Tag Archives: Kwik sew

Rose-pink bloomers or: I go all whimsical again

30 Jun
How to wear your jammies all day long without anyone realising: make rose-pink bloomery-drawersy-thingies out of your fave jammie trouser pattern!
(I should have held the camera above my head to create a halo from the flash and look reeeeeelly silly!)
  • Pattern/company
Butterick 4406
PJ trousers from this pattern
*sigh* This photo was the right way up on my computer. Could you all just turn your heads to look at it? Eventually I will work out how to make these photos better.
Circular ruffle from this pattern:
Kwik Sew 2756
  • Fabric/trims/notions used
Cotton homespun in rose pink. 6mm elastic. Black polyester flower trim
  • Useful info
I showed mum the drawers-thingies before the black flower trim was on it. “Too much!” she cried. “Too much colour and ruffle and not enough … something…” was her, er, useful verdict.
I stuck to my plan and added the black flower trim. Voila, it worked! The trim defined the entire look, and even my mum thought it was ok. *phew*
At first I did a narrow turned hem on the circular ruffle –  turn the edge over once, edgestich it, turn that over and edgestitch it again. But the cotton was just too firm. Even after a good press it looked awful, so I braved the rolled-hem stitch on the overlocker. I’m glad I did as the rolled hem looks 10 times better than the narrow hem. However it come out so neatly when the ruffle was on the bias, which, given it was a circular ruffle, there were patches of bias, and patches of on grain hem edge. Nothing I could do about it, and I’m not sure if anything except fiddling with tension and just good old-fashioned practise will fix that for next time.
If anyone has any suggestions on this, I would love to hear!
I used the double-elastic waistband technique described for the Madeleine Mini Bloomers by Colette. Instead of using one wider width of elastic, you use two rows of narrower elastic. In the Mini Bloomers I had about 6mm between the elastic channels but for these drawers-thingies I ran the channels right next to each other and it worked just as well.
Why did I do this? Well it is more delicate than a big thick slice of elastic, but has the same holding power. A lovely and effective technique.
The original drawer-thingies in rayon cupro were very drapey, flattering even in a wide-legged elastic-waisted, no extra shaping trouser pattern. I was worried the cotton homespun would be too crisp to work well. However the ruffle and trim weighs it down so it sits flatteringly over my hips. Also I have mostly waist-defining tops, which helps. (The one in the piccie isn’t, of course, just to prove the rule!)
  • Inspiration for the garment
I first made a pair of um shorts? Drawers? bloomers? years ago. I have no picture because back then we only had one digital camera that had cost us a fortune and took crap photos. Ahhh, remember the days?
The drawers-thingies started life one cold dry season, (aka what passes for winter here) as full-length pyjama trousers from this pattern,in a delicious mushroom rayon cupro. Soft and flowing. Then the build-up came (aka the hot stinky humid season). I lopped the trousers off just above the knee and added a circular ruffle of  a leftover rayon/cotton fabric with mushroom-coloured roses that matched the cupro exactly.
It needed just a touch of added extra something, so I did a row of simple embroidery just above the ruffle (my sewing machine sadly only does simple embroidery – but I love it anyway!)
They were delicious and perfect and comfortable – after all I was wearing some jammie trousers!
I don’t think I have a photo of them, but if I ever discover on hidden away somewhere I’ll definitely blog about them.
Tragedy struck when they got some bleached spots. The mother of invention came to my rescue. I cut out some roses from the leftover fabric and appliqued them artistically over the bleached spots. and a few other places to make it look deliberate. It turned out very nicely, and saved the day. Well, saved the drawers-thingies, actually.
Ever since I’ve been very fond of this general style of garment. So easy to wear! Soft and swishy and feminine, with all the convenience (and coolness) of shorts.
I’ve made a few from the drawers from Folkwear Edwardian Underthings (click on it to go to the site). I haven’t blogged about the drawers from this pattern. Must do so! But the presumably period-style crotch is not as comfortable for this modern gal as my pyjama pattern which is a bog-standard modern crotch shape, hence I prefer using that.
  • Cost
Fabric: cotton homespun 2m @ $6pm. Half a metre left over for little girl’s dolls dresses… ;-P
Trim: 2m @ $4
Threads and elastic from my stash
Patterns – Jammie pattern – Butterick 4406: third use
Kwik-sew 2756 skirt pattern – 4 skirts already from it and I’ve lost count how many times I’ve used that ruffle pattern piece.
Total: $20
  • Last word

I wore them to my pilates class the other day. The teacher’s reaction was “Oh are we having a fashion show today? They are so beautiful!” Always nice to get random compliments on clothes you’ve sewn! For the record, they work just fine for a pilates class. No binding or catching.

Wandering round in jammie trousers is a very comfortable way of spending the day. Highly recommended!

A few butterflies

17 Jun

I had one of those days mice and men often have, where nothing goes right. Not that much went wrong either, I just didn’t achieve anything I set out to today. I came home and sulked for half an hour then hit the cutting table. And the ironing board. And the sewing machine. And the overlocker.

Oh I feel so much better!


I saw some gorgeous huge sorta retro-style butterfly craft fabric at Spotlight the other day. I had to get some. But of course, as I have my no-fabric-buying moratorium until September (so tedious…) I can’t buy fabric for new projects, only to complete existing ones in some way (embellishments included).

So, I thought, what can I use this on as an embellishment? (Ahem, working backwards like that really wasn’t what I had in mind when I made my moratorium…)

When I did my recent wardrobe cleanout I discarded the skirt part of this ensemble. The top (Burda 2964, my review here) is lovely, but for some reason I just never liked the skirt, in spite of asking trusted friends what they thought of it, and being reassured it looks great.


Anyway, the skirt was pulled out of the “to go to op-shop” bag, and is no longer as pictured, at all. It has a big retro-style butterfly appliqued on it! I also added a triangular piece of the original fabric leftover to the hem at the higher part, making the hemline more interesting.

It looks fantastic!!! Huh! Sooooo pleased with it!

I plan to put add a little ruffle along the hem too. I think part of the issue with the skirt was the same as this skirt that I also discarded. The fabric is just too light for the straight style of skirt. A ruffle will give it a bit of weight, helping it to hang that bit better and add a bit of visual weight to the hem too. (She hopes ;-P)

More butterflies:

The butterflies were part of a quilting panel. Spotlight wouldn’t let me buy just one strip of it – I had to buy the entire panel with 4 big butterflies on it. Oh dear! What on earth could I do with all those extra butterflies?

Well, my sister-in-law is getting a new skirt based on Kwik sew 2765, an ancient copy I picked up at an op-shop long ago and quickly became TNT. I am happily using up some gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous kingfisher blue cotton poplin from my stash, as well as a spare butterfly.

Plus, as she is in the Southern Highlands of NSW and it is the middle of winter, the cotton poplin seems insanely thin, so I am also using up a bit more of my stash in making her a petticoat. I would say more, but she has been known to read this blog, and I am looking forward to surprising her with it. So no photos yet (besides it was well and truly dark by the time I called it a night on my projects).

Yes, in the was all satisfyingly productive.

Now a lazy half hour in front of the telly with my new yarn and cardigan pattern seems a great way to end the day.

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