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…..

Butter Mellow, Sunflower Yellow

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It’s Independent Pattern Month again!  I have given the whole thing a miss for a couple of years, but decided I’d like to enter again this year.  The fact that IPM2017 is in July instead of June really helped!  The first week’s category is dresses, and I had just the one!  Usually I’d make something for the girls, but neither of them are around at the moment, making fitting and photos a trifle tricky.  I could have chosen my good friend who has had me-mades in the past, but she really doesn’t like being photographed and I didn’t want to make her feel uncomfortable, just to get a free dress!!  So I asked another friend if she’d be interested – the answer! “Oh God, yeah!!”

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I wanted to make the Itch to Stitch Anza Dress, which I had a pretty good feeling she’d like, and I was right!  We chatted fabric choices while I took her measurements and then I went home to trawl the interwebs to find what she wanted.  I sent a few links with something along the lines of what we’d discussed, and then threw in a curveball, a graduated, ombre viscose with geometric pattern – the reply was instant! “That one!”

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Based on her measurements I traced the size 2 with D cup, grading out to the 4 at the waist, moving on t the 6 over the hip.  I’d printed off the A0 version of the PDF, it’s so well laid out!  There aren’t any pattern pieces overlapping onto different sheets and minimal wasted space.  The PDF is layered so you could just print the size(s) you needed.  Using an old sheet for the toile, it went together really well.

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The Anza Dress toile in a fetching pink sheeting

 

I followed all the instructions and used all the pieces, checking the pattern instructions as well as the fit this time round.  I’ve never used an Itch to Stitch pattern before, and now I’m quite tempted to try another.  The instructions are spot on, enough info if you need it, and clear enough to skim through and move on.  The toile fitted just fine, I like patterns with cup sizes, no need for FBA!  The dress is described as knee length – my friend is on the petite side but liked the hem length as it was, below the knee.  So I didn’t shorten the skirt part and thankfully there were no other adjustments required.

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The fabric is a viscose from Fabric Godmother, that is more like a voile, it’s a very lightweight viscose!  I had already decided when I saw it online that it had to be cut with the gold at the hem, graduating white through grey and into the solid black for the bodice.  The overlocker came in very handy for the construction, as did my daylight lamp…  Sewing black on black is a killer on the eyes as you get (a little) older!  The fabric was more challenging to work with than the old sheet had been!  Perseverance and patience were the name of the game, neither qualities I have in abundance.

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Ombre Border Print Viscose from Fabric Godmother
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Anza Dress, pocket and hem details
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Bodice details & vintage buttons

The dress itself took me two days to make, that’s including resetting the pockets about 4 times, and eventually recutting one front because I’d stuck the seam ripper through the fabric while taking off the pocket – again!!!  It was so wiggly!  Anyway, it’s all worked out fine in the end and I’m really chuffed with it!  My friend bought the fabric, the elastic and black bias binding I used for the drawstring came from the stash, as did the vintage faceted buttons.  They’d been sent to me by another friend who lives in the States.

 

 

We took the photos after work, (she’s a florist) and she’s informed me she’s not taking it off.  Her partner will have to take her out tonight, she has a lovely new dress to wear!  I think I might like to make another in linen, or a nice cotton, but I will steer clear of  viscose voile for this pattern, and never make one in silk…

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UPDATE!!

My dress has been shortlisted on The Monthly Stitch in the top 14 dresses, so the voting starts now!  Follow this link to cast your vote, and see who else is in the running with more fabulous dresses!

EXTRA UPDATE

Thanks to everyone who voted for my friend’s lovely new dress, I was one of the 8 winners of the dresses category and will be donating my prize of 3 Victory Patterns to the Makers for Grenfell fundraiser, run by Portia Lawrie.

 

Birds for the Summer

So, this post should have gone live last week, but it seems I’m unable to use the scheduling tool properly….

Burda skirt 106 5/2012

It’s another make for daughter No 2 to take to Madeira.  The pattern is Burdastyle, #106 from May 2012 (unfortunately not available as a download on the website).  She’d put this pattern on her list of “wants” for this year.  Luckily she’d had a good wardrobe clear-out, helped by her sister, last summer.  So now, instead of me just making what I think she’ll like, I’m sticking to The List.

While routing through my fabric stash at the same time, she chose this grey bird print cotton for the skirt.  It was what was left over after making a gorgeous vintage dress I’d made a couple of years ago.  There is pretty much nothing left of that fabric now, so I’m chuffed that’s another piece properly used up!!

We love the high waist on this skirt, and the pockets have received the thumbs up as well!  The skirt consists of front and back panels, as well as side panels, all gored to provide a decent amount of fullness that ends below the knee.  The centre front consists of a concealed button stand, the instructions for which were a little odd – the next time I make this I’ll be doing it very differently.

