Pretty Poplin Pajamas!
Hi, guys! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and if you celebrated Canada Day or the 4th of July, that your weekends were extra festive!
OK, while I have, overall, a really serviceable wardrobe that’s really starting to reflect my style, I have to admit that when it comes to the “unseen” items, the situation is dire. Socks, underwear, pajamas… they’re all in sad, sorry shape! Since I began to sew very seriously a few years ago, I just haven’t had the interest in shopping, but it’s also seemed quite silly to spend time sewing things that will never be visible outside my house! So when evening rolls around, you’ll usually find me in a shabby t-shirt and a pair of nearly-transparent men’s pajama bottoms. Sexy stuff, I know! So when Gillian dared me to sew a pair of pajamas, I was excited! Just the kick in the pants that I needed to sew up some respectable jams!
I figured that if I was going to sew pajamas, I may as well go all out! So I decided to make a two-piece set, complete with pockets and piping and the works. I chose this lightweight cotton poplin because, well, it includes: dogs, cats, cows, rabbits, birds, frogs, chickens, and farmers in straw hats! How could I say no to that? And I opted for a bright lime-green shirting, similar to this, to use for the piping. Pajamas are a great excuse to go all out with fun prints and colors!
As you can tell by my description above, I’m not very picky about my sleepwear. But one thing I’ve noticed is that most of my pajama bottoms are a cotton/poly blend, so they’re not quite as breathable as the 100% cotton I’ve used here and they tend to pill as times passes. This cotton will be much cooler and should stand up to heavy wear and laundering!
The pattern I used is the Closet Case Files Carolyn Pajamas. These are classic pajamas with a notched collar and chest pockets on the top, and slash pockets in the bottoms. You have the option to do cuffs with piping, if you like, or you can sew plain hems. There are short- and long-sleeved tops, and you can choose from pants or shorts. The pants have a feminine cut, rather than the shapeless men’s bottoms I’ve been wearing, so I wouldn’t recommend sizing down in the hips because they’re more fitted than the average pajamas. The pattern instructions are very clear and easy to follow. The notched collar construction was a bit different than others I’ve sewn in the past because there isn’t a back neck facing, and while I found it quite difficult to attach the collar neatly at the neckline, I finally got it done and it looks pretty good.
The piping isn’t hard to do, but it does take some time. I made my own using cotton cording, which I covered in bias-cut strips of shirting. Don’t forget to pre-shrink your cording if necessary… it would be a real bummer if you went to all that work and then things went crazy in the wash! Also, there are special cording feet that you can purchase to make piping with, but personally, I just use the adjustable zipper foot that came with my Juki (it looks like this). You can stitch very close to the cording with it and you don’t have to worry about using a certain size of cording… one size fits all with the zipper foot! If you’ve never made your own piping before, I really recommend giving it a go- it’s fun to sew and it really adds a nice touch to your finished garment!
I’m really excited to have some fancy new pajamas in my closet! And I’m looking forward to sewing up a flannel set in the fall… won’t that be cozy? Alright, guys, ‘fess up: what sad items lurk in your wardrobe, begging for an upgrade? Saggy sweatpants? Stained t-shirts? Come on… tell me I’m not the only one with dark secrets hidden in my closet!