Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Tutorial Tuesday - Easy wool pajama shirt
As most of you know by now, my son wears longies (sweater pants) to bed at night. I normally pair them up with an organic cotton pajama top, but I thought it would be nice to have wool tops too. Why wool for pjs? Wool wicks away sweat for a more comfortable rest, wool is dust mite resistant (especially wonderful for children with allergies & asthma), wool is naturally fire retardant (no nasty chemicals needed to safely wear wool!), and wool is insulted (keeps you cool when it's hot and warm when it's cold). This tutorial will work for making regular shirts/sweaters too, and is super easy. This project took me 20 minutes start to finish (not including felting time in the washer/dryer), including the time spent making the pattern. Sorry for the lousy pics of the process, but I had bad lighting.
Step one: Pick your sweater. I highly recommend a large merino wool, because it is very soft and thin. I used 2 different sweaters to get a cuter 2 toned look. I picked a v neck for the body, so I could incorporate it into the top. Note that a tight neck hole will become tighter when felted.
step 2: Felt your sweater... lightly. You don't want to felt it until it is stiff. It generally takes one hot wash/dry to get it perfect for a project like this, where it won't unravel, but is still stretchy and floppy.
step 3: Take a pj top that fits well, and trace the body and the sleeves separately, adding 1/4 for your seam. That is your pattern. I actually went beyond the length of my pattern, so I could use the hem of the sweater as the hem on my pj top, but you can always sew the hem back on if you need it shorter. I didn't want it to be snug fit, so I purposely chose a top that was a size bigger than he wore in the snug fit cotton.
step 4: Use your pattern to cut out your sweater pieces.
step 5: Turn pieces inside out and sew up the side seams on the sleeves and body (not the arm holes!!).
step 6: Sew your arms on and you are done. Easy, eh?
I could get a good picture of it on him to save my life, but there it is on my wiggly ham of a son! He has worn it to bed the last 2 nights and loves it! He doesn't like snug fitting clothes, and usually asks for "regular clothes" right away in the morning, but the past 2 mornings he's been hanging out in his longies & new shirt! It's nice to put a pajama top on him that is comfortable, is safe, and I don't have to worry about nasty fire retardant chemicals (that are required by law to be put on ALL children's sleepwear that is not snug fitting or wool).