Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Warm Pirate PJ's with Tutorial

This photo tells you exactly how much she loves these pj's <3

So Sophie had a streak of waking up in the middle of the night and we finally figured out that the problem was that she was cold. This is because she only wants to sleep under her blankie, which is sized for a baby and leaves more of her sticking out every week. On the bright side this has FINALLY convinced her to sleep under the beautiful quilt Jess made for her first birthday!

So clearly warm jammies were in order. This pair was made from an over sized sweatshirt, plus contrasting pirate fabric for the arms. This version balloons out at the waist and tapers again at the legs, but I'll explain how to make it normally as well.

First start with a sweatshirt. Make sure the sweatshirt from shoulder to above the hem is as long or longer than your child's body (from shoulder to crotch for regular jammies, or plus a few inches for the balloon version.) Same for the sweatshirt arms. These will be your pj legs so they need to be long enough, or a bit longer for the balloon version. The sizes you can make are only limited by how big of a sweatshirt you can find!

Optional: If your sweatshirt is wide enough you can cut your sleeves out of the sides of the sweatshirt body. You will want to decide this before you start cutting as you would leave the waistband on to serve as the sleeve cuffs. This will probably only work for the regular pj's though, unless you are doing the balloon version out of a very large sweatshirt in a very small size.

So, lay your sweatshirt out flat. cut off and save the waistband. Cut straight across the sleeves. Optional: cut the sleeve seams off so they are not in your way later. Cut straight down the front from collar to hem. For the regular version cut off the side seams to the desired width+seam allowances+whatever you need to attach buttons, zipper, snaps etc.

Next, measure how long your child's shoulder seam is. A well fitting shirt is good got this. For the balloon version cut from this measurement on an angle until you meet the side seam at about the waist. For the regular version cut on the same angle (shoulder width to side seam) but only as deep as your sleeve will be.

 I didn't round the armholes on the project, I wanted it to be as simple as possible.

If you have not made your sleeves yet, now's the time. That well fitting shirt you used for the shoulder measurement would make a good template. No curves again, match the angle of the armhole. Using the cut off waistband as a cuff ties things in nicely. Remember to cut the cuff a bit smaller than the wrist opening and to stretch it to fit!

Sew on cuff (if necessary). I sewed my pj's with a very narrow zigzag stitch but use whatever works best for your machine.  Attach arms and sew side seams in favorite manner.Honestly I prefer sewing the arm to the body while the side seam on the body and the seam the length of the sleeve are still open, then sewing in an L from cuff to hem, but that's just me. As long as everything is attached when you're done who cares?

Legs next. Put the wide ends of your sleeves side by side and measure across. Is this wider than your body width measurement (regular pj's)?  Take the sleeves in until they match. If it's wider for the balloon version you're good to go. If they aren't wide enough for either version leave a small space between then as a crotch when you attach to the body.

To attach the legs to the body:
Place a pin in the hem at the center back of your sweatshirt. Starting there (or over a bit if you're adding a crotch space) put the leg and body pieces right sides together and pin around. You should have extra material when you're done, where you cut the slit down the front of the shirt. This  is important because you will use it for your fasteners. Repeat on other side and sew.  This seam will look terrible, especially on the balloon version because it's so wide and sticks out all flat and weird.

Don't panic though, the baggy way they fit makes it hardly noticeable. If it's really obvious on the regular ones you could try covering it with lace or ribbon, adding strips to other parts of the jammies too to make it blend in. I wouldn't worry too much though, they're just for sleeping in.

Now, all that's left are those extra flaps of material down the front. I'm not the sort to dictate how you should close the front. I know everyone has their favorite, For the buttons I folded the flaps in half underneath and sewed them down, then overlapped the sewn flaps for a few inches at the bottom and sewed those together. I then made four buttonholes and sewed the buttons on.  Feel free to modify for a zipper or snaps though, or to change how high or low your opening is.  (Make sure the crotch area is sewn closed if necessary).

In no universe are you getting a closer view of those buttonholes. 
And there you have it! Jammies upcycled from a sweatshirt! If you try it out and need any of the steps explained further feel free to ask in the comments.

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