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Christmas Pajamas 2023

Handmade Christmas Pajamas 2023 | Megan Nielsen Blog

Well friends it’s time for my favourite blog post of the year – making my kids matching Christmas Pajamas! As the kids have gotten older I’ve been trying to think more carefully about the idea of matching Christmas pajamas. Whilst they were little they were quite happy to match perfectly, but I think as you get older you don’t want to be 100% matchy anymore. Not to mention the fact that it can be a bit tricky to find a fabric that works for all three kids – ie. is something they are all comfortable wearing.

Handmade Christmas Pajamas 2023 | Megan Nielsen Blog

This year I had the idea of making them a bit more coordinated than 100% matchy, and I’m honestly so thrilled with how they turned out. I have had these lovely gingham linen fabric scraps in my stash for years – all left over from other makes like pattern samples. You might recognise the pink gingham from this Matilda Curve sample and the blue gingham from a Protea Curve sample. The yellow gingham is leftover from a Protea dress I made for myself but sadly haven’t blogged yet. I got really excited about using those leftover pieces to make the pajamas *and wasting nothing* and have them all co-ordinate with a bit of a pastel gingham theme.

But with all great plans there is always a challenge to overcome – and this time it was yardage and pattern matching. Oh pattern matching, my true love and arch nemesis. I wish I could turn off the part of my brain that requires pattern matching. But sadly i can’t – it simply hurts my eyes to see misaligned gingham. Now the biggest problem with that is that if you are going to priortize pattern matching, you’ll need extra yardage to allow you to align all the pieces correctly. I however, had not accounted for that in my grand scheme to use up my leftover scraps. How awfully clever of me ;)

Handmade Christmas Pajamas 2023 | Megan Nielsen Blog
Handmade Christmas Pajamas 2023 | Megan Nielsen Blog

I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to squeeze everyone’s requests into that leftover yardage, and was almost about to give up on the idea. But then I remembered that perfection is unattainable this side of Heaven, so i decided to pattern match only the most crucial seams, such as centre front and back, and ignore the less important ones like side seams and shoulders. I also cut the back of Bunny’s top and Birdie’s front and back bodice with a seam down the middle to allow me to fit everything in. I’m hoping that you can’t see those seams – i spent a lot of time trying to invisibly align them. Another way I tried to economise on fabric was by using contrast fabrics on the waistbands of Bunny and Buddy’s shorts, which thankfully they both actually really enjoyed as a design detail. Sometimes I swear the best details come out of necessity!

Handmade Christmas Pajamas 2023 | Megan Nielsen Blog

So let’s talk about patterns! For the first time in a long time Bunny decided she wanted shorts and a top for her PJ’s instead of a nightie. She chose the Eucalypt tank and Reef shorts for her set, and i must admit that is a combo i also love for myself. Her shorts are the inseam and length of View C, with the high waist of View B. For her Eucalypt top I included her usual alterations – an FBA as well as shortening the straps by 2.5cm in order to raise the neckline and underarm. She had originally wanted the usual curved Eucalypt hem, but unfortunately fabric shortage did require us to make a straight hemline. This was just just squared off at the hip on the Eucalypt tank. I always fully line the front of her pajama tops, so we used the leftover pink linen from one of the Mini Darling Ranges samples to do that. Thankfully she is really happy with how it all turned out!

Handmade Christmas Pajamas 2023 | Megan Nielsen Blog

For Birdie she is still in love with her nighties and that’s all she ever wants to sleep in. She actually hasn’t grown much since last year, and the last two years of Christmas pajamas still fit her. It was a risky move, but I decided to size up for her to allow her to grow into these pajamas so they’ll last a bit longer. Plus Birdie’s linen is a bit different than Bunny and Buddy’s which were a plain weave – hers has more of a crinkled cheesecloth texture so I figured it would shrink up a bit when washed (which it did and she loved). She measured a size 8 in Mini Eucalypt, so I made her a size 9 because I’m convinced a growth spurt is imminent. If you’d like to make a dress or nightie from Eucalypt or Mini Eucalypt we have a tutorial here. The only issue with her nightie is that she loves it so much she wants to wear it out as a dress all the time – so it’s entirely possible this might not continue as a nightie and might be upgraded to summer dress haha.

Handmade Christmas Pajamas 2023 | Megan Nielsen Blog

For Buddy I had some more trouble as he has obviously grown so much. He is taller than Bunny and I, and has outgrown every children’s pattern I have – but is always a bit too small for men’s patterns. Being a teenage boy is hard, there really aren’t as many options out there for them in ready to wear clothing and in the pattern world. It makes me so sad, but I also understand how it happens. So I decided to put most of my time into Buddy’s pajamas this year as the options for him were more lacking. I drafted the pajama shorts and tee based on his measurements, and for two months coming up to Christmas he tried on so many toiles and thankfully now has a drawer full of pajama shorts! The tee shockingly was a perfect fit first time which never happens, and I’m very grateful for that! Now that I have a base tee and shorts set for him I’m planning to expand them into making some casual shorts for him. I never thought I’d enjoy drafting patterns for a teen boy so much.

Handmade Christmas Pajamas 2023 | Megan Nielsen Blog

When it comes to the details on his set – he always just wants a plain pair of shorts with a tee. I added a patch pocket to the back of the shorts as it’s a subtle way to show the front from the back. I used the same fabric for the waistband and really love that look. I also always add a patch pocket to the tee – for the same reason, to show the front, but also as a way to add the shorts fabric and make it a set. I also decided to use contrast blue topsitch on the white tee, which is a little unusual for me and i’m not sure if i’ll do it again.

Handmade Christmas Pajamas 2023 | Megan Nielsen Blog

As a final detail I added some “circa 2023” KATM labels to the back of everyone’s pajamas. I love that KATM makes these labels each year, i always save them to add to our handmade Christmas pajamas and I really like that the kids will be able to look back and see the years!

Handmade Christmas Pajamas 2023 | Megan Nielsen Blog

So that’s a wrap on handmade matching Christmas Pajamas for 2023! The kids are all happy which is the main thing, and I started early enough that the whole process was super fun. I think everyone really like the idea of being coordinated but not exactly matching, so I think i’ll try and find a way to implement that again next year.

Previous Years Christmas Pajamas
About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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Tammy
Tammy
6 months ago

What a lovely tradition. It’s always fun to see the versatility of your patterns.