Here’s why it took me so long to finish my last shirt–I was sewing birthday and Christmas presents for Doc!

First up is the Traditional Birthday Flannel Shirt, number six in the series. This time I used a herringbone flannel from JoAnn which is surprisingly nice–it washes up without any wrinkles, is heavy and soft, and has tiny tweedy flecks of color. (Take my word for it. The light on all of these photos isn’t great.) I think he likes it!


Then for Christmas, I wanted to make him an auxiliary pullover to wear around the house. He has a Polarfleece one with a stand collar that keeps his neck warm, so I found the Finlayson Sweater pattern from Thread Theory. I sewed that up in a Telio sweatshirt fleece, which is super soft and, Doc reports, as warm as the Polarfleece.

I was very impressed with the drafting and detail on the Finlayson Sweater: there’s a contrast facing inside, instructions to stabilize the shoulder seams and finish the neck seam with twill tape, and that inset shawl collar was the easiest inset I’ve ever sewn. The instructions are written for a standard sewing machine, not a serger, so I had to modify in some places, but it is a great pattern. (I may look at their button up pattern for Doc’s 2018 shirts.)


I also decided to make him a pair of comfy pants to go with his pullover as his existing ones were thin and pretty short from the wash. I was considering any of the Simplicity pajama bottoms but saw some reviews on Instagram of the 5 Out Of 4 Patterns pajama pants. The reviews unanimously said the fit was very close to ready to wear and it was a free pattern, so I gave it a go in some Kaufman Mammoth flannel.

It’s a super simple pattern but the instructions are extremely detailed. It also includes standard measurements for waist elastic and drawstrings if you’re sewing a gift and can’t measure your recipient.

The waistband isn’t a separate piece, just folded over, so these are really fast to sew up–which is good, because I had a Cutting Incident with my first choice of flannel and had to order more the week before Christmas. Doc was between a medium and a large so I made a large, but they’re a touch roomy. (Good thing that Mammoth flannel will continue to shrink.)


I get so much enjoyment out of sewing for Doc: picking fabrics that will be soft for him, finding colors that will look good on him, thinking about his nice broad shoulders when I cut things out or put in a sleeve, etc. I think I may get more enjoyment out of it than him, but another reason it’s so satisfying to make things for him is that he will always wear it and tell everyone that I made it–so it’s a win-win. 

He’s a pretty good model, too!