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Pajama pants for the kids

May 24, 2013

It’s been over five months since I blogged here, have you missed me?   I sure missed you!!    But just because I haven’t been blogging doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy.    In fact, my busy-ness is why I haven’t been blogging.  Then I got to the point where I was just overwhelmed by all of the blog posts I wanted to write.   I will try to catch up, because if I can’t share the cool things I’ve done, then it’s not as satisfying to me.

My oldest kiddo had been asking me for over a year to sew him some “soft pajama pants”.   The boy is totally into soft textures.    I figured that as long as I was sewing pjs for him, I might as well sew them for all of the kids.    Turned out that it was mostly an easy process.

Here’s how I made pajama pants for my kids (and another two pairs for a sibling pair of friends of the girls).

The first thing I did was make a pattern by taking a current pair of pajamas and tracing around them on a long piece of paper.   then I added about an inch on the sides for a seam allowance, and two inches at the waistband and foot.


I chose fleece as my fabric for three reasons:  1. It doesn’t need to be hemmed, since it doesn’t fray.   2.  Due to the stretch, an elastic waist isn’t needed.  3. It’s the perfect cold weather fabric.

I neglected to photograph the fabric after I cut it.   To cut it, fold it in half right sides facing with the stretchy direction perpendicular to the fold.   Line the pattern with the straighter side along the fold (the dip that sticks out on one side is not the side with the fold).   Cut the fabric out, leaving the fold intact.

pants fabric

I also didn’t take a photo of the next two steps, but I will try to explain it accurately.   (And if I make another pair, I will take photos of the missing steps and update this post).

Sew the inseam, from the dip of the crotch down to the leg on each of the two leg pieces.

Leave one leg with the right sides facing each other, and turn the other leg right side out.   Tuck the turned leg inside the other leg and line up the leg seams you just sewed and pin from the waist to the crotch.   Sew this seam to connect the two legs together and form the pants.   Pull the leg from out of the other leg, and leave the pants inside out.   Whew!   I’m not sure how much sense that makes and I can’t find the link to the instructions I used when I made these.    It almost makes me want to sew another pair just to get the pictures for this part.

I decided to use a drawstring to cinch the waist on the pants using buttonholes as the opening.    First I marked where the holes would go on the front, as well as how they’d be place once the waistband was folded.   I marked them equal spaces from the center seam so that they’d be even.   The button holes only are going where the bottom marks are, the marks above are just to make sure that the seam that makes the waistband don’t interfere with the button holes.

marking buttonholes

Then I attached the buttonhole foot on my sewing machine, and set it up so that the buttonhole would be about ½”  long.     I love sewing buttonholes, it’s just so cool that it’s automatic once you have it all set up.

sewing buttonholes

Check it out.  I used a seam ripper to cut the fabric within the buttonhole.   Now it’s time to sew the waistband.


Fold the waistband down so that the buttonholes won’t be sewn, and pin for sewing.  Then with the pants inside out, sew the waistband together.   The left buttonhole is lower than I had planned but it ended up working out okay.


Since these were for my daughter, I decided to make a braid from some of the scraps for her drawstring.    If you go this route, make sure that the stretch of your fabric goes in the long direction.   I took a long scrap, and then cut it into three pieces, leaving part of it connected at the top.   I then stretched each piece to get it to curl and become thinner and longer.

tie prep

Then I used a clamp to attach it to a chair so that I could braid it.


Voila!   Once the braid was finished, I tied both ends, and cut off the fabric where the top was connected.

braided tie

Using a safety pin, I fed the braid through one buttonhole, around the waist and out the other.   I wish I had made it a little longer, just to make it easier for my daughter to tie.

tied waist

The pants by themselves

purple pants solo

And the pants I made for my other daughter.   I used elastic in the waistband on these (as they were the first pair I made, and I didn’t think of the drawstring then).

pink & purple pants solo

For my son, I didn’t use a braid, I just used a long piece of the stretchy fleece, and tied it together.

space pants tie 2

The girls modeling their pants

girls pjs

And all four kids wearing their pj pants on the one night I was able to get them together for the picture

kids pjs

Week 52 – silent night

January 1, 2013



It’s rarely silent here, and I feel like there hasn’t been so much downtime in the last 9 days for us.   It’s the last week of 2012’s Focus 52 and I decided to focus on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, at moments when it was mostly silent.


