Making a Night Fury / Toothless Pajama Set, Part Two

I managed to figure out how to make the hood for this thing, which means it’s time for the second post about making my Toothless PJs! Part one is posted here, and shows how I made the shorts and top. This post is about making the hood for my PJs…and that little dachshund sized Night Fury hoodie I mentioned last week.

I decided to use the pattern I drafted for my Appa hoodie as a base. But I made it larger in both length and width because I wanted the hood to be deeper. I also drafted a stripe that would go down the back and serve as a base for little spikes.

 Speaking of spikes I drafted a dozen of those as well. And I drew out all the “ears” Toothless has – I think these should be referred to as spines or spikes, but they move and react to his emotions the way an animals ears would, which is why I think of them that way.

These were tricky to draft, since they react and change depending on Toothless’ mood. There isn’t reference photo that shows how they are supposed to look since they look different in every photo. I basically guessed on the shape and kept holding them up to my head to see if they looked right.


Guin’s hoodie was based off the pattern I drafted for her Momo hoodie a few years back, with only a few alterations. I also drafted a tail, rectrices, wings, ears, and a few mini spikes to decorate the base pattern.


Step one was tracing all the spines and spikes onto flannel and cotton. For the small spikes I used cotton, since it’s easier to get clean lines with lighter weight fabric. For the larger ones I used two layers of flannel.

I backed the minky for the six largest spines with fusible interfacing to help them keep their shape.


I showed this process in part one, so I won’t go into too much detail about it this time. I placed two layers of minky between the layers of flannel (or cotton) and sewed around the guidelines.


Then the spikes were turned the right way out and the lower edges were turned over by a quarter inch. This way all the visible edges are finished nicely. These spikes were eventually stuffed with batting.


The pieces that make up the spines (or ears) are relatively flat so they don’t need stuffing. I thought they would need wire or something to give them shape but the interfacing did a surprisingly good job, so I didn’t think that was necessary. Because they were so stiff all the pieces (except for the ones on the left) can be sewn directly into seams and don’t need to be whip stitched on.

But to give them a bit more stiffness I sewed a quarter inch away from the edges of each piece, all the way around. The stitching holds the layers together and makes them feel a lot heavier.

The ones on the left are supposed to be pretty perky, in the movies they even stick straight up at times. So I’m going to create a stiff base that slides into them before they are sewn on, which will hopefully keep them upright.


Before attaching any of those I needed to make the actual hood. Below you can see the hood lining and the two pieces that make up the top layer of the hood. The back portion is made from the cuddle fleece (so it the lining) and the front piece is made from minky stone.

The front portion eventually got backed with interfacing to add a bit of volume to the hood.


Now I ran into a little problem with the spines. Ideally these would be sewn into the seam between the front and back part of the hood, but I was having a hard time visualizing where they should go and I couldn’t get it to look right.

While I was trying to figure that out I did up the back seam of the hood and the lining. I also made the stripe for the back of the hood and sewed that on.

I knew roughly where I wanted the spines to go but I still couldn’t get them to look right. So I sewed the seam most of the way up, but left five inch openings for the spines on either side. This way I could add them a little later on when I had a better idea of how the hood would look.


After doing that the hood was still really floppy, which prevented the spines from sitting the way I wanted.  To fix that I sewed in the lining, then I stitched a half inch away from the front edge to create a channel, which I inserted a piece of quarter inch plastic boning into. Now the hood actually kept its shape when it was up!


So the spines could finally be sewn on and the opening in the seam got sewn shut. I also got all the spikes stuffed and sewed them down the center of the hood with a whip stitch. There are seven mounted on the stripe down the back, and three smaller ones at the very front.

I made sure the whip stitches that secure the spikes on went through the lining as well. This tacks the lining to the top layer of the hood, which prevents it from looking baggy on the inside.


Unfortunately I wasn’t really happy with the largest, most expressive spines. I thought they looked too much like massive elf ears because they were so pointy. Luckily the fix was easy, I just turned the tip over and whip stitched it down so the top looked more like a square than a triangle!

When I was happy with that I made little buckram cones which fit inside the spines and keep them upright.


The buckram was inserted and the bottom edge of the spines got turned over. Then I whip stitched them onto the hood.

