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 3

And here is part three, the final post on this project and right on time as promised. 

If you haven’t been keeping up with this project you should read Part One, and Part Two to get an idea of how I got to this point. I also have a post on making a matching Momo Hoodie for my dog that may interest you as well!

This was well on it’s way to completion in my last post, so this one will be significantly shorter. All I really had to do was make the front pocket and hood, the hood being the most complicated part of this whole project.

My one big desire with the hood was to make it without any stiffening! Even though I wanted ears that stuck up and huge horns I still wanted it to be cuddly and soft. Worrying about wire and boning channels wasn’t very an attractive thought so I did my best to avoid them.

It started out with a sketch. My plan was to make the hood in four pieces, each side would have a “notch” for the horns and then the ears would be sewn into the same seam. Then they could be stuffed and would hopefully stick up…that makes sense, right?

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I made a mock up for this (which is talked about in part 1) and fiddled with it quite a lot before deciding it needed ears. The ears were actually more difficult to draft then the horns!

It required a lot of sketching and then it eventually became a pattern.

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Which looked like so when cut out

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Each piece was sewn together, and then the backing of each piece was fused to a sheet of  medium weight (washable) interfacing.

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They were sewn right sides together and then top stitched, leaving me with cute little ear shaped pocket.

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The side with interfacing was then pleated inward giving them a bit of a rounded shape, and making them more bison-like.

Taking a break from those, I went ahead and cut out the hood! The hood ended up being 6 pieces (not including the ears/horns) the lining was made of two pieces, and the top was four. I borrowed my Merida hood pattern for reference since making these are really quite tricky.

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When it came to assembling the hood, I started by sewing the proper side of each horn on. For lining these up I just set them out the way they should look, then sew it right sides together, as per usual!

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The ears were  sewn on right beneath the horns.

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And then I sewed the adjoining horn piece onto the other side of the hood. Once that was finished both sides of the hood got sewn together

(this is really hard to explain my goodness)

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Then each horn was stuffed with a lot of batting!

The lining was sewn to the front, top stitched down the back and around the neck. Then I stitched around the horns and across the front.

And that was all, really. the horns and ears stuck up just the way I wanted.

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It was missing an arrow, which I drafted up an aligned with the center seam. This was probably the most frustrating/challenging part of the whole project since giant horns were in way and I couldn’t get the foot close enough to the base…

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Aside from finished hems, the only remaining thing to do was the pocket. I sketched out what I wanted and then created it in three different sized to see what I liked. In the end I went with the first one I made, so it was all a bit of a waste…

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I made them the same way I made my arrows, lined with flannel and topstitched on.

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I also hemmed the sleeves and sewed on a 2″ band across the bottom. It looked pretty cute if I do say so myself!

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And lastly, I sewed on the hood, which looks like so!

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The shorts were completed as well, a bit higher waisted then I would have liked, but perfectly wearable!.

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So that finishes up that project! It took about a week and was quite fun. I have a few other projects that are nearing completion, and I can’t wait to share them!

Thank you for reading, I hope to have fancier photos of this posted in the near future.

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.  

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 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! 

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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…

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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.

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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.  

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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!

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

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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. 

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

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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. 

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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. 

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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.