A sewing blog about building a functional, cohesive handmade wardrobe, one garment at a time.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Not-so-baby pajamas

My baby turns 1 tomorrow (sob), but he outgrew his 12-month clothes, like, five months ago.  He is a big boy.  We are down to two pairs of cotton pajamas that fit, and the frequency of laundry around here is not such that this always works for us.  I've been wanting to try out some of the patterns in my Growing Up Sew Liberated book for awhile - and it's a good thing I started now because they only go up to 5T.

I wasn't a huge fan of this orange Jay McCarroll knit when I first saw it on sale.  For one, the fabric line is called "Germania" and is not, as I had originally thought, an homage to Germany.  It's inspired by germs, folks.  I bought it anyway because it was only $4.50 a yard and I didn't have many (any) boyish knits in my stash.

I only had a yard of it, and after I aggressively washed and dried it six times, that yard became less than 30 inches. (Yes, six times through the washer and dryer. I hate when knits shrink after they are already sewn up, so I often will put them through the wringer before even cutting into them.) I managed to squeeze a 18-24 month envelope tee and 2T sleeping johns out of the yard and I even have a little leftover for appliques later on.  For the trim, I went against good judgment and used some cotton interlock.  Even though the fabrics don't match, or even really coordinate, I really love how they look together.  But of course, the interlock doesn't have as much recovery as you need for a good neck binding.  I figure it's just pajamas, it will be fine.

The pieces sewed up really quickly.  The sleeping johns pattern has just one pattern piece, of which you cut two mirror images.  I added the leg cuffs because I wanted to have some of the trim on the pants too.  They are nice and roomy for a cloth diaper.

I tucked a folded over scrap of knit in the back waistband so that my husband would know which way they go on.  I didn't use ribbon because I wanted it to be really soft.

In this photo you can see that there are tiny bright teal dots sprinkled here and there throughout the print.  I think they would really pop if I had a bright teal knit to use for the trims.

The envelope tee was easy to sew up, too.  I really like the way she has you finish the binding - you zigzag around the seam join for the binding and the main fabric, catching the raw edge in the zigs at the back.  Like a mock coverstitch.  Unfortunately, my machine won't do a regular zigzag on knits anymore - I don't know what the problem is.  I used a 3-step zigzag but it skipped a lot, so the finish isn't that pretty.

I kind of love these pjs.  They are so soft.  I want a pair for me.  I hope that all my pre-shrinking means they won't shrink much more, so that they will last through the fall.  The pants are definitely long enough; he might outgrow the top, though.  Maybe I should order some more of the fabric ...


  1. Very cute PJ's! G is so cute even all "germy" like that :) I have that book too and made an envelope top once for K when she was little. Oh, how I want my sewing time back.... ugh.

  2. Oh, I LOVE these. First of all: orange. Second: germs?! Third: soft knit pjs! Fourth: BABY BOY! So much awesome/cute!!!

  3. The pjs are adorable and so is your boy. They grow so fast. I appreciate what you wrote about putting knits through the wringer. I made my son a knit top this fall. I washed and dried the fabric before I made it like I do with all the fabrics I use for clothing. I can't believe how much it shrunk after and still keeps shrinking. From what you wrote it sounds like that is to be expected. I had no clue.


Hi! I am so happy you came by. Thanks for your comment!