Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Made by a Fabricista: Cotton Voile Pajamas and Robe


Are you familiar with voile? Voile is a lightweight, soft fabric that you can see through slightly and can be made from cotton, silk or wool. It is the French word for veil, pronounced “vwal”, but here in the states, we pronounce it with a long “o”, like in boil. It’s significantly lighter weight than quilting cottons, but not as sheer as chiffon, making it the perfect fabric for summer weight clothing.  



Fabric Mart has a huge selection of it right now, and I grabbed up three coordinating prints to make myself a deluxe set of summer pajamas and coordinating robe. I had purchased a coordinating pajama/robe set like this many years ago, and it was very expensive. I loved it and wore it until it was faded and threadbare. I haven’t seen a similar set in stores since then, but I knew that I could easily duplicate it if I could ever find the perfect fabric. This voile had a crisp hand, which made it easy to sew. I did need to alter the tension on my machine, but once I adjusted the tension, it sewed like a dream. If your machine comes with a roller foot, that can also help when sewing.

For the robe, I used Kwik Sew 3644 which has a contrasting facing, pocket bands, and sleeve bands.  


Since this was my largest piece of the set, I used the largest print, which was a blue background with a cream and brown paisley design. For the contrast, I used a blue and brown striped voile, as I thought the stripe would balance the very ornate paisley. I used a bronze colored flat piping to bring out the browns in the print.  


For my pajamas, I used Butterick 6225.  Many pajama patterns are very basic, but this one had so many cute details that made it stand out. 


It has small pleats on both sides of the center front, ruffled fabric trim on the neckband and sleeve bands, and a shaped hem on the top. Of course, all of these details take some time and patience to create. Allow yourself plenty of time if you make this pattern.  


I used a medium sized brown on blue floral print for the main body, and cut the facing and ruffles from the blue/brown striped voile. I cut the ruffles on the bias to give them an interesting angle on the shirt.  I tried it on, and it slipped over my head easily, so I opted to just sew the buttons through all layers, rather than making buttonholes. I want this to last a long time, and I figure that I am less likely to lose a button if they are just decorative and not functional.

Close-up of front
Because this has a shaped hem, the facing on this top was extra wide.  I used the blue/brown stripe fabric for my front facings as well. The facings are interfaced, so it is really important to use a featherweight interfacing, or else this could get too heavy. 


Shaped hem detail
To finish the edges where the ruffled trim is, you cover it with bias tape.  You can use purchased bias tape for this step, but I had enough fabric to make my own, so I cut 1-1/4” bias strips from the blue stripe.  

From the wrong side- showing the bias binding on armhole
For the shorts, I used the blue stripe again. The shorts are just the standard elastic waist pull-on pants type. I find that these patterns always run too long in the front crotch, so I fold out 2” off the top of the center front, and then blend that to 1” folded out at the sides, and then to the original level at the center back. I also added a couple inches to the length. 


I still had lots of fabric left over, so I made a little headband out of the remnants using a 10” piece of fold over elastic and a shaped double layer of fabric.


Here I am in my new deluxe cotton voile robe and pj's. It's so pretty, that I have very little incentive to get dressed now!


Happy Sewing!

Ann 

6 comments:

  1. Such a pretty set! And the piping really adds to it.

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  2. You really did make a beautiful sleep set ! It is very pretty.

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  3. love this design! you are very artistic.--anne

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  4. Love the set. You did a wonderful job picking out the fabrics and sewing it up. Kudos to you.

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  5. You are going to make me sew up some pj over here, I love them.

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