The final step was attaching two larger horns on either side of the stripe that goes down the back. Once that was done the hood was finished!


I made sure the top layer of the hood and the lining were secured together, then sewed it onto the body of the hoodie.


And it’s done! I have mixed feelings about this. I really love everything except for the hood. I’m just not happy with the shape and placement of all the spines on the hood, which is a bummer since that’s one of the most important parts. But I like everything else! I think it’s cute and it’s really comfortable to wear. So I’m considering it a success and i’m happy I decided to make it.





Worn photos of it will be at the end, I just want to go through the process of making Guin’s hoodie really quickly!

The first thing I made were her little wings. I used one layer of flannel and one layer of minky for this and inserted wire into them so they would stick up. I used grey embroidery floss to stitch the joint pattern into them but I don’t have a photo of that process.


I made all the rectrices next (not sure if that is the right word for these) and used a similar embroidery process. My stitching on both these and the wings is really bad, I’m a bit ashamed. I was using five strands of floss and a very big needle which made it really difficult to get even lines and stitching.


Then I cut out the body of the hoodie, along with the hood and tail piece.


Here is her little hood and the spines – the construction process for this was really similar to mine!


Here is the placement of the spines on her hood! It was much easier to figure things on on this small scale…


The front part of the hood got sewn on and I stitched the lining in.


Then I assembled the bottom half of the hoodie. These two pieces zip together which makes it really easy to get on and off.


I made a little tale using the same process I used on the spikes for my hoodie. The lower half was stuffed and rest was top stitched onto the hoodie.


Then I added a zipper and did up the side seams.


The hood got sewn on and it was finished! I wish I had added more stiffening to the spines, because they are floppier than they should be. But I think it’s pretty cute.


I don’t think Guin liked her hoodie very much. The hood didn’t fit the way had hoped, since it was too small in the chest to zip up all the way. If I use this pattern for another dachshund hoodie I’ll have to let it out a bit.




Now for pictures of my PJs! I need to take more photos against this wall. I love the color of it.
Toothless Resize 4

Toothless Resize 2

Toothless Resize 3

Toothless Resize 1

That’s it! As I said, I like how this turned out a lot. I would just do things differently with the hood if I made it again.

Thanks for reading!

Making a Night Fury / Toothless Pajama Set, Part One

That title probably seems really weird if you aren’t familiar with the “How to Train Your Dragon” books, films, and franchise. I won’t get into the details about the series but it centers around vikings and their relationships with dragons. Specifically between the main character Hiccup and his Night Fury who is named Toothless.

The movies are animated and really well balanced when it comes to humor, drama, and adorable dragons. The first one is my favorite movie ever and the second one is definitely in my top five. If you haven’t seen them, I’d highly recommend them regardless of your age or usual movie interests.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you may be familiar with the Appa inspired pajama set I made a couple years ago, which is based off the Sky Bison design in Avatar the Last Airbender. After making that I immediately wanted to do something similar with the character Toothless. I bought materials for it a week later and started sketching design ideas around that time, but I never began work on it.

I recently came across those sketches and thought this would be the perfect time of year to make something based off of my favorite character from my favorite film. So that’s what i’ll be talking about today!

I don’t have any pictures of my sketches, since I didn’t end up following them very closely. I’d originally played around with the idea of fake paws, wings, and a tail that would velcro onto the hoodie, which were all illustrated in my sketches. But I decided that those ideas really overcomplicated things and weren’t necessary to the design, so I went with something simpler instead.

But here is a picture of my materials! I have some normal black minky, some black double sided fuzzy fabric, and more double sized fuzzy fabric in red. I also used scraps of the brown and ivory fabrics from my Appa hoodie. And for lining the horns I bought black flannel.

The fabric in the middle is something called minky stone. I think this is supposed to look like pebbles, but the texture reminded me of scales, which I thought was perfect for a dragon!


I used the See & Sew B4329 pattern as a base for the shorts, sleeves, and top. This is the same pattern I used for my Appa PJ’s, which turned out well, so I figured I might as well use it again. The top will be a hoodie, but I drafted the hood pattern myself and that will be the focus of the second post about this project.

Here the pieces are all cut out – I added a couple inches to the length of things since they turned out a little short last time. All these pieces were cut from the double sided black fabric except for the back left side of the shorts. That side was cut from red fabric and will be embellished with a viking skull, just as the left side of Toothless’ tail is.


