Liberty Boaty Carolyn Pyjamas

I’m back with more Carolyn Pyjamas! And I really really love this set! They have been literally years in the making – the fabric hasn’t been in my stash quite as long as the fabric I used for my first pair but still, it’s been a while!

The fabric is also liberty but it’s got a bit more weight to it than the stuff I used for my first pair. One of my London friends was very very generous and bought me 3m of it as a present! I knew immediately I wanted to make pyjamas out of it…..and then didn’t for years. But I’ve made them now!

I made the size 8 in both top and trousers as with my other pair but when I laid out the fabric I realised it was super narrow. So I had to sacrifice the long sleeves to be able to fit all the other pieces on – some serious pattern tetris was going on, I can tell you! I used the measurements I gleaned from making the first pair to know how much to shorten the legs by so the cuff would (hopefully) just hit the ground. It basically worked out, phew!

The other main different between this pair and the other is that I used piping – for the first time, no less! I bought ready made piping from my sewing shop (also years ago) and I might be tempted to make some myself next time as I couldn’t join the ends of the loops (on the hems and the sleeve cuffs) neatly. I don’t have a piping foot for my sewing machine either, so I just used my zip foot to get as close to the piping as possible. If I were to do loads of piping in the future maybe I’d invest in a piping foot but at the moment I don’t see that really happening!

The piping looks a little pink in the photos but it’s actually red and white striped, to match the bottoms of some of the boats – and what’s more nautical than read and white stripes with blue!? I also bought matching red buttons once the shops opened to match the piping and the hulls of the boats.

It’s quite tricky to show the piping on the trouser hems! Lol!

The only thing I think I would change if I made another pair of Carolyns would be to use a lighter weight of interfacing – I thought I used medium weight but it was just in my stash so it could have been heavy weight. Either way, with the slightly stiffer handle of this cotton (as opposed to a more cotton lawn feel on the other pair) the front edges are very stiff with the interfacing too. And it doesn’t stop the collar completely losing all shape once they’ve been slept in once but meh. What can you do?!

I’ll leave you with this photo of me cuddling my childhood teddy bear, Cutie. I have no idea why I called him that but he’s almost as old as me (I don’t know exactly when I got him but there’s a photo of me at age around 2 holding him) so I guess we’re both stuck with the name.

 

 

My First Pair of Carolyn Pyjamas

I’ve had the Carolyn Pyjamas pattern for aaaages and I’ve had 2 fabrics ready to be made into pairs for years and years. This first pair was made from some liberty cotton I bought on Goldhawk Road at a meetup ages ago – it was from one of those shops that sold liberty fabrics in 3m cut lengths.

When I bought this fabric I was much earlier in my sewing journey and I don’t know if I had a project in mind when I bought it. But in pre-washing it I, for some reason, decided to wash it with some bright pink fabric I was washing at the same time. So the background colour got died a very pale pink. It was pretty uniform so I kept it in my stash intending to make a practice version of the Carolyns so that I knew how they would fit before cutting into some other amazing fabric I had in my stash also ear-marked for Carolyns.

I made the size 8, based on my hip measurement as I figured I could bring in the waist a little more if needed since it’s just elasticated. I could maybe have sized down on the top (which is the same thing I realised about the Lakeside Pyjamas I made). But I don’t learn from my mistakes, apparently! 😂

This pattern is drafted for someone who is 5’6″ and I’m about 5’3″ or 5’4″ (I don’t actually know my height!) so I knew I would have to shorten the sleeves and legs. I particularly wanted to make a practice version of the Carolyns because I wanted the other version to have piping and you can’t really shorten the legs or arms once you’ve done that.

I had to take 13cm total off the legs so I cut off 11cm, leaving me a 2cm hem allowance; and I had to take off 9.5cm from the sleeves, cutting off 7.5cm leaving a 2cm hem allowance again.

I like the little pocket on the PJs. I finished sewing these near the middle of lockdown and had to wait for the shops to open to go and get matching buttons – very difficult to buy matching buttons online!

