Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Vintage Pajamas for the Young Gentleman

Each time I sew with a vintage pattern I am reminded how amazing and lovely they are.  There are markings galore (seam allowances, seam joining numbers, what to do, hem allowances, etc), detailed steps and pictured steps, pieces fit together correctly, and things turn out wonderful and professional looking.

The only bad part of sewing with vintage patterns is that I'm super sensitive to the smell.  I seriously have to wear a mask and gloves when I trace the patterns. :(  Sadly I still tend to break out in hives.  I'm not sure why either. Did every vintage person sew with a cat maybe?  Anyway, it is a small price to pay for the beautiful patterns that result.  After I trace them onto my own tissue paper (You can see my post on what I use and why- here), then I am good to go.

McCall's 3041

I had this adorable pattern for Mr. T with the intent on making him a martial arts looking bathrobe.  That never happened. I realized it was a size 10 and T is pushing into a 12 so if I was to use this pattern, the time is now.

The fabric has it's own story.  I purchased it from in May 2014 - 1.5 yards.  It is called Kaufman Pinpoint Oxford Stretch Shirting Blue. I had hoped to make a dress shirt for T out of it but it was too light in color.  I attempted to return it, received a refund of a whole $7.41, but didn't want me to ship it back to them.  So it was free fabric I guess.  Now I kind of feel bad because the fabric is lovely.  It is soft, but crisp enough. It washes well and sews just beautifully.  I am going to see about getting it in different colors.  I could see a button up shirt for me as well as one for T out of this.  Oh, it also has just a touch of lycra in the cotton for a tiny bit of stretch. I highly recommend it.  

Back to the pattern:  It called for 1.75 yards. I had no problem getting the main pieces from the 1.5 yards of blue.  I then used some stashed "Geeks gone wild" (hoarded and beloved) fabric left over from T's amazing bathrobe (that he never wears, sniff sniff) for the accents of pocket, back facing, and front v-neck part.  

I'll start with them because they are fast and easy.  I just fit them on the folded piece of fabric.  They ended up JUST fitting. So if I made this again I'd widen them about a 1/2 inch on each side.  There is just one pattern piece for the shorts. I made a mock fly instead of the actual fly because I cut my fly facing the wrong way :( and then decided I didn't want to mess with the pattern directions on it.  So I just used my fast and easy way (seen in drawing on this post). I lowered the rise on these by 2.25 inches (talk about high waisted shorts!) because I knew T wouldn't like them that high.  I also sewed the elastic to the top edge, flipped it over, and then cover-stitched.  I didn't want to mess with a casing. 

Mr. T is a little bit larger in the waist and hip than the pattern calls for - so I added 1/2" to the bottom hip area in front and back pieces, then tapered this up to nothing at the armpit.  I also added 3/4" to the length of the shirt because T likes his longer. The sleeve had 3 inches of ease to squeeze in! It was exhausting.  I have a tiny bit of puckering on both but I'm ok with them.  Next time I would try to reduce that ease, the sleeves have plenty of room for T to move around in without it all. 

The only snag I ran into was attaching the v-neck part together. I couldn't grasp what the pattern asked for.  After doing the back yoke I realize now what the front wanted.  You fold and iron the SA to the right side of the shirt, then fold the SA on the V-neck part to the wrong side of itself.  After this you place the V on to the shirt and stuff the shirt SA under the folded V SA and top-stitch.  Whew. Confusing.  I just did my own thing and it turned out fine.  

The Fit: 
As I mentioned, the shorts just fit.  The top fits nice.  These turned out really cute and I couldn't be happier. 

Can you believe this was the only thing I managed to sew for the Pattern Stash contest at PR?  Last year I did so well, this year the lure of new patterns grabbed hold of me.  

July Totals:
(stash is anything purchased before this year)
Stash used: 4.75 yards
Fabric Out: 10 yards
Fabric In: 11.5 yards

Totals for the year to date:
Stash sew this year: 35.75 yards
Fabric out in 2014: 129.5 yards
Fabric in 2014: 141.25 yards

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~


  1. This was a lovely post to read. I love vintage patterns, too but luckily I don't react to them like you do. I'm assuming they are clean and dry (I'm thinking mould spores)? Anyhow, I know what you mean about neat results and also (sadly) sleeve cap ease. They just seemed to overdo it which is fine if you want gathers everywhere but anyway, these look great. If Mr T outgrew the shorts quick you could always make up larger ones in a colour from the trim of the top. It turned out so well it would be nice if it got some wear!

    1. Philippa you are so smart! That must be it. I never thought about mold spores - and I'm very, very allergic to mold. (Now I'm kind of creeped out, LOL) I've taken to freezing my vintage things for a week or two in freezer bags with baking soda to help with the smell - I hope it helps with the mold too.
      I sure wish I could make him some with that awesome fabric - I only have scrap pieces left but perhaps I could manage with a 2 piece short pattern instead of a 1. hmm. That is a great idea! Thanks Philippa!

  2. I've heard about more people that react to vintage paper patterns. I can't remember who, but I wonder if it wasn't Lauren of Wearing History. Probably dust or mould spores.Too bad!
    The pajama set looks lovely :)

    1. Thanks Siri! I'm glad I'm not the only one :D Sometimes I feel like such an odd ball. I'll have to head over and read her blog a bit more - love her stuff! And either the dust or mold would do me in - allergic to both!
      Hopefully I will be motivated to sew more of my vintage lovelies :D

  3. These are so cute.. I love vintage patterns.

    1. Thanks Judy! I keep saying I was born in the wrong era!

  4. I need to start looking at vintage patterns! What a great pj set. Love the background in your photos.

    1. You should Shirley! I love them! And thanks! We took down our old barn 2ish years ago and this is the base that remains. We plan to have it excavated soon -but I find it beautiful!


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