Sleep Tight

Lately I’ve decided that I need another pair of nice pyjamas.  I made a 1920s pattern last year in June, and I love them, but I need another nice pair for the changing seasons.  I made some of the Carolyn pjs last year too, but stuck to the shorts and short sleeved top for myself.  This time, I decided to use the long trousers from the Carolyn pattern to start my new pj set.  I made 3 pairs of these for Christmas presents last year!

The fabric I picked is the ecru/off white and navy blue ikat fabric I had bought from Fabric Godmother about 3 years ago (the link takes you to her latest stock, a bit cheaper than I bought mine for!).  I had bought it to make a wrap over top, but after tracing and toiling that pattern this year decided it really didn’t suit me.  So now it is a patternless piece of fabric, a lonely soul looking for a new purpose.  I had a feeling it would make a nice pair of wide trousers – and at that thought it was decided, pj pants!

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Carolyn pj pants & Uvita tee

As the fabic is narrow and I only had two metres, I knew there would be a bit of fiddling to be done.  I started with the length of the pants for the view B, with the cuffs.  I then shortened them at that point by 2.5cm each, just to get both trouser legs onto the fabric.  I thought I could make up the difference in the cuff depth.

I had blue piping in my stash (from my mum’s stash!) that I used along the pockets’ opening edge.  It makes a nice crisp line there and works well.  The small pieces I had left were cut into bias strips and sewn together so I could make more piping, possibly to use between the trouser leg and the cuff, which I thought I’d have to make in a contrasting fabric now, none of the scraps were big enough for the cuff pattern pieces.

Before cutting the cuffs, I tried on the trousers to see just how much deeper I’d have to make them.  And got a surprise – or even a shock!  The trousers were the perfect length.  What??  Yup, I didn’t need cuffs.  This now proves that I have short legs.  Anyway, I decided to use more of the blue piping at the edge of the trouser legs and instead of cuffs, used some of the bias I’d cut to bind the bottom of the legs, below the piping.

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I think it’s worked out pretty well!  I really was surprised that I didn’t need to add length (except hem depth) to the trouser leg, it was not at all what I’d expected!  So now I have half a pj set, still need a top.  I have some navy viscose leftover from a blouse I made earlier in the year, and I also have some navy viscose jersey in the stash.  Either would make for a good pj top, especially if I use the remainder of the bias strips of the ikat fabric to bring them all together.

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In the end it was the viscose jersey that won out.  I like a stretchy top to sleep in, having made the short sleeved Carolyn pj top twice last year and barely worn them at all.  they just don’t have the freedom of movement I like, and the collar annoyed the hell out of me!  So no I know I’m looking for a tee shirt, one with a fair bit of ease.  Either the Mandy Boatneck Tee from Tessuti or the Uvita from Itch to Stitch fit that bill pretty well.  In the end I chose the Uvita because it’s more comfy around the arms.

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I really like this pattern, it makes a nice loose fitting tee that’s not a tent.  I lengthened the 3/4 sleeve length by 5cm, not wanting a full length, but requiring more coverage than the original length!  It was quick to make and the colour blue is a perfect match with the pants.

I now have about 3m of ikat bias binding.  I’m sure I’ll eventually find something to use it on!  I also have a large backlog of projects that require phtos and blog posts.  Amazingly, these were all made for the daughters, both of whom I’m seeing again this weekend!  I will do my best to get all of the projects photographed so I can show off what I’ve been up to properly!  Photographs on a dressmaker’s dummy are never as good as those on an actual person.

Oh – and Autumn sewing, planning for the winter…  BRRR  It’s in the air!  Who’s started planning already?  Made a list or is it all still in your head?  I need to dig out my September copies of Burda and see if there’s anything I still need to make that I haven’t yet!

Sewing PJs for Christmas

A confession – I don’t sew things that often for Christmas.  In fact, it’s really rare for me to give sewn goodies for Christmas!  But this year I thought a change was due.  This was mostly brought on by the purchase (in October!!) of a superking size brushed cotton duvet set from my local Aldi.  The minute I saw it I knew it would be fabulous for some Christmas pjs.

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It seems I was infected with a pj making bug for a while.  Using Closet Case Patterns Carolyn pjs, I traced the 8 and the 10 and made 3 pairs of pants in those sizes, one each for my girls and one for a friend.  Each pair has a different trim detail on the cuffs and different topstitching.  I can only show you Daughter No2’s set, the others were packed up and sent off!  Then Daughter No1 asked nicely if I could make a pair of men’s pj pants for her partner, and a full set of pjs for his nephew.  I must have been feeling generous, because I said yes!