Here are the patterns I drafted to imitate the Night Fury markings and scale patterns.  There is a strip that goes down the back, cuffs, and a pocket for the front.


There are also a ton of little spikes that I drew and copied onto bristol board. There are six on the back of the top, and three on each sleeve.



Lastly I drafted the skull for the back of the shorts. Like all the other patterns I drew this out by eye and fiddled with it until it looked okay. I think it looks more like a goblin with big ears than a skull wearing a viking helmet, but I guess it could look worse!

I fused interfacing onto the back of my ivory cuddle fabric, then traced the skull pattern onto the back and cut it out with sharp scissors.


I blanket stitched it onto the left side of the shorts by hand and that part was done! Still think it looks like a goblin, but i’m pretty happy with it.


I traced all the other pattern pieces onto flannel with chalk, then roughly cut around them.


Then I pinned them to pieces of minky that were cut to the same size. Once I sew around the chalk likes, trim the edges, and turn them the right way out i’ll have pieces with pretty finished edges!


Here is the pocket for the front that I created with that method. The main part of the pocket is minky stone, but there is a one inch border around the top made from regular brown minky. I did this to represent the harness that Toothless wears so he can transport Hiccup.


Here the pocket is with all the brown borders sewn on. It’s pinned onto the front panel of the top.


I stitched across the top and bottom edges to secure it to the front panel….but I did a really bad job. My topstitching looked terrible.

It isn’t unreasonable to assume that the edges of the leather harness were bound with some type of cord, and I thought I could imitate that with embroidery floss. I used four gold strands twisted together and sewed across the edges to try and hide my stitching. Unfortunately they disappeared into the shag of the fabric so you can’t even see them!

So I couldn’t hide my stitching. But I could make the thing look a little fancier – I went ahead and added a button to each side of the top edge, to imitate studs that would secure pieces of heavy fabric together.


That pretty much finished the front side of the hoodie, so I began work on the backside. This piece of minky stone runs down the centerback and will be the base for all the spikes down down Toothless’ spine.

I marked where the spikes would be by sewing around guidelines drawn on the back of the fabric with pink thread, but much like my embroidery floss, the stitching kind of disappears into the fabric.


Here it is sewn onto the back panel – if you look really hard you can see some of the pink stitch lines!


Before moving forward I had to make the spikes. I did this by tracing the spike patterns onto flannel with chalk.


Then pieces of minky were folded in half and sandwiched between two flannel layers.


I sewed around the guideline.

DSC_8079Trimmed the edges down.


Then sewed a quarter inch away from the bottom edge. The fabric gets folded inward at this line and stitched down by hand, so the bottom edge is finished.


After doing that and stuffing all the spikes, they looked like this!


I whip stitched them onto the back and tah-dah! Aren’t they cute?


The next step was cutting the hems of the sleeves so they had a more rounded shape. Then I pinned the minky cuffs on.


And here they are with the cuffs sewn down!  I went with the rounded hem because I think it hints at the shape of paws, but is obviously a lot more toned back than making fake paws.


Since the front and back of the top were done I could go ahead and sew it all together. After taking this picture I stitched up the side seam and hemmed the lower edge.


Now lets take a break from the top half and focus on the shorts for a minute – and only a minute, because these shorts are crazy easy to put together. Once the skull was sewn on I did up the crotch seam on the front and back.


After that the back looked like this – which I think looks pretty awesome! The contrast between these fabrics is so striking.


After the side seams were stitched up I used a basting stitch to turn over the top edge and the hem of the shorts.


Then I turned the hem of the shorts over by one inch to create a rolled hem. I sewed this down by hand because I didn’t have a red bobbin on hand and didn’t want the stitches to show.


I turned the top edge over by two inches, then sewed that down by machine with the normal running stitch. I left a one inch opening at the back so I could thread my elastic through. I’m using some really soft, stretchy, sheer elastic that I got in NYC. I’ve never seen this type in Joanns or online, which sucks because I really like it!


I cut the elastic  to be few inches smaller than my waist measurement, then threaded it through the channel with a safety pin. Once I had an end sticking out through both sides of the opening I made the elastic got stitched together. Then the opening was sewn shut and the shorts were finished!