After sewing ALL THE JEANS, it was nice to sew some simple trousers, without a fastening! And I love that even though they’re pyjamas, that have pockets!

I think the instructions are pretty good, in case you’re worried about giving this pattern a go. The only slightly confusing thing is the construction of the facing and collar, but I did just about manage to get the hang of it both times. My tip would be cut out and sew everything as accurately as possible so that everything lines up as nicely as possible.

I have found since wearing both pairs in bed a few times that the collar gets really rucked up pretty quickly. I don’t know how to make the collar stay pressed open, but I suppose it doesn’t really matter. For this pair I used a slightly lighter interfacing (and the fabric is lighter) and it keeps its shape better than the other pair, for what that’s worth.

 

I tried to take some photos of my jumping up and down on the bed. You are welcome.


I’ve really enjoyed having nice pyjamas for a change (I’d been wearing really old mismatched things before). It feels like a real luxury somehow! Have you made yourself pyjamas?
 

March Make and April Plans

March was definitely a light sewing month for me, despite the Easter long weekend we just had. I think since making my coat (which I still love so much I slightly don’t want it to warm up so I can keep wearing it!), my sew-jo has dissipated a bit. I’m not sure why, but I’m hoping it comes back soon.

The only item I made was this Kalle shirt, with the hidden button placket. I intended to get it finished in time for the Sew My Style deadline, which I think was the 25th, but it still doesn’t have buttons (but it counts as a finished make as the buttons will take me, like, 10 minutes).

My first make of April will hopefully be another paid of the Simplicity 1696 trousers which I made in navy blue last year.  I wear them all the time and could really do with a black pair. I bought some black twill last year during one of my fabric shopping trips to Birmingham. I originally had another plan for the fabric but trousers will be a more useful addition to my wardrobe.

It’s hopefully going to be trousers month in Machinations towers so my other main plan is to finally make a start on jeans. When I made my plans for the year, I planned one of my make nine or the three Sew My Style for each month and April and May are for the 2 Closet Case Patterns jeans patterns. I think I’ll start with the Morgans as they aren’t as fitted, but are presumably drafted using the same block so I’ll know which adjustments I’ll need to make to the Gingers to get them to fit. I still need to prepare both patterns but I’m hopeful I’ll have some jeans by the end of the month.

If I have time (which seems very. very unlikely) I’m still planning to make some Carolyn Pyjamas.

In other blog news, for the last year or two I’ve been trying to blog twice a week, though if you check the dates I publish posts, you’ll see I almost never achieved it and then I felt bad about missing my own schedule. So I’ve decided to write one post a week – with an additional one here and there if I have lots to share, though with my current sewing output, this seems unlikely!

 

 

February Make and March Plans

Well it’s been a while! I didn’t mean to take a break from the blog but I felt quite down through most of February and just wasn’t in the mood to blog. I did finish my coat, though, which is pretty amazing! I was in the mood to sew but not to write about sewing. Weird. But I’m back and I have most of March already planned with posts for things I made in January! I’m a little backed up!

My only make for February was my coat – but I knew that would be the case, and I actually really enjoyed taking my time over a bigger project and learning some new skills to boot.

This is just a sneak peek – I thought it would be a good idea to take advantage of the apocalyptic snow we had last week to take some nice Wintery photos……maybe it would have been a better idea to have waiting until it had actually STOPPED snowing!? I do have better photos for my forthcoming post about my adventures in coat-making, I promise!

Now onto my plans for March. As I mentioned in my post about my plans for the year, I’m going to try to join in with a couple of months of the Sew My Style challenge and March is one of the months I’m going to join in with as it’s the Closet Case Patterns Kalle Shirt/Shirtdress and this was on my to-make list anyway.

I’ve got this lovely cotton/linen blend (I think) from the Great British Sewing Bee Live. My only questions is: which version do I make? I’m tempted by the cropped version, but with the proper collar. Or I could make the dress version – I don’t actually have any shirt dresses, though I do have a lot of other dresses so it feels like I’m more in need of separates at the moment.

