What is Buffalo Plaid?

This isn’t the typical Ask Sewfie column, in that it’s not an actual question from a Sew Fun reader. This Ask Sewfie inquiry came about out of pure curiousity after my son, 8, asked for some red and black checkered pajamas… to match his new red velour robe, of course. I dutifully went to the local JoAnne’s where they predictably had plenty of red and black plaid fleece. I noticed it was all labeled “buffalo plaid”.

“What the hell is ‘Buffalo Plaid’?”, I thought. Note that in high school I rocked the 80’s in a custom made purple wool buffalo plaid winter coat. It was awesome. Thanks, Mom!

The Back Story

Well, it turns out, “buffalo plaid” originated from the Woolrich Woolen Mills, in Maine. The company began producing the Buffalo Check shirt around 1856. Due in no small part to its thickness and warmth, the shirt was an instant hit with workers and outdoorsmen braving the elements and has been in the Woolrich line ever since. Legend has it that Woolrich’s designer of the distinctive style owned a herd of buffalo and that’s how it got its name.

Woolrich Wooolen Mill

The Pajamas

I got started on the pajamas. I was pretty horrified that a simple “Easy, One-Hour Project!” pattern cost $15.95. When I was in high school, (yeah, this post is devolving into one of those old-people “when I was a kid” stories….) the only patterns that cost $15 were the crazy Bellville Sassoon patterns which would only be suitable for the prom, although I never did buy any of their patterns and the prom dresses I did make were pretty lame.

Pajama time!

Here is a Handy Tip

Whenever I make pajamas (and yeah, it’s A LOT), I always add a little satin ribbon tab on the butt so that the kids know which side is “the back”. Choose a color that’s REALLY REALLY obvious. Remember, our kids are the YouTube Generation which means they seriously don’t know how to dress themselves.

Add a satin tab on the back of your jammies and you’ll always know where your butt is

On an Unrelated Note

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