Jenny: Krissie’s Coming To Stay!

Krissie’s coming tomorrow!  I’m doing the Snoopy Dance all over the place.  I NEED Krissie here.  WE need Krissie here.  And even before she gets here, she’s improving things because while I was cleaning out her room, I uncovered the sewing machine and took a break and tried this idea from a Japanese sewing book I bought on eBay.

It’s a book on how to remake men’s shirts into women’s clothes, and there was a nightshirt/smock/duster that was easy, so I knocked it off fast just to get back in the swing of sewing.  I’d forgotten how much I loved sewing.  Of course I screwed up the bobbin, and it’s the new machine not my trusty old one so I have no idea how to get the bobbin case out (Krissie threaded it, I screwed it up) but KRISSIE’S COMING TOMORROW, so she can fix it then. She loves fixing sewing machines.  She’s brought my serger back from death more times than I can count.  Where was I?  Right the shirt.

1. Get two coordinating shirts from Goodwill.  (Go on Sunday; it’s half price for senior citizens.)

2. Decide which one you like best.  That’s the top.  Trim the bottom so the shirttail is gone and it’s straight all around.  Press down a quarter inch hem.

3. Cut the other shirt off just under the armpits.

4.  Pin the top shirt over the bottom shirt, overlapping by about a quarter inch.  Top stitch.

Ta Da:











Nightshirt with a shirttail hem.  For somebody who lives in her pajamas, this is high fashion.

Did I mention Krissie is coming?  TOMORROW!  Must go do the Snoopy dance again.

47 thoughts on “Jenny: Krissie’s Coming To Stay!

  1. German Chocolate Betty says:

    Can you send Krisse over to fix my sewing machine?? My husband bought me a machine 5 yrs ago for Christmas, I messed up the bobbin the first time I used it. I would take it in for repairs, but it turns out repairing the damn thing would cost more than a new one. I was going to try to resuscitate myself (a friend of mine looked at it and we think the timing is off, so I have downloaded info on resetting the timing). However, Aldi has brandnew Singers on special right now, and (not being a worldclass sewer) I am thinking, aw, to heck with it. Just buy a new one and save time.

    Griping over. Go back to your Snoopy dancing. What fun! Don’t forget to send us detailed reports on Goddess activities over the next few days!!!

  2. Jenny, I’m crazy about that nightshirt and I don’t ever wear anything to bed, but I’m totally thinking it’d be perfect to wear around the house while I’m editing and writing or maybe even over my swimsuit up at the lake. I’m sending this link to my sewing friend, CL, with a note making a date for the Goodwill Store a.s.a.p.

    Happy dance away as you anticipate Krissie’s arrival and enjoy, enjoy!!

  3. Tracey says:

    Fangirl gush moment: Once upon a time, fifteen years ago, bored on maternity leave and needing something better than Calgon to Take Me Away, I noticed a book by a writer named Anne Stuart called Prince of Hearts, about an aristocratic cat burglar. I bought it and fell in love. A few years later, I picked up a hardback by an author I’d never heard of, called Welcome to Temptation. The author had a cool name, Crusie, and a way cool way with female characters and dialog. I fell in love. Then I discovered my two faves on the intenet, which made it possible for me to stay in touch with their activities while I worked, was a wife, raised my kids… Then one day I discovered my two favorite writers were besties. Ok, the romance genre is not infinite; these two women were award winners at the top of their games, it figured they knew each other…but, but … They dont JUST know each other, they’re BFFs. They collaborate. They love sewing, which I do too, although I’m better at quilting than garments. All of which says something to me about the creative switches in our brains, and what it takes to flip them in the outer world. (I don’t mean to slight Lani — I discovered Lani — and Lucy — thru Argh and now I’m a fan too; but I fell for Stuart and Crusie first, after not reading much romance at all, even the Sainted Nora.) All of which is a roundabout way of saying that it thrills me down to my tippy-toes to read how much you guys care for each other and how much you need to be together this week. I hope it’s everything y’all need it to be — I know I’ll look forward to reading all abou it. Have a blast!

  4. See, I look at it and think, “Loose, comfortable, I didn’t have to make buttonholes, and if I bend over, my butt won’t show.” I’m good with the leggings, though.

  5. Pockets are good. Long and loose is good. It looks so comfortable!

    I need to learn how to sew. I like to make simple crafts (I made up xmas stockings for my family over the course of 4 years, using my imagination for the patterns), and I can sew a mostly straight seam, but I have no idea how to fix anything that goes wrong (and I no longer own a sewing machine) and I have no idea how to follow a pattern.

