Putting a Patch Pocket on Pajama Pants

Found a bargain on pajama pants last week, and I needed some new ones.  On clearance for $8, bright pink and peach plaid.  If you’ve been to Old Navy you’ve probably seen them. They had racks full of them!  No wonder they were clearanced.

Love em!  But they have no pockets, and I need a pocket. I’m addicted to lip balm and need a pocket to keep it in, even in my pajama pants!

No way I could match the plaid, but I have a good stack of pinks and peachy corals, so I found something to match.

I had some little squares leftover from a quilt in progress and thought they were about the right size so I put right sides together,

Pajama Pant Pockets on JanMadeIt

and made a little patch out of a plaid and this funky polka dot.

Pajama Pant Pockets on JanMadeIt

I turned it right side out, pressed it and top stitched around the edges of this little square, soon to be pocket.

Now if you’ve followed pattern instructions for putting on a pocket you’ve probably been instructed to cut one pocket and then press back a seam allowance pin it like crazy and try to stitch all those raw edges underneath.

That’s nonsense!

I don’t have the patience to do it that way, so I cut out two pocket pieces. Make a tiny pillow out of them. Press it flat and then stitch it on.

Voila! A pocket. And none of the frustration of lots of pins, and keeping that seam allowance hidden underneath. Ugh! This way is so much easier!

Pajama Pant Pockets on JanMadeIt

I was thinking of those little pocket watch pockets in Levis…. So I thought this would be just right.

Pajama Pant Pockets on JanMadeIt

Wrong!

I thought they were “about the same size” and I was right. the pocket and my lip gloss are the same size, which means the pocket is too small.

Maybe it I turn it on an angle.

Pajama Pant Pockets on JanMadeIt

Close enough.

Pajama Pant Pockets on JanMadeIt

The plaid made it easy to eyeball it so I pinned it and stitched it.

Pajama Pant Pockets on JanMadeIt

The little flap is just a smidge off,  but you might not have noticed it if I hadn’t told you.

But this pocket is very tiny.  What if I need a tissue? Or need to have my phone handy?

I guess I’ll make another pocket.

PajamaPant Pocket 11

It pays to have an extensive stash where I can just pull things out at the drop of a hat.

I assembled the pockets (I decided to make two while I was at it) and stitched up my miniature pillows.

Pajama Pant Pockets on JanMadeIt

Then I added a cuff on the top.

Now if I’d planned ahead I would have stitched the band on the top first, and then made the little pillow and applied it. But I wasn’t planning ahead so I went the long way around the mulberry bush.

Pajama Pant Pockets on JanMadeIt

And I stitched them on, guessing on the placement and aligning them with the plaid. I coulda tried the pants on and marked the pocket placement, but where’s the fun in that? I am quite experienced with the seam ripper if things don’t work out.

Pajama Pant Pockets on JanMadeIt

The opening is at the top and the bottom is sealed so I think that’s a win.

But it’s kind of boring. So back to the stash. This time digging through ribbon and trims.

How about some little pink ball fringe?

Pajama Pant Pockets on JanMadeIt

You won’t find ball fringe like this at any fabric store. I’ve been schlepping this around for a couple of decades.

Decades! I promise you.

They’re smaller than you’ll find today, and not as fuzzy.  And I have about a yard. Had about a yard. Now, after trimming two pockets, I have about two feet of it left.

I stitched it on by hand  so it will be easy to remove if I change my mind.

Pajama Pant Pockets on JanMadeIt

If I’d been planning to use this all along, I would have machine stitched them into that seam, but this works too.

What’s with all this planning ahead?

I have another pair of pants that need pockets. They’re white twill, and soooo comfortable, but the pockets will have to be set in the side seams. It will take less than a quarter yard of white muslin. I have some of that in my stash too.  I’ll do that and show you how I pull it off.

Have you had to add pockets or otherwise make amendments to a ready made garment? Was it easy? Did it work how you wanted? Did you wing it, or plan ahead? I’d love to hear how you pulled it off.

Jan

 

 

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Speaking of Cats

Here’s a litter of a different sort of cat.  Nothing like Sundance.

CottageCats 01 JanMadeIt

I saw a little cat something like this in a magazine years ago and couldn’t resist making some of my own. This primitive, scrappy little patchwork style can be made into something decorative, or it can be a toy. Or both.

For kids under three skip the buttons and use little patches of felt for the eyes.

CottageCats 04 JanMadeIt

The original cats I made were all one fabric, but where’s the fun in that?

CottageCats 02 JanMadeIt

Don’t you love the silver chain and charm on this turquoise striped one?

CottageCats 03 JanMadeIt

I tracked down a stash of scrappy little pieces of calico that seemed perfect for this project.  But they were very scrappy, with nothing big enough to use.

CottageCats 06 JanMadeIt

So I matched up the colors and prints and stitched them together into pieces I could use.

CottageCats 07 JanMadeIt

I’d been working on some crazy quilt squares when I got distracted by the cats so I was inspired to pick up my embroidery floss and add a little flourish to the seams.

CottageCats 05 JanMadeIt

Cute, huh?

By the way, I have four crazy quilt squares. Two are finished, two aren’t.

Surely I’m not the only one that drops one project for another.

Am I?

