Paddington Pyjamas

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A few weeks ago, I visited Lee Mill Fabrics in Swansea (well worth a visit, if you’re prepared to hunt through the hundreds of lovely fabrics stacked floor to ceiling!) and picked up this sweet Paddington Bear fabric. It’s a polycotton with a soft, every-so-slightly brushed texture, complete with yawning and tooth-brushing Paddingtons: perfect for PJs! I keep reading about how easy pyjama trousers are to make, so decided to cut my teeth on Emma Hardy’s Making Clothes For Children pyjama pattern (age 4-5). I opted to forgo the kimono top this time and just cut out a sleepy Paddington with a moon and a few stars, and used Bondaweb to iron them onto a cream tshirt. It seemed to work nicely – now to see if the appliques survive the washing machine…

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I had to think a little about how to cut out the pattern pieces: there seem to be two, described as ‘front’ and ‘back’ but not actually labelled… A quick web search suggested the higher waistband would be the back, and the lower, the front – this may be abundantly obvious to anyone who has made trousers before, but I haven’t, and it wasn’t, and I’d like to have had it pointed out! Having figured this out, I then almost cut out one “front leg” and one “back leg” (!), as there were no cutting instructions, and normally you cut a mirror image along a fold line! It turns out what you actually need to do is make ONE pattern piece, with the front and back pieces on opposite sides of the fold line, and then cut two legs from this same pattern piece (with one cut in reverse). So now I know, and fortunately, The Bee does not now have to hop about with one leg in front of the other 😉

I decided to try a flat-felled seam (using this tutorial), as I don’t have a serger/overlocker *big sigh*, and I dislike just zig-zagging raw edges as it always looks so messy. It worked nicely on the inside leg seams, but was more difficult on the curvy sections of the crotch. Fortunately, this part of the trousers stay well hidden, so you can’t tell 🙂  I hemmed the trouser legs with a pretty silky blue bias tape that I’d bought for something else, but which matched the colour of Paddington’s PJs so nicely that it was begging to be used. I had to double-topstitch it because it didn’t quite grab the underside of the tape in some places the first time.

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(Yes, that is a black toe – poor Bee was playing with a cupboard door at church a couple of weeks ago, and it fell off onto her toe – she was very brave!)

I was *so* pleased to find some lovely soft pyjama elastic at John Lewis but had a little trouble getting used to it – you need to cut it a LOT smaller than normal elastic – the first time round, the trousers were so baggy they fell down quickly (which The Bee thought was hilarious!). Cue lots of unpicking and shortening. Secondly, the elastic’s so soft and thin that when you thread it through your waistband, it twists and turns much more easily than normal, so I spent a lot of time cursing unpicking sections of the waistband so that I could reach in and straighten it out. I ended up sewing the elastic in place at several points around the waist so that it has less chance of scrunching up again! Gah!

The Bee was very pleased with her new jamies, and The Smidge (now 16 months) helped her test them out by romping all over her big sister…

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A little star on the back for fun 🙂

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The finished PJs in use. No, not for sleeping, for playing of course!

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