Pattern Review: Butterick 6659 Option F Girls Short Pajama Bottoms

Butterick 6659: I am using Option F, the baby doll PJ bottom.

My daughter likes to wear shorts and a t-shirt to bed.  This year we had plenty of tees, but few PJ bottoms.  To keep her from parading around the house in her unders, I decided to sew up some quick pajama shorts.

Previously I had made a nightgown from this pattern and was on the verge of discarding it, when I thought that it could easily be graded up slightly, (the original being so oversized,) and I might be able to make the panties into shorts by omitting the elastic at the legs.  Why buy a fresh gym shorts pattern when I already had essentially the same thing.

I also had a laundry basket of discarded summer tees.  For once, I had the spare fabric to finally perfect fitting the crotch seams for my daughter – something I can transfer to other patterns. 

The pink shorts are the RTW pair that I want to emulate. The first try at the unaltered pattern is the yellow pair and you can see how much larger they are than the RTW. The yellow pair bagged in the front waist when my daughter tried them on.

Pros:

Though this pattern was cut for a size 5, it easily fit my 6X/7 Slim sized daughter.

Very few seams making it a quick sew.  One for which you soon have a finished project and have not expended a lot of mental attention – perfect for mothers of young children.

One pattern piece along with a cut of elastic.

If you only have five or ten minutes to sew, you will be able to cut and sew this pattern in just a few sessions.

Cons:

If your child is a tricky fit there aren’t a lot of seams to work with.

The pattern sizing – sigh!  Has no one in the industry redesigned children’s patterns to match RTW?  The waistline of this pattern is at the natural waistline while my daughter and her little friends barely know where their waists are located.  They all wear their pants at the navel and I consistently have to adjust children’s patterns to follow suit.  This one is no exception. 

The length of the lower hemline option seems much too long to me.  Again little girls wear their gym-style shorts upper mid-thigh rather than towards the knee.

I didn’t dare try a 4-line stitched elastic waistband as the elastic grows and distorts whenever I try this.

Some Assembly Required:

I sewed the crotch seams, then inserted the elastic waistband.  The original RTW shorts I was copying have a 4-line stitching of the elastic.  I find the elastic grows and stiffens if sewn over so many times, so I settled on the simplest elastic application. 

Fabric:  Old T-shirt fabric.

Finetuning:

Sadly my serger appears to be going kapoot, so I did not serge the seams.  Instead I did a double line of zig-zag stitching.  It isn’t the most professional inside finish, however the material is knit so it won’t ravel.  And old t-shirt knit at that allowing me to more easily justify the simpler finish .

The final pair and how they compare to the original pink RTW. Much better.

Will I Sew it Again:

Yes, definitely.  I finally got the pattern adjusted to fit perfectly.  Now I only have to grade up for at least the next two sizes.  

Advice to Others:

I sewed four pairs in all but one has gone missing.

Use an old tee to make the practice muslin if yours are wide enough for the pattern piece.  And if you do use a t-shirt, utilize the RTW hemline for the shorts hemline saving you an extra step and making the garment look more RTW, as I have always found that the standard mechanical machine’s zig-zag stitch does not much resemble a RTW finish.

Overall Style Grade:  Um, A – I guess.  This is such a classic that it hardly seems a style.

Results Grade: A, after you finetune the fit, you will get consistently good results.

My Daughter has Decided that She Isn’t a Ruffly Girl Anymore.

Should she be allowed to do that! 

All on her own. Without any say-so from her mother.  :-0

Here is a pile of patterns ready to donate to the thrift store that are no longer “her”.  “Those aren’t my style, Mommy.  I’m not a ruffly girl anymore.” 

What is wrong with a little ruffle?

And when did she get old enough to have a style?!

 I am not ready to go from this . . .

         to this. . . .

 

 What am I going to sew her now?  The dresses I made her last autumn to fit her this summer – she won’t wear.  Too ruffly, I suppose.

It also means she is growing up.  I love the family years and already feel nostaglic when I see signs she is no longer my itty-bitty girl.

What is a mother to do?

I guess hit a sale at the fabric store and buy more patterns!  Proof that every cloud has a silver lining. 🙂

Butterick 5772: Attaching the band to the beret.

Butterick 5772:Children's Winter Hats

This pattern provides several different hat styles and most are self-explanatory but the beret does have a few quirks. 

 

First: the undercap.

