Brother Jones and Advance PJs

One of the must makes for me this summer were pyjamas – all my pyjamas were a sorry state of worn out leggings and tee shirts, so I ran up a shibori pair and two of advance 8148. 

advance 8148 pyjamas from bedlinen



The advance pyjamas looked particularly handy as there is no button up jacket, and as it turned out, I didn’t need to bother with the 2 buttons recommended.  One handy thing about making pyjamas is I took as many shortcuts and slapdash as I felt under no obligation for a particular finish!  My grading of the pattern was a bit off, and I never lowered the darts enough and didnt lower the pocket at all! I never noticed the pocket oversight till the end (doh!).  The first pair were made from an old sheet, and I thought the taupe colour sophisticated, but as pyjamas it looks a bit more institutional – I probably should have trimmed it, but …… that didn’t happen.  The main fiddly part of the pattern was the collar, which wasn’t really that fiddly just something I never made before.  Feeling incredibly organised having matching pyjamas!

advance 8148 pyjamas from bedlinen





The second pair are not yet finished.  They are made from some red linen scraps and ikea pillowcases.  The pillowcases were probably donated to the charity shop as they were so badly made and could not be ironed flat the weave/cut was so off, which was fixed when they were opened up.  I decided to make them up on the Brother Jones machine which I finally got repaired. 

advance 8148 pyjamas from bedlinen


I got this machine from a friend.  It was left behind in the house they bought some years back.  Since then, it was stored in the attic, and it never had a cover.  When she asked did I want it, I said yes.  It was a case of ‘speak now think later’  as I didn’t know if it worked and had forgot about repair costs and I have never lifted a machine as heavy as this one.  When I got it home, I cleaned it and checked it.  It kinda worked but I didn’t use it as there could be a lot of gunk in the motor and I didn’t want to damage it.  I got it repaired, and it goes like a charm.  I figure it was a home workers machine, and it seems to have been repaired over the years and pieces replaced – namely the plate the presser foot sits on!  Unfortunately the plate will only allow a straight stitch (the hole under the presser foot is too small for zig zag) even though the machine can do zig zag.  

What I love love love about the machine is that the feed dogs are adjustable (my singer can really clamp the fabric), and the presser foot pressure is adjustable.  It has a side loading bobbin which is fine but not a favourite as I think they are fiddly and you can never see how much bobbin thread is left.  However, I can totally overlook this as the machine sews like a dream.  

There were a few issues of seam puckering at the start but it could have been my threading, and I have not had the same issue since but notice the thread can stray here and there so I am keeping an eye on it.  (it seems to come out of the guard easily….). Its hard to find a manual for these as there is no serial number or model number as with the Singer, so I don’t know if there is any feature I am missing.

Aimee at the wrongdoll  has this machine, and she made the most amazing denim skirt with fabulous top-stitching , so if I can achieve anything near that standard, I will be doing well indeed!

Advance Wrap 8190


advance wrap 8190 1950s wrap around top


I had been looking at this pattern envelope online and trying to figure out how to draft the pattern and then came across a fantastic and very inspiring blog, studio faro– and within 2 hours drafted and made this one……………………….

Advance Wrap 8190

Advance Wrap 8190

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and one week later made it again in red.  I made the red top bigger across the back by about 2 or 3 inches and it has a nicer drape, and can even be worn backwards. This has also worked up well in upcycling old teeshirt fabric snood/scarfs, but as this fabric can be so thin, not worth finishing edges!  (we upcycled a primark snood here and it worked well).  The fabric I used for both of the wraps here is a 2 way stretch heavy jersey and I like the fall of them, and the sleeves have nice full folds when worn.  The upcycled primark snood was a four way stretch and did drape well as it was so light.

In all this top uses just over 1 metre of fabric (160cm wide)