This is after Santa has arrived (with lots of gifts from us, Uncle Eric, Aunt Meghan, and Grandma & Grandpa under the tree).   Our elf, Gumdrop Fred, decided to pose for one last photo before his departure for the North Pole.

52 - silent night 1


Fast forward a week to New Year’s Eve … the littlest member of the family didn’t make it until midnight, or even 11pm!   He wouldn’t wear the hat while awake, so I snuck it on his head for the photo.

52 - silent night 2


Soon after, his older sister succumbed to sleep.    She was very upset this morning when she found out that she slept through the ball dropping.   She decorated her 2013 crown herself, and she wore it again for a good part of the morning.

52 - silent night 3


And so now it’s a new year.  I’d like to do another year of 52 themed images, as it’s a good way to think about things differently than just randomly taking photos during the week.   I’m hoping for a good year, with my family and friends, and lots of moments to remember together.

Thanks for spending time visiting my blog.   I hope that you have a happy and wonderful new year.


Week 51 – brown paper packages

December 22, 2012


It’s the week before Christmas, and it’s time to wrap the gifts.  For those who know me, or who have been following my blog for a while, you know that I don’t wrap with paper.   I’ve been using cloth gift bags for a few years now, and every year I sew a few more to add to the collection (mainly because I don’t have bags the size I need).

The prompt this week is to capture the gifts, any way we choose. That’s how I read it, anyway. I spent yesterday morning wrapping the majority of the gifts that I have for my family. I placed them under the tree and fired up the camera. It was a very dreary day, and the light was scarce. I didn’t want to use my flash, so I set up a spot light on the ground, pointed in the direction of the tree. That’s the first time I had played with a spot light for light augmentation and I was happy with how it worked out.

In addition to the cloth bags, I also use the fronts of Christmas cards from previous years to label each gift. It’s nice to look back on the handwritten notes on the cards, before I cut the front off to use to attach to the ribbons.

51 - brown paper packages


I love coordinating the colors of the cards with the fabrics of the bags – I don’t do it with all of them, as the kids won’t care.   But it sure looks pretty to me.

51 - brown paper packages 2


The large gift against the wall is one that my daughter is DYING to open.   I sure hope she likes what’s in it.  🙂

51 - brown paper packages 3


The blue doesn’t typically say “Christmas” but I love the shimmery texture, and it says “holiday” to me.

51 - brown paper packages 4


And that’s your peek under our Christmas tree. I’m looking forward to taking the set of photos that show the joy on the faces of my children (and the adults in the family too!) on Christmas morning.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!!!!

Week 50 – bokeh

December 16, 2012
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I had great plans for bokeh … but it was one of those weeks where I didn’t come close to getting everything done that I had wanted to.  Of course, every week is like that for me, but this past week seemed faster than usual.

I really wanted to get colored lights as my blurred background (bokeh is a Japenese word that refers to blur).   I ended up playing with the lights on the little tree in Jack’s room, as I built a tiny tree out of his wooden blocks.

50 - bokeh

I had to “steal” blocks to build the tree, when Jack wasn’t looking.   I sent him to go get his toothbrush ready so I could steal the blocks to build the tree above.


This is how his room was when I first entered it that night.   He was making a “track” with his blocks, and didn’t want me to touch any of it.

50 - bokeh 3


And this is the tree I was allowed to make with the few blocks he had leftover (which is why I sent him out of the room to make the tree I really wanted to make, without him having a mini-meltdown for removing track blocks).

50 - bokeh 2


I do like the nice bokeh of the little lights on his little tree … and if I had had more time to play, I would have done shaped bokeh instead.    I’m hoping to still play with that this week, but there’s still plenty to do to get ready for Christmas this year.

