July 24 2016
Health & Wellbeing

dodging flame retardants with a sewing machineI’m sure there is a reasonable explanation for why kids’ pajamas are drenched in flame retardants.  There were probably some terrible stories back in the 80’s of extremely flammable children spontaneously combusting in their beds.  Or 6 year-olds falling asleep while smoking on the couch.  Whatever the reason, in this country it is the law of the land that sleepwear for children 9 months to 14 years old must be flame retardant.

And thus we can all feel confident that our children are impervious to the house burning around them. (But only at night!)

Of course, if you’re not a fan of fabric that is doused in polybrominated diphenyl ether, you can buy sleepwear that is “tight fitting.”  Otherwise known as all those nice cotton pj’s that are as comfortable as compression pantyhose.

This has bugged me from the moment I began buying pajamas when my oldest son was a toddler.  I have searched high and low and I can tell you that there is almost no way around this issue.  Which why I make my boys’ pajama pants.  I am no sewing expert, but if you have any interest in sewing whatsoever, pajama pants are pretty much the easiest possible project in the world.  Patterns are cheap and plentiful at Joann Fabric or on Amazon and they are simple.

I’m a really big fan of all the organic interlock knit fabric options at Fabric.com.   Soft, cozy and available in any design that strikes your fancy.   It’s definitely also a money saver, though not the main reason I do it.

I just made some comfy pajama shorts for both my 8 and my 4 year olds with left over fabric that I had from making pajama pants back in the winter.  It took less that two hours total.

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The sound and the feel of a sewing machine – there is nothing better.  It is relaxing and meditative and it makes me think of my grandmother’s sewing box, my childhood button collection and my 98 year old seamstress aunt (who is still totally up on fashion).

Also, if you ever have a reason to go into a small neighborhood sewing store.. it is a very happy and inspiring place, even if you only come away with a spool of elastic.

Brooklyn General Store i Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
Brooklyn General Store in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

It just feels great to make something for your child, regardless of your level of skill.  No matter how imperfect they may look, my kids always reach first for the pj’s I made for them.  They definitely are the most comfortable and 100% non toxic.

 

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    • Thank you so much, Jacky. Yes, those memories are like drinking a warm cup of tea. My grandmother lived downstairs from me. My cousin lived next door and her grandmother lived downstairs from her. Our grandmothers would sit and drink coffee together while we stole their buttons and traded them for our collections. My 4 year old has my button collection now and loves to play with them. It is truly one of those special treasures to me.

  • I enjoyed your commentary on the pleasures of sewing! Thanks for sharing at the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY party – and don’t forget to leave a comment at the party! If you post gets featured, a comment gets it pinned and tweeted too!

    1. Helen 10:41am 03 August - 2016 - Reply

      I enjoyed your commentary on the pleasures of sewing! Thanks for sharing at the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY party – and don’t forget to leave a comment at the party! If you post gets featured, a comment gets it pinned and tweeted too!

    2. Jacky @ Joyful Savings 10:13pm 26 July - 2016 - Reply

      This post trigger lots of memories of my mom and grandma sewing while I watched…We grew up with 90% of our clothes handmade by our mom, so I know that special feeling of wearing something that was made specially for you.

      Great post!

      Joyful Savings recently posted: A Little Secret To Make Your Boxed Cake Taste Like Homemade!

      • Brooklyn Bread 12:39pm 28 July - 2016 - Reply

        Thank you so much, Jacky. Yes, those memories are like drinking a warm cup of tea. My grandmother lived downstairs from me. My cousin lived next door and her grandmother lived downstairs from her. Our grandmothers would sit and drink coffee together while we stole their buttons and traded them for our collections. My 4 year old has my button collection now and loves to play with them. It is truly one of those special treasures to me.

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