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A little trim on the cuffs instead of traditional piping. Each pair is different.
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I used different topstitching details on each pair of pj pants too. Just because they’re from the same fabric, doesn’t mean they all have to look exactly the same!

For Nephew’s pjs, I dug through my collection of vintage, retro and oop patterns, eventually finding an 80s Burda kids pj pattern, 4222.  I made the 10 year old size, pants and top.  It came together really quickly, buttons, coloured threads and elastic all from the stash.  I love the round Peter Pan collar and grey buttons, I used a mustard thread for sewing on the buttons, and for some of the topstitching.  It just adds a little bit of something different.  Those grey buttons came off the suit I took apart for The Refashioners project, reused and recycled!

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Burda Kid’s pjs

I added cuffs at the sleeves and on the trouser hems, because we all know how quickly boys can grow!  I’m quite chuffed with how these turned out, and I bet I’m going to be asked for more next Christmas!

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A little mustard thread on the buttons

The men’s pj pattern is 143 from Burda 12/2010, available as a download here.  I added inseam pockets to this pair, I think pockets are a must, even in pj pants.  I used orange thread for contrast on this pair, the fly and hem are nice and bright!  It’s a quick and easy pattern to run up, even with the addition of hidden inseam pockets.  They have already had the thumbs up, both this pair and Daughter No1’s have been approved as being comfy and cosy, so job done!  Anyone else have matching pjs?

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Men’s pj pants, Burda #134 12/2010

I have to confess to having to buy a second duvet set, turns out that even though there’s a lot of fabric in a superking size duvet, there’s not enough length for all the pjs I had to make!  However, Daughter No2’s boyfriend recently moved house and required new goodies all round, so I was able to resize the second duvet set to a double cover and give it to him, with the remaining pillow cases.  I even used the little drawstring bags the duvet sets originally came in, they made good pj bags!

 

Making Me-Made-May Relevant

Sounds like a tongue twister, doesn’t it?  When I decided I’d do #mmmay17 I didn’t just want to do my usual, “wear as much made by me clothing as possible”.  Because there’s not very much in my wardrobe (excluding undergarments) that I haven’t made.  I needed to step it up, make it a worthwhile challenge for me.

So while I will wear as much clothing made by me as possible during the month, the decision was made to identify gaps (excluding undergarments!) and to try to fill them using stashed fabric, scraps and left overs, and my re-make/re-cut bag.  The first item identified was a nice pair of pjs.  Mine are a bit mix and match, not exactly what I’d call “nice” pyjamas.

I dug out the Carolyn Pajama pattern by Closet Case Files and then went diving into the stash boxes.  Out came a bright and rather mad handbag print poplin that I’d bought years ago to use as lining in handmade totes and small handbags.  There was enough left to make the short sleeved top.  To top off the slightly mad look (well, mad for me – it’s bright!!) a metre of pink chambray joined the bag print to make the shorts.

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I didn’t toile…  I’d cut the Morgan Boyfriend jeans a couple of weeks before to the 18, but in the toiling process realised they were far too big, I did not need to size up.  So this time I just went straight to the 16, did a small FBA on the top and went for it!  It all fits really well, by some miracle!

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Carolyn pajamas, top is handbag print cotton poplin, shorts pink cotton chambray

I didn’t do any piping, contrast stitching, ribbons etc.  There really didn’t seem to be any need.  The instructions are clear and pretty straight forward, the top went together in an afternoon, and the shorts followed quickly the next morning.  I need to get used to sleeping in a top with a collar, but otherwise I’m really happy with the result.  I did go digging again to see if there was anything else I could use – to make another pair!  We’ll see, there may be another pair with longer trousers in the pipeline.

I also decided I needed another short sleeved tee, with a scoop, rather than v-neck.  I emptied my jersey fabric box which is was pretty much full of small pieces, left-overs from previous projects.  I tried to find fabrics of similar weight and colours that went together well and came up with this.  I used the Birgitte tee that I’d changed a couple of years ago to allow for a contrast yoke, cutting the yokes and neckband in the ivory and the remainder of the pattern in the silver grey marl.

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Short sleeve Birgitte Tee with contrast yoke

It’s a success.  Really comfy to wear and the neckline doesn’t gape when I lean over or bend down – which I do a lot of on the allotment!  The neckline has been raised by 3cm to get this right.  I really need some clothes to garden in, some thing comfy and breathable and that doesn’t let people look down my top….  And pockets – lots of pockets!  That’s my next identified gap.  Gardening clothes.

collage contrast birgitte

 

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I know lots of people just use something old from the cupboard, but even though I may have made some of my clothes a while ago – I don’t regard them as being good for gardening in!  They’re still nice!  I might reach into my re-cut bag for this part, depending on whether or not the pattern pieces of what I choose fit on/in!