Jan

A Bird Collar for Sundance

Sundance is my extremely huge long-haired tabby Maine-coonish sort of cat. And one of Sundance’s hobbies is to stalk and kill birds.

This is not OK.

Sundance on JanMadeIt

I wrote about it in my Bad Cat post over on Cottonmouth Creek, my photography blog.

Sundance's Bird Collar on JanMadeIt

My solution, and it works!, has been this big, bright fluffy collar. I had something like this in mind and when I googled “how to keep cats from killing birds” I found a Birdbesafe collar cover that works on the same premise.

Birds can see bright colors and this bright mane gives birds a chance to fly to safety when the cat is ready to pounce. I can’t guarantee it will work all the time with every cat, but Sundance doesn’t kill birds when he’s wearing this collar. He did, however, get a snake.  Ick.

Sundance's Bird Collar on JanMadeIt

Just in case my cat isn’t the only one out there that kills birds, I thought I’d show you how easy it is to make.

You’ll need elastic, some jingle bells, and a piece of fabric. Use bright scraps if you have them or if you need to buy some, 1/4 yard will do. Use woven cotton fabric for best results.

Sundance's Bird Collar on JanMadeIt

The quarter yard will be nine inches wide. Cut that piece into strips no wider than one inch. I used pinking shears but you can cut a straight edge if that’s all you have. Fabric with a tight weave will ravel less.

I matched the elastic to the length of his current collar and found ten inches is the length I need. Overlap the elastic about a half-inch and sew the ends together. You can stitch it by hand, or sew it on the machine.

Sundance's Bird Collar on JanMadeIt

Fold the fabric strips in half and loop them over the elastic and pull tight. Cram as many strips on the elastic as you can.

Then with a skinny strip of fabric, a shoe lace, or fishing line, string some jingle bells together in a loose clump and tie them to the collar and slip it on your cat.

Sundance's Bird Collar on JanMadeIt

I know some cats take to collars about as well as cats take to water, but fortunately Sundance doesn’t mind. The elastic is loose enough that he can slip his head out if it gets caught.

Montage was a white calico I had years ago. Within a few hours she would get out of any collar I put on her.  This wouldn’t have worked on her, but then she didn’t catch birds either.

After a few months the first collar I put on Sundance got pretty dingy and limp.  Before I could spruce it up or make a replacement a dead bird showed up on the patio. 😦

Sundance 6

Now I make a point to have a replacement handy.  I untied the strips on the first collar and put them in a lingerie bag and washed them. I have them to use on future collars. I used yellow because it was handy, and then I read that red and yellow are the colors most visible to birds. I’m going to add some red and neon green to the next collar I make.

I know, the best thing would be to keep the cat indoors, but that is not possible right now. Fortunately there’s a big back yard and Sundance has Zeus, the Chihuahua and Radley, the Papillon  to hang with.

Jan

It Oughta Be a World Record Afghan

Granny squares can be the easiest, fastest, most tedious, annoying, scrap-busting things you can crochet. They work up fast, and they look great using leftover scraps from previous projects. But there are jillions of tails to be woven in, and then the squares have to be stitched together to make a larger piece. Whew!

I stitched a few large squares together to  make a scarf I call Just Peachy.

Granny Square

But my six or eight little granny squares are not the point of this story.

The 7,800 afghans that were crocheted for charity in Finland in 2011 is what I’m sharing today.

I came across one image of this event, no caption, photo credits, or anything about what was going on with this stairway FULL of afghans.

I googled “old building with afghans on the steps” and got a few hits.

The building is the Helsinki Cathedral. The goal was 1,000 afghans to cover the steps of the cathedral and then donate to charity. They got 7,800 afghans, and only 3,800 would fit on the steps.

Wow!

To those of us who have a thing for fiber and needle arts, there are glaring mistakes in many of these posts. The pictures obviously show crocheted granny square afghans on the steps of this beautiful building. But the headlines variously indicate the project is knitted, it’s a patchwork quilt, or it’s a blanket.

The articles are in Finnish, and the translations are kind of rough so I’m not sure of all the details. I’ll let you follow the links and read for yourselves.

 NOTE:  all these links open in a new tab, so I’ll save your place here if you want to go take a look. 

I looked for a world record about this event, and didn’t find anything. One article clearly says someone was there to certify it, but it would be months before that was determined. This event was nearly eight years ago and the largest crocheted afghan I found was made for Nelson Mandela Day last year and was only 67 afghans.

These Helsinki afghans aren’t actually stitched together. They are connected with cable ties probably just to keep them in place. So if this is a world record I’m not sure what category it would be. If anyone tracks down additional information about it, I’m all ears.

At Joann’s we sell fleece for individuals and groups to make into blankets to donate to all sorts of local agencies. When it’s on sale we can spend thirty minutes–frequently more– cutting fabric for a single customer. There are also knitters and crocheters that do the same, but the only time we notice huge purchases of yarn is at checkout and there’s not usually time for much of a conversation.

People also make scarves for cancer patients, pillowcases for sick children, mittens for Christmas, and even dog scarves for local rescue groups. A bright splash of color around the neck makes a rescue dog so much more appealing and adoptable.

What about you?  Are you involved in some sort of sewing or crafting for charity? What do you make and who do you give it to?

Jan

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