I’m super excited to share my latest collaborative sewing project: A pair of Grainline Studio Lakeside Pajamas made with Sprout Patterns and Spoonflower. It’s a rare treat to be able to combine so many of my favorite companies into one project, so when Sprout contacted me with this opportunity I couldn’t write them back quickly enough to say YES PLEASE! Sprout is a new company, from the awesome people at Spoonflower, who work with indie sewing pattern companies to bring you cut-and-sew patterns on demand. You can skip the pattern pinning and tracing and just cut your particular size right off the fabric. It’s such a unique service!
I was immediately drawn to the fact that you can choose any fabric design from Spoonflower’s vast library of designs, meaning I could use my own fabric designs from my new Spoonflower shop for my Lakeside Pajamas to make a totally customized set. Now, before I gush about all the things I LOVE about Sprout, let me bring up one point to consider. Imagine how the clothes for a paper doll are laid out on a piece of paper, and that’s kind of what you’re getting with Sprout. The precision in a service like this is what makes it so incredible! …but also tricky if you need special fitting adjustments.
You can only pick one size to print, which is problematic if you fall between two sizes. With the Lakeside Pajamas you can order the top and bottom separately, which definitely gives you more options, but if you need serious pattern adjustments (like moving a dart) you should consider that before ordering. With my body shape, I know I need all kinds of shoulder and upper back adjustments when working with fitted patterns, so I knew right away I was either going to pick a stretchy, more forgiving knit pattern, or a woven pattern meant to fit loosely around all my “problematic” areas.
Luckily, Sprout has a ton of options for both knits, wovens, and even non-garment projects like the Grainline Studio Portside Travel Set.
After I decided which pattern would set me up for the most successful fit, I picked my fabric base (Kona Cotton) and then started playing around with the countless ways to mix prints. Now, this is where Sprout gets really cool. Not only can you select multiple fabric designs, but you can pick where you want each of those prints to go and adjust the layout to ensure your prints are centered or laid out exactly as you like. Sprout even goes as far as to calculate the percent of shrinkage for each of their fabrics, so when you pre-wash your order, you’re still ending up with the correct size before you sew. Genius!
When you order your pattern from Sprout, a copy of the sewing instructions and the original PDF sewing pattern are sent to your user account so you can put your project together just as you would if you were using any ol’ fabric. Having a copy of the PDF pattern is helpful when tracing your darts, plus it’s just a nice bonus included in the cost, especially since I would like to make another pair of Lakeside PJs!
Sewing the Lakeside Pajamas was really fun and actually pretty quick considering all the bias tape. I LOVE bias tape, so that was actually a selling point for me when browsing all the patterns in the Sprout library, and I especially love bias tape when it’s vintage and pink.
For not being able to make any fitting adjustments, I’m very happy with how my Lakeside PJs came out! I really can’t find anything to even nitpick about them except I think I made my straps just a tad too long. But again, I think this is a pretty safe pattern to use for someone who needs upper back and shoulder adjustments like I do. I’m really happy I picked this one!
I used five Spoonflower prints in total for my Sprout/Lakeside PJs, all of which can be found in my Spoonflower shop. I like how all of the prints are different but still go well together since the colors match. Mint green is one of my favorite colors, and these are definitely my new favorite pajamas!
I didn’t have the correct width elastic in my stash, but I fixed that by sewing a narrower casing in the waistband in order to create a little ruffle at the top, which I like and have done previously with my Carolyn PJ shorts. I also went against the instructions slightly and finished the waistband seam allowance with bias tape instead of tucking it up into the waistband and stitching it down. The little pop of color on the inside makes me happy.
Oh, I should also note that I didn’t notice any fading when pre-washing my fabric. Spoonflower fabrics are printed digitally instead of with traditional screen printing methods, so some people notice fading with rigorous washings. I cut a little swatch out of the corner of my Sprout panel before putting it in the washer so I could tell if there was any fading, and with the first wash I definitely didn’t notice any compromise in vibrancy. I used a sulfate free detergent, washed on a gentle cycle with non-abrasive things (no towels), and tumble dried on low just like Spoonflower recommends.
I have to say, it was really nice to just iron my fabric and cut out my pieces without extra steps. No tracing out my size, no pinning flimsy tissue paper or cutting around pattern weights – so easy! My next sewing project is definitely going to take some extra prep steps, so thank you Sprout Patterns for the opportunity to sew such a fun pattern in such a fuss-free way!