    I guess a second-hand machine and a sewing class is in order. Because I love to make things so much and I think that sculpture is currently out of my grasp.

    Plus, I want a stuffie Cthulhu and the person who made them and sold them on the internet 15-20 years ago doesn’t seem to anymore and I dislike the ToyVault version, which is all I can find now. (Anyone want to make me a Cthulhu stuffie? I’ll pay!)

  6. McB says:

    If you’re short enough, a man’s shirt IS a nightshirt, no alterations needed.

    Which is good because I can’t sew. My brain can’t grasp the concept of a straight line, be it sewing, cutting or drawing.

  7. Gin says:

    If you haven’t already thrown out the sleeves of the second shirt (and it’s long-sleeved), you can make them into gift bags for a bottle of wine. Cut the arm-pit end straight, parallel with the cuffs. Turn the sleeve inside out, stitch across the cut end, turn right side out, and you’re done. (You can get fancier and do a french seam to cover the raw edges, or stitch across the ends to create a square bottom, but that’s all optional.) Fill with a bottle, use a ribbon to tie the cuff end, below the cuff, and turn the cuff down, and you’re done. Works best with plaids and checks and interesting stripes. Not my original idea; saw it at a website once, years ago, but don’t recall where.

  8. I do that same thing with T shirts – which I then wear to work with leggings. I’m classy like that. Only I often have to alter the neckline because I can’t stand for my shirts to touch my neck. I wouldn’t have to do that if I used button down shirts instead of T-shirts… I feel a new sewing project coming on. Except I should be writing. Must. Resist. the. pull. of. the. sewing. machine….

    Yeah, that’s like trying to resist the pull of Refab!

  9. Every time you mention working in you pajamas I ask myself how warm it is at your place – I would freeze to death if I didn’t wear several layers of clothes. Our house is 100 years old and it would cost a fortune to heat so you could walk barefoot and in pajamas in it. (BTW, that’s something which really irritated me about Maybe This Time – there was a storm going on outside, it was shortly before Halloween, they are in an old English mansion, and Andie is comfortable just wearing a T-shirt?!? That’s hard to believe for me!)

    Other than that, I like your shirt. If you search the net, you’ll find hundreds of ways to use men’s shirts, it’s really amazing, and there are so many nice shirts at Goodwill and thrift stores. Last summer I found a linen pin-stripe one and turned it into a sleeveless blouse, using the cuffs as a kind of mini-sleeve at the shoulder (not my idea, found it on a French blog).

  10. Take a class! Sewing is fun. I bought an inexpensive machine years ago and taught myself to quilt using books. Mending isn’t such a big deal either but I still avoid buttonholes and I’m not so good with garments. This project I could probably handle though 🙂

  11. Kieran says:

    I used to love sewing! I’ve had two crummy sewing machines with horrible tension–each of them maybe $150 from Wal-Mart. I got so tired of them screwing up on me, I quit. Somehow I managed to sew upholstery fabric on them, though. So maybe it was my fault. Maybe they couldn’t handle that.

    What I need to know is this: if I get a Bernina or something similar, will I still have problems with tension? Are they really good? I’m so mad I didn’t get one 20 years ago. They were always too expensive, and I didn’t have any money to blow like that. I still am nervous about investing a lot of money, but I miss sewing so much.

    Do you have a favorite brand of sewing machine?

  12. Ooooh, I love it. You are so creative!

    I would live in that, would call it my lucky writing dress. There was one sundress, bought on sale that had a built in bra but one cup was higher than the other, so I cut the cups out and wore it for years. Inside the house only. : )

    Need a new lucky dress. Have not made my own clothes for years, and now am craving a sewing machine. Darn.

  13. Yes, it is. And t-shirts, too. My husband used to wear these V-neck, white undershirts, back when we first met. And my favorite thing of all to sleep in was one of those V-neck undershirts.
    (Sexy and so comfortable — perfect combination. Of course, that was some years ago….)

