Saturday, January 9, 2016

Sew What? Monster PJ Bottoms

Yes, this is my knitting blog, but sometimes fleece and sewing seem like a better choice!  I am knitting away on two other projects, but wanted get these Monster PJ Bottoms  in the mail!

Last weekend, my friend was excitedly telling me about some monster pants she knitted for her grand-daughter. There are some great patterns to knit or crochet, and her grand-daughter looks very cute!

But, I'd rather sew this project because this is the reply I received while asking my son for advice: "As his grandma, I think you can make him whatever silly stuff you want. Fleece sounds nice. Could you make him a top to go with it? He could wear them for PJs.  Love you."

Materials and supplies:
2 hours and basic sewing skills (one pair PJ bottoms)
1 yard fleece, and stash fleece for the monster's face (size 2)
pants pattern in the desired size
elastic for waist
thread (matching or contrasting)
sewing machine
I checked the pattern drawer, fleece stash, coupons and sales, and headed up to JoAnns.

I  purchased 1 yard of two coordinating fleece fabrics, and gathered supplies.
My lucky day, the pattern fit on 1 yard.  I modified the pants, front,and bottom hems of the top.
I cut out the pieces.  There was enough fabric for two pair of PJs!
Getting started on one PJ bottom, I stitched the back seam.
With the back seam stitched, I folded the PJ bottoms at the sides to create a more realistic view.
I used a sliver of dry soap to trace around an 8.5"salad plate for the monster's head.
I traced around the 3" jar lid, and cut the eyes.
I cut pupils from the smaller dots of the coordinating fabric.  I also fashioned a mouth and teeth.  I pinned the details to the face, and carried just that to the sewing machine. I stitched, and trimmed the pieces into place.
I set the monster's face onto the back of the PJ bottoms, and saw that I needed to stitch the elastic casing at the waist.  Then I pinned the monster's face in place, and stitched it to the back of the PJ bottoms. 
Sorry, I didn't take photos of sewing the PJ bottoms.  I stitched the inside legs, then slid one leg inside the other to finish sewing the crotch. Next, I finished the elastic casing, and threaded though the elastic. Finally, I hemmed the legs.  
I made the second pair of Monster PJ bottoms.
The next morning, I made the tops.  Once I looked at them, the PJ's were really crazy, but then monsters have poor fashion sense.  I thought waffle knit tops would look much nicer.
A quick trip to the outlet mall Carter's made this fashion minded grandma happy, and the value of the package (JoAnn's fleece sale) more than the postage.  I put the 4 tops and both Monster PJ Bottoms in a medium flat rate box.

  The sun was shining, I walked the package to the post office.

Copyright 2016, Marilynn Blacketer. All rights reserved. 1/9/16
for pattern support please contact 

D'Stash Bag

2016 had arrived, and it was time to look at the yarn stash.  I looked, weighed, recorded, and joined Ravelry group Stash Control 2016.  Then I pulled some wool yarn out of the closet, and started my first de-stashing project of the new year.

D'Stash Bag
300 grams of worsted weight 100% wool suitable for felting.

 With US size 11, 24” needles, cast-on 120 stitches, place marker, join to work in the round.

Rnds 1-10: Knit
Rnd 11: Knit 20, bind-off 20, knit 40, bind-off 20, knit 20
Rnd 12: Knit 20, cast-on 20, knit 40, cast-on 20, knit 20 (creating handles)
Continue to knit, joining another strand of yarn as needed by holding new&old together for 4 stitches.
With 20grams of yarn remaining, start base decreases as follows:
Rnd 1: Knit 4, k2tog(knit two stitches together); repeat to end
Rnds 2- 6 even: Knit
Rnd 3: Knit 3, k2tog; repeat to end
Rnd 5: Knit 2, k2tog; repeat to end
Rnd 7: Knit 1, k2tog; repeat to end (40sts remain, 20stitches on 2 needles)
Three needle bind-off , or Kitchener Stitch.
Finishing: Weave in tails. Place in mesh bag, and felt for 30 minutes. Shape, trim tails, and let dry.
I added the flower from itty-bitty hats, by Susan B. Anderson, “felted flower child”, p89, and attached it with 3 orange french knots.

I'd like to share photos of the process: 

I selected wool, decided I'd start with magenta, and complete the project with reds and browns.
I placed most of the yarn in a narrow bag, and started.
I clipped green and orange markers to mark the beginning and end of the bind-offs creating handles .
The markers were also helpful to note the cast-on following the handle shaping.

I continued to knit until I had about 20grams of yarn remaining.
I worked decreases, and used a 3needle bind-off to close the bottom of the bag.
I took the time to weave in the tails. The bag measured: 19" wide, 21" height.  I placed the work in a mess bag, and into the top loading washer with hot water for 30 minutes. The darker yellow yarn was acrylic, oops!  I solved that problem by securing that work with brown wool whip stitches, (Yes, the blue was acrylic, too.  I worked red wool through those with a running stitch.) I put the bag  back in the washer for another 30 minutes.
finished size: flat & folded 9", open circumference 30", 11"height
 The next morning, I added the flower from itty-bitty hats, by Susan B. Anderson, “felted flower child”, p89, and attached it with 3 orange french knots.
This pattern is available on
Copyright 2016, Marilynn Blacketer. All rights reserved. 1-9-16
For pattern support please contact: