Operation birthday jammies. And labels!

Well! I’ve been on blogging black-out since Thursday while working on my birthday present for Mr. Bug – pajamas. The first man-project of every home sewist, right? The jammies were well received, the fabric was sweatshirt fleece and sinfully pricey flannel coupled with judicious (first time) use of my sewing machine’s embroidery function. Also, with a little help from Nikol, blogger and owner of Sewtropolis, I copied Tanis-Isis’s** label-making project so Mr. Bug would not have to sleep with his pajamas on backwards.

**OK. Isis’s?? Isis’?? Those pesky apostrophes!

[Mr. Bug and Lucy the hound lounging in their new jammies]

After hemming and hawing over what to purchase and/or make for the yearly birthday, I decided on jammies – more for lounging than sleeping. I found Simplicity 5271, appealing because of the cargo pockets (because patch pockets are so difficult to draft on my own, you know) on the PJ bottoms and the raglan shirt for the top half. I couldn’t picture Dan in the traditional button up PJ top!

I found some awesome, super thick and soft flannel at Hancock ($10 a yard!!) in a grey and white plaid. Not only did I want fabrics very soft and cozy, I also wanted fabric that wouldn’t show off Lucy’s white fur like crazy (like his other loungy pants that are all black or dark blue!) The shirt is meant to be sewn up in a knit and I pawed through the selections, finally deciding on a cotton jersey – white with blue sleeves. No grey available. On my way to the cutting table I spied a couple bolts of sweatshirt fleece – enough stretch and the perfect shade of grey! I’m not a huge fan of sweatshirts, but thought the idea of a baseball-style shirt in sweatshirt fleece sounded fun!

Once I finished the pajamas (my review on patternreview.com is here), I had enough scraps to make a little matching bandana for our basset hound, Lucy - I thought they’d like to have matching ‘outfits.’ I cut a triangle, finished the short edges with a scrap of bias binding, and finished the long edge with a strip of the selvedge edge. I sewed one of my new little tags on the bandana and used the embroidery function on my mid-range Singer to embroider her nickname on as well – Lucybear. Having gone that far, I added Dan’s nickname, Papabear, (can you guess my nickname?) on the hem of one of his sleeves.

[The 3 bears pajama collection]

My favorite part of the whole project was making labels! I bought a couple sheets of paper-backed fabric meant for use with a ink-jet printer and marked as colorfast. It was $5.99 for 3 sheets and I found them in the quilting section at Joann’s. I used Illustrator to make the label – it’s a line drawing of Lucy that I drew and we used for our wedding invitations. It also says ’3 bears’ – a play on our nicknames, not on our constant rejection of breakfast cereal.

[a sheet of freshly printed labels]

I printed then let dry for 10 minutes, removed the paper backing, then set the ink with a super-hot iron with no steam. To make the ink colorfast, I rinsed in cool water (I crumpled well to get the look I wanted), laid flat, patted dry with paper towels, then completely dried with a super hot iron. I cut apart with pinking shears. I think I’ll tea-stain the rest for a little more of a vintage, rumpled look. 

[Freshly ironed, crumpled and ironed again. And pinking shears!]

[Labels close up. There are a lot of church-going birds in our house.]

We love, love, love the labels and are planning on labeling everything. gloves, kitchen towels, Lucy…

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  • tanitisis
    October 3, 2010

    I like this even better than my labels! (Which aren't really "mine", I've seen at least two or three different tutorials out there on the same general idea.

  • [patty the snug bug]
    October 3, 2010

    Heather – I just sew a quick cross-stitch on my hard to figger' stuff like PJs. I wasn't sure that'd cut it for Dan, though!

    Tilly! Nope! I think he's dishy too!

    Laurwyn! Matching PJs! Fun! I'd do that for us, except I can't stand feeling swallowed up by my pjs, so I wear slippery pj bottoms and a super-stretchy cami! I was excited about the fabric-paper they made (I was imagining iron-on stuff, this was quicker!) We'll see how they wear!

  • Laurwyn
    October 3, 2010

    I love the PJs, and it is a project of mine for the winter too! Making matching PJs (it is completely cheesy, but I do not care).

    Your label are so cute! I didn't know you could make them that way…

  • Tilly
    October 3, 2010

    Ooh those labels are fantastic! And am I allowed to say that your husband is very dishy or is that crossing the line?

  • Heather
    October 3, 2010

    Cute! I have a pair of self-stitched pj bottoms that I'm forever putting on backwards. A tag would really help with that (or a pretty little bow on the front…)

    I love your tags!

  • [patty the snug bug]
    October 3, 2010

    I love everything too. Especially the husband, but the puppy comes in 2nd….

    OK. Maybe i love the labels best… :-)

  • lazystitching
    October 3, 2010

    Wow, Patty! I love every single thing in this post from the PJs to the puppy pjs to the labels. It just makes me squee in delight :)
    ~ Alana

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