My other main plan for March is to finally make some Closet Case Patterns Carolyn Pyjamas, which have been on my to-make list for months and months. The pattern is one of my Make Nine so I really need to tackle it this month! I have this slightly ruined liberty fabric, which I bought years and years ago on Goldhawk Road. I carefully pre-washed it……with some other fabrics, one of which was pink and stained everything else. The other fabrics weren’t quite as stained as this one, though, so I thought this would be the perfect practice fabric for the pyjamas because there is 3 metres, it’s still nice quality, and the discolouration won’t matter for pyjamas.

Then when I’ve made the practice version, I’m going to finally cut into this gorgeous boat-y liberty fabric my friend gave me ages ago! I have red and white striped piping already, too, as I want to pipe this pair. I think both versions will be long-sleeved and trousers as our flat is really quite cold and even in the heat wave we had last year, I didn’t really sleep in my Grainline Lakeside Pyjamas which I made the previous year as it didn’t feel super warm indoors, even when it was 34 degrees outside! (For reference I currently have a blanket and a hot water bottle on my lap and it’s not as cold as it was on Thursday/Friday last week!).

I think this should be enough to keep me occupied throughout March. What are your plans for the next month or two please?

 

 

#2018MakeNine and Plans for the Year

Now that it’s January 2nd (and I’ve had my first day back at work, boo!), I thought I would do a little post about my sewing plans for the year – I did the same last year but this year I’m hoping to stay a bit more focussed on my Make Nine and other plans for the year so I maybe do a bit better than I did in 2017!

After careful consideration, here is my #2018MakeNine:

There are some repeats from last year – of the patterns I still want to make! And like in 2017 there are a lot of Closet Case Patterns on my list!

From left to right in rows from the top the patterns are:
1. Carolyn Pajamas – Closet Case Patterns
2. Honetone Coat – Marilla Walker
3. Ginger Jeans – Closet Case Patterns
4. Morgan Jeans – Closet Case Patterns
5. Carnaby Dress – Nina Lee
6. Ebony Dress – Closet Case Patterns
7. Hannah Dress – Victory Patterns
8 Guise Pants – Papercut Patterns
9. Portobello Trousers – Nina Lee

I have all of these patterns already and the list reflects my need for more trousers and jeans in my wardrobe. I also really, really, want to make a proper Winter coat in the first month or two of this year as I don’t have a really good coat that’s warm. The Carolyn Pajamas are also on my list as I want o level up by using piping for the first time – I already have 2 fabrics in my stash to make them so I have no excuses!

I am also again sort-of-joining in with #SewMyStyle this year – I made one pattern from the 12 last year and this year I’m planning to join in with 3 months, though I’m substituting one of the patterns.

In March it’s the Closet Case Patterns’ Kalle Shirt and Shirtdress – this would probably have made it into my Make Nine but I’ve snuck it into my plans here instead. November is lingerie month and I bought a bra kit at the New Craft House Winter Party which goes with the Harriet Bra pattern by Cloth Habit so this will be good motivation to actually use the kit and make a bra. This is part of my plans to level up my sewing this year. October has a couple of tote bag patterns as the prompts and I still want to make the Colette Cooper bag so, again, I’ve taken it off my Make Nine and added it to the Sew My Style list instead.

In theory this gives me one thing per month to make, so as long as I keep focussed I’m hoping I can get all of this done. Listening to this week’s Love To Sew Podcast definitely helped me to think about what I want to achieve this year – mostly taking on more involved, advanced projects with a few easier sews thrown in. I would definitely recommend it if you’re struggling to narrow down your choices for Make Nine, if you’re taking part.

I have a couple of other things I would like to do this year – like take up knitting again, and make some clothes for The Boyfriend – but I am also going to try to be a bit easy on myself if I don’t get all of this done. I’m sure I would have time to do everything I wanted if I didn’t have to have a job, but then I wouldn’t be able to afford fabric or patterns!

What are your plans for the year? Are you hoping to grow your skills or your wardrobe?