I got together with my Quilt Guild ladies for a day of sewing. While I brought several projects to work on, the only project I felt I had to complete were pajama bottoms for my boys. I have made several for them in the last few years and the boys quickly outgrew them. Being the mother of boys, this is pretty much the only garment I can sew for them. Well, pjs and pillow cases. That pretty much sums it up.
My oldest has been asking for some time for a new pair of pj bottoms. The last pair I made for him is about 3 inches too short and he pushes them down to the middle of his bum every time he wears them. They have to go. This time he requested red flannel and I was happy to oblige. Unfortunately, my local JoAnn’s only carries plaid flannel shirting though the cutting lady assured me that she made pj bottoms for her teenage boys and flannel shirting worked fine. The only warning she gave me is that the fabric could shrink up to 4 inches so I should pre-wash once, if not twice. I also purchased about 1/4 yard more than the pattern called for. Since Primo has grown so tall (3 1/2″ since January last), I knew he wouldn’t fit in the child part of the pattern so I moved up to a men’s small. His hips are 34 1/2″ and the men’s small hip measurement is 35-37″ so I thought that would be best. Better to be too roomy than too tight for sleep pants, IMHO.
I have purchased a lot of fabric from JoAnn’s over the years, especially flannel for pillow cases and Kona solids for quilting. I am not usually disappointed because I don’t purchase the flimsy stuff. I definitely had my doubts about the flannel shirting because it was so thin and it turned out I was right to be skeptical. Although it didn’t shrink as much as the cutting lady said it would, the flannel shirting was so cheap and crappy to sew on, it was all I could do to not throw it away and purchase a pre-made pair of sleep pants from Target on the way home. I also sewed the pants wrong in one step and I had to rip the seams, nearly ripping the fabric in some places. Further, the fabric apparently didn’t lay flat when I was cutting the pattern so the pieces didn’t match up when I went to sew them together. I had to re-cut both the hem and the waist before I finished them just to get them to match up. I thought for sure Primo was going to see them and say, “Uh, thanks Mom, but no thanks”. Before I presented them to him I told him I had no ego tied up in them, then explained what that meant. I truly didn’t care if he didn’t want them; in fact, they would have fit me.
Segundo’s pjs, on the other hand, sewed together beautifully. I had also purchased his flannel from JoAnn’s but his was licensed NFL flannel (Green Bay Packers, of course) and much heavier and of nicer quality. I could have made 3 of those in the time it took me to sew one from the cheap flannel. I even easily inserted the elastic waist band after my mom gave me a sweet tip about sewing the first end down, then the second, instead of trying to sew the elastic pieces together in the small space allowed. I think his sleep pants took me less than an hour to complete. Nice.
Despite the troubles with the cheap flannel, my eldest is really happy with his sleep pants. Though they’re really (really) roomy, he said they’re very comfortable and I’m hoping they’ll shrink a bit with more washing. Note the pooling of fabric on the floor:
Despite how it looks, I did NOT try to match the plaids. This is just a happy coincidence. I am not that skilled at garment sewing.
By the way, the pattern I used is Simplicity 9499, which includes separate pattern pieces for child and adult, as well as tops and a drawstring bag. This is an “easy to sew” pattern.