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?
 

Summer Lakeside Pajamas in the Winter

It’s starting to get quite cold now in the UK (which I quite like, being British I’m not a huge fan of Summer) so today I’ve got some Grainline Lakeside Pajamas to share with you! Slightly in my defense I did make these when it was hot back in July. The fabric was some lovely hand dyed cotton khadi (which is a handspun and hand-woven cloth from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan) in lion and teal from Ray Stitch. The teal one is still in stock, but the lion is sold out.

(lol, identical poses! Different hair though, which is weird because I took the pictures on the same day!)

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I got a voucher for Raystitch from my old job when I left and the Lakeside pattern and these 2 pieces of fabric were some of the things I bought. I had already bought some things and didn’t have that much money left so bought only one meter of each cotton. I really really only just managed to squeeze the pattern pieces out of 1 meter of fabric. I would definitely not recommend it!

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I made the size 4 in the top and the bottoms. In hindsight I don’t know why I made the same size in both – I think I just thought ‘well I’ve picked my closest size so that’s that.’ I’ve actually just checked the pattern sizing again and the shorts were apparently the right size according to my measurements, but I should have made a size 2 according to my bust measurement (I have a 32″ bust, 27″ waist and 37″ hips for reference). If I made them again, though, I would definitely size up in the shorts as they are a little snug – which isn’t what you want from pajamas! You can see here they are pulling a little.

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I think it would be worth sizing down in the top too, as it is quite loose. You do need some ease to be able to get the top on and off, but it does gape quite a bit at the back. I literally say this about every single one of my makes, so I really should stop being lazy and start adjusting patterns for being so narrow across the back. Anyone have any idea how I would do that?

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I love the petal shapes on the back – above, though, it doesn’t sit right because it’s so gapey and because of my terrible posture! I actually try to stand up straight when I take blog photos but I usually stand with a rather arched back, hunched shoulders and my pelvis tilted back towards my bum. I keep meaning to start doing yoga to try to improve my posture but I’m lazy in exercise as well as in making fitting adjustments!

Gratuitous bum shot!

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I really enjoyed (!) sewing all the bias binding, it was satisfying to see all the raw edges disappearing! The construction is clever and simple at the same time. The Boyfriend helped me pick the bias binding colours – he has a better eye for design than me! We took both pieces of fabric to my little local sewing shop (which sadly has a not very good selection of fabric but it carries a great range of notions and things) and took aaaages laying all the possible colours on each fabric to see which looked the best. I’m really, really pleased with both choices – I like the contract on the lion colour and the tonal match on the teal.

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I found the shorts construction less easy to understand and I’m not 100% sure I did the binding on the side seams correctly, but the raw edges all disappeared and the shorts came together so whatever I did it sort of worked – it just maybe wasn’t quite as neat as it could have been!

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I did manage to wear the lion coloured pajamas before the weather turned cold and they are really nice to sleep in. And the fabric is so buttery and soft, they’re definitely the nicest sleepwear I own. Unfortunately our flat is really cold, even when it was still warm in August when we moved so these may need to go into storage until I move somewhere newer and with central heating! It was literally like walking into an air-conditioned building coming home when it was hot outside.

Have you made your own pajamas? I think in the not too distant future I need to make myself some Carolyn Pajamas for the Winter – maybe in some lovely, snuggly brushed cotton? Also I’ve never sewn with piping and I really want to!

If not pajamas, then what are you making?

 

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