I’m continuing to toil away making Christmas gifts, but due to the fact that my family and friends read this site, I can’t really get away with spoiling the surprise by posting many photos here! But my friend (and will-be bridesmaid!) Pip is a lady who knows what she wants, and who knows to get her gift requests in early, so hers isn’t a surprise at all!
She had a pair of RTW pyjamas that she really liked, except that they were made in polyester satin and she’d much rather they were made of silk for comfort’s sake. So I took her specifications and found that Jalie 2686 was almost identical to her other pair of pyjamas. On top of the fabric difference, Pip also wanted to leave off the chest pocket and turn the half-elastic, half-drawstring waist into an entirely drawstring one, both of which were easy changes with this pattern.
So I ordered the pattern, got fresh measurements from Pip, and bought some beautiful purple silk charmeuse from Classic Textiles on Goldhawk Road, which (you’ll recall) I ran all the way home with.
As soon as I received the sheep fabric given to me by Brian and Sharon in the post, I knew I’d be making some comfy pyjamas from it in the form of Jalie 2686, which, you’ll remember, I’ve already made in purple silk for my friend Pip.
They’re not quite as luxurious as the silk, but they’ve still got a silky sheen to them, they’re super soft, and the one big advantage over silk is that I can throw these in the washing machine without fear.
What better to round out my current purple and grey kick than by using up the silk charmeuse leftover from Pip’s purple pyjamas! I used the Toypes top pattern, #76,
from Patrones 261 (borrowed and traced from my Patrones benefactor, Zoe), which I’ve had languishing in my pattern catalogue for nearly a year now.
I had just enough fabric to make this top and a full lining, though I opted to leave out the tie waistband and instead just lengthen the bottom by two inches to compensate…
When my good friends Brian and Sharon heard the news that I’m likely to be spending time in hospital soon, they sent me a parcel out of the blue, with a huge box of crayons and a colouring book (for something to do in a hospital bed!) and about 4 yards of this:
There was a note attached, too: “To make comfy lounge pants”! I’m not one to disregard notes so I reckon I’ll be turning these wee sheep into Jalie 2686 that I recently made in purple silk for Pip. It’s nice to have proper pyjamas when you’re in a situation when they might be seen by other people…
And speaking of Pip, we exchanged gifts last week and she got me the fabulous Fashioning Technology book.
I’ve been doing loads more Christmas sewing but I can only show you the barest amount since so many friends and family read the site. But that just means there’s going to be a glut of posts going up between Christmas and New Year, plus I just got two KnipModes so I can show you my picks from October through January, plus I got gifted the Twinkle Sews book so I’ve got loads to say about that, plus it’s soon time for my year end roundup! So lots coming up, and it’s probably a good thing we’re staying at home over the holidays!
But first, two gifts I can show you some peeks of… My friend Pip has cottoned on to the fact that I can make her things in silk that cost way less than in the shops – last year it was the silk pyjamas, but this year she really wanted silk pillowcases, so I made her a pair in black silk charmeuse based on the measurements of my own cases, plus I added a bit of contrast reverse side and a line of piping to jazz it up a bit.
And even though James reads the site, he had so much input into his sweatshirt that it’s hardly going to be a surprise on Christmas morning!
You may remember that last Fall I helped a friend test a bunch of budget sewing machines for a major newspaper, and one of the machines was a tiny, red John Lewis Mini sewing machine. John Lewis is a chain of high quality department stores in the UK (and the only one which still maintains a haberdashery and fabric department) and this is one of their own branded machines, though it’s actually a Janome under the hood. If you had any doubts – when you order these off the John Lewis website, it comes shipped directly from Janome UK!
Anyway I didn’t have much need for a tiny, portable machine back in October, but happily James’s parents thought I might like to do a bit of sewing in hospital and gave me this for my birthday!
As I knew before, it’s definitely got its limitations, but as a second, portable machine, it should do nicely for me. It is really tiny, and very lightweight – the instruction manual for it is printed on bigger paper than the machine itself, and even I can lift it with one arm! It doesn’t have any accessories, or a light, for that matter, but it sews well, and through denim, too, being a sturdy mechanical Janome.
Now all my Christmas presents are done, I’m home free to sew more for myself! So coming up in the next few weeks you should find the following…
- James’s birthday sweatshirt is finished and seeing as how his birthday is TODAY, he got to unwrap it this morning! Now it’s just waiting for its grand photoshoot…
- The navy silk dress that gave me all the bias problems is now fixed and finished and awaiting a very chilly photoshoot…