Completed: Plaid Flannel Carolyn Pajamas

24 Nov

I don’t know what y’all like to sleep in, but I am ALL ABOUT some matching pj sets. Don’t care if they’re considered “unsexy” or dorky. Don’t care if it’s silly to dress up for sleeping and lounging. Matching pj sets are my jam and I’m not about to apologize for it.

Flannel Carolyn PJs - front

My very very favorite sorts of pjs are the coziest ones – the ones that come in flannel. Especially plaid flannel! Traditionally, my mom buys me a set of flannel pjs every year for Christmas. She gets them at Victoria’s Secret and they’re… ok. Either I’ve spoiled myself with my fit preference (and being able to attain that through sewing), or I am just way way off of VS’s fit model – but the fit isn’t that great on me. This is mostly due to being petite – the sleeves and legs are too long (and they’re cuffed, so NO I’m not hemming that shit!), and the rise gives me droopy crotch. The flannel is a bit thin and thus doesn’t wash well – the facings fold in on themselves and never look as good as they do when you first buy them (I understand that I could iron these, but, dude, I’m not going to do that. Are you going to iron your pajamas? Get outta here with that mess). Also, the colors and patterns available are a little too pink for my tastes. Too many girly sparkles and flowers. Victoria’s Secret has really gone downhill – at least in the design department – ever since they got all PiNK, is all I’m saying.

That’s not to say that I hated my Christmas gift – because, really, I looked forward to getting new PJs every year (nerd alert!). But there was certainly room for improvement, although I couldn’t be arsed to do it myself.

Flannel Carolyn PJs - front

Coming right up to fill a pajama-shaped void in my life are the Carolyn Pajamas. If this pattern sounds familiar, it’s because I’ve made a linen version for summer. They are AWESOME. They have all the design details of a classy set of pjs – notched collar, breast pocket, curved hem and all – as well as include slanted side pockets (which my VS pjs have sorely been lacking. What are pjs if they don’t include pockets!? Where else am I supposed to stash candy when I’m moving across the house?) and a comfy elastic waistband. The fit is slightly slim – not uncomfortable, but a bit more sleek than the stuff I’ve been wearing – and the DIY aspect means I get to adjust the length and choose my own fabrics. Win!

Flannel Carolyn PJs - side

Flannel Carolyn PJs - side

Since I’ve already made this pattern before, I won’t go into much detail on the pattern itself (go to my Linen pj post if you want to read all of that!). I used the same size 2 as before for the top, but I went up a size in the bottoms to a 4. The linen pants are quite slim and I wanted a little extra room with this flannel pair (for layering in case I get really cold, and also, I’m pretty sure my ass is getting bigger too. Not a complaint, just an observation). I made view A, which is suited for flannel fabrics – no piping or complicated cuffs, just a straightforward set of long sleeved/long pantsed pajamas.

Flannel Carolyn PJs - back

Getting the right fabric was the hardest part! I knew I wanted a plaid flannel, but I wasn’t sure where to start looking. Most of the flannels I see are still a bit girly and pink – or outright childish (like, literally for making children’s clothing). I wanted something that was a little more, I dunno, ~rustic~. Like straight out of an Eddie Bauer catalog. I like those Christmas-y red plaids, but not too Christmas-y. Honestly, I’ve been keeping an eye out for this since the pattern was initially released. I had a couple of people suggest Robert Kaufman’s Mammoth Plaid as an option, which I don’t know why I never thought of that in the first place. I’ve actually used Mammoth Plaid in the past to make Margot PJ pants (yay PJs!), and I just love the way it feels and wears and washes. Comes in really cool plaid designs, too, in all those rustic, non-girly colors.

Flannel Carolyn PJs - front

Flannel Carolyn PJs - back

I found this particular colorway at Grey’s Fabrics when I was in Boston in September, and immediately knew it was destined for pjs. Unfortunately, they only had a couple of yards left in stock, which isn’t enough for a full set of pjs (not even counting matching the plaid!). I bought all that they had and bought the rest of what I needed from Every other site was sold out, and I think I bought the last of’s, too! I don’t know what caused the spike in Mammoth Plaid purchases – it certainly wasn’t like this when I bought it last year – but I can’t blame it because, man, this is a really nice cotton flannel, especially for the price. It’s so thick and soft with a squishy pile.

Flannel Carolyn PJs - on dressform

Cutting and sewing this in flannel – even with matching the plaid – was waaaay easier than doing it with linen. Because of the nature of the plaid, it adheres to itself and doesn’t shift much when you’re cutting and sewing it. I still cut everything on the single layer, as that’s how I like to match my plaids, and I used a walking foot because I just think it makes it easier to sew them that way.

Speaking of matching the plaid, I agonized for way too long about whether or not to match the plaid from the shirt to the pants. I couldn’t figure out if that’s a thing to do? (sorry, y’all, but I’ve never made an entire outfit out of plaid hahaha) I googled around, didn’t really get a clear answer, and ultimately decided to just match the vertical lines so that they continue uninterrupted, at least as best I could. I think it looks a little less jarring than an obvious pattern break between the shirt and the pants, but I could also be overthinking it. Thoughts?

Flannel Carolyn PJs - flat

Flannel Carolyn PJs - flat

Flannel Carolyn PJs - flat

Flannel Carolyn PJs - label

Label is from Wunderlabel, fyi!

