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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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I sewed around the guideline.

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

Front:

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Back:

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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…

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

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

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

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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.

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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 2

Onto the fun post, assembly! I announced this project on tumblr and a lot of people showed interest, so I tried to make this as detailed as possible. That way it could work as a guide, or tutorial for anyone who wants to make one themselves!

I talk about drafting in Part One, so read that if you are curious!

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I  altered and used a pajama pattern from See&Sew, it’s pattern number is B4326 and it was very easy to figure out.

But If you don’t want to buy a pattern, there are quite a few tutorials on drafting your own online. You could even cut apart a sweatshirt (one you no longer need/want) and trace it to get a pattern.

In the last post I finished off the drafting process by copying arrows onto poster board. This was done so I could trace around them more easily.

You want to trace out all the markings and arrows onto the wrong side of  your backing fabric. I was using flannel, which I’d recommend for this task. I would also highly suggest picking a material color that either matches the color of the markings, or matches the base fabric. (mistakes will blend in better!)

Don’t be an idiot and buy what was on the fabric websites clearance page not like I did that or anything….

Make sure your material is pressed ahead of time. You don’t have to use flannel, but I would suggest material that isn’t slippery (NOT silk, satin, taffeta, peachskin, lining fabric, etc.) or thick (fleece).
Broadcloth would work just fine if you wanted a cheaper alternative. 

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DSC_0801 Make sure leave over a inch of fabric in each direction of your outline.
Then pin your flannel tracings onto the fabric you want to show, in this case i’m using brown minky.

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Once it’s cut pin the proper pieces together, make sure to remember the “right sides together” rule! The outline should be facing upward, and the soft side should be in the middle.

Then, pin, pin, pin! Make sure the material on both sides is flat and smooth,  and try to put the pins in places they won’t need to be removed/interfere with sewing the outline.  If you don’t you’ll run into problems later on.

Once you have carefully pinned the damn things you can sew.

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It’s slippery and annoying with pins, without them it’s hell.

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Then it was time to sew. I used a 2.5 stitch size and put a new needle on my machine to make things go a little smoother. Start at the top and work downward. Make sure to sew slowly and don’t stray from the outline~

 I would suggest starting with the easiest ones first, working towards the most difficult pieces.

DSC_0805Turn at each corned ensure the points are all right on and proper. These look really odd if you mess them up. Also, do not remove pins as you go! Leave them all in until the end.

(this was the first one I did, and I hadn’t discovered the importance of that just yet) 

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Once the arrow has been sewn around it can be cut out. You want the edge to be no more then a half inch, but no less then a quarter inch.

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Like so. You should also clip your corners so they look sharp! I did this, but I didn’t photograph it, for some reason.

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If the corners are being pain in the ass a pair of pliers and a knitting needle can help! I don’t like tweezers, they just went through the fabric and pulled out fluff. Pliers worked much better for me. If you choose to use a needle, be gentle.  

(I’m overenthusiastic and always poke through the material, destroying the corner)

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Then press the backs with an iron and that’s it.

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Then repeat with the more complicated ones

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For this one it had so many close corners I cut it from the back, working off the line I sewed rather then the original outline.

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When flipped, it looked so odd!

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It looked pretty odd rightside out, too, actually.

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For the bigger pieces I ended up making 3 inch slits in the backs, which is where I pulled the arrow heads through. 

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These curvy ones actually didn’t give me any trouble at all, it was a pleasant surprise.

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Once I was finished with the arrows  I cut out my pattern and began pinning the pieces on very carefully. One of the bonuses about working with minky (in addition to it fraying something awful) is that it’s stretchy! So pinning is important.

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For the back piece, I drew a line down the back and used that as a guide. I felt silly later on for cutting this on a fold when I could have just done a seam, it get’s covered either way!

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For the shorts I did things a litte differently, instead of sewing the crotch seam first, I did up the side seams.

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Which gave me something flat to sew the arrows onto, AND I didn’t have to add a seam in the middle of the arrow.

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Once again I started with the easiest arrows first, just to practice on. I did 1/4″ topstitching, but it varies in a few (okay a lot) of spots. I felt like this was a lot more difficult then sewing around the outline, the minky was really slippery and just a pain.

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I had to go quite slow, and every time I messed up I had to stop, rip it out, tie off the thread, and start again.
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Not sure how I completed it without breaking something, but I did.

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After this was taken I did up the front seam of the shorts, and made the waistband. I flipped over 1/2″ at the top, sewed it down, then flipped it down an inch so the raw edge was hidden. I sewed along the edge and then added elastic to the waist.

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I did the final two seams after this was taken, and then did a rolled hem on the bottom cuffs. Similar to the top, they were hemmed a half inch, flipped, and then hemmed an inch.

I moved onto the hoodie right after, sewing the arms onto the back.

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Then I sewed on the front, did up the side seams and I had two wearable garments!

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It still needs a hood, pockets, hemming, and a few other details, but it’s getting there! the next (and final) post should be very short in comparison to this, and it will be up later this week.

Thanks a bunch for reading! x