Back by Popular Demand

“Did you make Grammy Jammies this year?” 

Ben in the first Jammies 2010

The frequency of the question came as a surprise.  Apparently my annual sewing spree has spawned a following. It’s nice to know that a simple, homespun and creative work of love can capture an audience. Amidst the stress and anxiety surrounding our Covid-laden lives, it’s heartwarming to be able to contribute some whimsy to the world.

The answer is “Of course!”

What started with a single pair of slipper jammies 11 years ago has blossomed into seven pairs of Grammie Jammies and six Grammie Jammies for special friends this year. Thinking that a newborn was a bit young to have adopted a favorite friend yet, I added a matching stuffed animal to the assembly for him.

With each passing year, the kids get older, the Jammies bigger and I hold my breath as I check with the oldest ones to see if they are still “in.” Now topping out at 11 and 9, I realize this ritual may be nearing the end of its lifespan for them. But this year they came up with their own creative solution. “Can we have them without feet?”

“Yes! I can certainly do that!” and the tradition lives on.

I admit that I let this venture consume my fall. Once the Jammies are all cut and ready to sew, my obsessive side comes out. I develop tunnel vision, waking only to ponder how many Jammies I can complete by the end of the day. I feed material through the machine, clip threads, insert zippers, zigzag seams, top stitch, stretch ribbing, wind the bobbin and start new spools of thread all the day long. Admittedly, I still do my share of ripping out stitches and do-overs as well. Practice doesn’t always make perfect.

To date, I’ve made 51 pairs of Grammy Jammies, out of 16 different patterns of fleece. Expanding into friend Jammies four years ago adds another 20 miniature Jammies. Taking the numbers game even farther, here’s what it took to produce this year’s Grammy Jammies:

  • 13 zippers
  • 9 yards of fleece fabric
  • 5/8 yard ribbing fabric
  • Gripper foot fabric
  • 1 snap
  • 3 large spools of thread
  • 3 old Kwik Sew patterns, sizes newborn to kids XL
  • 1 44 year old sewing machine

By now the kids all know what comes in fabric bags, and I’m always as excited as they are when the latest creations are unveiled. And the best part is snuggling in together, surrounded by soft fleece clad bodies and a whole lot of love. Just like what went into the Jammies.

I can only hope that they will be back by popular demand again next year!

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