Sewing For Patsy–Flannel P.J.’s–November 2020

The fall sewing project to replenish Patsy’s wardrobe continues. I made a nightgown and some shorts from a large piece of flannel I had on hand. In the past, I’ve purchased flannel from JoAnn’s flannel sales, sometimes on the day after Thanksgiving, for low prices and this piece was in my stash.

The nightgown was made from Butterick 5723. The shorts were from Simplicity 2819. These were both patterns I’ve had for a long time. The shorts were made because I had just enough fabric left over and I figured she could always pair them with a t-shirt and wear them to bed, or wear them under the nightgown.

I thought the nightgown was going to be shorter, so I lengthened it. It’s not short! In fact, it reaches between her knees and ankles after I made it longer. So, the shorts will likely not be needed under it after all.

Two things I do on shorts and pants: 1) I add a small piece or ribbon or bias tape to the center back casing. This shows the child at a glance which side is the back, like a tag would. 2) I stretch and sew a line through the center of the casing after I’ve inserted the elastic and made sure it fits the wearer. That keeps the elastic from rolling and twisting inside the casing over time.

If you try this, I’ve found that the elastic needs to be shorter than the actual waist measurement. It seems that the elastic stretches out when I sew that line through it. I usually go around her with the elastic, then take away 3-4 inches and insert that much into the casing. I then have her try the shorts/pants on and make any adjustments needed, sew the hole closed, then do the stretch and stitch down the center of the casing.

On the nightgown, I made a couple of alterations. First, I cut the top according to the pattern, but then gradually widened the sides, starting from under the arms, and by the time I was to the bottom of the skirt edge, added 2-3 inches. That actually added 8-12 inches of width over the hips. She likes her night things loose. I added about 5-6 inches to the length of View C, but left off the ruffle. I also tacked a ribbon bow to the center front so she could easily tell which side is the front. It’s difficult with this style to tell in a hurry.

I also left the sleeves free to flutter at the lower edges, rather than inserting a casing and elastic there. She doesn’t like the elastic on her arms, so I never put it in there for her nighties. Instead, I just narrow-hemmed the edges.

10 thoughts on “Sewing For Patsy–Flannel P.J.’s–November 2020”

  1. Nice!
    Thanks for the tips on the elastic. I hate when the band gets all twisty, and I wouldn’t have thought to put another seam in there.

    1. I’m glad you can use the tip! So many kids….so much twisted elastic….I had to find a better solution:). For whatever reason, sewing a small line of sewing at the side seams to hold it down, as is suggested some places was never enough for my kids!

  2. Such a pretty print! I’m sure Patsy will enjoy such cute and cozy night clothes this winter.

    My Mom has always done the same things with the extra sewing on the elastic and the ribbon to mark the back. I do too now. It was just recently that I realized not everyone did! I had a good laugh at myself over that.

    Thanks for sharing,

    1. It’s good to know that others use that little trick, too, because it works! I’m sure there are so many other little things I could learn from others, that the pattern directions don’t call for:)

  3. I like the ribbon idea, so much better than what I do. I use a sharpie and put a large letter “M” (for Mom) or “D” (for Dustin). I have done that ever since one of the boys came down the steps in my pants. It was hanging in their closet after laundry and they just threw them on. He said they felt funny but just thought they had drawn up in the dryer. If I hadn’t caught him, he would have left like that.

  4. Very cute fabric for night clothes. I remember the days of going to after Thanksgiving/after Christmas sales to buy fabric! I used to buy too much, but things were on sale for 70% off and I couldn’t resist! I still have some of what I bought last time, so, I’ll use them, next year, too.

    1. I remember taking a daughter or two down there to JoAnn’s at 6 am on Black Friday and getting flannel for 99c/yard. The lines were so long and we were there for hours, but it was fun at the time. But, those days have been over for quite some time, and at one point I started ordering on-line for Black Friday. I have no idea when a few of these flannel pieces came into my possession, so CLEARLY, it’s time to use them up:). I don’t buy fabric anymore, unless I have a specific purpose and can sew it right away. Also, I’ve tried very hard to sew up at least one or two pieces of fabric from the stash whenever I go on a sewing “fit” so it is actually shrinking, little by little. I just don’t sew as many clothes as I used to, due to the fact that I have less children at home.

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