21 January 2021

Christmas Jammies

Not without a touch of pain and a bit of heartache, but we finally got our first homemade Christmas fleece jammy photo!

I finally finished making the jammies over the three-day weekend. I finally had time!

While making the jammy bottoms (right after Christmas), I realized I didn't have enough elastic for both pairs. I pieced together a handful of three- and four-inch pieces for Lizard's pants, then altered the pattern so mine would not need elastic, at least for photos. I had planned to finish the entire project during the Christmas three-day weekend. I'd ordered more elastic sometime before Christmas, but I was so busy with work the last two months of 2020, I couldn't tell you when without looking up the email receipt when I placed the order. The elastic finally arrived on the Monday after Christmas, after I'd finished my bottoms.

It will not be too much trouble to insert the elastic when I have time, but they fit just fine for now, so I'm not going to worry about it until I sit down to do some mending. (And yes, mending is on my list. I have my own pile, AND one of my retired friends who just had shoulder surgery and can't do her own mending right now asked if she could drop off on my porch a big sack full of already pinned mending. I'm honestly not looking forward to spending an entire Saturday -- or perhaps longer -- on mending, but it will be good to do something kind for someone else during this time of limited contact.)

I didn't finish the jammies that weekend because I didn't have enough fleece for both tops. I had to stew for a while to figure out what to do next. I didn't want to order more fabric. At least right now. I have to pay medical expenses out of pocket again as of January 1 until we reach our deductible, so no unnecessary spending for us for a while. (It was SO nice to not have to pay any medical expenses the last three months of 2020 because full insurance coverage had finally kicked in!)

By New Year's weekend, I'd decided I'd use the remaining snowflake fleece for the sleeves and the reindeer fleece I bought what feels like a hundred years ago for the bodice pieces of the jammy tops. I don't remember if I had a plan for the reindeer fleece or if it was just on sale or caught my eyes because of the tiny little simple flakes. But I was pleasantly surprised by how well it coordinated with my snowflake fleece. I began working on the jammies again!

I really love this pattern. It comes with all the sizes! I sometimes dream about making jammies for each of the 26 grandkids in one year. And maybe even for their parents, too. But all the child sizes are on one pattern, and all the teen/adult sizes are on another. You can either start with the largest size you need and whittle the pattern away as you move to smaller sizes, or make copies of the pattern in different sizes so you can use the patterns again and again. I used to save the end rolls while I was working at the newspaper in the '80s so I could make all the pattern adjustments I needed without ruining a pattern. I don't have access to newspaper end rolls anymore, and I'm sure newspapers don't give them away for free these days.

Thank heavens I took advanced tailoring back in high school, so I know how to alter a pattern so I can use it again later. I measured Lizard and altered the pattern to fit him instead of cutting away the largest two sizes. (And that turned out to be one of the best decisions I made on this project, as you will soon see.) Then, as I began cutting into the reindeer fleece, I realized there would not be enough snowflake fabric for both sets of sleeves, and I'd have to be really careful cutting the bodice sections from the reindeer fleece to make sure I wouldn't run short on one of four total bodice pieces.

I cut out all the pieces for Lizard's top first to make sure the size would fit properly befort cutting the second top for me. I also had to figure out what to do for the second set of sleeves. I briefly considered piecing all the remnants together to make patchwork sleeves but decided the raglan sleeves are so huge, there weren't enough remnants to make both of the second set of sleeves.

Then I began sewing. One piece was missing. There was no facing for the back of the shirt. I looked through all the pattern pieces, then even looked at the pattern layout on the instructions. I didn't miss cutting a piece. The pattern doesn't include the back facing. Luckily, that's a really easy piece to DIY. Took me all of about five minutes. You can cut a small piece, such as a facing, cuff or collar, from the extra pattern paper most people probably throw away as soon as they trim it. I hadn't cut into the child patterns or the slippers or remote holder, so there was plenty of paper for multiple facing pieces in a variety of sizes.

The first top didn't take very long. I had Lizard try it on right away so I could dig into the fabric again and see if I could finish my top as quickly so we could do photos in the snow. We got four inches!

Parkinson's magnifies everything, and Lizard struggles with comfort in tight clothing, everything from socks to jeans to T-shirts. He felt his new jammy shirt was just a little tight under the arms. (It's not, but I want him to be comfortable.) So the first shirt is mine now. It's very loose on me, but I don't mind.

I could take out the pattern adjustments and make the second shirt a bit bigger. (See what a good thing it was I didn't cut the pattern to fit the first time around!) I hoped I'd have enough of the reindeer fleece. I still didn't know what to do about the sleeves, so I put the project away again until the following weekend. I stewed all week and then remembered some leftover snowflake fleece in storage from back when the Activity Day girls were making scores of blankets for the local hospital every January. I crossed my fingers and hoped there would be enough of one color to make two sleeves.

I didn't get to sew the following weekend. I made up for that last weekend, another three-day weekend. Cutting very carefully, I was able to cut all the pieces I needed from the original snowflake fleece, the reindeer fleece and a dark leftover snowflake fleece. The top was done in about two hours, and Lizard was very happy with the loose fit of the second top!

If I do make jammies for the grandkids, I'd need to finish at least two sets each month (and three sets each two months), and I'm not doing this with pattern adjustments again. I'd rather have separate patterns for each size I need. So I'll be looking for suitable pattern paper and saving up for a collection of fleece. A very large collection of fleece. So not very likely this year!

And that gives me plenty of time to breathe and take on this project at a more reasonable pace!

Linking up with Alycia Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.


  1. Sure turned out great indeed. Yeah, magnifying everything sure stinks. Littlest thing no one thinks about bothers one when crummy nerves are involved.

  2. Well the pjs turned out really cute no matter how much of a pain they were to eek out enough fabric for them. What ever you did worked really well. I have purchased paper that is used on examination tables a long time ago and use that when ever I need to trace off a pattern. I do tend to trace patterns rather than cut into multiple size patterns. I was hoping to find a pj bottoms pattern in my collection from years past but so far nothing has been found. I really don't want to buy a pattern...bad enough I'll have to buy the fleece! Enjoy your cute pjs.

  3. They turned out sew great. I love all the modifications you had to make to get these *just perfect* for both of you!! and its perfect timing as we move in to the snowiest months!!!


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