Mom called several weeks ago, very excited, because she thought she had found the original pattern to the sleepers we have been making for years. Unfortunately upon further study of the pattern, it was not the original sleeper pattern that I had used to make mine with all the time. But it was a very close match. I was still very excited to know of this pattern because of its design and the fact that it is a size 3.
Since it is a ‘vintage pattern’ and not made any longer, my husband tracked it down and bought me the pattern on e-bay. It it Simplicity Pattern Number 8326. I have some fabric ready to make all the little nephews matching sleepers this summer, and this pattern will be of great help to me. Instead of having to increase my 18 month old pattern I have to fit the two years olds, it will be much easier to cut down the size 3 pattern and possibly give them some growing room, and if I make one for the 3 year old too, well, you get the idea.
With the pattern only being one size, I considered just cutting the pattern apart and using it, but since it is a ‘vintage pattern’, I decided to trace the pieces and keep the original pattern whole. That way if it does not work out, my husband can sell it, and if it does work, out I will have a pristine pattern to make another copy from when my copy dies.
I closed my eyes and stuck my hand into the stash. Then I pulled out this yellow and white stripe knit fabric that looked as good as any of the fabrics in the stash to use as a ‘muslin’ to try out this pattern. Although in hind site, a striped fabric was probably not my best choice to try with a new pattern, but it worked out and I got the stripes matched up ok.
I traced and cut out the pattern paying strict attention to all the details. I cut all the notches and markings which I rarely do with a pattern, but I wanted to see it this pattern held any new information about sleeper making that my old, smaller pattern did not have. I also followed the pattern guide step by step for the same reason. What I learned was that I like the order I sew the original sleeper pattern together better than the pattern guide’s instructions, especially for the zipper and the collar. On my original pattern, the zipper is exposed and is used as a design element for the sleeper. On this pattern, you try to hide the zipper which was not easy with the soft, thin fabric I had chosen. I like the zipper exposed. I can then match collar, cuffs, and embroidery designs with the zipper. The guide for this pattern instructed you to sew the zipper in before the collar, leaving the edges of the collar exposed. In my original sleeper pattern, the collar is sewn in first and the edges are hid in the turn of the zipper. It is a much cleaner look I think. I also feel that the ribbing of the collar and cuffs are too loose, so I will cut them just a little smaller next time. I did like the way the pattern did the elastic around the ankles. It gave it a nice look.
I have not embroidered anything on this sleeper yet. I usually do any sleeper embroidering during the construction because it is easier to get it hooped up that way. I don’t have to fight the zipper during the hooping of the fabric. I was anxious to finish this sleeper and see how it turned out so I did not take the time to embroidery on it while making it. Now that it is done, I may go back and add something to it. I don’t think I will have any problems sewing a design on it where it is the bigger size sleeper. My supply of rubberized sole fabric is very limited, so I did not use any on this ‘muslin’ but I did double the fabric on the soles for better wear.
All of these things are pretty minor changes to the pattern. I am thrilled to have this pattern in my collection and I believe I will be making it many more times in the future.