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-
Friend: WHAT, I WANT TO MAKE SOME PAJAMA PANTS TOO AND JOIN IN AS WELL!
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!
So 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.
Then 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.
So 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.
Like 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!
From 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.
ANYWAY, 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.
Her fabric is Arziki Wax 64757. She bought it at the beginning of her trip when we went to the Dantokpa Market,
Work 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.
Frances 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)
And it’s not an authentic treadling in benin experience until you sew into the night and need the trusty head lamp.
Then, 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.
And 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?
Also, 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!)
Bonus: 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.