Probably would have looked better if I used a thinner elastic, but these are high waisted so it won’t be visible when they are worn.





Now I could finally try everything on and see how it looked! It’s really unflattering, but it’s also really cute and comfortable so I can’t complain too much.

Also, I wouldn’t recommend this design for people who sleep on their back…


Here is the back of the top when it’s laid flat – I really like how these fabrics look together!


Now it was time to add the sleeve spikes. I marked where they should go with pins.


Then whip stitched them on! My little Toothless figure is watching over my progress…


And the top is done! Except for the hood, which at this point I hadn’t even drafted. The hood is the most complicated part so it gets a post all of its own.


Though that post might also talk about making a little mini Night Fury hoodie that would fit a dachshund…

That’s it for today! Thanks for reading!

Appa (ATLA) inspired Pajama set, Part 1

I have started writing myself weekly to-do-lists with hopes they will keep me more productive. Last weeks definitely worked out well, as I took about 120 photos between two projects.

One of my weekly items is to write at least two blog posts a week and I hope to keep to that! 


This project is a little different from anything I’ve ever made before, it isn’t made to be worn to a convention, and it doesn’t even have any ruffles!

The idea came when I was chatting with a friend about avatar hoodies i’d seen on etsy, and how wonderful and creative they were. As much as I liked them, I couldn’t imagine spending that much money on something relatively simple. 

Later that day I was in the basement and came across five yards of ivory, double sided minky material, which I took  as a sign to make my own. A few hours later I had doodled up a design inspired by my favorite creature from Avatar the last Airbender.

ATLA  is a series I really enjoyed, it’s funny and lighthearted and almost every episode makes you smile or laugh. Sadly  my favorite characters are either short, very tan, or male, and I don’t feel like I could do any of them justice. So this is what I decided to do instead….

This is Appa, who is a  Flying Bison. He serves as the main form of transportation in the series and has some comedic value as well.  


 It originally started as a plain hoodie, but with how soft and lovely the fabric was (and how much of it I had) I decided it was better suited for a pajama set. So I doodled up a pair of shorts to match! 


As you can I see I have my front/back sketches, and a bit of what the sleeve pattern should look like. 

As luck would have it, I had a pattern that would work perfectly hanging around. I bought it way back on a $1 sale at joann’s, but it actually retails for $2.50, so it’s quite cheap, even without a discount! The pattern was very basic, so much so that I threw out the instructions after taking this picture…


I also tossed the pocket and hood pattern since I didn’t like either of them. The pants were cut into shorts, and the dress was cut into a top.

Then I pinned the butchered pattern onto some muslin and cut it.


The pattern was ridiculously easy, assembly took less then five minutes since it is literally six seams to make the top, and five for the shorts.

I ended up finding the top too big, and the shorts too long. Both got taken in several inches until the suited me a little better. The shorts aren’t pictured since I neglected to photograph them.  


Once it fit I got out a set of french curves, a ruler, and a pencil, which helped me draw out the arrows and iconic Appa markings!


Once that was complete I traced them onto the other side, did up the sleeve arrows, and took a few pictures.



I was really happy with it! I ended up running into machine troubles an called it quits. The next day I attempted a hood and horn pattern but it was kind of a fail? The hood needs a lot of work and the horns were pretty laughable. 

The left one is smaller, and I like it much more. I’m actually fond of the shape, it’s just too large. I also feel that the hood needs ears to balance out the harshness of the horns. So I really need to go through and re-draft this bit, hopefully it won’t give me as much trouble the second time around. 


Instead of re-making the entire pattern from paper, I altered the one I had bought. 


This basically required ripping apart the mock up, pressing it, and laying each piece atop the corresponding paper pattern piece. Then I just cut of the paper around each piece and it was fine. The alterations were really minimal, just removing a few inches at each seam, and changing hem lengths. 


Once that was done, each piece of my mock up was cut apart. I cut out each arrow and traced them onto poster board. The reason for this shall become obvious in the next post!

I also remeasured and smoothed out any of the “rough around the edges” and made sure they were symmetrical and all that. 


And with that complete, I was ready to move onto the next stage.

But you will need to wait a few days for that post!

Thanks for reading.