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.

 

 

Light Denim Dawn Jeans

I’m back with more jeans! This might be my favourite pair, though playing favourites with the jeans I’ve made is like picking a favourite child!

The only thing that maybe stops this pair of Dawn Jeans (what other pattern would it be, lol!) is how much the button fly gapes when I sit down. I do prefer how the pairs I’ve made with zips fit and look when I sit so that’s something to remember if I make another pair (not that I need more jeans at this point 😂).

The jeans are also just a little too tight on my thighs when I sit down. I definitely fell into the trap of fitting the jeans only standing up! But the denim will stretch with wear I think. Speaking of the denim it’s from Sew Me Sunshine (she still has it in stock here) and it was a dream to sew with. It’s relatively thin but that means I’ve been able to wear these when the weather’s been a but warm (whereas trying to wear my black skinny Dawns was not great in a heatwave!).

As with my other pairs I made the size 4 and took off 2cm off the back seam, grading to the normal seam allowance 20cm down, as I’ve done with the other pairs.

I made the straight-legged version of the pattern. I do kinda want to make the wider-legged view because I really like my Morgan Jeans but I wore them yesterday for the first time in ages and the pockets are tiny and I prefer a higher-waisted fit.

I spent quite a lot of time fiddling with the fit on the back, because (for want of a better phrase) they creep up my arse! But this has already slackened as I’ve worn them a couple of times. I fiddled with the fit on the back seam, letting it out a bit, and fiddled with the crotch seam and the inner leg seam and none of it seemed to make much of an improvement so I went back to sewing it as the instructions said. If I had more experience and expertise in fitting I’d probably have know what to do but meh. They look fine now they’ve stretched the tiniest bit.

I took up a 5cm hem, again, as I’ve done before.

The jeans look pretty wrinkly in these photos but they feel like they fit really nicely on my body so I’m not so bothered about how they look.

You can see how the fly gapes a bit here. It doesn’t gape as badly with my other pair with the button fly but I guess it’s because the denims are different – I know other people say you kinda have to fit each pair of jeans individually unless the denim is identical because even a slight change in fabric can make a difference as to how they fit!

I do slightly wish I’d sewn a pattern on the back pockets, but I’m always just thinking about moving onto the next step so it didn’t even occur to me to do it!

Are you tired of hearing about my jeans yet?! I think I’ve got one more pair to share after this – I’ve slightly lost track to be honest, lol!

I’m still on furlough but I’ve slightly lost the impetus to sew any more – also I’ve sewn so much of my stash and so many of the garments I’ve wanted in my wardrobe for literally years. Maybe this gives me an excuse to buy more fabric 🤔

 

 

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?
 

2 Jersey Inari Tees

After sharing my 6 woven Inari tees I thought I’d share 2 jersey ones I made at the same time. I think 8 should be enough of the same top for now, hey! 😂

This first one is made from leftover fabric from this Peppermint jersey dress I made a few years ago.

I still love the colour of this fabric and since I don’t wear the dress super often, I’m glad to have another garment made from the same fabric.

You can’t really see in the photos but I put the neckband on backwards, with the join right in the front which is a bit annoying but I noticed after I’d overlocked and top-stitched it and couldn’t be bothered to unpick so much stitching!

This grey one is made from the left over fabric from my Toaster sweater, which I also very seldom wear, so I’m also glad to have finally sewn up the remnants into a more wearable top.

I don’t quite know what happened to the neckband on this top, but it looks really buckled. Bit annoying, but again, I noticed when I’d done all the stitching and what can I say, I’m lazy!

This was the smallest remnant I used for any Inari tee so I really had to piece together the back panel. I slightly wish I’d pieced the front too, though I do kind of like the sleek front and pieced back.

In case you hadn’t guessed, I think the Inari is my favourite boxy tee pattern, though there are so many other options out there. I do kind of want to try some other patterns but how many t-shirts does someone who lives in the UK need?!

What’s your favourite tee pattern?
 

Black Skinny Dawn Jeans

After sharing all my many, many shirt, now comes the sharing of the multiple pairs of jeans I’ve made while being furloughed (5 in total for those keeping count!)

This is another pair of Megan Nielsen Dawn Jeans. I bought this lovely (and really quite stretchy) black denim from Fabric Godmother absolutely ages ago and was going to make Ginger Jeans, but after finding I much preferred the fit of the Dawns I changed my plans.

I made the size 4, as with my first pair. I took the same 2cm off the back seam before putting on the waistband.

Because I was planning for these to be Gingers, I had already bought a zip and luckily you can follow the sewalong for the Ash Jeans on Megan Nielsen’s blog for how to install a jeans fly instead of buttons. Thankfully it’s super easy! And I think I prefer zips to buttons generally when it comes to flies – I find buttons gape no matter how well you’ve installed them.

The other adjustments I made to the fit of this pair was to make the legs more skinny than they straight leg version I made the first time. Also with this denim being stretchy, I knew I’d have to check the fit from scratch. I did start to write down how much I took off the legs – 2cm off inner leg seams, grading to 4cm at the crotch and taking in the outside leg seams too to make sure the seams still went as vertically as possible down my legs. I initially took them in too much at the ankle and couldn’t get them on and off so I had to let them out a bit! Lol! Good job I kept trying them on!

I did a 5cm hem again for this pair to get them to just about sit on my ankles – I particularly like how they look with my Birkenstocks.

I used my first pair to figure out where to put the back pockets – so much easier once you’ve done it once than to keep trying to twist around to see your own arse in the mirror!

I decided to do matching black top-stitching instead of the standard mustard jeans colour as I had a pair of rtw black skinny jeans years ago with matching top-stitching.

I’m not gonna lie, btw, I’m pretty pleased with the fit of these jeans – I’m sure it’s not perfect but it’s better than pretty much every pair of rtw ones I owned in the past!

Maybe if I make some more jeans (though I think for now 6 pairs is enough for my wardrobe!) then I might do a fun top-stitching design on the back pockets.

I’m so glad I had enough time while being furloughed (though the longer it goes on the more I’m worried whether I’ll have a job to get back to at all) to really have the time to make jeans. It always seemed too complicated and involved to want to do during one or two sewing days, so I’d often pick something easier to complete in a shorter space of time – though, of course, jeans don’t take quite as long as I feared!