Having basted our waistband down, we are now going to Stitch In The Ditch. This is a method for attaching the interior of the waistband, by sewing along the waistband seam line. But first, we need to make sure we remember to leave a 10 cm/4 inch gap in our work. I place a couple of pins on the rear of the PJs to remind myself. If I don’t do something like this, I always forget.
Now we take our work to the machine and stitch in the ditch, along the waistband seam line. We work from the right side of the make, our needle puncturing the seam itself. Can you see how I’m using my fingers to gently tauten the fabric? That helps to slightly ‘open’ the seam and give the needle a more accurate placement along that line. We work all the way around the waistband, remembering to leave our 10cm gap. Remove the basting. With any luck, the finished waistband interior should look like the below – seam neatly caught. Press your waistband.
Next, cut 1/4 inch elastic to the length indicated in the pattern instructions. We run the elastic through the waistband, using a safety pin to help.
Secure the two ends of the elastic together with a safety pin and go try on your PJ bottoms, to make sure you’re happy with the elastic tension around your waist. Could it loosen up or go a bit tighter? This is a really important checking stage, as people are so particular about their PJs. Some love them loose, others will want them snug. You might also want to use this stage to see if you’re happy with the length or if the trouser hems need trimming. (Remember, though, that the instructions tell you to give the PJs a deep 4cm hem. Don’t chop off too much.)
Once you’re happy with the fit, take your work to the machine and sew down both ends of the elastic. I use a zig zag stitch and go back and forth several times. I don’t want my elastic popping at an unfortunate moment! I love this stage of sewing – you can be as messy as you like; no one’s going to see this work. Well,unless you put it up on an international blog…
You might be thinking, Oh, now I sew shut that 10 cm gap. Wrong! Before you do that, you insert your belt into the same gap and run the ends out of the buttonholes.
Now you can seal up that 10 cm gap. Your waistband is finished and your belt is in place. Huzzah!
All that’s left to do is hem the legs of our pyjama bottoms. Turn over a 1.5cm allowance and then turn over again to create a deep, 4cm hem, pinning as you go. Take your work to the machine and sew a row of stitching as close as possible to the edge. Then sew a second row of stitching into the hem, close to the first row.
Your Tofino Style PJs are done. All you need do now is pull them on and snuggle up in bed. Get lots of rest. You’ll want to be fresh for the party on Sunday! Some people have asked when this will go live. Depends entirely on what time I get up. Shall we say late morning UK time? See you there, my friends! Unless you’re thinking of joining this evening’s Shindig event. I have no idea who’s signed up (RSVPs go to Shindig) and am excited to meet in video chat. I must dig out some lippie…