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PJ Update

This will be a no-garment-pictures post, as the 28th is not here yet. The PJ bottoms are done! I have slaved over them for 7 hours yesterday! I posted this picture on my Google+ stream at 16:15, saying "Today I'm sewing with silk. This is not as easy as it sounds":

I finished cleaning up at 23:00! When I also realized all I had eaten yesterday was an omelette!

I started by making continuous bias tape using this Colette tutorial. This took one hour, and I ended up not using it at all. Well, I hemmed with it and then decided I didn't like it (it looked awful!) so I cut it off and did a narrow hem finish instead. That doesn't look great either, I'm sad to say. It is, however, the only thing in this whole thing I'm unhappy about, and with the narrow hem it doesn't show very much.

This is the second time I used self-made bias tape and I'm fairly unhappy with the results. It just isn't the same as store-bought stuff. I'll give it another try for the PJ top, because I want to finish the neck/armholes in the bottoms fabric, but at this point I'm not very convinced self-made bias tape brings good results. Both times I used it it looked ridiculously unprofessional! Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I find it's very difficult to press it properly when you take it through the little implement.

I used french seams throughout, but didn't use the normal leg-inside-leg method. I started by sewing the crotch seam on both front pieces and back pieces, then the outseams (front/back together) and then the inseams (also front/back together). It was much easier than doing the leg-inside-leg thing, which is one of the things I know will get me confused.

The bottoms fabric is slightly heavier than the top fabric and therefore fairly easy to sew with. Actually everything went well throughout the day - I took my time with every step, always pressing after a seam. I have to say my grandmother was right: there is a HUGE difference when you press your seams.

The only screw-ups happened late, when I was tired. Too tired to sew really. I'm pretty happy about how these have turned up - I'll make sure I take some nice pictures for next week.


  1. I've never tried making my own bias tape... but I've had decent luck with making my own bias binding. (Actually, not sure what to call it!) like in this tutorial for the Sewaholic pendrell:

    It looks like bias tape when it's done, but you only have to iron one fold, not three! Would that work for you?

    1. That's a very interesting technique! It's different from bias tape, and wouldn't work on this project, but it surely looks easier to make, so I will give it a shot. Thanks!

  2. Making bias tape can be a pain and painful. I always burn myself with the steam!

    Looking forward to seeing your PJs. I love that you used silk! Those must feel amazing!

    1. They're pretty nice - all my PJs have been cotton so far, so this is an entirely new feeling. I started wearing them yesterday, they feel great. The only downside is that I'll have to wash them by hand but you can't win everything :)

  3. everytime I made bias tape with silk or silky fabric, it's been extremely hard to press. I don't remember where I read it, but cotton and linen are much easier to fold and press. Congratulations for trying though!

    1. It was pretty bad, but I hope the second run will be easier, as the bottoms fabric is heavier than the top one. I also considered soaking it in water before I pass it through the thing - I wonder it that's going to work?


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