This winter for Christmas I really wanted to make presents for my family, especially my daughters. I usually leave the toys and games for Santa to bring down the chimney, so my shopping list for the kids is comprised of mostly clothes, books, and art supplies anyway. I didn’t try to keep it a secret, I wanted them to be involved in the designing and making of their gifts. I like spending time with them in our “artroom” making a big mess on the weekends. I also encouraged them to make hand-made gifts of their own, and they hand-sewed some really sweet presents!
In the latest Connecting Threads Winter catalog we debuted some new flannel basics, including a Plaid print designed by yours truly. My very first job at Pendleton Woolen Mills was as a sample weaver in their Portland corporate office. I would design and weave plaid swatches to the specifications of the Menswear, Womenwear and Home divisions. It was a fascinating job in a beautiful sunlit room filled with yarn and looms, kind of dreamy for a fiber/color lover. With all that plaid experience under my belt, I knew as soon as I arrived at Conneting Threads that we needed more plaid! It is such a versatile pattern and I think it adds such a nice graphic element to quilts. Plus, a plaid can incorporate so many colors and still read as a tonal fabric, which makes it perfect for visually tying together various colored fabric in a quilt.
Anyone who has ever laid a hand on CT’s flannel fabric can attest to it being soooooooo incredibly soft. I had never sewn with flannel fabric before, but I was dying to. When I brought home some swatches for the girls to look at, they wanted something made from flannel, too. I thought of the days before polyester fleece, which has seemingly taken over all soft children’s items from stuffed animals to pajamas. I definitely don’t want to offend any fleece lovers, I can appreciate it’s cuddle factor, but I personally hate the stuff! I have more than once had a fleecy something or other melt in the dryer and ruin everything in the whole wash-load. If an article of clothing can melt, I will politely decline. I don’t mind if you call me a fiber snob 🙂
Seeing as I had melted their fleecy bathrobes from the previous Christmas in the dryer, I suggested that I sew them new flannel bathrobes, like the ones I had as a kid. They loved the idea! We hang out a lot in our bathrobes on the weekends, it’s a drafty old house. New bathrobes would definitely get a lot of use.
The pattern I really liked the looks of (and was reversible) unfortunately called for knit jersey lining, which I didn’t want to use. After reading through the pattern I didn’t think it would really matter if I lined it with woven flannel instead of knit jersey, so I went ahead and committed to the pattern I found on the Purl Soho blog. Each of the girls chose their favorite color and I picked the flannel/polka dot combinations accordingly. I love dots and plaid together.
The pattern was easy to follow and simple to make. My only suggestion would be to modify the armholes to be a bit roomier.
I’m really happy with the way these turned out. I gave them to the girls on Christmas Eve and they wore them all Christmas Day until we HAD to leave the house.
Thanks for reading! Please let me know of any fun projects you make with our new flannel basics, I would love to see. I plan on designing some coordinating flannel novelty fabric soon, so stay tuned flannel lover’s!