Friday, December 26, 2014

The Christmas Pajama Tradition

It was just days before Christmas, and do you think I was ready? Nope.

Don't get me wrong, the shopping was done. We finished that up. But we have a Christmas tradition that was just a little behind schedule right now.

My husband and I celebrated our 5th Christmas together this year. We've come a long way since that first year back in 2009 when we had both been laid off. It was a difficult year, having hardly any money and all of us still adjusting to me in a stepmother role. Even the cat was frazzled.

That year, my contribution to my new family's holiday came in the form of fabric. I wanted to make sure I that whatever I made for the girls was both something they would like and something they would get use out of. I’d recently helped them sort through the clothes in their rooms and made the discovery that all three of them were lacking in the pajama department. Later that week, I bought several yards of tie-dye skull printed flannel and a few yards of various printed fleeces. With a few days of my sewing machine at a constant whirring, the Christmas pajamas tradition was born. Even our little wiener dog got jammies!

2009 Our First Christmas Together
I've made pajamas for the girls every year except last year because I was so busy at work. And you know what? They complained! They missed their jammies!

Of all the things my step daughters have said to me over the years, one of the best compliments I've ever received from them was how much they love what I sew for them. There is nothing that compares to their appreciation for all the hard work I put into sewing what they love. Each of them has at least some small amount of sewing knowledge, so they understand how much work goes into each item I make.

This year, in order to make up for last year’s lack of sewing projects, I've all but buried myself in fabric. On the to-do list: 9 pair of jammies (3 for each girl), 2 skirts, and 2 dresses. And unlike that first year, we’re not just talking about your basic elastic waist pajama pants. You just wait to see what I’m cooking up this year! There’s flannel, there’s lace, there’s ruffles, there’s bows...oh yeah, we’re a girly bunch.

I didn't hit that mark, not by a long shot, but what I've discovered is that despite the best laid plans for the holiday, I sew until I run out of time on Christmas Eve. I finished one pair of the frilly pj pants for each girl, a dress for each of the two younger girls, and a skirt for the oldest. We've decided that the jammies need just a little more frill, so we're adjusting appropriately by adding ruffles on the rear later this week and I'm adding a lovely matching frilly top that I just didn't have time to make before the holiday.

Our youngest said that the best presents are the late ones, because she forgets they were even coming, so they’re twice the surprise (big points to the gracious 14 year old). They're spending the rest of their winter break with their mother, so I won't be able to get photos of them in their new handmade gifts for at least another week and a half, but as soon as I have them, I'll be posting about each.

All of the projects I didn't get finished before the holiday are on my to-do list for the next 10 days, so there should be a huge jump in the number of pajamas and dresses at our house. Then, it's back to selfish sewing for a little while. (Yes!)

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