Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Easy Matching Shirt for Flannel Pajama Pants

Two of the three kids were in need of pajamas this year...ya know...because the ones they got last year are above their ankles now.  As of nap time on Christmas Eve I still hadn't started Little Brother's.  I didn't have much time because I needed to get them finished during his nap...and there were about 20 other things I needed to get done before Santa could come.

I pulled out some flannel and sewed up the pants.  Sewing pajama pants is about the easiest kind of clothes you can sew.  I make mine like this (just a little roomier than for knit pants since flannel isn't stretchy...and you'll have to leave a little extra at the ends for hemming.)

Sewing flannel pajama tops is a pain though...so I never do it.  I usually try to take an existing T-shirt and make it matchy somehow.  It turned out as I was going through my stash of blank T-shirts that they were all either too small for Little Brother, or had a girly cut to them...except for one black T-shirt.  I started looking for some brown scraps to applique a dog onto it for him, but didn't have any in the right colors...and I was feeling a bit of a time crunch.

And because I was in a time crunch and I was totally making this up as I went, I didn't take pictures for a full tutorial.  I've been wanting to try combining freezer paper stencil and applique for a while, so I'll definitely be trying this again, since it turned out so well.  For now, though, here's a quick rundown of what I did...

I scanned in a scrap of the flannel fabric to get a computer image I could enlarge.  Since the dog is looking through a white hole in the fabric design, I traced the edge of the dog + the hole onto a piece of Heat'n Bond (in reverse) tracing on the outside of the lines and being a little generous.  I ironed that onto the back of a white T-shirt scrap, cut it out, peeled off the backing, and ironed it onto the shirt.  Then you sew around the edge of applique to secure it.  (You can get no-sew versions of Heat'n Bond or similar products...but I never trust that they will hold in the long term after a lot of wear and washing.)

Then I traced out the outline of the dog (being less generous and tracing more on the inside of the lines) onto a piece of freezer paper.  Then I cut it out and ironed the outline of the dog onto the white applique.  I had a couple colors of brown acrylic craft paint, and used the design on the flannel as a guide for painting inside my dog outline.  Usually, I water the acrylic paint down a little before painting on fabric, but I didn't this time because I was in a hurry...it probably would have been better if I had, but oh well.  Once you've done your painting, let it dry thoroughly, remove the freezer paper, and iron over the design to help set the paint.
(Note this picture was taken after the shirt was worn for a couple of nights, and then washed and dried.  You can see the paint cracked just a little...if I'd watered down the paint just a tad first, that probably would not have happened.)

Then as a last step, I went around the major outlines of the dog and a few details with a black fabric pen to help them stand out a bit.

And it was ready for Little Brother to open on Christmas Eve, along with his sisters opening up theirs.

For more details about the girls' coordinating pajamas, you can see this post.

And Little Brother had fun being silly...

...and opening up his presents in his new puppy pajamas.

Because the only thing better than opening Christmas presents...is opening them in a new pair of pajamas...

Please show my sponsors some love...
Monster Pair Original Painting from nJoy Art
Faith in God Makes Me Stronger from Shirleen Bland's Art Studio
Personalized Transportation Collage from nJoy Art


  1. Good job! Those are so cute, they look like you planned them that way!

  2. Yeah for boy ideas. I have a boy, and there is hardly ever anything for boys! Thanks!

  3. Such a smart idea. Thanks for sharing that. Found you through http://firefliesandjellybeans.blogspot.com Linkparty.
    Love your girl's glasses.
    Greetings from Germany

  4. It turned out great! Your son looks quite pleased with his pj's... and he should be, they're terrific!


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