Sunday, January 19, 2020

All in a Day's Work

Our local group was supposed to get together on Saturday for a sew day and then a blizzard struck Friday afternoon into Saturday afternoon so it was canceled.

I'd been so excited for it (I am always excited for our meetups) so I decided I'd still have a sew day. It was cold, it was snowing, the winds were out of control and I wouldn't be going outside anyway. Plus, I'd prepped everything so it was ready to go.

I'd decided that I'd take my serger instead of sewing machine and work on loungewear, and that I'd work around areas that needed a sewing machine or my cover stitch until I was back home. When the storm hit I figured, why change the plan?! So I went for it! :)

I've been meaning to sew M7061 for FORever. It has so many positive reviews and I just kept putting it off. In 2018, I ordered this precut from Fabric Mart (those are seriously some of THE best pieces of fabric I've owned!!). It is Ann Kelle for Kaufman cotton spandex (95%/5%) knit. Can you believe I paid $6.40 for 4 yards?!?! I washed it up awhile ago and just hadn't gotten around to it. Oh, rookie mistake: I didn't notice til I had cut like 60% of my stuff out that I'd forgotten to remove the label. Luckily, I was able to cut around it.



This is one of *those* patterns. 1) It has XS-M in one envelope and L-XXL in another. I needed a medium top and large bottoms and luckily, I'd purchased both sizes. 2) All the views for the top? ALL overlaid. I HATE when they do that! The short, straight seam for A, the longer, curved view C, the dress length view D and curved dress length view B. GRRRR! I end up cutting off at C, saving the longer bits from the dress length views and then folding up for view A.

I've been thinking about fitting more and one (simplistic!) rule I keep reminding myself of is to put the fabric where I need it. My chambray Vogue blouse is done and on that one, I'd added at the side seam for the hip, as I've often done. It's still snug across the butt and sticks out at the hip. My "hip" measurement is larger due to my butt so I added the most fabric where I need it most!

I did a slash and spread in back and added 1" (2 inches total). I also added a wedge at the side seam on front and back of 1" (another 2"). The hip on the medium is 41.5 on that longer view and my hip is 44", so that wasn't going to work.

The sleeve was SOOOO slim!! Eek! I've been using the Singer Sewing book bicep adjustment because it adds less width throughout and doesn't lower the sleeve cap but I needed the extra through the sleeve so I went traditional adjustment and added 1.5".

I cut the front  and took the inseam out to the XXL, tapering to nothing at the notch. This was a bit too much at the inner thigh. I figured I'd take the chance because its loungewear. Also, I ended up removing 5/8" from the CF tapering to nothing at the side seam after sewing the grey shorts.

On the back, my back crotch curve most closely matched the XXL. I added 1" to the inseam to get the back to match. I also smoothed out this inseam line below much more when cutting out the fabric.

I will adjust the CF to remove 5/8" via a wedge. I will remove some of the crotch extension and inseam width. On the back, I will remove some of the inseam width and do a small wedge (I can see the heart pattern on the back pants dipping just a bit).
For this set, I used a cotton knit from JoAnn, one of their Doodle prints. I fell for the unicorn print and didn't research. OY!!! Well, I measured my 2 yard cut because I don't trust JoAnn's cutting (I bought via order pickup). It was 2 yards. Great! I washed and dried it and when I pulled it out, I could tell it was shorter. As I started to lay everything out, I was *just* barely going to squeak out the pieces and remeasured - 1 yard 25 inches. It shrank 9 INCHES! I went to research after the fact and several people complained about shrinkage of 4-5 inches per yard. I hope this doesn't mean I've lost 1/3+ yds off of my 3 yard cut. Grrrr.

I intended to add the hood but didn't have enough fabric for it! I'd already decided I wasn't going to add the hem bands to the bottom and sleeves. 

I finished the neckline with a facing. I cut a band that was 1 1/4" wide, stitched it in place, graded the seams, turned to the inside and topstitched with my coverstitch. I inserted this flat but once I sewed the band on, I sewed the other shoulder seam and then coverstitched it in the round.

The waistband doesn't include any elastic - DO NOT do this unless your fabric has great stretch and recovery!! You can insert as a casing or stitch the elastic in. I first saw this on someone's blog many moons ago and then Kwik Sew 3115 (I think?) included these instructions.

After cutting out the waistband, I traced the fold line in place and zig-zagged the elastic in place on the interior of the waistband. It's the width of my natural waist and light tension was needed to fit it into the waistband length. The hem was finished with the coverstitch. 

The heart shorts were sewn the same way (they were sewn first actually!) and I did include the side slits. waiiiiiittttt!!! The marking for the slits is technically above the crotch level of the shorts! LOL!!!! Yeah, no. 

Anyway, the work to make the slits is extra and unnecessary so I probably won't do it again. It's not anything difficult but the side seams were serged first, hem corners made, side seams stitched, then hemmed. Eh. Not worth it!

I did use 3-thread coverstitching for the first time making the looper threads visible. 

I love it and feel confident using this stitch more often on casual wear!

(messy zigzagging on the side slits)

The pants went together so ridiculously fast. I sewed on the first hem band upside down after looking at it, pinning it, flipping it, pinning it, looking at it again. Oy! LOL! Also, based on the fit of the shorts, I ended up sewing the side seams at 3/4".

