Thursday 26 September 2013

Ruffled PJs Pattern Testing

So obviously being selfish doesn't work so well for me....

Good thing I get to sew for others and even got asked to sew something by someone else, for someone else. I was absolutely delighted to have been asked to pattern test for Once Upon A Sewing Machine. I dig the idea that this is a mother/daughter sewing and blogging team and they create some beautiful things.

I was invited to test their new Ruffled PJs PDF pattern. I sewed a size 2 for A who is a pretty standard size 2 in almost every other pattern. I measured her for the first time in ages (ever?) and discovered she really is a plank, measuring 21 inches at chest, waist and hips.

 I think the pattern has already been adjusted to take a bit of length off the sleeves, but I quite liked the long sleeve I would just need to take a bit off the elastic at the cuff to keep them from slipping down over her hands.

As we're about to head into summer I ignored the suggested fabrics of quilting cotton or flannel and went for a lightweight Japanese lawn that  I had in the stash with some matching cotton batiste leftover from lining a Rollerskate dress. While mine are summer PJs I thought my nod to the Northern hemisphere autumn was apparent in the fabric print.

I love the pants with the cuff and the fit was perfect. I was somewhat baffled by the way the pants came together, being more familiar with the method of constructing each leg then sewing the crotch. But in dutifully following the instructions I found a new way of doing something that works every bit as well.

 The top can close with buttons, snaps, or even velcro. I chose buttons cause I happened to have some that I thought looked nice, but I'm not sure how comfortable these big wooden clunkers would be if she slept on her back.
Here's one spot where I broke with the instructions and I interfaced BOTH sides of the placket. I think that would be especially important if you were to use snaps. My fabric was so sheer I thought it would matter for my buttons to be sewn to something a little more substantial.

 My daughter can be decidedly difficult about wearing new clothes but she was totally won over by the twirly ruffle and skirt of the pyjama top and my Woodland fairy sales pitch. These pyjamas were a big hit.

She even asked for another pair in pink....

 At first I thought I'd do something different with the pattern, maybe some piping instead of the ruffle, not do the pants cuff....

But it was the ruffle that she'd loved, and I'd discovered that if you use a contrasting fabric for the body of the pants then 1 metre will suffice for the top bodice, top skirt and pants cuff. I'm still in the habit of buying 1 metre lots of fabric so the stash was raided for another Japanese lawn and some more matching lightweight cotton.

For me to make exactly the same thing, straight over again says a lot for the pattern! usually I would have lost interest after the first run through.

I even happened to have three matching buttons again.
I'm pretty new to PDF patterns and the whole metric/imperial paper size thing can be infuriating if you live outside of the US, but this pattern had a great little box that outlined the pattern pieces so you knew it was all printed and that essential 1" test square to check nothing had inadvertently scaled incorrectly

I'm definitely a word-y instructions type sewer and I did find myself adding some notes to the instructions as I went along to flesh them out a bit more to my liking. The colour photographs are superb and if you don't be cheap like me and print them grayscale on your printer you'll find they're quite helpful.

 These are gorgeous pyjamas and I think the top would make a great little tunic in it's own right. It's really only a pyjama top when you team it with the bottoms and then wear it to bed!

Which is what she did next!
Thanks to Rachel and Donna for inviting me to test their pattern and congratulations to them on their first pattern for sale.


  1. Congrats!
    Super exciting and super cute pj's.

  2. Thank you for testing your suggestions were very helpful! I love your fabric choices and I'm so glad she likes them! :)

  3. So sweet. I love that bottom lawn, have it in two colourways in the stash. Your little one is such a cutie.

  4. I love these! The top is very posh for bed and I think it would look great as daywear too.
    Glad to hear I am not the only cheapskate who prints in grayscale!


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