Do you and your children receive new PJs for Christmas? It is a tradition for many and a wonderful one to start if you don't already. Of course, PJs you make yourself are the best, and smocked ones are even better! This is the first of two blog posts to give you PJ inspiration. I will cover patterns today and next Tuesday, discuss fabrics.
So first up, are these not the most adorable children in the most adorable PJs? My friend Kelli is their mom and they are wearing her handiwork. So how did Kelli do it? The nightgown is a basic bishop pattern - no need for a specific pajama pattern - just make sure the neckline isn't tight and you are good to go. If neckline bindings scare you, or you would prefer something with a little less smocking, then you may wish to consider the Snowdrift series. Every size is covered from grown-up to Dolly and the neckline is finished with a facing instead of a binding! Also, the sleeves aren't smocked, so if you are pressed for time, this may help!
Picture smocking can be challenging on a bishop because the bottom needs to flare out, so pick small isolated pictures to smock as Kelli did, rather that one large design. This post lists a collection of free Christmas Smocking Designs. Also notice the wonderful way Kelli incorporated picture smocking on her son's pjs. The smocking is done on a separate insert and attached as a pocket! This is a great idea if you are pressed for time and yet want to add some smocking to the pjs!
For a great pattern for boys pjs, this Sleepover pj pattern would be perfect. Oliver and S also show it made up as girl's pjs if the girl in your family is more a pj rather than a nightgown type! Lisette for Butterick also has a women's version of men's style pjs, if that is more the recipient's style.
If you would like to add some picture smocking to your pjs, but handling the natural flare of a bishop, or the amount of smocking that a bishop entails seems daunting, then try Little Breeze with its straight yoke! This is also a great pattern for those of you in more Southern climates, or our friends in the Southern hemisphere where Christmas is the warmest time of the year! Again, there is a matching mom's and dolly's version of this pattern.
And for a toddler, Sweet Little Kisses would be perfect! You could easily extend the sleeve for a long-sleeve nightgown if preferred.
How about making something special for the hardworking mom or grandmom in the family? Kelli also made this amazing nightgown for a special friend of hers, and that friend was thrilled to receive such a special gift!
Kelli used the Victorian Dreams Nightgown Pattern, London Calling Dawn Lawn, and our Grey Lace Trim. As you can tell, Kelli is an amazing sewist! Here is one more detail I thought you would enjoy: zoom in to see the holly she smocked on the sleeve of her daughter's bishop! These details are what make handmade gifts so special!
I know that Christmas is right around the corner, but most of these patterns go together quickly (yes, a bishop will take longer), and the recipient will be thrilled to receive such a wonderful and lovingly made gift! I hope I have your creative juices flowing. I will be back next Tuesday with a discussion on fabric choices for your pjs! Happy Sewing!