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!

 

Lounging Pajamas

Because these are no ordinary pjs!  I’ve finally upgraded my sleepwear collection this year, and these are the business.  I chose a couple of Mrs Depew pajama patterns earlier this year, determined that in my 40s I deserved better sleepwear than baggy tees and a couple of self drafted pants.  Last year I made a Kimono Robe, this year I’ve upped my game.

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Mrs Depew 1920s Pajama set 3068

The advent of Independent Pattern Month on The Monthly Stitch galvanised me to finally get cracking on these.   I thought the “New to Me” category would be perfect encouragement!  The pattern is Mrs Depew 3068, a reproduction of a 1920s pattern for a robe, top with either long or short sleeves and ankle length or knee length pants.  It’s one of those patterns you can see made up in fancy silk, trimmed with velvet and worn on the silver screen by a gorgeous platinum blonde.  I’m neither!

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I’d seen an interesting viscose jersey print on Croft Mill Fabric’s site, black with beige, but not all over (no longer in stock, unfortunately).  It looked abstract and I liked it for the pajama top.  The pattern isn’t drafted for stretch fabrics, but as I’m technically a size up from the largest size of the pattern, I figured stretch would be just fine!!  As it turns out, I think it would have worked just fine in a woven.  For the pants and robe I chose a beige viscose, also from Croft Mill.  There was black viscose in the stash that would be used for the bands on the pants and the robe.

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The pants were so quick and easy to make!  They consist of just two pieces, a leg and a band.  Couldn’t be easier.  I’m just not sure where those 20s ladies wore their pj pants, up under their boobs so the crotch depth worked, or with the MC Hammer look…  The crotch depth is – well, let’s just say they look like a baby elephant could fit in! 😀  For the sake of accuracy I’m photographing them as they are, but I feel they’ll have to be altered pretty soon.  I used the overlocker instead of French seams, you only have 1cm seam allowance (3/8 inches).  Although French seams are certainly do-able with just 1cm, I opted for speed!

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1920s Pj construction instructions

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The top was quick too, instructions for making are brief – think Burda on a major diet!  But there is a diagram to go with the minimal instructions and it’s numbered with corresponding notches on the pattern pieces, so it’s not all that tricky.  I left off the band at the bottom, the top was going to be long enough on me without it.  The neck band was interfaced with some of Gill Arnold’s knit interfacing to give it a bit of body and stability, as were the cuffs.  I decided to make the long sleeved version to go with the long pants as I’m intending these to be worn in the winter.  There is a small section of shirring at the shoulder instead of any darts.

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Mrs Depew 3068 Details

On to the robe.  Again, only three main pieces – front, back, and sleeves (in two lengths).  The borders were cut in the black viscose and seamed together in one long length before attaching them to the robe.  It pays to stitch a guideline on the inside to iron under the raw edge so that topstitching from the right side catches all the insides nice and neatly.  Also, although the instructions say nothing (naturally) don’t stitch the mitred corners from the edge of the fabric, start 1cm in so you can turn the corner properly!  The sleeve cuffs are double folded rectangles inserted into the armhole.

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I really like this pajama set and will happily make another!  The viscose feels lovely and luxurious, and I’m sure it will feel cool even in the late summer.  I just don’t want to think of what it will look like after one sleep!   It’ll be like napping in linen… And I’m definitely going to alter that crotch depth issue with the pants.  *edit*  I’m not changing the crotch length any more, they’re so damn comfy to sleep in!!!

 

**UPDATE**

My fabulous pajamas have been shortlisted in the “New to Me” category of IPM2017 on The Monthly Stitch!  Woohoo!! 🙂  To vote for me (if you’d like) – and two other brilliant projects, follow this link.

 

Sleep in a Bed of Roses

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Burdastyle Pajamas in floral cotton

Well, pjs of roses anyway – and other flowers!  I’ve been on a pj making spree lately, I’ve got two sets of Carolyn Pjs of my own now (one still to bog), and here’s a pair I’ve made for Daughter No 2 to take back to Uni in September.

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Details

It wasn’t in the plan to make her another pair just yet, but in moving my fabric from boxes in my bedroom cupboard to shelves in a different cupboard, I rediscovered this pretty fabric – not quite believing there was still so much of it left!  I’ve already made two dresses from it, here and here.  I really don’t know what made me think, “This’ll make perfect pjs”, but I did.  So I sent a snapchat asking permission to make pajamas with the floral fabric and got a thumbs up in reply, but longer sleeves and trousers please.

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So I dug out the Burda magazine I’d used before, December 2014, and traced the sleeve from the nightshirt/gown version of the pattern, as well as the cropped trousers.  The patterns are 133 for the top, 134 for the gown/nightshirt and 135 for the trousers.  The trousers went together really easily, I left off piping and used contrasting pink topstitching instead.  The trouser hems have a facing which negates the need to mitre hems, that saves time! 🙂  I sewed on a length of green reversible satin ribbon at the front, good tip for identifying which way round they go on.

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The top is pretty much the same as last time, apart from the sleeves.  The patch pockets have more pink topstitching, and I left out the cuff at the hem of the sleeve.  We were after a 3/4 length.  Pink buttonholes and stripey buttons complete the look.  I did try yellow or green but I didn’t have the right shade and was determined everything should come from the stash!

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Can you believe, there is still enough of this fabric to make something else!?!?  I might leave it for a bit and make some little girl’s dresses from it.  I have a friend who is moving to New Zealand later this year so I’ll wait until they’re settled and send a box of goodies!

In the meantime, I have a dedicated sewing room!!  Can you believe it?  I love my new space.  It’s not complete yet, but it’s suitable for sewing!  I still need storage on the walls, all the fabric is still in other rooms and cupboards (and the loft!), but the vintage patterns are here and the majority of the Burda magazines I “need” to use this year.  And I have space for two machines out at once without having to shift them over to use them.  It’s bliss…..