Matching Christmas PJ’s Tutorial {guest tutorial}

*Hey everybody! Season 14 of So You Think You’re Crafty is going to be fantastic. However, it won’t be starting until the New Year – we decided to let the crafters have a little break and family time too :) . But I have a great schedule of guest posts and shop spotlights lined up from now until then. Have a great Holiday season and see you all after the New Year!*

Hello SYTYC readers! My name is Catherine, and I blog over at cathgrace. My blog has a lot of sewing, decorating, and DIY, and I like to think of myself as a “maker” since I am always creating something. My family currently lives in S. Korea for my husband’s job with the US Air Force, and I substitute teach for the base middle school, and take care of my two sweet kids.
 Today I am sharing with you the Christmas pajama’s I made for my children this year, they are 10 and 12, as well as being a boy and a girl, so making matching pajamas (that they actually want to wear,) is challenging, although I am pleased to report that they are happy with what I made! (WARNING: this is a little picture intensive.)
Sorry, all these pictures were taken at night, and half of them are from my cell phone since I needed to get this tutorial done tonight, and we had an accident on the ice earlier today that slowed our afternoon down!
I started off with Simplicity 9499 for the basic pants shape, it’s a little small for my eldest, but I just added a couple of inches to the side and length to accommodate for his bigger size. (I decided to use a commercial pattern so that anyone wanting to get the same result had someplace to start without having to draft their own pattern.) My fabric choice was pre-washed quilter’s cotton for the outer fabric, and cotton flannel for the lining; I wanted them to be warm, but I prefer that there are more choices of fabric in the quilter’s cotton, so this choice was the perfect blend of those worlds! One of the alterations I made to the pattern, was to add a fly shape to the front pattern piece, I just drew it in and cut around it while cutting the paper piece out.
Another addition I made, was to make a pattern piece for pockets, I just traced around my flattened hand to get a big enough piece to accommodate my kid’s hands
I began by cutting out all of the pieces in my outer fabric, (2 pieces of the front, 2 of the back, and 4 of the pockets) and then the pieces of my lining (2 of the back, and 2 of the front, WITHOUT the additional fly portion I added to the pattern, and no pockets.) And then I sewed along the standard 5/8″ seam allowance all down the curved front and back seams on both the outer and lining fabric pieces. (here’s what the modified fly looks like, this fly is just decorative and doesn’t open, I just wanted to add the “boxer-short” look to these PJs.
Here’s what the front looks like from the back when opened up flat, you fold the fly portion to one side, and then iron and top stitch it down just along the fly portion (I ended up doing 2 rows of top stitching.)
If you look at the front, here is the false fly, I added a buttonhole and button to complete the “functional” boxer fly look. The lining doesn’t have any of these steps because it is just a straight front.
Once the front and back center seams were sewn and ironed, I added the pockets by sewing them down to the sides on the 5/8″ seam allowance.
 After sewing them down, I top stitched them open with the seams facing away from the center, and my stitching falling to the pocket side of the seam by 1/16th of an inch. The lining obviously doesn’t have any pockets, so for the lining you just sew the side seams together.
Next with right sides together, you sew all the way down the side seams, sewing around the pockets. After pressing, sew the inseam and press.
The lining has a couple of extra details too; on the center back, I left an opening about an inch wide, about an inch down from the top center seam. (I back stitched above and below the opening)
Here’s what that hole looks like when pressed flat,
And then I left about a 5″ opening, about 5″ up from the bottom inseam on both legs, also with back stitching above and below the opening.
After sewing the side seams, and the inseam of the lining (pressing all the seams open as I go) I sewed the waist seam, right sides together. I used the leg openings to turn the pants right sides out, with the leg lining stuffed into each of the the correct legs of the outer fabric.
Now I used the openings I left at the lower leg. I started by aligning the seams with each other, making sure neither of the pieces are twisted.
Then turn under the seam allowance on one seam and pin with 1 pin on the inside.
Reach into the opening left in the lining, and pull your pinned section through, now you have access to the inside of the hem, so you can sew a completely concealed inner seam and nothing is twisted or confusing. Repeat on both hems. I used the opening on one leg, to sew shut the leg opening on the other leg (just reach in and pull it through) so I only had one 5″ slit on the inside to hand sew shut.
