Lullaby Line Sleep Sack

Jude refuses to sleep with a blanket—he has a blanket that he cuddles with/sleeps on top of, but he does not like to be covered up. This hasn’t actually been a problem. We keep our house warm enough that he stays perfectly cozy in his pajamas while sleeping on top of a blanket. But I realized around the beginning of November that we might need to have something warmer on hand for him when we went to Wisconsin for Christmas. My dad keeps his house cooler than we do and the room that we stay in at his house is in the basement.

Peekaboo Patterns Lullaby Line Sleep Sack

Last winter, Jude had a problem sleeping in fleece pajamas. While they kept him really toasty while we were staying in colder houses, they also seemed to give him an eczema flare up. So I didn’t just want to go out and get him heavier pajamas for traveling. I vaguely remembered having seen a sleep sack pattern that included larger sizes with foot holes so that mobile kids can still easily move around while wearing the sleep sack. I was able to track it down—it was the Peekaboo Patterns Lullaby Line Sleep Sack, which includes sizes from preemie to a kids 5/6. Jude has never had a problem with fleece sleep sacks in the past since the looser cut and wearing cotton pajamas underneath allows his skin to breathe a bit, so I decided to give the pattern a try.

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The fabric is a plush polyester knit I bought from Joann’s. It is super soft and very similar to the blanket that he sleeps on top of already. The fabric shed like crazy (which I expected) and was fairly shifty while sewing (which I did not expect), but it still worked out well for the pattern. For the binding, I used some navy Kaufman Laguna jersey already in my stash. I sewed up the 12-24 months size based on Jude’s current height and it fits him nicely, with plenty of room for him to grow a bit while it’s still cold this year.

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Peekaboo Patterns is the same company that made the pajama pattern that I made for Jude last month, and I felt similarly lukewarm about this sleep sack pattern. The pattern is fine but really just isn’t as slick and professional as I’m used to at this point. (And, to be fair, the pattern price reflects that—it costs about half of what I usually pay for an indie pattern these days.) I didn’t like the instructions for inserting the zipper–it seemed like a weird attempt at a shortcut that I’ve never seen in another pattern and seemed incompatible with my fluffy, shifty fabric. The recommended binding method is also not my favorite since it involves trimming excess fabric. So I basically just set the instructions aside and sewed it up in a way that made sense to me.

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The only significant change I made to the pattern was to widen the foot cuffs by ~.75”. I read a couple of reviews online that said that the cuffs seemed a bit too narrow, and when I compared them to the cuffs that I had just put on Jude’s pajama bottoms, I saw that they were basically the same dimensions. I also narrowed the neck binding a bit since it seemed overly wide (also an issue noted by other online reviewers).

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I wasn’t able to get any pictures of Jude standing up in the sleep sack. Once again, toddlers make for uncooperative blog models. But he was very happy to show me how easily he could crawl around in it as he collected small toys to throw over the baby gate and down the stairs. So at least I know his movement won’t be restricted as he performs the complex acrobatic routine that is toddler sleep.

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Alex & Anna Winter PJs

Back in the beginning of October, I decided I would take a month to sew up a few things for Jude. He had just received a bunch of new clothes for his birthday, but only had a couple of pairs of pajamas in his current size so I pulled some fabrics from my stash and cut out five pairs of pjs.

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I ended up putting the pajamas aside for a while when we realized that Jude didn’t have quite enough pants to get him through the week. And then we got some hand-me-downs from my office mate that made the need for new pajamas less urgent so I got deep into Halloween sewing. But after a bit of a detour, I’m happy to say that all the pajamas are done and frequent rotation.

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This is the Alex and Anna Winter PJs from Peek-a-boo Patterns, which I’ve used in the past to make pajamas for my nephews and my godson. I cut the 2T for Jude, which fits well with a bit of room to grow. The red dog print, the cat print, and the bug print fabric are all cotton interlock from Cloud 9 Fabrics. The ninjas are a Kaufman Laguna jersey print leftover from my nephews’ pajamas, and the airplanes are a cotton-Spandex blend from Riley Blake. All of the cuffs and neckbands are cut from Kaufman Laguna solids.

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I’m pretty happy with the finished pajamas. The fabrics are all soft and more substantial than the jersey used to make most store-bought pajamas. And store-bought pajamas are cut so slim that it is a struggle to get Jude’s arms sleeves, while these are much easier to get on. But I’m definitely less in love with this pattern than I was when I used it a couple of years ago.

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The pattern doesn’t have the grainline marked on any of the pieces (which is especially a problem for the pattern piece for the pants since it isn’t cut on the fold) and it also doesn’t have any notches to help with construction. It’s not as though it’s impossible to get the pattern cut out and put together without these things, but having them there would definitely make the construction that much easier.

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But the thing I found really off-putting this time was the shape of the sleeve cap. I feel like I have enough familiarity with knit patterns that the shape looks off to me, but I don’t have enough knowledge to articulate exactly what seems wrong with it. What I do know is that it’s much harder to set in evenly than I think it should be—I actually found it impossible to sew the sleeves in with my serger and had to use my regular machine. The sleeve cap shape also results in a bit of a weird bump at the armscye—it’s the kind of thing that wouldn’t be noticeable to anyone else, but I notice it and it bugs me.

The next time I make Jude some pajamas, I think I might pair the pants from this pattern with the Flashback Skinny Tee from Made by Rae and see if that works out better. Still, I’m happy to have these done, happy to have used up a good bit of stash fabric, and happy to see Jude in his mama-made pajamas.

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