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So i’m in the midst of what I call “Operation Christmas Pajamas” and I’m grateful for all the sewing gadget I have collected over the years that makes this project so much easier! A little background on the project: Approximately 7 years ago I started making Christmas pajamas for my two nieces. It was a tradition my mom started with my sister and I as kids. She didn’t make our PJ’s but she let us open our new Christmas PJ’s on Christmas Eve. It was the only thing we were allowed to open, but we got new PJ’s and it’s a memory i’ll always treasure. So when my second niece came along I decided to start making the kids Christmas PJ’s because I love to sew! Fast forward 7 years and I now have 6 nieces and nephews! Phew, so what was once a fun little project has now become an “operation” but I love every minute of it, even the parts with my seam ripper when you’ve torn it apart six times and still haven’t gotten it right. (Seriously my best friend – the seam ripper) And my oldest niece who is 10 didn’t fail to mention when she saw me last, that the only gift they get to open on Christmas Eve is PJ’s from Auntie Em! I love that they love this tradition too!
If you’re new to sewing and want to try it out I highly recommend starting with PJ pants! Possibly the easiest thing you’ll ever sew! And if you mess them up a little, no one will ever see them!
So here is my list of must haves!
1st: Fiskars Easy Action Scissors, your sewing lover will absolutely love these! When you’re cutting out a lot of pieces your hands get tired and cramped. These little babies make cutting a breeze. But make sure your sewing lover hides them! They are amazing and they are for cutting fabric and sewing only! Don’t use them for everyday use, dull scissors are the worst!
2nd: That little pin cushion you see above is magnetic! One of my best friends bought both of these for me a couple years ago for Christmas. Her mom is a avid sewer and said they were must haves! She wasn’t lying! Seriously, you just wave it over you pins and it picks them all up! I even wave it over the floor to make sure I haven’t missed any that got away when I was sewing! And it’s so much easier to pick them up from this little disc then a box or a standard pin cushion that really requires 2 hands!
3rd: This one is a bit of a splurge, but it’s worth every penny. Seriously, if you are going to be sewing clothing, especially for children, buy a serger! This little puppy rolls hems, overlocks stitches, cuts seam allowances and generally cleans everything up. But what’s great, the really best part about it, is that it really keeps seams from unravelling. So when you are making things for kids, and it’s going to get washed a million times, this is a must have!
Little side note about the serger! I heard a woman recently say: buy thread and then never unthread it. So you’ll notice i’ve included the “wiring” diagram and you can see the fact that my serger is loaded with hot pink! Personally I don’t think it’s that hard to thread, it’s a pain, but it’s manageable. However, the things you are going to serge are never going to be seen (with the exception of rolled hems) so if you’re someone that looks at the threading diagram and grimaces, pick a signature color, like hot pink, and make your seams your statement! Seriously I started with hot pink because I wanted to do a rolled hem on one of the girls clothing pieces and I’ve never looked back. My oldest nephew is 3, he doesn’t know to care that his jammies have pink seams! (looks red to me)
4th: Buy a good sewing machine. You can get them for a good price, even if your sewer is young and just learning. Don’t buy the kids learning sewing machine when you can get a real one for just a little bit more. If they really like it, that sewing machine will follow them around for ages. S even bought a vintage machine. Between the two of us, we have 3 machines and 2 sergers, and 2 dress mannequins
5th: A great sewing table! You can see my sewing table above. It would originally have had a sewing machine that sat on top, or folded down in to the table. (my mom has one that folds down, so cool!) But this one my mom and I found at an antique shop, little did they know i’d actually use it as a sewing table. The round gears and the bar on the bottom would have propelled the sewing machine like my foot pedal does now. But really, it’s important to have a good table to work on. Something that doesn’t rock or shake! And if you have a sewing room, a large pub height table to cut patterns on is ideal. I don’t have a tall table so I cut my patterns on the floor! Not ideal! And after cutting out 6 kids pi’s my back and shoulders are telling me I’m not as young as I used to be!
I hope this helps you decide to become a sewer, or helps with what to buy someone who already is a sewer! S and I love to sew, it’s just kind of this thing we do!
Have a wonderful holiday season! Cheers and blessings to you all!
xoxo ~ Em