Sunday, May 15, 2011

Aaackk..It's Spiders, Camo Spiders!!!

This is my TNT boy's pajama pattern, Simplicity 2771. I say boy's because I just have never used it yet for girl's jammies. I like that it doesn't have a collar, the facing its turned to the outside and it uses piping for accents on the outside facing, sleeves, and pocket. 

I sew in units and the first thing I usually attack are the details. I made and installed the pocket and piped facing. Today I will show you the pocket as it handles the piping issue a little differently than some other patterns I have seen.  

The pocket consists of a lower pocket, and a band of fabric folded in half at the top of the pocket with piping in between. First you make the piping and attach it to the top of the pocket on the right side (top right pic, sorry for the blurs).As with any piping installation you do not want cording in your seam allowances. With your nail or some tweezers pull out the cord until you feel the SA on the opposite side empty. You should have 5/8ths of an inch of cord in your fingers. Now put a pin in the piping to secure the cord. Pull again some more until you have another 5/8 ths of an inch pulled out. You should have 1 1/4 inch of cord showing. Now snip it off at the edge. Let the cording retreat back into the piping and you should have each seam allowance free of any cord. This is really important in order to get a sharp fold on the pocket edge. 

Next you take the band and the pocket right sides together and stitch a hair inside the piping stitching line (top left drawing). Grade seams and press toward the band. You can see in the drawing that the band seam allowance has been pressed under and trimmed on the free side. Fold the band over, right sides together so that the pressed edge meets the piping, not crosses it (middle pic on right). Stitch across the band and continue stay stitching along the seam line around the pocket and back across the band on the other side. Doing the pocket this way really helps keep the bulk down and gives you a sharp edge in the piped area. Trim and turn the band to the right side and fold under the SAs on the stay stitching line and press under. The pocket is now ready to stitch to the bodice. 
Nearly all patterns give you little more than two dots to match the top corners of your pockets to. I find that isn't always conducive to accuracy. I run a 1/4 inch width of masking tape from dot to dot and then at right angles down the sides. Now I can place the pocket perfectly.
Last but not least comes the topstitching. Don't attempt to topstitch over your piping. Topstitch the lower pocket up to the piping and bring threads to the back and tie off. Start fresh and topstitch separately each side of the band once again bringing threads to the back and tieing off.  I like to finish my topstitching at the corners with a tiny zigzag.

I think doing the pocket band the way shown here makes for a much neater finished piped pocket than just folding under the edges. I also handled the facing a bit differently, again due to the piping, and will show you that tomorrow. Isn't this cute fabric? If I were a three year old little boy who is really into bugs I know I sure would like it. Can't wait to see Zackie's face when he sees his bug jammies....Bunny


  1. Thanks Bunny, that sounds like the perfect piped pocket! I'll remember this for next time I make PJ's. Love the spider too :-) the perfect little boy PJ's.

  2. A beautifully constructed pocket. And, yes, I imagine he's gonna love it. :)

  3. Thanks for the construction tips. I'll remember your post if I ever want to try something like this.

    Spiders! I couldn't bear it. I am a little bit afraid of spiders. A day after daughter number 2 was born, I went to climb into bed. I pulled back the bed sheet, and there was a really big, thick black spider scampering along the sheets. My husband couldn't catch it, and I was hysterical (and probably a little hormonal) I took my precious baby and went to sleep in the living room. My poor husband!

    I am sure a little boy will love it!

  4. Super cute, Zack is a lucky boy! My son isn't so crazy about bugs, but I have some Dinosaur Camo that needs to become pj's now...

  5. Thanks for sharing the tips about pockets and piping. I especially like the tape tip. P.J.s are next on my list of items to sew.
    Thanks again for the timely tips.

  6. Zackie is going to be thrilled! What little boy wouldn't love these?

    Exactly where is the tiny zigzag? Your pocket looks great. I especially like your tip about not stitching over the piping. Why didn't I think of that?

    Lately I have been using 1/4 " Steam A Seam for perfect pocket placement and it works well.

  7. What is it about spiders....even in a beautiful pocket like this...great technique!

  8. I do not often comment on a blog but yours is super awesome!!!! It is a daily go-to. I try to absorb every detail of your tutes and apply them........especially when I am making a bag which is my favourite thing to do.

  9. Great technique on the pocket. Your grandson is going to love these.

  10. You are the only person I know who would pay such wonderful attention to such minute details as to NOT top stitching over piping ON A PAIR OF PAJAMAS!!!!!!!!!!! LOL I love it... I've learned several tricks from this post & I also love that you are so anal-retentive, neurotically passionate about stuff like this!


    ps I hope you know I'm being funny & in no way critical. total admiration, honest.

  11. Looks great - I know my son would love those pajamas, too! I do that with the piping, too. For the jacket I just made, it was really critical to get that piping out of the seam lines so that everything would press smoothly and lie flat.

  12. Great pocket technique. Those pjs are super--perfect for a little boy, who loves bugs! I recently had a BD party of one of my grandsons, with a Spiderman theme. I had black spiderwebs hung all over my house! Oh, and one of my grandsons name is--Zachary!

  13. Now THAT is a great-lookin' pocket...spiders and all. I really appreciate your piping tips. It's zippers...that I tend to avoid because I'm never sure how to do it correctly. I'm learning a lot here, though...and I MAY be brave enough to give it a try in the near future!



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