual brown tissue paper. Sizes 1-4 are grouped into one set of multi-sized patterns, and the remaining sizes are grouped into another set. I traced my pattern pieces onto freezer paper. I like using freezer paper because it’s heavy and tear-resistant, which is great if you make a pattern several times.I love that the front facing is all-in-one with the top front pattern piece. This is a great design feature, because it eliminates an extra seam and makes for a nice edge on the shirt fronts. I couldn’t get the sleeves into the armholes without having to cut off a little extra, but I’m not sure if that is a problem with the pattern piece or the seamstress!|
|Overall Level of Difficulty||Beginner
|This pattern can be sewed up as-is by most beginners, and it will turn out a nice pair of jammies. However, a more experienced sewer may wish to make some modifications, to turn a nice pair of jammies into an heirloom-quality pair. Which leads us to the next section…|
|Modifications + Tips
|I made a lot of mods to this pattern. I have been sewing for a long time, and I generally sew a lot of clothing patterns for my daughter which use more sophisticated finishing techniques. With sewing, and particularly in child-sized garments, small details can make a big difference. I used some of the techniques and ideas that I have learned to make what I consider to be improvements to the basic pair of jammies as written.Modifications to the Pants
One of the first things you do is make buttonholes for the drawstring ties to come through, and I have a tip for buttonholes. I always, always use some tear-away stabilizer behind my buttonholes. The pattern instructs you to use a scrap of fabric for extra stability, but it is better to use stabilizer or interfacing if you have some. I used a sticky-backed stabilizer for this project—it makes it easy to get it in the right place before sewing the buttonhole. The first photo shows the tear-away stabilizer being pulled away from the back of the buttonhole, and the next photo shows the final buttonhole. Stabilizer remains in the buttonhole through washing, and helps keep it from stretching out and getting all wonky from repeated wear.
|I also made a contrasting band at the hem of my jammie pants. When I finished attaching the contrasting bands to the bottom of the pants pieces, I edgestitched them with the seam pressed up towards the pants piece.|
Edgestitching the bottom, contrasting bands.
|I sewed the pants completely using French seams. Joanna at Stardust Shoes has a great tutorial for doing French seams. They really do give a nice finish to a garment, and since each seam is sewn twice, it’s also stronger! That’s important for kids’ clothes.The pattern instructs you to put elastic only in the back of the waist, and then put the drawstring in the front. This was pretty fiddly, because you sew two separate casings, and for me it ended up looking a little messy on the inside of the waistband. I don’t see the benefit of elastic only in the back, and in the future, I will just make one casing around the waist and put the elastic and drawstring around the whole waistband.
The last mod that I made for the pants was to use the contrast fabric to make the drawstring ties.
Modifications to the Top
Modifications to the Camisole
But then, there’s no slit opening in the cami, is there? So, let’s just cut one out! The first photo shows the cutout on the fold, and the next photo shows it opened up. Easy, easy!
The cutout on the fold.
But then, what to do with those raw edges? Can’t have those. I just cut a little bias strip the same width as the cami straps pattern, and bound off the keyhole opening with it.
First, I sewed the strip to the keyhole opening.
Then I folded it around to the wrong side.
Then I slip stitched it to finish it on the wrong side.
And there you have a nice bias-bound keyhole!
I gathered the front beside the keyhole opening, instead of making tucks like the pattern dictates.
Other than that, I completed the rest of the cami pretty much as instructed.
|Again, I used a lightweight cotton woven for these jammies. Flannel would make a nice pair also, and you might try knits if you are so inclined and talented in that area.
Jammie pants and cami top back by Katie, Daily Thread
This was a really fun pattern to sew up! I actually liked working out the changes that I made to give the basic pair of jammies a little more personality and polish. And the size 1 came out true to the measurements listed on the back of the package. However, definitely measure your subject and don’t go by the age-based size numbers, because my daughter is 2-1/2. The long-sleeved top and pants fit her great. The cami fits her, but it is hard to pull it over her arms to get it off and on, so she will probably not wear it (and after all of that work modifying it!). However, that wouldn’t be an issue if a knit was used to make the cami, due to the stretch. I would recommend this pattern to anyone, even an advanced beginner. But I would caution anyone to take care before purchasing fabric to make sure you don’t buy too much. And, have fun playing with the pattern to make it your own!
[tags]sewing pattern review, pajama pattern review, Little Jammies pattern, Favorite Things Little Jammies pattern, Favorite Things pattern review[/tags]
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