The Top Half

P1030359After declaring the bottom half of my second try of the Simplicity 2771 pattern, the shorts, done, it was time to dive into the top half, the shirt. I had a lot of ideas on how I wanted to construct this shirt differently from the first shirt I made from this pattern and I was excited to get started on it.

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The first change, of course, was to cut the sleeves down and make it a short sleeve shirt. I thought about turning to my Kwik-Sew patterns again to use as a guide but I did not want to work with differing sleeve caps, so I just picked a length and cut the sleeves off at that length. I don’t know if they should be longer or shorter for the final fit but they looked like a good length to me. I did go ahead and fold the sleeve back up against itself to cut the little edge for the hem. This little extra edge at the hem line makes it so I can make a larger hem so that the sleeve can be shorter or longer if needed. It also makes the sewing of the hem so much easier.

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P1030310I purchased some smaller cording to make the piping for this shirt, even though I had liked the piping of the last pajamas made with the larger cording. It just seemed larger than I had pictured before I started sewing, so I wanted to try some thinner piping on this shirt. The smaller cording was of course easier to sew in both the making of the piping and the sewing it on to the shirt but not so much easier that I would choose it over the larger pipping for that reason. I like the look of the smaller pipping but not anymore than the look of the larger piping. I believe the size of the piping will just have to be decided on a project by project basis. Looking back at it, I probably should have picked the larger piping for this project just because the print on the fabric is so busy.

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As I mentioned before in my previous post on piping, I rolled the dice again this time and pushed my luck with not making the piping on the bias yet again. And once again, I got away with it ok because of the stretch in the brushed tricot I was sewing this with and I was still learning where to clip it as I sewed just like I did with the first shirt. I know one of these times I will regret not cutting the piping on the bias as the reference I have says I should but for now it works ok my way.

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P1030342The next change I made in the construction of this shirt was the lengthening of the facings to match the front of the shirt. By lengthening the facings, I can make the hem of on the shirt any length I want, and not have the length of the hem determined by the facings. I almost forgot that I had wanted to do this when I was cutting out the facings so I made them extra long. I knew I could cut off the extra when I did the hem. It is easier to cut off extra than to add more on later. The extra length on the facings made the sewing of the facings or the hemming of the shirt no more difficult and I liked stitching the hem my way instead of the pattern guide’s way.

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P1030349Next came the biggest change to the original pattern, stitching in the ditch to hold the back facing down. According to the pattern guide, you fold the edge of the back facing under, fold the back facing back and then stitch in the ditch of the piping to stitch the back facing down catching the folded edge as you go. As you may remember, I ended up with a mess on my last go around trying this. At some points the stitching missed the back facing all together and at some points the stitching was so far from the edge of the facing that the folded over edge was not caught in the stitching leaving it to unfold. So this time, I serged the edge of the back facing to finish it and did not fold the edge of the back facing over before stitching. Yes, once again the stitching varied in how close it was to the edge of the facing but this time it did not matter. There was no folded edge to catch in the stitching. And this was so much easier to sew and looks so much better than the wavy mess I ended with last time as I hit and missed the folded edge. And I don’t believe that the spots where there is a little extra fabric beyond the stitching will make any difference in the wearing of the pajamas.

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P1030348I am pleased with the end results of this pajama shirt now that it is completed. It was fun to make and I like my construction changes. What did not turn out well was the matching of sizes of the shirt and the shorts. This has happened to me before. The shorts look so small compared to the shirt. I believe this problem occurred because I used two different patterns. I should have paid more attention to the size of the shorts from the Kwik-Sew pattern compared to the pants pattern and cut them wider and longer. It also did not help that by doing the hems and the facings on the shirt my way that the hem is smaller so the shirt is longer. This just adds to the size difference problem. With all this in mind, I sewed the buttons on the left side to make the pajamas for a girl. I figured a girl would look better in smaller short pajama bottoms with a long full pajama top than a boy would.

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P1030358And with that, my second set of pajamas from the Simplicity 2771 pattern, pajamas with piping, is done. I have enjoyed the pajama/bathrobe journey but it is time to fold up the pajama patterns for now and move on to something else. As of this moment, I don’t know what the something else is yet but I bet it will be a fun and new learning experience as I continue my sewing journey. I have many patterns hiding in the closet that are just waiting for their turn to be made up.

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