 Here’s what the finished hem looked like after being sewn, and before the 5″ opening was sewn shut; next I top stitched the hem at the 5/8″ seam allowance.
At the top of the pants, I sewed a seam 1.5″ down from the top, and then used my slit that I left in the lining, to thread my elastic through.
After sewing the elastic together, I stuffed it all back inside of the waist, and hand sewed the opening shut. Then I top stitched with a slightly lengthened stitch 3/4″ down from the edge all the way around the waist, stretching the elastic as I went. (You can see that top stitching in this picture.)
And VOILA! your fully lined pants are done, with no ugly seams, and a total of 6″ of hand stitching! (I didn’t finish any of my interior seams since they are on the inside, and will be protected from fraying that way)
The shirts were supposed to be easy-peasy, I decided to buy them and just do a little machine embroidery on them, but once I saw my daughter in the T-shirt, there was no mistaking that it was a boy’s shirt, so I decided on a little surgery on her’s.
I began by unpicking her sleeve seam (serging is a pain to unpick, but there is one side easier then the other, so it helps to pull the right threads) about 1/3rd of the way down from the center top on both sides, and then cut off the neck band, next cut about 1.25″ off of the shoulder seam.
after sewing the new shoulder seam, I added 2 rows of basting to the sleeve head, so that I could gather the extra fullness in (I am a firm believer that the ONLY right way to gather is with 2 rows of basting, the poor quality of your gather really shows when you skimp and only go with one.) After gathering the sleeve head to the correct width, set (sew it to the shoulder again) it back onto the shirt, I used a serger, but a machine stretch stitch could do it too.
 After cutting the neck to the size I wanted it, I gathered the center front, and center back, to pull the shoulders in a bit (I used a shirt a couple of sizes too big for my daughter so I had enough fullness for the gathering) Next I cut the folded over section of the hem off, and used a portion of the hem to make the new neckband.
 After sewing on the neckband, and trying the shirt on my daughter, I decided to make it a bit more fitted, by sewing the sides a little smaller; I then hemmed the shirt again.
 For the sleeves I snipped a tiny slit, only in the inner layer of the fabric, (being careful not to snip the serging or the outside of the sleeve fabric,) then I used a safety pin to pull elastic through the casing created by the sleeve stitching. I made the circumference of  the elastic in the sleeves an inch or two bigger then her arms, so it wasn’t tight while she sleeps.
 After threading the elastic through, I hand sewed it together, and then hand sewed the small slit shut.
 Here’s the after of the two shirts, they started off the exact same size – but her’s is definitely the feminine version. I bought these shirts for $5 each at the Air Force Base Exchange, and I think that’s a pretty good deal to not have to sew them completely from scratch.
In order to tie them into the Christmas theme, I simply machine embroidered the words “Naughty” and “Nice” on the top left of each of them.
(My son was quite pleased to get “Naughty”)
 I used 2 different fabrics to line their pants because it will help with the laundry, (not having to guess which pair goes to which kid,) but also so that they could have a little bit of individuality. I made the pants intentionally long and a little baggy, so that they can grow a little, (and so that their lining can show in the folded up cuffs!)
 My poor Isaac slipped on ice today, so he was modeling for me on a sprained foot! He kept leaning on his sweet sister to get around.
 You can see which foot he doesn’t want to stand on! Well luckily tomorrow is a snow day, so he can stay home and rest it up (But not while wearing his Christmas pajamas unfortunately, because I have taken them back until Christmas Eve!
I hope that this tutorial helped inspire you to get your Christmas pajamas started if you haven’t already done so! (plus a bonus tutorial on turning boy shirts to girl shirts, score!) I think pajamas are a really fun and sweet tradition to do every year for your kids, so they have some warm TLC from mom, and they look cute in Christmas morning photos!
Thanks for having me Missy!

 

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Comments

  1. Terri Lynch says

    Missy- Your pJ’s are FAB!!! I didn’t realize we had AF folks in Korea! I knew we had some Army there. My husband is Navy – and we’ve moved quite a bit….but not to KOREA. Thanks for standing in the gap for our freedom! Behind every successful man (and kid) is an AMAZING woman!
    Keep it up~ Terri

    • Terri Lynch says

      OK…oops already. So Sorry Catherine. Missy from the end line of your post stuck with me.
      Having quite a blonde morning already here! – Terri