1.07.2015

Christmas Nightgowns and Pajamas

By nature, I tend not to be the most organized person in the world.  I'm more of a free spirit.  I like to go with the flow.  Schedules can feel confining to me.  And yet one of the biggest lessons I have learned is that organization really is key to a biggish family running smoothly.  While it does not come naturally to me (at all!), I have learned to become a more organized person.  I find it makes things feel a lot more peaceful.

christmas pjs 


So, yeah, I totally dropped the organization ball on the Christmas pajamas this year.  I did plan enough in advance to have Jude pick out his fabric early.  I knew I wanted to sew his pajamas first because I don't do a lot of sewing for him.  Jude is a basics kind of kid.  He generally wears jeans or cords and tshirts.  I haven't yet sewn jeans and am only recently getting into tshirts.  So this was a great opportunity to make something special for him.  He liked the idea of choosing his own fabric and we picked the Oliver + S Sleepover Pajamas together, but without the pockets or contrasting cuffs.

o+s sleep over pjs 

I sewed the size 12 (Jude will be 10 this month!) and it was perfect, if not a bit tight in the chest.  This is a unisex pattern and I wonder if, at this age/stage, boys and girls sizing might vary too much for a unisex pattern?  Jude is definitely getting the chest of a strapping young man.  But, as always, Oliver + S does not disappoint with instructions and since I made this last year, I was able to sew the whole set in about 3 hours.

oliver + s sleepover pjs 

Next I made Tia's gown from a vintage pattern : Advance 4831.  From what I read online, this pattern was published in 1948.  I was telling Indigo that if I held onto this pattern for her or her sisters to sew for their (hypothetical) daughters someday, there's a good chance it would be 100 years old!  That is just incredible to me.

vintage nightgown 

I had originally planned to sew this pattern for Indigo based the chest measurement.   I then added a whole lot of length.  But it ended up being way too tight in the chest for Indigo, so I lopped off at least 6 inches from the sleeves and bottom skirt to make it work for Tia.

vintage nightgown 
For Iris, I used another vintage pattern - Butterick 9987.
butterick 9987
butterick 9987 

This ended up being my favorite nightgown of all, though it was somewhat frustrating to sew.  The directions were pretty confusing at times. Also, some of the right side/wrong side diagrams were wrong which was annoying because I had to seam rip my serged seams.

butterick 9987 

Still, I think these vintage nightgowns have the sweetest details. To me, that makes them so special and I really feel they were worth the effort.

butterick 9987 

butterick 9987 

This left me without a pattern for Indigo.  We went to Joanns and then Hobby Lobby and it was all pretty slim pickings.  We eventually landed on a Simplicity pattern.

simplicity nightgown 

I had the worst time finding fabric.  I had ordered some through fabric.com but it took almost 2 weeks to arrive, not getting here until the evening of the 23rd.   I knew I needed more time than that, so I went to Joanns and Indigo and I chose some fabric, but when it was washed, it was so scratchy!  I knew my girls would not wear it.  While I have found that Joann fabric has improved over the years the quality is still, in my opinion, not nearly as reliable as what you will find at indie fabric shops.

christmas 2014 

We don't really have any indie fabric shops here so I went to Hobby Lobby and found this dusky rose broadcloth.  I think it actually worked pretty well.  It's light and floaty and the girls liked it.

christmas 2014 
Next year, I would definitely plan more in advance if I decide to tackle Christmas pajamas again.  I sewed these in 4 evenings but I was up until almost 2am every night and a little stressed out about finishing in time.  I think next year, I would like to have my fabric and patterns purchased in advanced.  I would like to have everything cut out and ready to go, but I definitely do not want to spend all of December sewing Christmas pajamas.  So a little last minute push at the end is a-ok with me.

christmas pajamas

9 comments:

  1. wow!! it DID need some organization and i think they look so so sweet! it is like looking at a 1950's family picture! like illustrations taken from Martine's books!I love the vintage looks and lovely colors. And I also agree that last minute does help with motivation and speed.

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  2. oh, these are great! i love the muted colors. and girls love nightgowns, i should sew lila a nightgown next christmas! way to power through all of those...that's no easy feat! and yes, sometimes the last minute push is just what you need...i totally sewed my christmas pjs assembly line style this year :)

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  3. They are so sweet, well done.
    I went very low key on the Christmas sewing this year, as it was so hot everyone slept in knickers and singlets anyway.

    The nighties are gorgeous, I am pretty sure I made something similar to Iris's for the Twins. Did the pattern packet have a boy in a night dress and a wee willie winkie hat as well as the girls nightie?

    I make the O+S pi's from knit with a woven facing and they fit a bit longer. My Twins still love the bottoms but tend to wear them with a singlet as our house does not get cold.

    I love the group photo, your children are so lovely, congratulations!

    xx N

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    1. Yes that is the same pattern and it's so funny you mention wee willie winkie because i just used that exact same reference to describe the pattern cover to someone else! i tried to find your version on Flickr but I didn't see it. Maybe I can do a search on your blog. I'd love to see yours. The knit link you gave me on Flickr was not coming up. Maybe the problem is with my phone. :/

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  4. Now that's dedication. I'd be cross eyed by 2:00 a.m.
    Well done mommy!

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  5. These look wonderful! I have a weakness for vintage patterns as well - nightwear always look so much prettier :)
    I feel your pain: I consider myself a very organized person and yet Christmas sewing always gets the "worst" of me! This year I was sewing Christmas PJs the day before Christmas eve.

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  6. Wow- three nightgowns and one set of pajamas. I'm impressed! And they all look beautiful. I had a bit of a push to get our Christmas outfits and pajamas done as well. Nothing like a deadline to get me moving!

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  7. way to rock the vintage patterns, Rachel! How sweet they all look together. I love it that if the girls someday sew the pattern for their own kids, it could be a century old by then. That speaks to classic style never growing old!
    That dusty rose color is so pretty on the girls - great choice, though I'm sad for you that your first Joanns purchase didn't work out. How frustrating:( Hopefully you've recovered from 4 long nights of pj sewing - and seeing these beautiful photos makes it feel all worth it:)

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    1. Thanks, Lucinda! I guess you are right - there is something classic about them that doesn't grow old! I hadn't exactly thought of it like that. Thank you for the encouragement, Lucinda! xx

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