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).


オテモヤン said...
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Jean Marie said...

Hello Kris,

I was so glad to find your blog last night. I liked it so much here I am back again today! I enjoy seeing all your ideas, and since I have a good source so far of used woolens, I can do much more with them now! I thank God for your sharing and teaching heart!

I thought you might be interested to know that there was a female phycian in the 1980's who gave lectures on the health benefits of wearing wool tops and bottoms for improving circulation, especially for those suffering with arthritis and lung and heart conditions. When I was suffering in the past with fibromyalgia, I took her advice, and it helped the pain reduction greatly.

I have a question, if I may. I have been wanting to make myself a wool bathrobe, but am unsure of the best way to construct it. I really don't want to look like a mobile patchwork quilt! :) Do you have any suggestions?

Thank you again!

Resweater said...

Hi Jean Marie,
That is so interesting! I will have to look that up for sure!

As for the bathrobe, it looks like I might have a future Tutorial Tuesday on my hands! I accept the challenge! I am thinking a long oversized cardigan for the top part... i'll have to work the details out. We have finally given up our robes around here, since we don't wear them anymore. I just wear big wool sweaters around the house, and I am so much more comfortable in them. I never thought to make a robe from them, but i'll work on it.

Unknown said...

I love it! I have made a few Vneck sweaters like this into smaller sweaters for my little guy! The two tone is really cool and I'll try it on the next one.

I'm working on a kimono style bathrobe tutorial for a little one made from an old beach towel, so I'll share when I get it done. I'm sure you could follow the same concepts and just use a sweater or two, imagine one in cashmere! mmm!

Jean Marie- I love that tidbit about health benefits! probably double for using recycled wool too, huh?

kirschkernzeit said...

Man, THATS REALLY COOL! Thank you very much for this greatbtutorial and your ideas here!
Bora from Switzerland

Resweater said...

Thanks, Bora! :)

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