Wednesday, September 4, 2013

{Mitted Pajamas}

If you have a kid with eczema you know the nights are the worst for scratching.  Milo has had eczema since he was about 6 weeks old.  Some years have been better than others, but the last two years have been pretty difficult.  Night time is the hardest because he lays in bed with nothing to do until he falls asleep, so he scratches.  Footie pajamas prevented him from scratching most of his body.  His forearms where he could pull up his sleeves and his face were his main targets.  I thought to myself, he needs those newborn type pajamas with the fold-over mittens.  I realized he had a pair of footed pajamas that had the same type of thing on the feet.  I checked them out and figured out how to put the same thing on the sleeves of Milo's jammies to prevent the bloody sheets.  I figured out two ways of putting "hand covers", as Milo calls them, onto pajamas. 

The method I will show you here can be easily added to store bought pajamas with long sleeves.  The second method (in an upcoming post) requires you to make the whole shirt or pajamas.  Honestly my son can get his hands out of either of these if he really wants to.  He can also play with toys and unzip footie pajamas to use the bathroom in the night even with his hands still covered.  What these do is prevent the unconscious scratching during sleep and just before falling asleep he can scratch but his hands are covered so no damage is done.

Materials Needed:
pajamas--either 2 piece with long sleeves or footie pajamas work great

1/2-3/4 yard of ribbing in color of your choice.  Ribbing can be found in most fabric stores and on-line.  It is normally 95-97% cotton and 3-5% spandex to give it the stretchiness but not stay stretched out.  Ribbed knit can be found in 100% cotton but will stay stretched out until you wash it.  I have used both and they both work well for hand covers.  It can be hard to find a good color selection of ribbing.  I recently found women's ribbed tank tops on clearance and picked them up in several colors.  This is what I used in my example.  When cutting out your pieces make sure the lines run the long way on your pieces so it stretches the correct way. 

sewing machine

Step 1:
Measure how wide the cuff is on the sleeve, add 1/2 inch. 

This is the width you will cut your pieces.  In my example, the cuff was 2 1/2 inches so the width I cut my pieces is 3 inches.

Step 2:
Measure how long you child's hand is then add 2 inches.  Double this number for the total length to cut these pieces. Cut 2 pieces of ribbing this length by the width in step 1.  In my example, Milo's hand is approximately 4 inches + 2 inches = 6 inches x 2 for a total of 12 inches.  These are the green pieces in the pictures.

Step 3:
Add 6 inches to the above number (12 in my example) and cut 2 pieces of ribbing this length by the width in step 1.  For my example I cut my pieces 18 inches by 3 inches.  These are the salmon colored pieces in the pictures.

Step 4:
Lay one piece from step 2 and one piece from step 3 next to each other, then fold them both in half.

Fold the longer piece down from the folded edge to make it the same length as the shorter piece.

Lay the shorter piece (green) on top of the other piece (salmon) so that the extra folded bit is in the middle. This extra bit is what will flip over to cover the hand.  Pin the long edges together and sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Step 5:
Trim your seam allowance to about 1/8 inch and turn your cuffs right side out.

Step 6:
Turn the pajama sleeve inside out.  Fold the existing cuff toward the inside.  Slip your new cuff into the sleeve.

I like to position the cuff with the extra part that folds over (salmon color) toward the front of the shirt. Match the side seam of the cuff to the sleeve seam and pin cuff to sleeve.

Step 7:
Sew the cuff to the pajama sleeve with a small 1/4 inch seam.

Turn the sleeve right side out.  Repeat steps 4-6 for the second sleeve with the other 2 pieces you cut in steps 2 and 3.

 Finished cuffs
Cuff folded over and  Cuff folded down for those times hands can be free to play

I added hand covers to 4 pair of pajamas in just over 30 minutes!

These hand covers would work great to keep hands warm in the winter and help prevent little fingers from pulling on trachs, feeding tubes, pulse ox probes and many other things!  They are not 100% fool proof but we love them :0)

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