You know you’ve eaten too much sugar and had too little physical activity when a 4pm coffee break isn’t just necessary, but is the only thing that will keep you from sleeping right through till tomorrow morning. Life is hard when you sleep eleven hours per night have to choose between pie and cookies for your hourly snack. The result? An extra five pounds in five days. Lovely. Enter the thrifted flannel Wiksten Tova Top! A little extra fabric around the midsection never hurt no one.

Wiksten Tova Top from Thrifted Flannel

One of the most wonderful things about being home for the holidays is the time available to sew. In Boulder I feel bad if I haven’t left the house all morning. I feel guilty if a Beagle hasn’t had his daily romp through the field. Not here folks, nosiree. In Montana, we get up late, sew all day, and nap often. Also, our thrift stores are packed with goodies. There’s a reason they call this state the Last Best Place…for thrifted awesomeness. So two days ago I bought the digital version of the Wiksten Tova Top pattern and set to work with some thrifted flannel my mom picked up.Wiksten Tova Top Flannel Shirt

Now, I’m going to be honest and I hope I don’t hurt anyone’s feelings. Here it is: This pattern was not at all easy to follow. My mom, who has sewn garments for, like, 30 years even said so! The instructions aren’t written well and the photos are pretty bad. So if you’re anything less than an advanced intermediate seamstress, I would beware. Unless you have a very competent mother who fixes your mistakes.

Wiksten Tova Top Flannel Shirt

Still, I’m pretty smitten with my new top. And it had to be worn with my newly thrifted snow boots. Have you seen this trend explode in the last few months?! Me too! I spotted the cutest girl in the Denver airport wearing a pair. I was overjoyed to find a little boy’s pair sitting on the racks of our local Salvation Army for me. What’s even better? They’re functional! I’ve been wearing one very old pair of Uggs (with zero traction) to walk Beagle in the snow. These will work much better.Thrifted Snow BootsAre you back to the grind now? Recovered from the holidays? I’m so excited to be back at this blogging thing for realz! Lot’s more to come!

My life changed today. My sister informed me of buttonhole elastic. Please tell me you’ve never heard of this. Make me feel just a teensy bit better about my naiveté. And please excuse me while I have a total why-didn’t-I-think-of-that moment.

What is it you ask? Well, it’s elastic with buttonholes. Duh.

Still don’t get it? It wasn’t so intuitive for me either. By sewing a button into the back of the pants where the elastic peeks out, you can adjust the fit of the waist by buttoning the elastic at different lengths. This stuff is perfect for growing kiddos or for adults who have simply indulged in a large meal. This year I’m totally wearing flannel pants with buttonhole elastic to Thanksgiving dinner. It’s not a far departure from the usual holiday attire, so I’m sure it won’t be an issue.

Whitney is ready to clad the growing children of the world with adjustable waist flannel pajama pants. Five pairs? This woman is on a roll.

The facts, straight up:
Pattern: dana-MADE-it’s Kid Pants 
Size: 2T-3T
Fabric: an assortment of Jo-Ann flannel
Notions: buttonhole elastic, plus one random button per pair
Difficulty: beginner
Make it again?: I’m a little tapped out after all these, but never say never.

Her words:

“Did you stock up on flannel during the big Jo-Ann sale?  It ended up being $2 and change per yard and I went a little nuts.  There are only so many basic baby blankets with satin binding you can make before you need a break (amen sister).

 Enter kid pants.

 Kid pants are about the easiest thing on the planet to whip up, as evidenced by the FIVE PAIRS I cranked out in one sitting.  Assembly-line sewing is the way to go here, folks.

 Dana’s blog is fantastic and this pattern happens to be free.  If the size doesn’t suit you, you’ll find a link to drafting your own pattern based on an existing pair of pants.  The pattern goes together lickity split.  Once you get the hang of it, you’ll probably crank out a pair in 30 minutes if you’re doing multiples.

I opted to do buttonhole elastic on these and if you use the link above, you’ll see that the stuff is really pretty inexpensive.  Hopefully buttonhole elastic makes them more wearable, although let’s be honest… flannel is really only appropriate about six months out of the year.  I suppose a kid’s waist doesn’t grow too terribly much in a season?

Here’s a good buttonhole elastic tutorial if you need one. I used a single button instead of two, but the effect is nearly the same.  And no worries about picking out perfect buttons – I raided my stash of those ones that come in the little envelopes attached to new clothing.  Look at me… repurposing just like my little sis!”

I am so proud. Tear.

Flannels are in!

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Long live flannel.

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Let’s pretend the skimpiest possible jean shorts and toned and tan legs are NOT in. Agreed? Agreed.

For ideas for what to do with flannels, check out this post.