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?
 

Pink and Blue Popover Kalle

This is the third and final Kalle shirt tunic I made when I was first furloughed at the beginning of the lockdown here in the UK.

I made the size 6, as with the other 2 versions (first and second) and with the sleeve expansion. This time, though, I made the popover placket instead of the full or hidden placket, for a change. And I really like it – not least because it involved making fewer buttonholes (which I kind of hate even though I love making shirts!).

There honestly isn’t much to say that I haven’t already said about the other Kalles I’ve made or about shirt-making in general! I do have a couple more shirts cut out (a plain white Melilot and a cream and black patterned Blaire) but then I really think my wardrobe is set for shirts! With this lockdown period I’ve sewn all the things I’ve wanted to sew/have been meaning to sew for years so now my me-made wardrobe is pretty set so maybe I’ll sew some more fun projects moving forwards as I don’t have the need to fill holes in my day-to-day wardrobe any more. Though I’ve got quite the backlog so it will be a while until you see any fun projects here!

Still my favourite thing about the Kalle is the shape of the hem – I love it in the cropped version I made, too – and I love it possibly even more in the tunic versions. I kind of wonder what they would look like with shorts underneath – but I’m probably just thinking that because I’m writing this on a really warm day!

The fabric is a lovely viscose from Like Sew Amazing. I think Sarah posted it on her Instagram a while ago and I immediately snapped some up. I would probably not recommend viscose if you’re planning your first foray into shirt-making as it’s a bit more slippery than a cotton. Also I didn’t do myself any favours by being a bit sloppy with my cutting out – I’m often a bit lazy when it comes to cutting out and set aside a day or two to cut out ALL THE THINGS so then I do things quickly and sloppily!

But that’s not to say the fabric isn’t lovely! And I’m really glad I went for the half popover placket as it makes this Kalle a bit different from the others. Being viscose it does, of course, crease like a bitch with a tiny bit of wear but the busy pattern kind of hides that a bit.

I did put the usual 2 pockets on the front of this version but I maybe should have interfaced them. I would maybe recommend that or lining them with a more stable fabric as they kind of sag – and especially if I try to put, say, my phone in one of them, the pocket ends up at my waist with the weight!

Sitting down = instant creases but what can you do?

So that’s it for shirts for a while for me. Have you been sewing ALL THE THINGS during lockdown? I’m very fortunate that I am furloughed on my full pay and had a rather large stash of fabric and patterns to sew through. And, of course, no children to try to home-school! I really feel for anyone trying to work from home and/or home school children. Not easy!

 

 

Yellow Geometric Kalle Shirt

Another day, another Kalle shirt tunic!

When we first went into lockdown I started off sewing the 3 Kalles that I cut out ages ago but never got around to making! I’d kind of been in a sewing funk for quite a few months before lockdown happened, but having so much more time after being furloughed I’ve definitely rediscovered my love for sewing (and I’ve made a LOT!). This is the second one and is made also in the size 6, with the sleeve expansion and the tunic length like the first one I already shared here.

This fabric was much harder to wrangle than the nice crisp faces cotton! It was from Sew Over It (I think) ages ago. I bought it because of the colour and the design and I can’t now remember the make-up of the fabric, but it’s definitely got something slippery and synthetic in there. It also doesn’t press super well which makes me think it’s more synthetic than anything else.

The colour of the fabric is coming out much more washed out here than it is in real life – it’s a much brighter yellow, whereas it looks kind of gold-ish here.

You can kind of see some old creases from where the fabric was folded in my stash for a while still in the fabric – it defo doesn’t pres nicely, which isn’t super ideal for a shirt. But at least it will mean I don’t necessarily have to iron it when it’s washed, which is a super win in my book!

Ah, I do love the shape of the Kalle at the back. Love the huge pleat and the cocoon-y shape of the tunic length!

You can’t really see here as the fabric has photographed oddly but the pattern is geometric black and white on a yellow background, so I used some basic white shirt buttons. I was planning loads of shirts at the same time (including the faces one and the 2 striped Archers I made a while ago) so I bought a million white buttons at once from my local sewing shop (a good while before lockdown)!

I still really like making shirts (I have 2 more cut out ready to sew 😳, I have a problem!) but I think I really have enough in my wardrobe now so once I’m caught up sharing ones I’ve made and making ones I’ve cut out that might be it for a while for my shirt-making😭


 

My first Ginger Jeans

I made jeans again! It’s been a year since I made my Morgan Jeans, and they have been the only jeans in my wardrobe that whole time. But even after realising making jeans was doable I still put off making more for ages!!! And I don’t really know why – well I do know why. I wanted some more fitted, skinny/straight legged jeans and I’m by no means an expert on fitting trousers so I was scared! I’m sure you can all relate!