  14. Krissie will give you a better answer that I can but here’s my take: You can get a good Janome machine (sp?) for right around a hundred bucks that will do most things. Berninas will do anything but they are nosebleed expensive. I got mine in 1983 when I was in the hospital with Stage 3 cancer and my mother said, “Is there anything I can do? Please?” and there wasn’t, so I said, “I’d really a love a Bernina sewing machine.” She bought it the next day and thirty years later that machine is still amazing. It doesn’t have any electronics (it was 1983), but it was solid as a rock, a really good machine. When Krissie and I bought Lani her machine, it was a used Bernina, and she sews everything on that sucker. Check around for used machines if you want to go Bernina; they’re still expensive but not as bad.

  15. Love the blouse idea.

    On Andie: It stays warm a long time in Ohio which has weird weather anyway. It was 63 here last week. Yes, in February. Alastair was confused. So some Halloweens the kids bundle up and some Halloweens it’s sixty degrees.

    As for us, this house was built in the 80s so it has insulation. Then we added thermal curtains and, for when it’s really cold and we don’t want to burn propane to heat the whole place, space heaters that look like little stoves. So pjs, absolutely. Of course, our pjs are flannel in the winter.

  16. Depends where eyou live, Cologne Girl (and if you live in Cologne Germany no wonder you’re cold.
    I live in Vermont and you can’t wear a t-shirt in an old house at Halloween, but MTT was in Southern Ohio. Much warmer. Andie could wear a t-shirt when she danced in the kitchen.

  17. I’ll second the Janome. They’re making some great, affordable machines nowadays. I gave my (I hope) daughter in law one for her birthday this year.

  18. Well, there’s a proportion problem. If it’s long enough to be a to-the-knees-nightshirt, the sleeves are probably dragging on the ground and the shoulders are around your elbows.

  19. Jessie says:

    If you can hem, you can sew a simple straight seam – which is all this requires. When I was in college and had no sewing machine, I once made an empire waist a-line dress that had three buttons for the closure with long sleeves totally by hand. And it only took about a week in my spare time. If I had a sewing machine, I could have probably done it in a few hours. But something this simple could be done in about an hour. The one thing I noticed about the dress I made by hand is that the seams had more give to them and it wore really well. Not well enough that I was ever tempted to do it again but still, you don’t have to know how to use a sewing machine to make clothes.

  20. I live about 50 miles east of Cologne (two of my kids go to college there). We’re having a Siberian cold spell right now which gives us glorious sunshine but also temperatures arount -10° Celsius. Today I started to clean my freezer because I can just put all the stuff outside and it won’t thaw. You bet I’m wearing sweaters and wool socks and warm jeans all day. A t-shirt would just be the first basic layer for a lot of other clothes on top of it.

  21. Kieran says:

    Thanks for the advice, ladies. For me, getting a Bernina is pie-in-the-sky, like the teal convertible I want someday. But life’s short, and I’m tired of spending my money on crapola, so I’m going to start looking around–will check on the Janome, too.

  22. Very creative. Looks comfortable. I like the idea of sewing but I get irritated actually doing it. I’ve had the material for 3 new nightgowns for more than a year now.
    You ladies really are sisters. You act just like my mom when she’s going to one of her sibling events. They used to call them sister things cause there’s 7 girls but the one boy got pissy so they started including him.

  23. German Chocolate Betty says:

    I live in Bonn, but our house is from the mid-80s. We have radiant heating (meaning no radiators, but rather hot water runs under the floors, just like the Romans used to have). Feet are never cold — woohoo! When it gets really, really cold, we pump up the fireplace, which is built really cool, in that the flue from the firebox goes through an elbow before going up the chimney, which radiates even more heat out. So we’re toasty. Except when we go outside

    But the Rhine shows no sign of freezing — and it’s supposed to warm up near the end of the week. I did have to cover my roses (as I had new leaves coming out, due to the warm weather until a few days back), and we brought the potted palm inside (The one in the ground in the garden has been left to its own devices!)

  24. You just need a guy who buys the tall sizes, then you get the length without his clothes swallowing you.

    (I know, I know. Hard enough to find a man, let alone a tall one, who’s acceptable, so one can steal his clothes.)

  25. I have a Bernina and I probably don’t use it to even half of it’s potential but I love it. The only way I was able to afford it was because I bought it when we lived abroad and 1) there were no taxes on it and 2) we have more disposable income. I’m going to hold on to it forever now that I have it.

    I also have a really ancient Kenmore that my mother bought from a seamstress in the early 80s. It has all sort of a fancy attachments that I don’t know how to use. Going to have to get reacquainted with it soon!

