I think I did this last year, take a big break from blogging that is. I’m not sure why, I don’t have the excuse of a house move this year, but I just never seemed to get myself in gear. I think it’s down to the taking of photographs. Who wants to bother with getting themselves all sorted and set up for photos when you would rather be doing other things, like sitting around in the garden. But I’ve made loads of stuff since I posted last, and I think I would like to share it, if you don’t mind a series of catch up posts?
Good, here goes then…
One of my earlier summer makes was the Carolyn Pyjamas set. This took me days worth of sewing time (so a couple of weeks real time) and I’m not convinced the results are even a success. First off let me show you them and then we’ll get into why I’m unsure about them…
Ok for the duration… let’s just ignore the fact that my legs are still that white even after the summer we’ve had.. ok let’s move on.
I bought thepattern from Closet Case Files, and even splashed out and bought the paper copy of the pattern. I mean I love how they look and after seeing so many other people’s very successful versions I was itching to have my own.
Due to fabric restraints I made the version on the left there, short sleeves, short bottoms… all round rather short. The fabric was a viscose blend I had in my stash for ages. I had bought it with a dress in mind but then when it turned up it was very blue! I mean too brightly blue for me to feel confident that I would actually wear anything made from in out in the big bad world. But I did like the pattern, and it felt lovely and soft so I thought it might make a nice summer set of Pyjamas. I wanted to make 3/4 length bottoms rather than shorts, but as I only had 2m it just wasn’t possible to get them out of it. It was a bit of a miracle that I managed to get the top and bottoms out of the length I had!
Of course trying a muslin would have helped this… that top is very long. It almost covers the shorts at the back!! It’s also very big on me. I made the shirt a size smaller than the bottoms as I have an ample bottom but a smaller top… makes sense really. I can’t remember exactly what size I cut, I would have to consult my notes to find out and I don’t have the will to do that, but I am usually a U.K. 12 on the bottom and 10 on the top. I think I could have even gone down another size on the top but the shorts fit me perfectly!!
I really can’t fault the bottoms, the elastic waist which is put together so the elastic can’t shift, there are pockets to keep your keys in (I can’t imagine what else you will keep in there but I am a massive advocate of pockets on everything). They aren’t too snug which no one wants on woven pyjama bottoms. Love them and want to make the longer ones too.
The top half however, was not as straight forward. The instructions for the collar were a bit sparse. Generally while things were fine I did need to do a lot of guess work. The only part that I couldn’t get right was when you sewed the collar facing to the top and you were (I think) meant to sew the facing to the top collar with the main shirt sandwiched in between. This instruction made no sense to me and as much as I tried to get it to look right, I kept ending up with creases in the undercollar…
Being very subtle I figured it was fine and just did my best ironing things down, but the left collar does not lie right at all. I may have complicated things by wanting to add piping, for which the instructions were a paragraph right at the beginning. But I guess if you are sewing what is considered a more advanced pattern you maybe should know how to pipe already.
My other main issue, asides from the hugeness (because I have a short body) and the collar instructions, is the arm scythe…it’s huge!! This meant that I couldn’t lift my arms without the whole shirt frontcomingwith me. Unfortunately as thecollar was already on I couldn’t do my usual ‘lift it at the shoulders’ quick fix, but I couldn’t re-draft or add more fabric to the bottom… the only way around it to make a wearable pyjama top was to sew into the bottom of the sleeve at the underarm and down the sleeve itself. This is a frankenstein of a fix. I am heartily ashamed of it. But I had just spent two days making a top that I couldn’t wear because it was too big.
I think the fabric choice wasn’t great either. Yes they are lovely and floaty, but they are a bitch to iron! And you cannot get away without ironing these crease machines. What I did keep getting distracted with thoug, and you may not have noticed it because you have to spin it 90 degrees….
When I finished these Pyjamas I am not going to lie, I was very angry with the pattern. Yes I know, bad workman… tools and so forth. But after giving it a few months to settle, I think it is more the case that a muslin is definitely needed even if just for the top half. I do want to try them again in a more winter friendly fabric. I hope to get better results with better fit.
Oh and those eagle eyed people among you may have noticed a new addition peeking out from under my sleeve… yeah I did a thing… and I finally got my needle and bobbin tattoo that I’ve wanted for ages! I sketched it myself based upon one I actually saw on Pinterest. I didn’t want to copy the exact one, but I loved the idea of a simple design. For a better view, this is the photo I took on the day I got it..