I love the fit!!! 

For the top, I was confused on the collar for a minute for some reason! But I just followed the directions and it was fine. 

Before I ever started this, I was drawn to red for the thread selection and the only options that worked as a drawstring in stash were white or red. The red really POPS and I love it.

My machine wasn't loving straight stitching on this fabric but the zigzag turned out well!

After topstitching this in place I hated the puny stitching and went back and did the two horizontal lines of coverstitching. 

For the top, I had enough hip room but still ended sewing a slightly smaller seam allowance through the sleeve until around the elbow and through the bust and waist on the top. I removed the 3rd thread and used a traditional coverstitch to hem the top.
I feel so ridiculously warm and fuzzy over the heart set! It really is a joyful print! And it's warm and soft and snuggly!
I think I sewed a total of 7.5-8 hours making these 5 pieces. Everything had been cut out prior to Saturday.

I purchased a second cut of Doodle fabric to make the onesie from S8502 but I'm hesitant until I see how the grey set wears. And, I still need another hoodie. I have a black and white polka dot sweatshirt knit that I hope to get to sooner rather than later.

What's next? I did not even think about going in the sewing room today! LOL! I think I'll pull out my McCall's 7982 muslin so I can get those sewn, and I need to get back to S8948.


  1. Your loungewear is the cutest!!! I have not had the best luck with some of Joann's fabrics either (extreme shrinkage or extreme fading with one wash, yikes). I have waffled back and forth in buying from there, but always get in a pinch and do, lol!

    I like the way you did your neckband facing. I did one recently and the width was far too narrow which drove me NUTS!!!! I think the wider band would have looked better, and sat nicer too.

    Lovely as always!

    1. Thank you Vanessa!!!

      I wrote them off some time ago because I've just had nothing but bad luck. Hopefully this wasn't a bad decision!

  2. Oh dear, your report on the amount of shrinkage on that Doodles fabric upsets me. I bought some to make a simple tunic / dress for a 6 year old. I have washed it but dried it on gentle because it was in with some rayon knit. I think I'll wet it down and give it another spin in the dryer on a higher setting. Better safe than sorry, I guess. It's awfully cute fabric!

  3. "I've been thinking about fitting more and one (simplistic!) rule I keep reminding myself of is to put the fabric where I need it."

    THHHHIIIIIIIISS! It's such a simple, but accurate concept!

    Your loungewear sets most definitely look warm and comfy! JoAnn fabrics are maddening sometimes. That shrinkage is unreal. 4 - 5 inches *per* yard?!

  4. Anymore when I buy fabric I chose to buy 1/2 yard more then I need for you never know what the fabric is going to do plus the way they cut fabric now crooked or it could fray really bad. If I have extra fab. it's just put away for you never know. (Maybe pillow case). You did a beautiful job on those pieces. I luv them

    1. Such a good point. I am guilty of always buying *just* what I need.


  5. Love the lounge wear. So cut and you did a great job with the fitting and sewing.

  6. I really love these lounge wear garments. I really love the fabric you used, but sad to read that the JoAnn fabric shrunk so much. I really need some new pj's and should consider this pattern. I also have the Closet Case pattern. You were very productive for your sew day!

    1. Thanks Linda! I am frustrated by the shrinkage but I hope it's done!!

      I have the Butterick that's a similar style to the CC pattern and hope to sew that soon. I have a grey polka dot cotton flannel that I've been saving :)

  7. This is my go-to pattern for a cowl neck top. I recently made this with the french terry I bought on our field trip to Ginny's, left off the front pocket and the drawstring on the cowl. It is dressy enough to wear to work. I have yet to make them as a lounge set, but am tempted now that I see yours! Very cute makes, and nice and cozy for our MN winter.

    1. It is so cute and I'd bet it'd make an awesome top/tunic and in french terry?! Swoon.

  8. This is really cute loungewear! I can see why you want to make another hoodie, I would too!

  9. I love Joann's Doodle cotton knits, but they definitely shrink. A LOT! I always buy extra, but I can get a cap-sleeve top out of 1 yard, so what's not to love? ;)

    1. SO cute but that shrinkage is insane. It looks like they have some that are 100% cotton and others with the spandex. Hopefully the spandex helps it perform a little better!

  10. Those are adorable! I'm pretty sure I have that pattern (and haven't made it)-LOL!

    1. Thank you Denise! It's such a great pattern! I can definitely see the top as an actual garment as well (many have made it as such too!)

  11. Really, really cute jammies and hangout clothes. You did an awesome job. Love them.

  12. Hygge!!! Definitely cute AND cozy! Thanks for all the tips as well!!!

  13. These look amazing! I love the fabrics.

  14. I love the red stitching detail on the kangaroo pocket--really cute

  15. I'm curious if you've noticed any further shrinkage with the Doodles fabric. I made some tops from Doodles fabric (fabric was purchased in October 2019 but I only just sewed it up recently) for my 6 year olds and thought they looked a little short after several washings. They've shrunk 2-3 inches in length! So disappointing. I did pre-wash the fabric in the same way as I launder my kids' clothes.


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