How to stay warm in winter

After getting a rather alarming gas bill for December, I decided to go with an old-fashioned solution – flannel nightwear. No, bear with me.

I’m not talking about winceyette floral sleeping gowns, or the red petticoats they use in the Railway Children to stop a train (much as I love the concept of averting a railway accident armed only with fabric remnants). Just some pyjamas.

brushed cotton plaid pyjamas

I bought 2 metres of this plaid fabric from Fabrics Galore for about a tenner. It was marked as being from Jack Wills, so not only do I have some lovely toasty pyjamas, I also have the smug satisfaction of knowing I saved £49 by making my own, without having to give a penny to a shop that uses the word ‘loungepants’.

Plus, mine have pockets. I used to be sceptical of the value of pockets in pyjamas, and I’m still not 100% sure what you’re supposed to put in there (Your glasses? A biscuit? Some light reading material?) but I like the look of them.

They’re super easy to add, whether you’re using a professional pattern or a self-drafted one like me. I just traced a suitable looking line onto the front pattern piece, then cut out pocket linings from one piece of fabric folded in half.

With the left-overs I made this hot-water bottle cover, another satisfyingly thrifty way of keeping warm. When I was a student I spent a whole winter in Brighton sleeping in a room with no central heating. The only reason I still have fingers and toes is because of the existence of hot-water bottles, so I’m quite attached to them.

The back's made from an old cardigan I accidentally felted

There is no shot of me modelling these as I am reluctant to appear on the internet wearing pyjamas, in case I decide to run for Prime Minister sometime in 2032. But here are both items being modelled by my bed, which does a great job for an inanimate object.

Just lounging. Nothing to see here.


9 thoughts on “How to stay warm in winter

  1. shivani January 18, 2012 / 1:38 PM

    lovely PJs! I bought some flannel from Fabrics Galore for the same purpose (not the Jack Wills stuff though) – must get sewing!

  2. Jane January 15, 2012 / 6:36 PM

    They’re lovely – I made some boy-sized ones for my sons but really want to make myself a pair. I could happily live in PJs, I love them. Re the Railway Children, my uncle used to always annoyingly pipe up “What if they’d been wearing green petticoats?” during the train stopping bit! He thought he was so funny – but he wasn’t. x

  3. Geri January 15, 2012 / 9:53 AM

    My Tesco pyjamas are so worn & quite frankly embarrassing should I ever get caught in them, that this should be high on my sewing priority list. Especially since yours look so comfy & totally acceptable to open the door to the postman in!

  4. ooobop! January 13, 2012 / 7:15 PM

    Just so lovely and snuggly. Midnight snacks in the pockets for sure! I bought Mr Ooobop some lovely flannel pj’s for Christmas and had a huge pang of guilt that I should have made them myself. But what I will do for sure is cut a new pair from his lovely M&S ones… and of course make some for me too!

  5. gingermakes January 13, 2012 / 6:58 PM

    I love flannel PJ’s! They’re so cozy and soft! I like having pockets in mine, if only because I roam around the house with my hands in my pockets, or I like to stick my phone in my pocket while I’m washing dishes or something.

  6. Elisalex January 13, 2012 / 6:40 PM

    Loooovely winter warmer combo! A significant portion of Christmas presents I made this year were hottie covers from shrunken knitwear… And I’ve been hoarding some tartan flannel I got on ebay especially for a pair of pyjamas – did you use a specific pattern? I was going to figure it out using an existing pair and my pattern cutting handbook but I’ve been putting it off for fear of wasting the fabric.

    • yesilikethat January 13, 2012 / 7:37 PM

      I cut up an old pair that were beyond repair and used that for a pattern, they are pretty straightforward to draft so I say go for it! But maybe use some cheap cotton first as a test. Then you have both summer and winter hand-made pyjamas, bonus.

    • Elisalex January 13, 2012 / 7:41 PM

      Aaah excellent. I like your thinking. Summer pj’s from a well thought muslin. On it!

  7. outofmyshed January 13, 2012 / 6:04 PM

    Love the thoufght of having a matching hot water bottle cover to my pyjamas. Must get sowing this weekend. Great post!

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