I have never sewn for my hubs before. I have mended clothing for him, but sewing and mending are completely different! I love to sew because I want to create clothing based on really great design that inspires me or from designs that I think up in my head. Mending clothing is grunt work that takes time away from the creative process. If I were to explain it to the hubs, I would tell him that sewing to create something new is like the process of buying a new car: all the planning involved with choosing colours and options, going for test drives and finally purchasing and driving a brand new car. Yay! Mending is like taking your car in for service because there is a gnarly dent in the bumper or something fails. Yuck.
For Valentine’s day, I made the hubs a pair of pajama pants. The hubs is very particular about his pajama pants: they must have pockets, must be lightweight cotton, not flannel, no drawstring, long enough for his legs without shrinking, with boring colours and if adventurous, maybe plaids. The problem with having a tall husband is that eventually, all pants will shrink and weirdly enough, his pant pockets will get caught on door handles and rip his pants. I have mended several pairs of his pajama pants.
I found this pattern and fabric at Fabric Outlet in San Francisco. The fabric is a light-weight charcoal 100% woven cotton chambray for shirting. After washing the fabric, it came out super soft. At 25% off, it was about $5/yard. The great thing about Fabric Outlet is that it is one block away from Grand Mission Donuts & Bakery. A couple of Saturdays ago, I went to San Francisco by myself and picked up some donuts after going to the Fabric Outlet. The soft, yummy treats sustained my energy to visit 3 more fabric shops, then end up in Union Square for some more shopping. Aside from driving in the city, it was a fabulous day-turned-evening exploring the city’s eclectic mix of fabric shops.
My first experience with sewing men’s clothing? Hmmm…
Soooo huge, right?? Nothing like the fit on the model on the pattern cover. I made them in XL because that’s what the hubs always wears in pajama pants. You could fit him and hide both Froo & Boo in each pant-leg.
The pattern didn’t have any pockets, so I added them myself by tracing the pockets from his current pajama pants and using this tutorial. It’s the same fabric that I used for the lining in Froo’s Burberry-Inspired School Coat and the placket inside her Kate Middleton Military Coat. I used the bar tack stitch from my sewing machine to secure the top and bottom of the pockets.
I also added a little Froo & Boo tag to the back of the waistband so the hubs knows the front from back.
But do you want to know the best part about making these pants? I got to test-drive my new serger! I am not sure why I waited so long before getting one–it’s pretty amazing. It hasn’t been changed from its factory settings yet, but I think Boo might have turned some dials when I wasn’t looking.
The dilemma… the pants have been made. The pants are huge. Now I have to mend them to fit the hubs? I would never have the patience to pick out all the serged seams. However, the serger comes with a cutting blade–I realized that I could serge the inside pant legs in one go, leaving the outside seams with pockets as they are. So I pinned and marked 2″ from the middle crotch seam and drew a straight line to the bottom of each pant-leg opening. Then I used the line as a guide to serge the inside pant seams. Et voila!
Version 2.0 of the hubs’ pajama pants. Much better. Maybe it’s better because they are on the hubs. I think he’s happy with them.
I had to give the hubs his Valentine’s gift early because he almost bought a pair of pajama pants when we went shopping and seemed upset that I wouldn’t let him buy them. He was genuinely surprised that I sewed something for him–it once took me a year to stitch a button for him. Oops.
This year, the hubs has been incredibly thoughtful with my gifts. He usually ignores Valentine’s day, hoping I would too (ha!), but Froo gets really excited about Valentine’s day and wouldn’t let any of us forget it. I recently emailed him a link to David Lebovitz’s blog post on Dandelion chocolate in San Francisco. Yesterday, this showed up in the mail:
The packaging is exquisite. I can’t wait to try it.
But that’s not all, the hubs also surprised me with something he had designed on his own. I was really shocked. When we were dating, my nickname for him was “Tin Man” so I was forewarned. I was worried that Froo might be half-robot when she said to me, “Mommy, I can feel my heart beeping.”