One challenge about these remnant fabrics I’m using for my alternate Carolyn pajamas is that the bolt size is quite narrow. (I think they’re Japanese?) For instance, it wasn’t possible to cut the two pattern pieces for the pant legs side by side. As I was cutting, and being left with these long narrow bits of fabric alongside each of the leg cuts, I decided to cut the waistband and the pockets on the cross-grain — meaning the stripes would run horizontally instead of vertically — thereby using that otherwise wasted bit of fabric and preserving my remaining yardage. It also meant I could lay the straight edge of those two pattern pieces along the selvage, which is a lovely red stripe. In the case of the pocket, that straight edge becomes the bottom edge of the pockets, which also meant I didn’t have to do any kind of finishing on that edge, since it wasn’t raw — I could preserve the selvage and save a step in one fell swoop.
Unfortunately, I didn’t think it through with the waistband, which I was sewing via my usual elastic waistband method rather than with the concealed seam allowance as written in the pattern. I could have zigzagged the non-selvage edge of the band and been careful to make sure it got attached with the selvage side on view, but I had already prepped it the wrong way around, so that bit got serged off. Nevertheless, I’m happy to have that little strip of red across the pocket bottoms!
In deciding to turn the stripes sideways, I also decided not to even think about the pattern matching and just let it be however it turned out. (They are pajamas, after all.) To my great surprise and delight, the pocket stripes miter in a way that totally looks like I meant to do it! Love it when that happens.
– See these Carolyn pajama pants
– Lean how I sew elastic waistbands
PREVIOUSLY in FOs: Pajama pant perfection
They look so tailored!
My goodness! The end result is so beautiful and looks so beautifully designed. You are a skillful, thoughtful, hardworking, talented natural!
The pocket mitering looks so fancy! I’m always tempted to, and sometimes do, cut pieces on the cross grain, trying to maximize my fabric, but I wonder if there isn’t just a slight bit more give in the crosswise grain. In your pockets, pajamas and waistbands it doesn’t matter and makes a nice statement. Do you know the answer?
I don’t know for sure, but definitely felt like it wouldn’t be a big issue for a pocket lining and a waistband that’s elasticized anyway.
There IS almost always a little more give in the crosswise grain, because those threads are the weft—they aren’t held taut on the loom the way the warp is, and they go over and under the warp threads. But as long as you know that and plan accordingly like Karen did, it’s fine to cut some pieces that way.
(More on how fabric is woven and why it matters for sewing: https://www.seamwork.com/issues/2015/11/livesoflooms )
Thank you so much for the link, Tasha – that’s gone straight into Evernote!
Most fabrics have more give on cross wise grain.
Very professional looking.
I really like how you did those pockets. Is that part of the pattern or your hack? If your design, are there instructions someplace? These would add less bulk than other designs.
They’re straight from the pattern. The only thing I did differently was to cut them on the cross-grain, as described above.
Karen-is this the Robbie pants pattern? I was just looking at online and those pockets just look like patch pockets. Do they give you alternate constructions–or is this even another pattern. And thanks for your reply?
These are Carolyn Pajamas.
The Robbie pants do have patch pockets — I make mine version with my own pocket mods.
Selvage is always my favorite bit of the fabric and I save every inch for something. Lovely pants.