Pajama rescue

Before I share a boring thrilling mending tale, here’s a boring thrilling sewing organization trick I came up with:

I have more than one sewing machine (er, three sewing machines and one serger) and I frequently change needles to accommodate different types of fabrics. To remember what type and size of needle I put in the machine, I leave the needle box it came out of next to the machine–which would work great if the box didn’t tend to get knocked and go missing. (Also if I didn’t have a 2-year-old who’s obsessed with pins and needles–and a 5-year-old and 7-year-old who like to “help” me by putting my needle boxes away.) So for a long time I’ve had an idea to use cute fabric to make some sort of needle holder to attach to my machine, but I never got around to it. Finally I just made little boxes out of cardstock, and stuck them on my machines with masking tape. So far they’re working great. (Well, Hazel still likes to remove the tape and the needle boxes. But she can usually only get at one before I stop her, so the damage has been minimal.)

I made these cute pajamas when Hazel was a baby, and she wore them only a couple times before two things went wrong:

1) As an experiment I had installed the snaps through the fabric yo-yos, and I loved the look, but it was too much thickness for the snap prongs, so the snap parts started to come apart.

2) Trying to avoid extra thickness, I hadn’t made a reinforced placket for the snaps, but I should have. The fabric tore where the snaps had been placed.

So both pajamas sat in my mending closet for two years. Lately I’ve been trying to get to the back of my mending closet (then I’ll have a years-old large Rubbermaid box of mending and unfinished projects to work through–and after that, I want to keep on top of mending; my sister inspired me when she told me that she does her mending at the same time as her laundry). As I go through my backlog, I toss things that aren’t worth repairing, but I was a little too sentimental about these pjs to let them go.

Fixing them up did take almost as long as making them in the first place. I removed all the failed snaps–you can pry snaps apart by inserting a small screwdriver blade between the two pieces and twisting. I made a custom pattern for the snap plackets for both sides of both pj fronts, cut a new piece of reinforcement fabric as well as a piece of fusible webbing, fused the pieces onto the backs of the pajama fronts, and then zigzagged around the new plackets. Then I reapplied snaps. For the green pajama I also sewed the yo-yos back on with a button instead of a snap, just below the snap so as to cover it.

Now I guess I’ll have to have another baby and it will have to be a girl. Or these will be lovingly passed to some future niece or granddaughter.

P.S. I have a hoarder success story: a while back I confessed that I had kept an old underwire from a bra whose other wire had broken. Guess what? One of the wires on another bra of the same type broke, and I was able to immediately replace it with the wire I’d kept. The second bra is old enough it should probably be retired, anyway, but I have to admit I got a small thrill from being able to eke a little more life out of it.

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3 Responses to Pajama rescue

  1. You have my permission to give me another grandchild.

  2. the MomB says:

    Those pajamas are so cute that it was definitely worth the work to repair them. And I do hope your dream for another girl comes true.

    p.s. We are definitely related. I have performed the same procedure your describe on some of my own uplifting undergarments.

  3. Jen says:

    What a clever sewing tip! I love those two jammies.

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