For one pajamas I used 100% cotton double gauze fabric and 100% raw knit silk and for another pajamas I used 100% cotton knit fabric (very lightweight and almost see-through) and 100% silk chiffon for the back. For embellishments I used also silk chiffon fabric and elastic trims.
For best results I prewashed all fabrics and trims in warm water and used my dryer for the gauze and the cotton. As for the silk fabric and trims, I air dried it and afterwards ironed.
The prewashing added some more crinkliness to the cotton gauze, especially at the edges of the piece of fabric so I needed to iron the edges to make them smoother.
First top in kimono style
This top is made from 100% cotton double gauze and raw knit silk. I didn’t make a paper pattern for it, all pattern lines were drawn right on the fabrics.
You need to take only 2 measurements:
Front length (from neck to waist) and
For every sewing project you will need to find at least one straight edge of the fabric so afterwards you can advance from that line on. Fabric cut in the store is not always cut straight. Sometimes the bevel happens to be 5-10 cm or even more. It is very important to straighten fabric edges for any sewing projects BEFORE cutting pattern pieces from it.
AC and BD are equal 2 front lengths minus 15 cm (mine was 70 cm)
AB and CD are equal AE and CL = 30cm for all sizes, plus EG and GF = your ¼ waist and plus FB and MD = 30 cm as well (as AE)
Line GH is perpendicular to AB and is equal ½ AC
HI and HJ are both 9 cm for all sizes
HK is equal 4 cm for all sizes
The line GIKJ is the neckline of the top.
Cut it out.
Cut a rectangle with following sides: width is your waist measurement and length is half of your front length.
Measure the neckline you just cut (approximately) and cut a strip of silk chiffon 5 cm wide for the embellishment.
Cut also two rectangular pieces of the same knit fabric ( as you planned to use for the top’s bottom part) for sleeve cuffs 6 cm wide and 35 cm long for all sizes.
For sewing the top I used my serger with 4 thread overlosk stitch.
Useful tip: You don’t need to buy 4 cones of the same color thread for this 4 thread overlock stitch. I usually have one cone (sometimes 2) and then I use my regular sewing machine to put the thread on 3 bobbins. I use bobbins in my serger but they have to be covered with small spool holders as you can see in the image below.
Thread your serger with suitable threads, change needles if necessary, and try your serger settings for the fabric you are going to use.
Staystitch the neckline (on your regular sewing machine of course) so it doesn’t get stretched during construction.
Pin top and bottom parts right sides together and stitch.
Sew short edges of cuffs together and fold cuffs in half lengthwise while pressing.
Gather sleeves till they match the width of the cuffs. There are many methods of gathering fabric. I like the next one: sew two parallel lines of stitches with tension set to 0 and stitch length set to 4 or 5 mm.
Stitch cuffs to the sleeves.
I made a review of this thread on my blog, check it out if you are interested.
Now let’s make another one.
Second top with chiffon back and a peplum
For this top you will need to make a paper pattern using following measurements:
Draw a perpendicular line to A-A1 starting in A: A to F, equal with the ½ bust size. Mark the middle point and then mark two points 2cm left and right of the middle D2 and D3.
Draw a perpendicular line to A-F starting in F: F to G is equal to front length. The line F-G is parallel to A-A1. Mark a point E at a distance from F equal with ½ of back length ( same as A to D ). The line D-E is parallel to A-F. Mark the middle of this line as D1.
Mark a point G1 9cm from G ( G to G1 is 9cm ).
Draw a perpendicular to line G-F starting in G. Mark a point G2 8cm from G on this line. Line G2-G is parallel to A-F.
Draw a line perpendicular to A-A1 starting in A1. Mark a point C 8cm from A1 on this line. Mark a point C1 on this line at a distance from C equal to the measured shoulder length. A1 to C is 8 cm, C to C1 is shoulder length.
Draw a perpendicular to line A1-C1 starting in C1 and mark point C2 2.5 cm down from C1.
Draw a perpendicular to line C1-C2 starting in C2 towards line F-G as the image suggests. This new line is parallel to A1-C1 at a distance of 2.5 cm from line A1-C1.
Starting in point G2 marked earlier take a ruler and measure on it the distance measured above (C to C2). Mark as G3 the point where the distance from G2 to the line drawn in the previous step is equal with this distance. The image below suggests the action.
Same action for armhole lines D1-C2 and D1-G3.
The usage of the French curve tool is intuitive and I am trying to make the curve tangent to the target lines at both the start and end points. This is of course not an exact action but it is quite easy to find on the curve a portion that is as close to tangent as the naked eye can see at both points.
It already has seam allowances 1 cm. The only exception is the lower edge of the top where seam allowances are 1.5 cm (for attaching the peplum).
The grainline is parallel to lines A – A1 and F-G. Line A-A1 is the center back line and the line FG is the center front line.
The pattern is only suitable for stretch fabric, and I am sewing the top with 100% cotton knits.
Let me remind you about prewashing. I hope you did prewash the fabric before cutting as I advised you in the beginning of the article.
If cutting chiffon is a problem for you check out my tutorial
Cut a rectangular piece of fabric for a facing strip for the neckline (4 cm wide and the length is equal to your neckline plus 1 cm) and two rectangular pieces for facing strips for the armholes (4 cm wide and the length is equal your armhole plus 1 cm). For this you will need to measure your curved neckline and the armholes lines. Do it using your tape measure as I show it in the video below.
I am using my serger for most of the stitching and it’s a 4 thread overlock stitch.
Stitch shoulder seams and side seams.
Press seams. Fold all facing strips in half lengthwise while pressing.
Stitch short ends on all small rectangular pieces.
Change your serger to 3 thread overlock stitch (remove one needle and one thread). Stitch all facing strips to the neckline and to the armholes. Turn facing strips to the right side of the top, baste in place and press.