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Friday, February 11, 2011

Pattern Review: McCall's 3370 Pajamas


I find February to be a challenging time for sustainable living.  I've started the first garden seed (peppers, which I started this year on January 24), but there is little else going on in the gardening department.  I've been quilting and sewing fleece socks, but these are not new projects.

So, this year I have committed to teaching myself some more sewing skills.  And I'm going to take you along for the ride.  I'm not intending to make my own ballroom dance gowns (much to Mr. FC&G's chagrin, because that would indeed be a savings!), but I think I can save a few bucks by sewing the basics.

This project is from a McCall's 3370 pattern, which includes options for PJ pants, tops, short- and long-sleeve tunics, and a robe.  I got my pattern on a 99 cent sale at my local fabric store.

What you see above is a fleece tunic from this pattern.  Rest assured (and look at the photo of me to your left, please), that I am not that enormous.  I like my sleepwear floppy and roomy and cozy (again, probably to Mr. FC&G's chagrin), and this pattern didn't disappoint.  In fact, the next time I make a tunic, I may make one size down.

If you have basic, straight seam sewing skills, this pattern will come together in no time.  The tunic is comprised of front and back pieces, plus sleeves.  Since I was making it in fleece, I opted not to make inner facing and simply to turn down and hem the neckline.

One modification to the pattern instructions:  (If you sew, this will make sense; if you don't, you will be fine following the enclosed pattern instructions the first time out.)  The pattern wants you to sew the front and back totally together, leaving arm holes, then sew the sleeves into tubes, then sew the sleeve-tubes to the arm holes.  That's a lot of circles in my book.

Instead, I sewed the shoulder seams of the tunic, then laid it flat and pinned the flat sleeve pieces to the shoulder curves and sewed it up.  Then, I sewed the entire side of the tunic, from fingertip of the sleeve to the bottom hem, all in one straight seam.  It worked great.

The Analysis:

Fast:  I cut and sewed this tunic in about an hour.  It was really very pleasant work.

Cheap:  As stated, I got the pattern on a 99 cent sale and got enough fleece with a coupon for $15.  Therefore, I got this tunic for $16 to replace a flannel nightshirt that I had loved to death.  I had been pricing nightshirts elsewhere, and something comparable was probably going to come in at about $50.  Savings:  $35, not bad for an hour of effort. (And I won't have to re-buy the pattern to sew pants or a short sleeve tunic.)

Good:  My new nightshirt is soft and warm and just the thing to get me through the next month or so of cold, until that garden is started in earnest.
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