Jam Jams Athletic Shorts and Sleeveless Top
Introducing Jam Jams as summer play clothes! If your kids are anything like mine, summer is full of pjs as playclothes and vice versa. Around here we are in desperate need of some cute, functional, and coordinating summer clothes that can easily go from day to night (or maybe even night to day!). Enter Rachel Ring with the perfect solution! She is taking over the blog today with an easy, adorable and functional couple of hacks for taking the Jam Jam sleepwear collection into day wear. And don’t forget to grab the pattern for just $5, today only! That’s a LOT of summer play clothes AND pajamas for your kiddos.
Happy Feature Friday, everyone! Rachel Ring here today with a fun and easy twist on the Jam Jam sleepwear pattern that will help take the top AND shorts from nighttime to playtime!
Miss P has always loved this pattern for pjs, especially the shorts view with ruffle trim, and since I love the fit of them I knew the pattern would make a great base for cute retro-styled athletic shorts for her this summer. Sly Fox Fabrics generously sent me a big box of their fabrics to use for this project and tutorial; I used their baby french terry (in plum, royal, and aqua) for the shorts (and in white and heather grey for the shorts binding) and rayon spandex for the tops (I used this one: https://slyfoxfabrics.com/collections/rayon-spandex/products/rayon-spandex-passionate-kisses and this one: https://slyfoxfabrics.com/collections/rayon-spandex/products/rayon-spandex-yellow-white-dots). I modified all of the pattern pieces slightly, and the construction did vary a bit from the original pattern as well.
Jam Jam Sleeveless Top Modification
The top modification was the simplest, so let’s start there. I knew I wanted a sleeveless version for daywear, so I removed some of the width and height at the armscye.
Because this pattern has a yoke that attaches to both the front and back bodices AND overlaps the shoulder, I needed to make sure to modify all three of those pattern pieces. For these samples, I just trimmed off the seam allowance and a little more at the shoulder. You could also take an existing tank top pattern (like the Hip Hop Tank or the Lil’ LDT) and “borrow” the armscye by tracing it onto the bodice pieces and using those armband measurements instead. If you simply trim back like I did, you’ll need to calculate the length of your binding or armbands (depending on what type of finish you prefer). I use about 80-85% of the circumference of the armscye for an armband finish and closer to 90% for binding. It’s always a bit of an estimate that depends on the elasticity and recovery of your binding fabric. You can follow the instructions for attaching the armbands or binding from many of the Love Notions patterns that include that finish. For example, the new Summer Basics pattern includes a knit binding finish which has great directions.)
Jam Jam Retro Athletic Shorts Modification
For the shorts, the curve of the hem towards the side seam in the ruffled view reminded me of retro athletic shorts styling and I wanted to evoke that style with my modifications. I decided on the inseam length I wanted (no hem allowance needed here since your hemline will be bound) and then traced the curve up to the side seam and trimmed along that curve.
Jam Jam Athletic Shorts with Knit Binding on Hemline
If you want the hem to be bound but not the side seams, start by sewing the front and back legs together at the side seam. Attach binding (I used strips that were 1.5” long) to the hem by sewing/serging right sides together; then press the seam allowance out towards the binding and wrap the binding around to the wrong side of the shorts. Topstitch and trim the excess for a quick finish, or press excess under as with bias tape for an enclosed finish. Close the shorts leg by sewing the front and back together at the inseam.
Jam Jam Athletic Shorts with Knit Binding on Side Seams and Hemline
If you want the visible binding at the side seams as well as along the hemline, check out the purple shorts as well as the aqua ones.
For this finish, start by sewing the front and back legs together along the INSEAM, leaving the outseam free for binding. If you want to add a pocket, do this now before binding the side seams. For a patch pocket style, you can sketch your own pattern piece or “borrow” one as I did from another pattern. In this case, I used the pocket lining from the Moto Maxx pattern. Since that pattern has a separate waistband and this one doesn’t, I needed to extend the top portion of the pocket piece to account for the width of the elastic that will be added to these shorts in a later step to form the waistband. Next, add binding to the exposed pocket edges and sew in place on the front legs, making sure to leave room for the hem binding. Then apply binding as above; this time begin at the waist edge of one side seam, continue along the hem, and up the other side seam to finish at the waist edge. Since the seam allowance for this pattern is ⅜”, I overlap the side seams very slightly with WRONG sides together and topstitch along the outer binding edge to attach the front and back legs at the sides. The rest of the shorts construction follows the original pattern, so you can resume on page 11 of the tutorial with step 10.
Find a cutie to model the finished outfit, and be prepared for them to ask for more! Miss P’s summer wardrobe has gotten a much needed boost this week with the Jam Jam Collection, and with extra thanks again to Sly Fox Fabrics for spoiling her with such a great assortment of colors and prints. Don’t be afraid to look at patterns you already know and love to see how they can be modified slightly for a whole new look – and please join us over on Facebook and Instagram to share your finished outfits. We can’t wait to see what you’ve been working on!