This month’s challenge over at the monthly stitch was a free-for-all essentially choosing any previous challenge. So I thought I’d take the opportunity to make myself a pair of the gorgeous Carolyn Pajamas out of this gorgeous plaid flannel/brushed cotton.
You may have noticed I’m not overly fond of PDF patterns, but I’m working on it. As many indie designers only do PDFs I’ve had to suck it up to get the patterns I want. So I only paused slightly when I realised I wouldn’t be able to get a hard copy of this pattern. But I obviously wasn’t in my right mind at the time. While the pattern is very nicely laid out and clearly numbered so you can fit your pages together – it was a whopping puzzle of 66 pages to be pieced together. Gahhhhhhh. It took me all afternoon to assemble the pieces correctly and get them all cut out. Seriously – ALL afternoon.
Getting started on the bottoms I quickly saw that I had failed to pattern match the front pockets. In my careful laying out of the pattern pieces I was very conscientious of my top pattern pieces and where they needed to match. But had failed entirely to think about the bottom pockets! Opps. My pattern patting on the left leg was pretty good, but the right leg was out to lunch.
The pattern advises that for the bottoms you choose the size that corresponds with your hip measurement (which is 38″), so I went with the size 10 (38.5″). They are probably the most ‘fitted’ pajama bottoms I’ve ever had – not uncomfortably so though. And I think they look just wonderful!
One of the details I loved about the pattern was the piping option. I’ve never used piping before but was really excited to give it at try. It was pretty hard deciding what color I wanted to accentuate in the plaid – the reds, blues or greens? But that was decided for me in the fabric shop when I found these lovely buttons and brilliant dark green fabric to make the piping from. In the end I decided to only use the piping on the top’s pocket, collar and center front.
Getting started on the top, the first action is the pocket. I had oh so carefully cut the pocket cuff and lower pocket to ensure that the plaids lined up. For such a small piece of the puzzle I spend ages getting this right – plus it was my first go on using the piping. And I have to say I was chuffed to bits at how well it turned out. While the pattern matching is slightly out of line vertically between the two pocket pieces, this is off set by the piping in-between. And the pocket as a whole matches both the horizontal and vertical plaids wonderfully.
Moving onto the collar I really loved the instructions. In particular where it says “The following step is a little fiddly to sew…”. This immediately put me at ease, as sometimes I stress that I make things harder for myself or I’m doing it incorrectly because something is so fiddly. Yet by warning me, I didn’t suffer the angst of wondering if I was doing it all wrong. With the collar done, I knew I had chosen the right color for the piping and think it looks smashing. I’m not sure I’ve ever been so well dress for bed.
After putting the facing on I ran into trouble. I was almost out of the matching green thread. So I switched to black for the sleeves (which were a breeze to attach). Because the sleeves are sew in flat (rather than round) I finished the sleeve and side seams with my pinking shears and a zig-zag as I thought trying to do a French seam in the arrow of the arm would be a bit fiddly. I also used the black for the hem of the sleeves and top.
Then real calamity befell me – the whirly-gig on my sewing machine to change the stitches broke. I could still change the stitches but it required a pair of pliers and careful attention to how many times I had turned it. This was a particular challenge for the button holes which require switching back and fourth repeatedly. I got there in the end but the button holes are terribly mess. You’ll also notice if you look carefully that my button holes are on the left and not the right. This is because the right side was shorter than the left, and to match my plaid it would be very noticeable that where the front pieces meet in the middle wasn’t the same length. Putting the button holes on the left however I was able to hide this little fault.
I had made the size 8 top although my bust measurement (34″) indicated I’d be a size 6. I did this mainly because I am weary of being overly constricted when sleeping. But I think now that it’s all done and dusted would have been just fine with the smaller size.
All in all, I love my new pajamas. I love them so much I may never get dressed again.
Plus I think they look pretty amazing with my new slippers -which I think deserve a little spot light. These are motties, which are made from entirely from reclaimed materials (every pair is unique) by Alexa up north. I think motties, the idea and Alexa are pretty amazing. I first got my husband a custom made pair three years ago – I sent Alexa a tracing of my husbands feet (cause they are so huge no one makes things in his size). He’s still wearing them. I decided it was my turn to get some and I loved the yellow ones! So voila my winter lounge wear is complete.