Christmas is a time of making memories with your family, and we all have our favorite traditions this time of year. I love how things like making cookies and ornaments and sewing simple gifts can get everyone in your family involved. And though it’s work to do so, sewing things for others is a wonderful way to show them your love and still get to do something that you love! Today let’s talk about how to start a handmade Christmas tradition with your own DIY family pajamas.
How to start a handmade Christmas tradition with DIY family pajamas
Why DIY family pajamas are an easy gift win
One of the reasons I love making DIY family pajamas is that my kids almost always need new pajamas. By the time December rolls around, pajama bottoms are looking like high waters, and last year’s flannel is looking pretty shabby.
And if you have family members who are tough to shop for, pajamas can be an easy solution. There’s little fitting involved, they sew up quickly, with all those good holiday fabric sales, you’ll have no problem in finding a fabric that matches the interests of all your family members.
I got all my flannel this year from JoAnn on Black Friday for $2.50/yd. That’s a pretty low price to pay for the fun of donut flannel.
DIY family pajamas workflow
- Plan ahead: Hopefully by now, you’ve planned ahead, and if you haven’t be sure to grab my Holiday Sewing Project Planner when you sign up for my newsletter. It’ll help you plan out what you need and organize your supplies for your gift sewing spree.
- Wash all your fabric: No one likes shrinking pajamas!
- Prep your patterns: cut out pattern pieces, have them handy. Find some awesome pajama pattern ideas here!
- Batch cut: Cutting all your DIY family pajamas in one session is the way to go. It’ll save you mega time both mentally and physically!
- Assembly-line sew: When everything is cut, sew as many seams as possible in one sitting. Don’t bother cutting threads between pieces. Just sew. Then when you need to press seams, press as many as possible. Ditto for the serger. You won’t believe how quickly your construction process will go!
Involve your family in stitching up your DIY family pajamas
Just because you’re making DIY family pajamas doesn’t mean that you have to sew things in secret behind closed doors at midnight! Actually, you’ll probably stress yourself out doing that. So how can you involve your family in your pajama making time?
Let your family choose their fabric
My kids and I have a tradition now. We go to the fabric store the week before Black Friday and everyone gets to pick out a fabric that’s calling their name. I always have them choose a backup in case fabrics sell out or get moved around in the stores. They get really excited over being able to pick out their fabric. And if you’ve ever gotten the meh face in reaction to someone opening up a handmade gift you’ve made, you know the value of someone liking what’s going to come their way!
If you’re sewing for family far away, have them look online for fabric that they like. You tell them the fabrics to choose from, and they can find their favorite. Or simply find 1 fabric that everyone will love. I know Laquana made up pajama bottoms for her family this year in a happy gingerbread people print with the idea that who couldn’t love gingerbread people? Exactly!
Let your kids sew family pajamas too!
Your kids may or may not be old enough/interested in sewing, but you can still involve them in the process.
Younger kids can help place pattern weights when you’re cutting fabric or handing you pins while you sew. Everyone can pick out their own buttons. Older kids can help sew. I know my two oldest would have a hard time with the tops, but pajama bottoms are well within their abilities. Plus, siblings can help sew for other siblings. It’s good to teach kids to make things for others!
And even if you’re kids aren’t helping with the sewing, just hanging out in the sewing room together can be a sweet experience as a family! Put some music on, have them bring a project in your room, and enjoy your time together.
Traditions are wonderful things to give
When it’s all said and done, wrap up your DIY family pajamas (or not) and enjoy making family memories together. Pop all the popcorn, make all the cookies, watch movies together, read books as a family. Christmas is in part about just loving your family, so do that. In pajamas!
There’s still time to make something handmade for your family!
Today we talked about why DIY family pajamas are an easy gift win, we broke down a good pajama making workflow, and we chatted about how to involve your family in your gift sewing process. I hope you’ve enjoyed this handmade Christmas family pajamas series.
If you’re not making full on pajamas this year for your family, I encourage you to try your hand at some kind of handmade project. Even a quick 7-minute zipper bag, upcycled fingerless gloves make great gifts and they’re perfect for last minute.
What are you making for your family this year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.