Friday, April 27, 2012

Tutorial: Pyjama Pockets! - Part 2

I posted part 1 of this tutorial, how to draft the pockets, the other day, and here is the second part

How To Sew The Pockets.

After you've altered the pattern to draft the pockets you need to cut out your pattern pieces. You'll need:
- Pyjama Front Leg (x2)
- Inside Pocket (x2)
- Pocket Back (x2)
- Pyjama Back leg (x2, not pictured)

(as I ran out of PJ fabric my pocket back has a "patch" of the print on the top corner where it's visible and the rest is in a plain poplin, hopefully this won't confuse you)

First you need to sew the pocket back to the inside pocket pieces. Place the inside pocket on top of the pocket back, right sides together:

And sew along the bottom and centre most sides, as indicated in pink here:


Once you've stitched, also finish the edges. If you want you could also sew these two seams as french seams.

Now turn it over and fold back the pocket back:

Now turn it back over and line up the diagonal edge of the inside pocket with the diagonal line on the PJ front leg piece:

The fabric will be right sides together, with the pocket back folded out of the way in between the two. Sew along the diagonal line (marked in pink below) and finish the edge:

If you fold the pocket back round to the inside of the PJ front piece you'll start to see your pocket take shape:

Press the diagonal seam you just stitched. I like to topstitch mine to hold the edge of the pocket nice and flat. Usually with just one line of stitching, but here there are two:

Now you need to baste the edges of your pockets to the edges of the PJ front pattern piece to make it easier to sew the PJs together. Where you need to baste is shown here in pink:

Now you should have a PJ front leg pattern piece with a pocket that can be treated the same way as if it didn't have the pocket there:

I assemble my PJs by sewing together the two front pieces at the centre front seam, and then the two back pieces at the centre back seam, and then sewing the front to the back at the seams along the inside and outside of the leg.

The last step is to attach the casing for the elastic. I do this step slighly differently to how i've read instructions to do it, as I find it gives me more flexibility with altering the length of the elastic after assembling the PJs.

I cut a strip of the fabric double the width of the elastic plus 2x seam allowances - so for 2cm elastic (a good width for this I think) and 1cm seam allowances, I would cut a strip a smidge over 6cm wide (2x2cm + 2x1cm = 6cm).

Next fold the strip in half length ways and pin it to the top of the pyjamas, lining up the raw edges:

At the point where the ends of the two strips join (I usually line this up with a side seam) I fold back the ends inside of the strip so that they meet but the raw edges are enclosed:

(It's a little hard to describe, hopefully the pictures make sense)

Then you need to sew the band to the top of the pyjamas and finish the raw edges.

Next, it's best to top stitch just below the seam, so the seam allowances stay facing downwards (towards the legs, away from the waistband):

Last, thread your elastic through the casing and adjust it to the desired length. You can then hand stitch the tiny opening in the waistband closed, but I tend to wait a few uses to make sure I'm happy with the elastic length - I've found that it's often too loose to start with and I want to tighten it.

As well as this increased flexibility in working out the elastic length, I prefer sewing the waistband like this and leaving a small section to hand sew closed, rather than the normal way of sewing the waistband into a tube and then leaving a gap where you've not attached it to add the elastic as I find it's easier to do than to pull the unattached bit flat with elastic in it.

Anyway, all you have left to do now is try on your PJs to check the length and hem the bottom!

Look! PJs, with pockets:

I hope that this tutorial has been of use. If you have any questions please ask them in the comments and I'll do my best to answer them.

1 comment:

  1. This is pretty much how I do my own pockets, reduces bulk and it's handy when you are working with limited yardage. I'm sure a lot of people will find it useful.


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