It happened just in the nick (the St. Nick?) of time, but I finished this year’s Christmas pajamas at midday on Christmas eve.
I linked the patterns used in a previous post, but I’ll jot down some lessons learned here, partially for myself when I start setting up to do the 2023 pajamas and partially if anyone else is interested in embarking on this tradition for their family and they want to see what it’s like:
Clothing pattern sizes, even ones sized with a modern approach, run small. None of my sons wear an XL in ready-to-wear clothing, but all of these garments are pattern size XL or larger. Best to go by measurements. I foolishly thought that since I had used these patterns before, it would be fine, but clearly, I had sized up or adjusted the pattern before and not noted that for myself.
Keep notes and when you write them, write like you’re writing for a stranger. This would have saved me a lot of time and angst this year.
Buy more fabric than you think you’ll need. The fabric I bought was a 42-inch wide directionally-printed flannel (by which I mean the pattern does not match when you rotate the fabric, unlike some plaids, for instance.) I bought ten yards thinking I would have plenty since that worked for me the last few years (see above about keeping good notes!) and I’ll just say that the pants from the last few years were not made with directional prints, which turned out to make a massive difference. Ten yards ended out being JUST enough (and trying to match the pattern just was not happening – I just wanted all the dinos to be right-side-up!) and I was holding my breath toward the end of cutting out the pants pattern. Next year, even if nobody needs a larger size, I’ll definitely be buying a few yards more just for the sake of my own sanity.
I think that about covers it. I’ll come back and add more should I think of more. But for now, they’re done, the boys are happy with them and so am I, and now I can relax and enjoy the holiday.
I did it! Everything is fully cut out as of 11pm tonight, which I’m still counting as today. There were a few hairy moments – I was absolutely certain I was going to be making a trip to the fabric store tomorrow to try to get more of the pajama pants fabric – but in the end, I managed.
Note to future self: if the pants fabric is a directional print, especially if the fabric is on the narrow side, 10 yards is not, as it happens, truly enough for three grown men (which somehow my children have become when I wasn’t looking.) I made it work, but the pockets are not going to be pretty, and I think I had at least two minor heart attacks during the process.
But! Now all of the cutting is done and in the morning, I can set up my serger and my sewing machine and get to work.
Pajamafest 2022 has begun in earnest (and with no time to spare, since it’s literally four days till I have to give all three of my kids their pajamas!) For some reason, I decided that 2022 would be the year that I should re-download and re-print (and re-assemble, and re-trace,) my patterns. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Narrator: It was not a good idea.
The patterns I’d been using for the last umpteen years were so old and ratty and I’d made so many poorly-documented notes and adjustments that I couldn’t tell what was what (or for whom) anymore, so I figured I’d just start fresh. So that’s where we are. Last night I finished tracing and cutting the pajama pants pattern (trousers for ex-US English speakers) from pattern fabric and now those are ready. I’ve just finished assembling the 40 (!) printed 8.5″ x 11″ sheets for the hoodie pattern and I’m taking a short break before I go in to do the tracing and cutting the pattern out of pattern fabric.
Today’s goal is to get all of the patterns assembled, traced, and cut, and to hopefully cut out the pieces for at least either all of the hoodies or all of the pants. The last few years have not been good for my chronic pain for Reasons, so I’m trying to keep modest goals and take breaks.