My pajama factory

Hey, welcome to 2017! I bet you can guess I didn’t quilt a lot over the holiday break – it can be hard to do so when the kids are all home. I did, however, crank   out a few more pajamas…

You see, my two oldest sons are 6’2″, and have a hard time finding pajama bottoms that are long enough for their legs. I have long legs myself, and I know how uncomfortable it feels to wear bottoms (pjs, track pants, yoga pants) that end well above the ankle! Honestly, I looked in all stores and checked the Internet, but it seems impossible to buy extra long pajama bottoms unless they are also extra big in the waist. Obvious solution — I needed to make my kids pjs for Christmas.

I have so far made 3 pairs of pajama bottoms each for son 1, son 3 and my father-in-law. I’ve made 2 pairs for son 2, with a third pair cut out and waiting to be sewn. I have made a pair for myself, and have promised a pair to my husband. That’s a lot of pajamas in the last month or so — 12, and counting!

img_1942If you sew from tissue patterns, you are probably familiar with the problem I encountered. First, I can get a multi-size pattern, but how do I manage it if I want to use the multiple sizes without cutting into the pattern itself? Second, what if I need to alter the basic pattern, how can I do it without cutting it up? Third, using a tissue pattern multiple times, even in the same size, means you risk tearing it.

img_1943Solution? Make some plastic copies of the pattern! I bought a role of vapour barrier at Home Depot (I believe it was $30 for 102″ of double-wide plastic). It is thin enough to be easily manageable, but thick enough to pin and repin without tearing.

I spread out each original pattern piece on the table, then covered it with vapour barrier, and traced the desired pattern size using a black Sharpie. Where necessary, I made changes to alter the pattern right on vapour barrier (so, for example, I lengthened the legs by a couple of inches on the pattern I was using for sons 1 & 2. I was careful to transfer all markings, and to write the pattern number and size, as well as the name of the pattern piece, on the vapour barrier.

img_1944Then I lifted away the vapour barrier and carefully cut out the plastic pattern. I repeated the process to make another copy in a smaller size for my younger son and my daughter, and a larger size for my father-in-law.

Once I was all finished using a plastic pattern, I rolled it up and secured it with a piece of masking tape. Because I now had the pattern in three sizes, I wrote the relevant size (S, M, XL) on the masking tape — then I can tell which one is which without unrolling the whole pattern. I tucked the rolls away on top of the armoire that holds my fabric yardage — up and out of the way!


I don’t have a lot of experience sewing clothes, but pajamas are an easy thing to make. I made some out of cozy plaid flannels, and some from fun novelty-patterned polar fleece. Pajama bottoms can also be a good way to use up yardage you don’t want to quilt with — I have a couple of metres of a floral print in my stash that will probably become summer weight pajamas for myself as spring approaches.

And now — of to sew something that isn’t pajamas!



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