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!

Collage pj instructions
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.

collage pj details
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…..