Week 49 – deck the halls

December 9, 2012


This week’s prompt was timely, in that it was time to decorate the Christmas tree.  With an early Thanksgiving this year, I didn’t want to have a tree up with over a week of November left.    We put the tree itself up on November 29th, but we didn’t have time to decorate it before leaving town the following day to visit my husband’s family.   In fact, we didn’t get the time to decorate it until the following Tuesday, December 4th.

So for six days, our family room looked like this, bare tree and storage containers emptied on the floor (thanks, kids!)
49 - deck the halls
The fragile ornaments had been wrapped in tissue paper, and kept in boxes away from the rest of the ornaments. My lovely younger children took them out of their protective nests and dumped them on the floor.
49 - deck the halls


I set up the camera and timer before we even started decorating the tree. This let me capture everyone decorating at different times, me included.
49 - deck the halls

I loved seeing the younger two kids decorating the tree. Jack initially didn’t want to be involved in actually hanging the ornaments, claiming he didn’t know how. But luckily he got over that, and he was a big help decorating the tree.
49 - deck the halls


Andrew even hung ornaments (of course, I told him that he wasn’t allowed to play his video games until the tree was done, so he did have some motivation)

49 - deck the halls


Rich got in the spirit of decking the halls, and hung this garland on the mantel. I think it turned out really nice, and I’m glad he thought of it.
49 - deck the halls


The tree, after everyone had gone to bed.    Gumdrop Fred (our elf) was so excited about finally having the tree decorated that he climbed to the top and hung out there for almost 24 hours!

49 - deck the halls


The next theme is bokeh, and I know that I am going to have a lot of fun playing with that one!  🙂


Week 48 – layers

November 30, 2012
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focus52BlogWhen I think of layers, I think of cake and onions (not together!).    Normally, having a theme like “layers” on the same week as my birthday would make it easy to get layers.  Nope.   I didn’t have a traditional cake this year.   Mom baked me a cake on Saturday, but that was before this week started (and it was a single layer cake).   On my birthday, we had cake pops.   So no cake with any layers to photograph …  and I wasn’t about to cut an onion just for a photo.  Besides, I kind of figured that the sky was the way to go …

Driving around last night, I was wishing I had my camera.  The sky was just so pretty, and there were just layers of color.   So tonight I brought my camera with me when I took my oldest to gymnastics.  I knew the sun would set on my way back, and the view from the ridge by our house would be beautiful.   Sadly, the traffic home got me to the ridge a little later than I wanted.  But I think I still captured the layers that I saw in the sky.

48 - layers



The Blue Ridge Mountains are in the distance.  I was hoping to catch more of them to make them a layer, but I just didn’t have the light (plus new houses have been built and they definitely get in my way when I’m trying to capture the horizon).

48 - layers



Just imagine if we had cirrus clouds in the mix, that would have definitely made for some colorful layers in the sky!!

Week 47 – thankful

November 25, 2012


This week we’re focusing on “thankful”. I have a lot to be thankful for.  I wanted to think beyond my immediate sphere of husband, kids, house, car – the things that are a part of my every day life. I am thankful for those things, and I’m sure I take a lot for granted most of the time.

Tomorrow I turn 40, and I have had a great first 40 years.    I wouldn’t have had those 40 years if it wasn’t for the two people in the photo below – my parents.   I am thankful for my parents.   Without them, well, I wouldn’t be here.    They played a bit part in shaping who I turned out to be.   And thanks to them, I am aging very nicely.    I certainly got the good aging genes from them. 🙂

47 - thankful


I love that they still hold hands.    We should all hold hands more often.

47 - thankful

dividerMaybe next year, I’ll take the month of November to photograph one thing I’m thankful for every single day. I know others chose something to be thankful for each day, but it wasn’t that kind of month for me. Maybe November isn’t meant to be my thankful month, I might have to chose another month to recognize all that I’m thankful for. Or maybe I do it on the 26th day of each month – that might be a fun project to take on. There’s always time to find ways to be thankful in different ways …