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Slumber Cats, AKA What To Do With Fabric You HATE!

Recently, my friend hosted Girls Night Over Pajama Party! With this in mind, I decided to take a chance an order the Sleepwear Mystery Bundle from several weeks back. For $12, I get 2.5 yards each of a flannel, knit and flannel backed satin. That's lots of fabric, and I was feeling adventurous. Fast forward to delivery and hoo. I was disappointed! Really, what did I expect for $12?

My bundle contained:

  • White Flannel Backed Satin. At first I thought it was really great, then I handled it and realized it is so thin. The "flannel" backing is really just a brushed back. It's a terrible silky poly, and shreds the second you glance at it. I think it's natural state is puckered. At least at the seams. 
  • Baby Blue t-shirt jersey. As it turns out, this is the best cut of the bunch. It's a standard t-shirt weight jersey. I think it's just a 2-way stretch and it's thin without being flimsy. It will make nice shirts. But it's not at all a color I would choose for myself. This color of sky/baby blue screams little kid to me.
  • the Flannel. OH, I had such hopes for the flannel. I will say that it's a nice flannel fabric-wise. However, the print: I wanted to just toss it straight out. Fushia pink (I could deal with that) peppered with white with black polka dot CATS and little black bows. NOOOOO. I hate cats. I play for the dog team.
I realize I'm taking a risk admitting here in the sewing community how much I despise those creepy, arrogant, hairy creatures, but it's the truth. So, my bundle sat in the corner of my office, discarded, for a couple weeks.  "A waste," I thought. Maybe one day I'll have a reason to use it for a muslin or a rag quilt to give away to some cat-loving family with a little girl.

Then my funk hit.

Uninspired. Everything I have embarked on lately just isn't turning out or develops some PIA problem. I started feeling like my skills are lacking and I'm not currently capable of finishing things in the way I've envisioned them. I've already spent time complaining about that, so I won't bore you anymore. What I will say is that since my last post, I feel like I've been trying to rush through my projects to the end so that I can start on another one that's be percolating in my brain too long. I came to the conclusion that I'm taking my sewing too seriously! That's when I realized that I needed to do something fun and easy. Something I'm not in a hurry to finish and can get creative with. I needed to make something with my cat flannel.

This was the plan. Cat Flannel, Brushed Back Satin, matching fuchsia blanket binding and white with black dots grosgrain ribbon. That pink rib knit is something I just happened to have in my stash. I bought it long before the bundle. Some random $1.99/yard Walmart fabric picked up to practice new knit patterns. Coincidence? 

I started the first of the pieces with New Look 6072. It's only 2 pattern pieces and so I didn't even look at the directions to make it. I used french seams to make sure the inside looked nice and neat. I didn't bother with the trim pieces. Instead, I picked up fuchsia blanket binding for the sleeves and front/neck. I had intended to add pleated grosgrain polka dot ribbon trim between the fuchsia and white so that it wouldn't look so plain, but that detail was edited out after the Mandolin Indecent (we'll talk about that later). As I saw on the only existing blog entry for this pattern I could find, I added a waist channel on the inside and ran through some 1.5 inch dot ribbon as a tie. My friends tell me it looks like a boxing robe. Maybe I should add "Sewing Vortex" to the back in iron on letters.

After a quick Google search and after lots of reading, I settled on this free slippers pattern. Although, I constructed them as described here. Instead of batting, I used some memory foam shoe insoles for cushioning. They are pretty comfy to wear, and I think with just a little tweaking  my next, non-cat version will be perfect.

The pants are standard elastic waist pj pants made with Simplicity 2414. I trimmed the top and cuffs with the satin to break up all that pink. My first attempt had pink piping inserted between the white waistband and the pant, but with the french seaming, it was WAY too stiff and stuck out like a hula-hoop. I pulled it out and ripped out the cording and used it as flat piping around the white cuffs instead.

I had fully intended to make a little t-shirt to wear with this, and after 2 days of sewing a couple different options, I scrapped the idea. I made these adorable short rouched ragglan sleeves out of the cat flannel. First I attached them to pink ribbed shirt, but HOLY TOO MUCH PINK! I pulled them off and at 11:30 the night before the party, sacrificed one of hubby's white t-shirts to the sewing gods and used it for a white t-shirt version. The stretch was much firmer and sadly it didn't fit at all. I even tried to add a panel down the side seams to give me some extra room, but it wasn't working.

The ridiculousness of short flannel sleeves brings me such joy. Silly.
I'm debating on getting some white jersey just to finish it, but then again, the moment is sort of over.

It's worth noting that about a week before the party, I had an accident with a kitchen utensil with which I sliced off part of the side of my right ring finger (pinky side). The following elements of my Slumber Cats were completed with my maimed hand: hand stitching closed the insides of the slippers, the waistband and cuffs of the pants, the t-shirts and the pleating/attaching of the ribbon on the pants pocket.

I will be purchasing knife gloves before using my mandolin again,

These Pajamas will not get me Grown Up Time with the hubby, but they will get me Giggle Time with the girlfriends. A woman needs that too!


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