Friday, November 07, 2008

Sewing Pajamas for My Son

My worst fear in life is machine sewing. I am not kidding.

I have had a hard time finding decent cotton flannel pajamas for my younger son (age 8) that are not coated in horrid chemicals to make them flame retardant. I understand that it is a federal law to have such a chemical on the PJs. Actually most boys PJ pants are made of 100% polyester. When my son wears one pair he has of those he has a nightmare and/or wets the bed every time. Hmmm.

Also in general for some weird reason, I just can't find PJ pants for my son anywhere. Old Navy staff tell me they are a seasonal item only sold at Christmas time. Interesting. After going to six different stores I gave up and decided to sew PJs pants for my son.

Oh boy.

A few weeks ago I got up the courage to buy the fabric.

Days later I read the pattern. I'm actually using a book that is intended to be used with boys, children and teen boys to teach them beginning sewing and it includes patterns boyish things for them to make.

I re-read the directions on another day. Trying to get my courage up.

I then cut one piece out. Got worried and stashed it. Got busy with Halloween prep. Put it off for a week.

Today my younger son begged me to get to work on it. I knew I didn't have the right elastic but knew I could do all but that. So I launched in. I had three panicky calls to my mother asking for help. The first one included a statement, "I think I am too stupid to learn to sew as I just can't understand what they are saying to do".

I am a person who learns by reading very easily. However I have huge issues with directions for things in writing that are three dimensional and I do with materials and my hands. I can't convert text directions easily to 3D objects. For example the basic instructions for how to set up and use the sewing machine is very difficult for me to understand. Sometimes the directions of things get mixed around like it say counter clockwise but I swear the thing I have to do is clockwise. Tonight my husband insisted that to turn it that way indeed is counterclockwise. Well I thought there was a typo in the instructions.

Okay I'll stop complaining. I did everything on pair #1 of the PJs except the elastic band. And I didn't cry or break down or stomp around, yell or swear. Younger son helped me a little including doing the pressing (he loves to iron with supervision).

Tomorrow I need to buy the elastic band I need. I'll check length and tweak the pattern before I sew pairs #2-6. Yes I am making 6 pairs in total for that son.

Oh, and I did buy the cotton flannel on sale for $5.99 per yard. Despite that savings I'll share that each pair will cost $15 in flannel and $1 in elastic band. So it is not a big savings, as Old Navy's PJ pants are $15 per pair and the ones at The Gap are $19.50. As someone told me, home sewing of clothes is no bargain anymore.

For the record, this is one project I'm doing just for the final PRODUCT and this is not about PROCESS for me, not this sewing!!

I can't wait to go knit and try to relax!

1 comment:

Heidicrafts said...

My daughter has caught a designing bug. She wants to Make Shirts for the neighbor girls. She cut three wild shirts from scrap fabrics and conceded that they were small enough for my stuffed bear.

I suggested that she trace one of her t-shirts. She did, onto cotton fabric. She cut, I hauled out my dusty machine and I sewed the shoulders and sides. No separate sleeve pieces, just a big cotton T. Neighbor girl is three and thinks it's just great.

So today, DD insists that we take 5yo neighbor to the fabric store. The knit fabrics are all solids. I asked the clerk who found for me a simple pattern, "Can I use fleece for this?" She didn't see why not. So soon, I will be making a shirt.

Maybe I'll work up to a small quilted something. Before my bobbin runs out and I have to ask for help again.

Hang in there, Christine.