I am prepped and ready to get going on some Easter pajamas. Mr. Man has grown some more, and we are stretching his jammies to the max right now. In the fall I purchased the Bedtime Story pajama pattern from Liesl at Oliver + S. If you haven’t checked out her site, patterns or blog, you should get right on that.
I have been sewing for a looooong time. I can generally follow any pattern directions no matter how sparse or wordy they happen to be because I have a lot of experience constructing garments and know how the different pieces fit together. But no matter how familiar you are with construction it is nice to stumble upon a well written and beautifully styled pattern. The patterns from Oliver + S are very well written and pretty snazzy. I even learned some new tricks while reading them! Like how to get the fabric to stay folded to the wrong side when you leave an opening for turning something out from the School Days Jacket and Coat. (Why didn’t I think of that!! I can’t tell you how many times I have used that simple trick and felt like I was outsmarting someone!) Or how to very awesomely attach some bias tape binding to a neckline and get the ends to turn under properly without cursing my head off from Bedtime Story Pajamas. Which is always nice if your son, the parrot, is playing in the same room you are sewing in.
But, I know what you’re thinking. Pay full price for a pattern when I can get any old pj pattern for $0.99 on sale at Joann’s? You’re crazy, stay at home mama! But like most things, quality is better than quantity and with some tweaking, the patterns are easily customizable, and therefore versatile.
The Bedtime Story Pajama pants have one seam, which makes them super comfy for busy little boys (and easy to cut out with just one piece!!). I used the pj pants pattern to make Luke some great pants for wearing during the day. You can switch the fabrics, scratch the contrasting bias, add some pockets, or a faux fly, belt loops, bar tacks or even a cuff. When you are familiar with these techniques all it takes is a little creativity! Liesl showed on her blog how her daughter wears a version of the pj top in different fabrics for daytime wear also… but on a boy, that might be a stretch.
Luke in his Bedtime Story Pj’s… no he doesn’t always wear a helmet with them. He just loves his bike so much that after he eats breakfast in the morning he gets it and puts it on and tells me to get a movin’. It’s super cute, I tell you.
The School Days Jacket and Coat pattern is even more customizable. It comes with directions for adding in a removable liner, either as a vest or a long sleeved insert. There is a hood, patch pockets, toggle and loop closures and lots of places for decorative top stitching or embroidery. I have made two versions of this coat, one for Luke and one for our niece. I feel like the sizing is generous, which is nice when you live in place where the thermometer can dip quite low and your son needs to wear a sweater or sweatshirt under his coat. Depending on the fabric you use it can be appropriate for fall, winter, spring or even rain if you used some oilcloth or laminated cottons.
Liesl has some new patterns coming out on April 5th which include a dress shirt (thank goodness!) and some shorts for little boys. Again, there are lots of options with the patterns- pleats, flat front, shirt pocket, long sleeve, short sleeve, shirt tail hem, placket, cuff… I am looking forward to picking up that pattern and jumping right into it! I’ll be sure to review it for you here.
Luke in his School Days Jacket. I chose corduroy because it is soft and very washable. While wool would have looked great and been warmer, I would have cried every time he spilled food on it, or sat in a mud pie. It’s just better this way for everyone!
On a side note, I never cut my good patterns out! I have used carbon transfer paper (don’t even bother!), freezer paper/parchment paper, and have recently become enamored with this product called Do-Sew which is a spun-bounded polyester fiber. It doesn’t stretch, can be basted together for fitting, makes alterations simple and it’s a little bit rough so it sticks to the fabric just a wee-bit which means sometimes you don’t even have to pin it down! Bonus!
With Easter coming I have some other important plans in the works, so I will be signing off for a few days of family time, but next week you can look for some pictures of the finished jammies and whatever else I happen to be able to cook up. It should be a veritable feast for the eyes! I hope that you also have a happy holiday with your family!