So here they are! Luckily the size 4, which I made, fitted fairly well straight out of the packet. I actually had to retrace the pattern because I’d traced the size 6 or 8 (I can’t remember – though I made the Morgans in a size 8) because I’ve lost an inch from my waist and hips sometime in the last year – I think from going from an office job to being on my feet, first at a fabric shop and then at a bookshop. The size 4 matched my waist and hip measurements perfectly so I was hopeful they would at least fit on my body!

I did make some fitting tweaks as I sewed these up – as the pattern suggests, I sewed up the main pieces to see how they would fit and any changes I might have to make, before all the seams are sewed, finished and top-stitched. I would definitely recommend this if you want to see the vague fit before you put in all the work of making the jeans fully! It’s like the lazy person’s toile!

Before I cut the jeans out, actually, I shortened the legs by 2 inches at the knee. Closet Case drafts for someone who is I think 5’6″ and I’m 5’3″ so I knew the legs would be too long – I could have just shortened them from the bottom like I did with my Morgan jeans, but then you get the ‘knee’ half way down your calf instead of shortening the pattern piece on the lengthen/shorten lines.

I also made some other fitting changes to the legs while I was sewing them up. I sewed the outside leg with a 1cm instead of a 1.5cm seam allowance as the legs ended up super tight! Luckily there is extra length in the waistband so I could still fit the waistband on without having to lengthen it.

Having worn these jeans a few times since I finished them, the waistband could have been curved a bit more as it every so slightly stands away from my body, but the plus side is that it does make them still comfortable to sit down in!

I did have plans to make some more Ginger jeans and if I did I would definitely deepen the front pockets! It’s the same for the Morgan jeans, but they’re really shallow. And if I wanted super tiny pockets I could buy rtw jeans! I can’t even get my whole hand in them!

Despite shortening the legs before I cut them out, I did still have to do a 3cm hem! I didn’t trim the excess off, I just folded it up 1.5cm twice.

I waited until the jeans were basically finished to place the back pockets – I’ve seen loads of people on instagram do this and it seems sensible, rather than following the guidance on the pattern piece as every bum is different and you want the pockets to be in the right place for your particular bum!

Having made a couple of denim skirts ages ago (one for my sister and one for me) I knew my sewing machine doesn’t love top-stitching thread (or I don’t know how to correctly configure it for it to work!) so I used normal thread in the right colour. It means my stitching doesn’t stand out as much as if I used top-stitching thread but it’s worth it for the lack of headaches and tantrums which would be inevitable if I tried to use the thicker thread!

The fabric was from Birmingham literally years ago! I just looked it up – I bought it in 2014 I think!!!!!! Wow! Ridiculous! I bought it to be a wearable toile for the Ginger jeans and it has definitely worked for that, but I don’t think it had to wait for as long for me to find out!

I’ve finally been bitten by the jeans making bug I think – I made another pair alongside these (coming soon to the blog) and I have 3 more pairs planned, 2 of which are cut out and ready to go. Don’t be like past me, don’t be scared to make jeans!

 

 

Faces Kalle shirt

Since we’ve been in lockdown in the UK, I’ve been sewing up a storm and getting through all those projects I had planned in my head for years! The first of these is this Kalle shirt made from this gorgeous faces fabric. I feel like this fabric went slightly viral in the sewing community when it was first released and I think I snapped some up from Fabric Godmother. Since then it has been released in different colours and on different fabrics!

As with my other 2 Kalles (cropped and Hawaiian) I made the size 6 with no fitting adjustments, but this time I used the sleeve expansion pack to make it more trans-seasonal, given that I live in the UK which is cold a lot more than it is warm!

A slight word of warning about the sleeves if you’re planning on making a Kalle with sleeves – they are really only just long enough on me. I’m 5’3″ so I don’t think I have the longest arms (though maybe they’re long proportional to my body, I don’t know!?) and the sleeves are really only just long enough on me. They look fine with my arms down by my side, but if I put them forwards the sleeves do creep up my arms. But maybe they’re supposed to do that and all the other shirt patterns I’ve used have really long sleeves? I don’t know!

I also made the tunic length for the first time, and I really like how it dips down so low at the back!

I also still really love the huge pleat on the back of this pattern! It adds a nice amount of fullness with still being as fitted as you kinda want a shirt to be across the shoulders.

I cut out and made 3 Kalles at the same time as I was making this one (though I actually made them one at a time) and this was by far the easiest to sew because it’s such a nice stable cotton! The other 2 were not quite as easy to wrangle! If you’re thinking of having a go at shirt making for the first time, I would highly recommend a nice stable cotton which presses well for your first one. This fabric was a dream to sew with!

I still really love making shirts but I might take a break from making any more as I think my wardrobe definitely has enough shirts to last me quite a while! Now I need more jeans……

Are you sewing up a storm in this weird time we’re living through or are you taking a break from sewing to recharge your batteries? Whatever you’re doing I hope you’re save and well xx