The pockets are a doddle, the welts could provide for a design feature, using an alternative grain or fabric to emphasise them would look good.  Piping could also be inserted at the join.  I used black buttons from the stash for the majority of the (hidden) buttons, and two grey buttons for the visible buttons at the waist.

It’s all in the details

I took the waist in to make it similar to the culottes I’d just finished, but for some reason although that works just fine, on the skirt it’s a little on the tight side.  Of course, we only realised that after she’d taken the skirt away!  So when it comes home with her before she heads off back to Uni in September, I’ll let the waist out again.  I’d love to make another version of this pattern, that mustard in the original photograph is still lurking in the back of my brain…

I need to get on with photographing all my June makes, I’ve been quite happily wearing them all, but no photos just yet!  In the meantime, The Monthly Stitch will be kicking off Independent Pattern Month again in July and I’ve decided to take part again.  I’ll do anything to get through my stash faster!  Anyone else interested?

Hook, Line & Sinker

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Burdastyle culottes 104 2/2017

I’ve really fallen for this pattern.  It’s been made in three different fabrics so far and I love each & every (very different) one.  The pattern is  culottes 104 from the February 2017 Burdastyle magazine.  Made late last month for Daughter No2 to take on her holiday to Madeira, she chose a linen viscose blend new to the stash bought from Fabric Godmother earlier in the year.  It was advertised as khaki, but was far more brown when it arrived, so I didn’t want it for me.  However, Daughter No2 was happy with it.

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The innards are all overlocked, but I used the sewing manchine for the construction.  Unlike the two versions made for Daughter No1, this one has the original front fly zip, belt loops and long tie belt.  All the elements work on this one.  All I eliminated was the back flap that hints at a pocket there, but has none.  I might add an actual pocket to another version as it’s usually handy to have a back pocket for your phone.

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The construction was pretty straight forward, the facings and fly zip guard construction is the same as another pair of Burda trousers I’ve made hundreds of times so the instructions didn’t phase me as they seem to have done for some other makers of this pattern.  I made the 36, but ended up taking the waist in so much it probably ended up being a 32!  I graded out to the 38 over the hip and then back to the 36.  The crotch depth was lengthened by 1cm.  Daughter No2 is pretty tall and the finished length was perfect.

island 1 She’s having a fabulous holiday exploring Madeira and eating her way around the island!  She is definitely entering the right profession, food is central to her day!  I am going to have to put Madeira on my list of places to visit, her photos have made me very keen to do my own exploring.

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Front details.

In addition to the culottes, I rescued a left over piece of green linen from the scrap box and made the shorts version as well.  There was enough on one piece for the front and back, and thankfully I found another piece for the pockets, facings and turn-ups (they aren’t supposed to be separate but I had no choice…).

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Green linen culotte shorts

It was only when the shorts were 99% finished that I realised that it wasn’t a trick of the light, or my tired eyes that made it look like there were two shades of green on the shorts.  OOPS!!  The other piece of green linen wasn’t the same!  Oh dear, I hope it looks like it was supposed to be like this, a design feature!!  The perils of using scraps I guess!  I’m very slowly working on reducing the stash of fabrics, both whole pieces and those pesky scraps and left-overs.

 

Catching up on May

So, May did a disappearing act on me and now it’s halfway through June!!  I have a couple of makes to show you, the first is in keeping with my reuse policy.  I made a pair of viscose border print trousers last year in South Africa and packed all the left over bits of fabric in my suitcase, bringing them all home.  I was determined to make use of it!

I decided to try my new favourite pattern, 105 from Burdastyle magazine February 2016.  The panels make it an ideal pattern for fabric that is in bits!  I arranged the pattern pieces to make the best use of the remaining fabric I had, using the selvage edge of the border for the hem.  I did pretty well and have only really small scraps left over.

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Mosaic Top, Burda 105 February 2016

I think this is my favourite version so far, it’s so soft and drapey!  On this one I tweaked the neckline, making a small dart to stop some of the gaping that occurs on the first two I made.  It’s worked well!  The button is from the stash, part of a vintage collection I picked up at an antiques shop.

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I’ve French Seamed all the innards so it’s as pretty on the inside as it is on the outside.  I love it so much that it featured 4 times in Me Made May!  It’s the only top I repeated like this!

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Day 10

With my navy linen trousers made last year.

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Day 15

With my Birkin Flares.

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Day 25

With my white linen Burdastyle trousers.

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Day 30

With my grey Burdastyle trousers.

I guess you could call this a good make then, well on its way to 30 wears…  Next up are a few items I made quickly for Daughter No2.  She made me a nice long list of Burda patterns to trace for this year and managed to allocate some fabrics from the stash towards some of them.  As she was heading to Madeira for 2 weeks in June I thought I’d best make a start and she could have some for her holiday.  I’ll do a few posts this week to catch up and then start on the June makes!

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.

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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!