DOUBLE pajama party! colette iris and colette madeleine!

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris01Hello, I would like to show you how to determine if you have a good friend:

 You: [sewing buttonholes]

Friend: What are you working on?

You: Pajama shorts. [sheepish look] you see there’s this online thing called a sewalong where people all sew the same thing and then take pictures and put them online on the same date… I know it must seem really sad and strange… but I think-


You: Oh? What? You don’t think I’m abnormal?

Friend: [already digging through your pattern stash]

That, dear readers, is why this is a DOUBLE pajama party here. Frances started and finished a pair of pajama pants during her stay so we had a fun double photo shoot and now here we are to join in on the pajama party train!

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris02So let’s back up to pre Frances visit. I decided to look at my thread stash just to remind myself of what colors I had and what colors I didn’t have because often I end up buying a new spool if I can’t remember what I have exactly at home. I have many colors – except yellow.

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris03Then I decided to organize my scrap squares for a future quilt and I also noticed that I didn’t have any yellows. What is this aversion to yellow fabric? I don’t know, but I decided to remedy that. I mean, my quilt needs some yellow… blue and red can’t be allowed to dominate my quilt.

Back CameraThen I saw my perfect yellow fabric at Da Viva in Cotonou. It was during business hours, I don’t know why they had the gate down – lazy or broken perhaps? Anyway, this was the yellow I wanted.

Back CameraThis was also the last two yards remaining n the shop, so they removed the fabric from the mannequin and folded it up for me.

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris04So yes. I did indeed just buy fabric for the sole reason of adding more colors in my scrap pile.

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris05So because we’re sewing sleepwear, I would like you to meet my best friend: The REI Bug Hut 2. Let me repeat, this is my best friend in West Africa. We spent 6 months together in Mali, then he was shoved in a corner while I was in America, then back he came for Benin. The Bug Hut works with my friends DEET and Mefloquin to reduce my chances of getting malaria. Malaria is not fun and I don’t intend to get it. The Bug Hut 2 also allows me to sleep peacefully from other critters as well.

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris06Like this guy. I have an agreement with spiders in my house. As long as they are reasonably sized and stay on the wall, we are good. The wall is their territory and I don’t ever touch it – as long as they don’t start living on my bookshelves or tables or chairs. And as long as they aren’t larger than 2 inches. Any larger, and it’s down the toilet or out the door – sorry!

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris07While we do have an agreement, I still don’t trust them to not crawl on me as I sleep, especially when they’re this near to me. Here is where the bug hut 2 comes in handy.

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris08From inside the bug hut, I am safe! Even if the spider decides to leave the wall, he still can’t get near me. THANK YOU BUG HUT. *there was one morning at 4AM where I awoke to a scurrying sound above me on my bug hut – a ROACH WAS CRAWLING ON TOP – I shook the bug hut to throw him off then went back to sleep, terrified, and refused to leave my bug hut until about 9AM when full sun was out and I had the courage to come out (or rather I really needed to pee) and hunt down the roach to throw him in the trash can outside. Bug hut = best friend FOREVER.

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris09ANYWAY, enough horror stories, let’s get back to sewing. Remember my iris long shorts? Well Frances decided that they would be perfect as pajama pants. She tried on mine for size, and they fit! Perfect as I had the pattern pieces all taped together and cut out in size 10, so she didn’t have any adjusting to do.

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris31Her fabric is Arziki Wax 64757. She bought it at the beginning of her trip when we went to the Dantokpa Market,

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris10Work work work work work work work. She’s a (self admitted) perfectionist so it was interesting to see the contrast of styles. I’m still in the beginning stage where I’m okay with raw edges and fudged mishaps only visible to me on the wrong size – but not Frances. Frances has been sewing since forever so she knows what she is doing and works meticulously and perfectly. Perhaps one day I’ll be like her, perhaps not – all that matters is that we stay sewing buddies.

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris11Frances mastered the treadle rhythm quickly.

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris12Bosco as usual sat by and waited patiently for her to finish.

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris13Frances has long legs. I don’t. So her knees kept hitting the underside of my table. This makes me wonder what other people with long legs do…? I mean the table is at a fixed height, there’s no way to change it. Do other sewers just suffer with knee-bumping-against-the-table all their lives? Or is there another magical solution? Or historically people were shorter? (I think this last one is true)

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris14And it’s not an authentic treadling in benin experience until you sew into the night and need the trusty head lamp.

Back CameraSo close to the end!

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris16Then, done! Hooray! Off to bed! To be honest these photos are faked as we did them in the morning so we’d have better lighting. It’s more important to have flattering pajama photos than authentic awful night time photos, right? Priorities.

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris17I don’t have a 2nd bug hut, but I do have an extra mosquito net. So I laid out a straw mat, hung up the net around her, and ta da, Frances is protected from malaria as well!

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris18Bosco was very confused as to why he couldn’t cuddle.

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris19Here she is, the lovely Frances with no mosquito net!

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris20She kept the pockets.

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris21And got rid of the zipper to replace it with a…Jane button! Jane makes a second cameo! Quack quack, don’t flying ducks and hearts make such a great combination?

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris22My turn. I made the Colette Madeleine bloomers. They were a very quick and straightforward make. They will never be seen outside my Beninese house – talk about SCANDALOUS!

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris23Also, WOW, these bloomers might be bright yellow but the contrast of color between my pale thighs and tanned calves is all that my eyes are drawn to. Also I am worried because when I return to the states in September I’m going to be jobless and uhhhh now I’ve got pictures of me in short shorts online. No high school teaching position for me! (PS: Want to hire me??? I’ll move (almost) anywhere as long as there is public transit because I hate driving!)

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris24The little bows were made from the leftover bias tape for a lattice sample that I’ve not yet used.

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris25The waistband is too cute and clever. This was my first time “alternating” elastic, and I love it! Much better than using just one thick band of elastic.

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris26Time to get into the bug hut. I’m not normally this happy to go to bed… but Frances is holding a camera, and she surely is saying something funny. First I stick my left foot in.

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris27The head comes next. Lastly, the right foot.

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris28Bosco and my flip flops stay outside. I also don’t usually wave before bed… but again, Frances is here.

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris29Zzzzz time for a peaceful sleep with cute pajama bottoms and no mosquitos or spiders or roaches!

pajamapartycolettemadeleineiris30Bonus: Here’s a photo Frances took of Bosco’s favorite game. I stand in the middle and he runs back and forth past me as I try to tag him each time he zooms by. Do American dogs play this game? I’ve only ever played fetch or tug of war with dogs before… this game that Bosco invented was entirely new to me.

Thank you Karen from Did You Make That? for hosting this sewalong!

Pattern: Colette 1022 Iris & Colette 0001 Madeleine
Fabric: Arziki Wax 64757 & Gold by Da Viva DV0922

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