hello, train to crazy readers! rachael here, and i'm so happy to be sharing my sewing for men project: after-dinner pants! you might know them as pajamas, but doesn't after-dinner pants sound so much fancier? and we're all about fancy in the gnats household... as long as it's comfy, that is, and preferably handmade. you can check out more of our handmade antics on my blog, imagine gnats .
it's been a while since i sewed up something for my husband, Nick (affectionately known as mr. gnats), and i've never actually sewn a garment for him. for last father's day, i made him a sturdy apron from duck cloth with some help from our littlest girlie (you can check that out here). i've made him this nook cover, there was an echino messenger bag before that, and some roll-up tote bags.
i knew that i wanted to make a pair of pajama pants, as Nick had picked out this fabric for them a few months ago. the fabric is from moda's preppy plaids basics line, which i found at my local quilt shop, sewn studio. one side of the plaid is brushed so it feels like flannel while the other side is not, so it retains the crispness and feel of a woven. i thought this would be the perfect opportunity to finish the seams really well so that the pants could be worn either with the brushed cotton side in or out.
i used simplicity 2290 (size adult medium), and the only modification i had to make was to shorten the length by 1". i didn't have to do any other adjustments, and felt a little like i was cheating! this pattern also includes childrens' sizes, and you can bet i'll be putting it in the "use me again" pile.
in essence, what i ended up with is a flat-felled seam, though i went about it in a slightly different way. i was worried that the curved seam through the crotch area would pucker or be off, but it worked brilliantly! basically, i started with a french seam, pressed it to the side, and then stitched down the seam allowance close to the first stitch line. i'm sharing some more of the seam construction details on my blog, so stop by if you'd like a step-by-step.
you can see in this pic the difference between the brushed and plain sides of the fabric. so far, Nick's after-dinner pants have been worn with the brushed side out, in case you were wondering.
for the elastic casing and hems, i just made sure to fold, iron, and stitch very carefully and neatly so that the seams would look clean from either side. i must honestly say that i'm not typically this careful in my sewing of things "for the family"... i rarely even finish the hem of knit pj pants for my girls. i mean, they're for bed and no one will see them, right? but it felt good to make these pants really well. and because the pants themselves were so simple (only two pattern pieces!), it was a good opportunity to give a little extra in the details that we often overlook.
i'm very pleased to say that Nick is quite happy with his pants. he confirms that they fit perfectly and feel "just like pajama pants." i call that a win!
thanks again to Andrea for having me. i know that i feel inspired to do more man sewing, and i hope that some of you do too!
I've started a Sew for Men Flickr group! If you'd like, join the group and add photos of anything you've sewn for a man so we can all get inspiration! Find theSew for Men Flickr group here.
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