Every year on Christmas Eve I would get to open one present before going to bed. Somehow it took me something like 15 years to figure out that that one present was always new pajamas. I want to keep the tradition going for my own daughter (and time will tell if she’s quicker on the uptake than I am). Last year (her first Christmas) I bought pajamas for the family but this year I felt like I had the time and bandwidth to make them. I don’t want to give myself pressure to make them every year, but, instead, celebrate the years I do get to make them.
My friend Marissa recently brought me a stack of fabric that she had inherited – she picked out everything loud and/or pink to give to me (she knows me well). I’ve been wanting some pajamas for myself that are cozy but still presentable enough that I feel comfortable in them in front of company. When I was a girl I loved wearing flannel nightgowns (especially if they had ditzy floral prints, lace, ribbons, and bows) but I haven’t had one as an adult so I thought I’d give a nightgown a try. I picked out a simple vintage “robe” pattern from my stash (Butterick 5744) for myself and a vintage pattern from my childhood for Evelyn (Simplicity 6664).
I did make one stupid mistake when sewing my pajamas (because no sewing project is complete without at least one mistake). I didn’t have much extra yardage but I did go to the time and effort to perfectly match the plaid across the front. Only I stupidly matched the plaid along the center seam lines not the actual center front line (since the sides overlap to button). Oops.
Evelyn’s pajamas were made from the scraps after cutting mine so I pieced hers together with some cream flannel (that I had picked up at the thrift store and used for interlining). The color blocking in the front wasn’t so much an inspired design decision as an attempt to use as much of the plaid as I could, but I think it turned out cute.
I went up a size in width but kept the length as-is so that Evie can (hopefully) wear these next winter as well. Though they turned out surprisingly long given that Evelyn is on the tall side. Like tripping hazard long. I’ve remained slightly negligent in that I never actually went back and re-hemmed them so these are the kind of pajamas we put on right before bed and take off right after getting up instead of the kind of pajamas that we run around all day in when Mama just can’t quite wrangle the toddler into real clothes.
My pajamas are not as long as I had hoped but I made them as long as I could with the fabric I had (and I decided it was worth it to sacrifice a bit of length to make the plaid match horizontally since plaid matching is one way to really elevate a handmade garment above most ready-to-wear). I thought about adding a colorblocked strip to the bottom of mine for the extra length but it looked like an afterthought (which it was) since I didn’t incorporate it anywhere else so I nixed it.
I was excited to find a special use for the buttons on my pajamas. They’re made out of deer antler and I bought them in Alaska when I visited my brother. I had used them before on my Rambo Skirt but cannibalized them before donating the skirt since I just didn’t wear it. I’m headed back to Alaska this summer since my brother is getting married (yay!) so maybe I can pick up some more?