Tag Archives: simplicity patterns

A cozy travelling duo: Simplicity 5271 and Butterick 5934

I know, another sewing post! Don’t faint.

Today we have a double post: pajamas and a duffel bag.

(Both of which were made for a trip, although both were needed too. The pajamas because I haven’t had a proper pair of new winter pjs for decades; and the duffel bag because the last one I bought was in university and is falling apart, and also sucks.)

(And the trip because I was totally exhausted and feeling burned out on the job/house/dog/kid/kid’s medical needs/my medical needs/climate action overload, and happened to read about an author’s trip to the middle of nowhere with her kids so they could have a night dark enough to see stars. And I thought, oh god, yes, a night dark enough to see stars … but maybe without the kid, just this one time. And I booked a teeny cabin in the middle of nowhere over Canadian Thanksgiving.)

Pajamas!

(Simplicity 5271)

This is a Simplicity pattern that I’ve used for Frances many times. You know it’s old, because I bought this Simplicity pattern in a Fabricland store, and they haven’t carried them for years (cost dispute). But it’s a good basic pattern.

This lovely cotton french terry I picked up on sale at Needlework. I think it’s gone now, but it’s so gorgeous. Almost too gorgeous to make into pjs. (Almost.) Neck band is a bit of scrap cotton ribbing.

I actually chose the size based on my measurements (for a Big 4!) since I wouldn’t care if the PJs were too roomy and the finished measurements looked ok. As a unisex pattern with all sizes in one envelope, I didn’t have to worry about not having the size I needed. Very much appreciated.

And look! Look at these! These are perfect PJs for hanging out in a tiny cabin in the middle of nowhere with a book and a cup of tea.

Luckily, they’re the perfect PJs for hanging out on a sofa in the suburbs with a book and a cup of tea as well. I am set.

Duffel Bag!

(Butterick 5934)

Alice in Wonderland was one of the first books I ever read. I read it and its sequel probably dozens of times when I was in elementary school. I used to dream about finding portals to other worlds (Narnia too).

So when the anniversary Alice fabric was released a few years ago, I snapped up some of the canvas–again from Needlework–and good thing too, because it didn’t last long.

Yes, it does have Bill the lizard flying through the air! There are teapots and cups full of tea stacked willy nilly! The Cheshire cat’s floating grinning head is hovering in mid-air! The dodo bird is marching in his goal-less circles! There’s the Queen, the King, and the White Rabbit! And yes there are little metallic flourishes all over it! It is perfect.

I haven’t read the book or watched the Disney movie for decades, but every time I look at poor Bill on the duffel bag, I think, “There goes Bill!” And I guess if you were less of a die-hard fan and don’t remember Alice eating or drinking yet another thing she shouldn’t and growing to fill the house she’d entered, to the point where her leg is jammed up the chimney, and they send poor Bill the chimney-sweep in to try to flush her out, and she kicks him sky-high when he tries, that might not mean much to you. But basically, this duffel  bag was loaded with memories as soon as it came off the sewing machine, which is pretty well perfect.

It’s lined with two quilting cottons: one for the main, and a Tula Pink snails print for the zippered pocket, both again from Needlework, probably neither still available. The contrast handle fabric is a cotton twill from King Textiles in Toronto, and the bottom contrast fabric is a Merchant and Mills oilskin–also Needlework, and still there! It gives a bit of extra toughness and waterproofing that’s useful in a travel piece, I think.

The pockets that came with the pattern
The zippered pocket that did not come with the pattern, but is very easy to add in.

Two layers of interfacing: I had to move the sewing machine to a big table to squeeze the bag through the throat for the last few steps, but it was worth it.

This pattern is OOP, but overall it worked out well. All the pieces fit together, the instructions were good, and it makes a nice roomy bag.

(I haven’t yet made the detachable strap; I didn’t have the right hardware. The zippered pouch I added following the instructions in Lisa Lam’s The Bag Making Bible.)

Sizing Note

Wonder of all wonders, I used a body measurement chart to pick a size for a Big 4 pattern, and it actually worked. Of course, this is a loose-fitting garment where the penalty for getting it slightly wrong is very low.