Saturday, December 19, 2015

Made by a Fabricista: DIY "Designer" Pajamas

Years ago, in my pre-sewing days, when I was single, childless, and therefore had much more disposable income, I once splurged on a set of designer pajamas made by Bedhead Pajamas. I loved those pajamas; they were made from a super-soft cotton in a fun print, and the piped edges and cuff seemed totally luxe. I've bought many sets of RTW pajamas over the years, but none came close to how those Bedhead Pajamas made me feel when I wore them.

Fast-forward to 2015. I'm married, have a 3-year-old, a dog, an additional cat, and a mortgage. High-end pajamas haven't really been on my radar much in recent years, although once I started sewing, I always kept an eye out for a pajama pattern that could be used to knock off those beloved Bedhead PJs. Unfortunately, I found that most adult pajama patterns are fairly baggy-fitting and few had the piping details that I was looking for.

Enter the Carolyn Pajama pattern from Closet Case Files. I finally had my perfect pajama pattern, and I couldn't be happier with my handmade "designer" pajamas:

Carolyn Pajmas in Riley Blake quilting cotton

Heather from CCF released the Carolyn PJ pattern earlier this year as the follow-up to her wildly popular Ginger Jeans pattern. The Carolyns have the option of short or long sleeves, shorts or pants, a body-skimming fit with a slightly flared leg, AND the piping detail that I love! They even have one important feature that my Bedhead PJs lacked--pockets in the pajama pants and shorts.

Carolyn Pajama pattern envelope
When my husband recently teased me by calling my ratty old leggings and t-shirt that I usually wear to bed a "uniform", I knew that I had to do something about my pajama situation. Having purchased the Carolyn pattern a few months ago and knowing that I had an upcoming project for Fabric Mart, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally knock off those Bedhead PJs of years past.

Fabric Mart has a ton of fabric in stock right now that would make for a great set of designer pajamas. I zero'ed in on this Riley Blake quilting cotton in a striking black-and-white quatrefoil print:

I wouldn't normally use a quilting cotton for clothing, but I'd worked with Riley Blake fabrics before and knew that they were of high-quality. Plus, things like drape don't matter much with pajamas, which make them the perfect garment type for using a quilting cotton. In addition to the print that I chose, you can see other cotton prints and lots of cute flannels from Fabric Mart that would make great pajamas. (Confession: When I saw how well my pajamas were coming together, I ordered a few yards of the flannel prints to make more pajamas for myself and my daughter.)

I adore how nicely the piping details came out on this pajama set. I certainly made good friends with my machine's zipper foot while I constructed these:

Piping details on my Carolyn pajamas
As far as the fit goes, it's as-promised by the pattern. You won't need to size down two sizes to avoid swimming in your PJs like you might with some patterns; I found the size chart to be pretty accurate.

Truth be told, my measurements are a little outside of the size range for this pattern line. To get a nice fit, I did a full tummy adjustment and a full bum adjustment on the pants, and then a full bust adjustment (FBA) with the dart rotated to the side seam on the top. Looking at these pictures, I should have probably also done a sway back adjustment (that adjustment that I usually need but often forget to do) on the back of the top, as well.

Carolyn Pajamas - back view
As I am only 5'2" tall, I also shortened the legs by 3" and the sleeves by 1.5". Because the piped view is finished with bands, rather than a traditional hem, if you're taller or shorter than the 5'6" that the pattern is drafted for, you'll want to adjust the length of the sleeves and pant legs directly on the paper pattern pieces BEFORE you cut out your fabric.

The fabric, piping, and pattern were all a perfect combination to create a new version of the original designer pajamas that I set out to emulate.



7 comments:

  1. Awesome! Your Pajamas came out great! I think I will get this pattern.

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  2. SOOOOO cute! Definitely designer style pj's. No wonder you want to make another pair.

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  3. Very pretty! Great job on the piping. Looks like a great classic pattern to have.

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  4. These look fabulous! Love the high contrast piping! I am in the middle of my Carolyn pajamas right now- got the pants done. I hope mine turn out as nice as yours did!

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  5. I absolutely ADORE these pajamas!!!!! You did an amazing job on them! And yes, please do make another pair!!

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  6. I love the pajamas! You have really outdone yourself.

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