Butterick 5772: The undercap of the beret must have a hole for the head cut out. I found it helpful to fold the cap in half.

Fold the undercap portion in half to cut your inside circle.

Second: the band.

Knowing from previous options that the bands sometimes did not fit well I was leary that the band would not correctly fit into the undercap circle of the beret.  This is how I made sure the band matched the beret circumference.

I marked the back and front center with a pin.

 

I began sewing the band about two inches from the center back and sewed around until I was nearly 2 inches away from the center back.

The next step I will explain and draw in paint the best I can, though I realize that the illustrations make much more sense if you have the actual pattern pieces in front of you. 

I layed the loose ends of the bands down and cut a small notch into them at what would be the bands center back seam.

Then I sewed the band center back seam.

The band fit the circle perfectly since it was custom fit.

It took just a few extra moments and I didn’t have to worry about a mismatch that wouldn’t “ease” into the undercap. Of all the options offered the beret is middling in difficulty and time, but my daughter’s pleasure with it made it worth a few extra moments.

Next Post: Tuesday, November 9, 2010:Sloping Shoulder Alteration

 

McCall’s 5772 Child’s Polarfleece Hats: Pattern Review

McCall’s 5772 Child’s Polarfleece Hats

McCall's 5772 Winter Hats for Children

My daughter requested the beret on this pattern front as she browsed a kid’s pattern catalog at the fabric store.  The Halloween frog costume provided extra fleece as I had to buy at least a ¼ yard cut but barely used any in making the small froggy spots. I am currently on a fabric stash bash and don’t want any spare material around gathering dust.  So I decided to not even try to find a place to store the leftover fleece, but immediately sought a way to use it up.  I remembered this pattern and thought this would be a good time to make wearable muslins of each style.  I have made all of the styles except I ran out of material and couldn’t cut a visor for options E and F.

None of the hats pictured have decorations as this will take much considering and reconsidering on my daughter’s part as she rummages through my buttons and trim.  Should keep her occupied a good 30-45 minutes.  🙂

McCall's 5772 Option C with mittens: I have to make and add yarn pom poms.

Pros:

  • Finally a use for remnant fleece.
  • Lots of potential for cute little girl decorations.
  • All of the hats include a lining pattern.
  • If you don’t have enough material or want an extra quick project, you can ditch the lining.
  • Fleece does not require a seam finish.

McCall's Option B: My favorite because it is the easiest.

Cons:

  • The bands are often too small for their caps.  Cut extra length just in case.
  • The pattern instructions tell you to sew in the round attaching band to cap as you do a set-in sleeve.  I think manufacturers must sew these hats flat and wish the patternmaker had gone that route.  
  • I cut a large for my size five daughter and found the heads to be a bit peaky.  You can cut some excess off the bottom band or bottom edge of the cap if that is a problem for you.
  • I took about three inches off the circumference of option E/F which made for differently sized triangular portions.  I thought three inches was a lot to remove for my daughter’s average size head.

Some Assembly Required:

I followed the pattern instructions overall except I did not sew up the last seam of the cap.  Instead I left that seam open, attached the bands, and then sewed both band and cap at back center seam.

Fabric:

Leftover polarfleece.

McCall's 5772 Option E/F and scarf: I had to remove three inches of circumference which made the back triangles a different size than the rest. Thankfully this is only a wearable muslin and my daugther will probably lose it as quickly as I made it.

Finetuning:

I am going to cut extra length in the bands next time.  Possibly I will cut some depth off the bottom of the cap also. 

Will I Sew it Again:

As my daughter loses hats often I think I will be making many renditions.

Advice to Others:

 You must sew every seam at 5/8 inch.  Then grade the seam edge back.  If you don’t sew at the 5/8th that the pattern

McCall's 5772 Option A: The beret my daughter wanted. She choose the pink fleece. I will go over how to match the band to the undercap on Saturday's post.

was created for you will get a different circumference than intended.

Most of the options are self-explanatory but the beret does have a few quirks. I will go over sewing the beret in Saturday’s post.

Overall Style Grade:  A, this is a cute classic style for small children.   Results Grade: A, easy for beginners and a nice break in between tougher projects for long-time sewers.

Next Post: Friday, November 5, 2010: Week Eight of my Stash Bash.   Then Saturday, November 6, 2010:Fitting a Beret Band Perfectly to the Undercap.