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little pajamas

As many of you know, I design all the visuals and graphics for Oliver + S, a company my good friend Liesl Gibson started that sells sewing patterns for children's clothing. Last year when we were thinking about the new fall line, I suggested we do a pajama pattern. Growing up in my family, we always opened new pajamas each Christmas Eve. I've continued the tradition, but the pajamas in the stores were just ho-hum and I was hoping that with a new pattern from Liesl, I could make something the kids would really love...  Enter the Bedtime Story Pajamas pattern.

I'm fairly new to sewing, but the Oliver + S patterns have eased me into garment making. I'm not as fast as Liesl (who once made these pajamas for her daughter in one evening between dinner and bedtime) but I'm so pleased that I can follow the step by step instructions and without too many mishaps, end up with something close to the illustration (not always the case with children's patterns!). I finished Bee's set before Christmas, but at about midnight on Christmas Eve I threw in the towel on C's top..  he did get to wear his pants to open gifts Christmas morning, and the top finally got finished a few weeks ago.

I am a bit of a skimmer when it comes to directions. Though I'm new to sewing, I always kind of peruse the illustrations and then start sewing without reading any of the actual instructions. (Probably why I don't mind using Japanese craft books..) After sewing a few things with Oliver + S patterns, I've learned to trust Liesl and to actually read them step by step. She'll often give you a hint or make things easier for you if you just listen and do things in the order she has specified.

The fabric I used comes from Purlsoho. I didn't want them to match perfectly, or to make them from the same fabric, I just wanted them to be in the same color family so they would look cute together. Bee's is mini garden from Kobayashi in the blue color and C's is neighborhood, also from Kobayshi in the blue color. The trim fabric is just a solid color, I think these were from the Kona cotton line.

I tend to spend more time sewing for my daughter than I do for my son. It just happens that way, it's not intentional.. skirts and dresses don't scare me, pants and shirts do. He really gets excited when I am working on something for him. He tells me he sleeps better in these pajamas because "they're made with love."  And he's right.. they were made with love. And somehow I think they can feel that when they wear them.

Just to clarify: When I say I do the visuals for Oliver + S, I don't mean the actual illustrations on the Oliver + S patterns, those are done by the very talented Dan Andreasen. I design the packaging, logos, website, tradeshow booths and that sort of thing.. just wanted to make that clear.

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Reader Comments (43)

I love the tops. Cute jammies.

02.18.2009 | Unregistered Commenterleaca

Everything is better when it is made with love. Very sweet.

02.18.2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnni

nice work. they look beautiful! thanks for sharing the info about your friend's company.

02.18.2009 | Unregistered Commenternoelle

wow, these jams are darling. i just started a sewing class this week (!!!) so i'll have to check out some of liesl's patterns to use for my homework/projects. thanks for the inspiration!

02.18.2009 | Unregistered Commenterjess

I love the illustrations on the Oliver & S patterns. They are so incredibly sweet. Great job. I had no idea that you did them. I love their website and the fact that have several patterns posted for free. Love the jammies!

02.18.2009 | Unregistered Commenterjules d

So sweet about your son! it is so true...girls ARE more easy...just add elastic:) how sweet he is to want more "made from mommy" clothes. just precious!

02.18.2009 | Unregistered Commentersarah jane

Beautiful pjs and beautiful sentiments.

02.18.2009 | Unregistered CommenterLecia

love it! I've discovered I'm an awful sewer, so I will just have to admire them from afar.

02.18.2009 | Unregistered Commentersara malone

Beautiful PJ's, I also love the illustrations you do for the oliver and s patterns they are very cute pics.

02.18.2009 | Unregistered Commentermelissa

They are SO cute! I need to go check these patterns out...

02.18.2009 | Unregistered CommenterJanie

Luv the jammies, love the pix!

02.19.2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

ohhh are you still smiling about your son's comment? that's adorable. and so are the PJs! great job

02.19.2009 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda


Just had to "delurk" and say these pjs are darling! I have begun my Spring/Summer sewing for my girls and this pattern must be used! Perhaps this would be the perfect thing to make for my son as well. Sewing clothing for an 8 year old boy is a bit daunting! Is there an option to make short sleeves...I'm sure it can be modified.


02.19.2009 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

i have been working on two of these sets for my son and his best friend for a little while. i was having and issue with the sleeves and i emailed them and they replied right away, so nicely to help me out. pretty amazing. i really need to finish those pajamas!

02.19.2009 | Unregistered Commentersara bee jensen

How cute. My mother had the same Christmas Eve tradition that you have for your little ones. The only gift we were able to open on Christmas Eve was our new PJ's. Even now as an adult, my mother continues her tradition. She even includes my husband in it and we are all look forward to our new jammies each year.

02.19.2009 | Unregistered CommenterJen

So darling! And I'm so glad you shared your experience working with the Oliver+S patterns. I've been tempted by them, but haven't ever picked any up because I assumed they'd be on the more technical side -- and that's just not me! However, now that you've set a baseline... I may just have to order one! These darling pjs might just be the place to start...

02.19.2009 | Unregistered CommenterCMN

I've been thinking about buying this pattern to make pjs for my boys, but haven't gotten around to it for one reason or another. It will be my first real sewing project, which might be why I've been putting it off.

But what a sweet tradition. I don't want to wait for next Christmas though so I might as well buy the pattern and try it out.

02.19.2009 | Unregistered CommenterNina

We opened pajamas on Christmas eve, too! They were always from our dog. :)

These pajamas are so sweet. Maybe I will try them. I'm a timid sewer, but I'm going to miss my daughter's entire childhood if I don't get on it.

02.19.2009 | Unregistered Commentersuzanne b.

I love them! Great use of fabric and colors! "Made with love"...that is so sweet :-D

02.19.2009 | Unregistered CommenterKate

OK, for being new to sewing you are pretty dang good :) I love your color choices and the patterns are so nicely age appropriate. I'm always looking for non-Disney princess jammies for my little girl - I may have to give this pattern a try.

I'm new to your blog and just love it :)

02.19.2009 | Unregistered Commenterchloe

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