Friday, May 30, 2014

Finished project: Peek-a-Boo Patterns - Alex & Anna Summer PJs

Do you watch HBO's Game of Thrones? And if you do, do you remember the not-in-the-books scene from Season 2 where the lovely Emilia Clarke (as Daenerys Targaryen) did the whole overacted "Where. Are. My. DRAGONS?!?" bit? If so, then substitute the word "dragons" for "penguins", and you've witnessed my 2-year-old daughter at bedtime lately.

If you don't watch Game of Thrones, then just picture a very irate 2-year-old who is threatening a meltdown if she can't wear her warm flannel penguin pajamas because they're either in the wash or because it's 72 degrees F in the house. Before you suggest that I let her wear them anyway, even when it's warm, understand that Eva doesn't sleep when she's too warm. And when Eva doesn't sleep, no one else in the house gets to sleep, either.

Thankfully, I had somewhat recently added a penguin print knit to my stash from Girl Charlee to my fabric stash. (I grabbed it on closeout about two months back solely because of Eva's love of penguins.) I poked around on the internet for a pattern for kids' knit summer pajamas and found exactly one that came in a size 2T (Eva's size): the Peek-a-Boo Alex & Anna Summer PJ's. Thankfully, the pattern is a winner:

Happy Eva models her new PJ's. Happy Eva = Happy Mama.
As a side note, while I was lamenting the lack of variety in kids' summer PJ patterns, Blank Slate managed to release not one, but two, summer PJ patterns in the past week--the Sweet Pea pajamas and Sleepover Pajamas. Both patterns have since been purchased and downloaded to my laptop.

If you're new to sewing knits or are a beginning sewist, this is a great pattern for you. Both the pattern and pattern instructions are clearly geared towards beginners. Instead of dealing with sometimes-tricky knit hems, the legs and arms are finished with cuffed bands. The only actual hem is the t-shirt bottom. I whipped these up nearly entirely on my serger in a little two hours, including PDF taping time. Since Seattle's weather can vary quite a bit, I also sewed a pair of matching Oliver + S leggings so that Eva could wear these on cooler nights:

3-piece pajama set + toddler foot
A few things to note:
  • Peek-a-Boo makes a conscious effort to reduce paper in that there are no paper pattern pieces for the neck and hem bands. In the instructions, you're given dimensions of the band for each size, and you can mark and cut the out yourself.
  • On a similar note, the top front and back pieces use the same pattern piece, but with two different necklines drawn. To make things easier on myself, I simply printed out the two sheets of paper containing this piece twice so that I could have separate pieces.
  • I found the neck opening to be quite small for my daughter's head. I dropped the neckline by an inch, and still found the opening a little tight. Since neither of my fabrics had much stretch, I finished the neckline with foldover elastic (FOE) to facilitate getting the top over her head, rather than add to the lack of stretchiness.
  • For at least the 2T, I found the sizing to be very true to RTW of the same size. Eva normally wears a 2T, and I felt that these fit her perfectly. As the pattern description notes, these are a snug fitting pajama (as knit pajamas should be). You won't find the excessive ease of many Big 4 kids' patterns with these.
I will definitely be making more of these. They were super fast and easy to whip up, and more importantly, Eva loves them. 


  1. How cute is that face - and those PJs

  2. I like how you did shorts and pants. Living in Olympia I get the weather struggle. Trying to predict if tonight's great pajamas will result in a freezing or sweltering child in the morning is a constant struggle. Also, these are amazingly cute!

  3. She is so cute! That smile...

    I love penguins! Your daughter has good taste! I wish I had that knit for a nightie for myself! I do have some really cute (maybe even totes adorbs) penguin cotton woven. I bought it with the intention of making sleepwear, but I don't like the hand. I've used it for fabric microwave pothoder bowls.

    1. I originally bought enough penguin fabric for "mommy and me" PJ's (because I'm a dork), but she seems to love the print so much that I think I'll use the remaining couple of yards on more stuff for her.

  4. Have to ask, how's your HP top coming along?

    1. It's coming along. I've got 4 projects in process right now (including the HP top), so for the HP top, I'm just sewing along at the pace of the sewalong. Right now, I've got the fabric cut out and the back and the bands prepped.

  5. Finished project: Peek-a-Boo Patterns - Alex & Anna Summer PJs ...

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