  26. Cielkaye says:

    That shirt is fab. Lovely washed out colours too. I want one. Going to have one. I think it would look good on anyone.I tried to find the book on ebay. Do you know what exactly it is called?

  27. I love my Bernina. I had never even sewed, and Jenny and Krissie kept telling me I needed one, and I said, “Nah.” They bought it for me anyway. Now, you’ll pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

    Love my sisters. KRISSIE’S COMING!!!

  28. Jill says:

    My Bernina is that old too. It has metal parts-I will have it forever. I needed more bobbins and I thought no way. But ebay has everything. 🙂

  29. Well, this has been an entertaining and interesting read on a really CRAP day.
    My sewing machine (Kenmore made by Jenome) and my serger (made by Jenome will be pried from my cold dead hands even if I am not using it) are sitting on my dining table (with extenders in) since Christmas. I’m waiting for the various miseries to cede defeat to my determination not to give in before I even attempt to cut up the several hundred dollars worth of material sitting on an easy chair in the sitting room. Some of that material is still in a bag and one of the queens (cats) has the idea it’s her new bed. The several meters of material on various shelves in the spare room is mostly designated for doll clothes which I also make when my freaking body is not giving me fits! Forgive the vent … I’ve been doing it all day it seems. Anyway, I’m too OCD to sew used clothing but I admire your talent in all areas. I should not whine I finally was able to do some painting yesterday, of one of my great nieces as a fairy child. Perhaps soon I will be able to cut up material. The one thing I am able to do right now is read, I bought another copy of Agnes and the Hitman for my ereader. My paper copy has has a few too many friends and family dead skin cells on it to rest comfotably in my hands. They haven’t had their hands on Maybe This Time …. yet so, maybe it’s time I reread something that you wrote instead of venting. It’s got me through rought times before.

  30. Kelly S. says:

    I love my Huskavarna Viking. I’ll agree that Janome makes a nice machine too and Berninas are the Cadillac models of the sewing world

  31. MJ says:

    What a cool idea! And Kate, I like the idea of creating extended T-shirts. Because yes, I work in pajamas–layered with sweatshirts and hoodies in the winter, CologneGrrl.

    But I’m most amazed to know you can get an acceptable sewing machine for a hundred bucks. The two or three times a year I sew–Halloween projects, straight-seam repairs, and, once, flannel-lined, pinch-pleat curtains –I use the Sears Kenmore my mom got in the late 1960s. She and Dad had it tuned up and gave it to me maybe 18 years ago. I should probably get it tuned up again, huh?

    Have a wonderful sisterly visit!

  32. Micki says:

    That would be so cute as a light robe, too, over a long, co-ordinating T-shirt. (-: I just love that kind of reconstruction stuff. A friend of mine gave me a couple of US books about reusing jeans to make corsets and maxi skirts (with gussets, so you have loads and loads of fabric!). Sigh. Such lovely things! Too bad I’m short and round and would look shorter and rounder in a maxi skirt. May try it anyway, for around the house (and keeping the mosquitos out when gardening LOL).

  33. Micki says:

    Skye, I bet you could hand-sew that shirt in 45 to 60 minutes or less (I’m very slow at hand sewing). (-: No machine required. Sewing is mostly being sure to follow directions, and measuring twice . . . well, I should say Sewing 101 is all about that. You can make magnificent things if you just take it slow. Sewing 201 is crazy-quilting and all sorts of really fun and crazy things (-:.

    (I really need to make myself an afternoon for sewing. I miss it so much. When I was a SAHM, that was one of my justifications for being on earth: sewing stuff. I love doing ruffles . . . .)

  34. Micki says:

    Janome in general has a great reputation, but the one I bought is a lemon — I’ve had tons of tension and timing problems with it, and I’ve gotten it fixed about four times. If you can possibly swing it, take a sewing class with a group that has a variety of machines, and buy one that you like using.

    (-: What freaks me out is the new machines don’t use a foot pedal! How can somebody sew that way? I really like having the foot control, and having the machine STOP when I lift my foot.

  35. No, but I bet if I put up a picture Micki would. It’s in Japanese. I’m in bed right now, finally getting to sleep–KRISSIE’S COMING so I had to clean her bathroom–but tomorrow or the next day I’ll put up a scan.

  36. Love this! Not as nightshirt but as excellent writing shirtdress.

    Love sewing. And don’t even have to buy anything for the project. Hubby has plenty of old shirts I can recycle this way. Sewing + recycling + comfort = score! Thanks for sharing:)

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