Flannel Carolyn PJs - front

Feels good to check this one off my list! Feels even better to WEAR them! I’ve actually had these done for about a month now, and I’ve worn them most every night since. The pictures you are seeing here are after a bunch of wears and even a couple of washes – like I said, this is a really awesome flannel! I didn’t even have to press the facing back into place after washing it, ha πŸ™‚ I guess my mom is going to have to find a different gift for me this year, though! I’m all good on the flannel end πŸ™‚

The real question is – can I get away with wearing that top in public as a shirt? I’m can’t decide if it straight-up looks like pajamas or not.

67 Responses to “Completed: Plaid Flannel Carolyn Pajamas”

  1. charmingbubble2 November 24, 2015 at 4:12 pm #

    I used to add decorative trim to nightgowns in the 70’s and wear them out clubbing so I don’t see any reason why you can’t wear your very well made and fabulous looking PJ top out. It certainly saved me the hassle of changing when I got home really squiffy….

    • LLADYBIRD November 27, 2015 at 5:21 pm #

      Ha, that sounds like the best idea to me! πŸ™‚

  2. Deb Glosek (@DebGlosek) November 24, 2015 at 4:29 pm #

    Very nice Lauren. Thanks for the info on the Robert Kauffman Mammoth. And……..are those my Minnetonkas you’re wearing? πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD November 27, 2015 at 5:21 pm #

      Are they the fleece-lined house slipper Minnetonkas? Then… Probably! Haha! πŸ˜›

  3. Becky Thompson November 24, 2015 at 4:30 pm #

    Concur on matching the verticals on the top and bottoms. As for a shirt? Um, uh…no.
    You remind me I have this pattern in my stash since this year’s SewMamaSew competition. Cool.

    • LLADYBIRD November 27, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

      You should make it! Cozy pjs for winter!

  4. jennystitched November 24, 2015 at 4:31 pm #

    I’d definitely wear the pj top out as a normal shirt! Nothing wrong with being comfy!

  5. walldruggie\ November 24, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

    It’s 3:30 in the afternoon and I have on my plaid flannel robe and pajamas a la Big Bang’s Sheldon Cooper, made from a set of flannel sheets I bought at a thrift for a couple of dollars. Flannel jammies rule after a hard day of retail!

    • LLADYBIRD November 27, 2015 at 5:23 pm #

      Ooh, why have I never thought of using a flannel sheet as fabric?! That’s such a good idea!!

  6. Beth November 24, 2015 at 5:16 pm #

    You’ve got to be absolutely loving the seasonal changes to “your” woodsy background! And with your hair being reminiscent of a glowy fall leaf….what’s not to love, yes?
    (And I so agree re VS — I still buy their cotton bikinis, but even those aren’t the quality they used to be.)
    Do you know if they still make this flannel and it’s just currently out of stock? I love the really rich, thick flannels (I think my mom used to refer to them as shirting flannels?) and I can’t see why ever not you couldn’t wear the top as a flannel shirt with a tee or a light sweater under it. Very outdoorsy, girl!

    • LLADYBIRD November 27, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

      Oh yeah, watching the seasonal changes in the woods has been fun! Although, I’m afraid we are getting to the ugly season now. I can finally see the neighbors through the trees, not a fan of that haha πŸ™‚

      I believe Kaufman makes that flannel every year. I’ve had a hard time sourcing it this year – it seems to be pretty popular – so if you find some you like, then I recommend snatching it up!

  7. Craftastrophies November 24, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

    Aw man, I love them! I usually make myself one or two flannel pj bottoms every year – I took the pattern from a bought pair I liked, and slowly adjusted it so it now fits PERFECT. I tried on the original pair the other day and the fit was terrible! So funny. I’m glad I can sew.

    I find I like a slimmer leg because then I don’t get tangled as much! I usually just wear Tshirt tops because my top half overheats easily but this kind of makes me want to sew a whole set, for lounging around the house in! What does it say about me that I think matching flannel pjs looks classy, not dorky?? Hmmm. I bought some of the kauffman flannel because I have the same issues trying to source stuff that’s not too girly or kid-y (My current fave pair are floral but not PINK). I kiiiiind of want to sew a shirtdress out of it but it would be super overwhelming, and I live in Australia so I can’t pretend it’s a christmas dress because it’s too hot!

    I like the vertical matching between pants and top – less jarring as you say. I wouldn’t bother matching horizontally because there’s enough movement that it’s never going to be perfect anyway.

    • Beth November 24, 2015 at 7:33 pm #

      Thanks for the mention of Kaufman flannel — I’m checking out all the patterns (a lot!) they’ve got on, so hopefully my next pj pants will be from one of these!

      • LLADYBIRD November 27, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

        Yay!! It really is the best flannel!

    • LLADYBIRD November 27, 2015 at 5:27 pm #

      I overheat too, so I wear a tank or a tshirt under my flannel top. Then I can just strip the top off before I go to bed.

      Isn’t it amazing what you put up with, fit-wise, when you don’t have any other options? Some of my old clothes that were favorites, I don’t know how I wore them. I try them on now and the fit is all kinds of awful haha

      • Craftastrophies December 1, 2015 at 5:23 pm #

        I was just going through my wardrobe and I have this one dress shirt that I kept just to wear to interviews, and I remember being so pleased because it was the best fitting shirt I’d ever found. I tried it on. NIGHTMARE. Pulling and bunching… just awful. It made me feel better about how I still struggle with fit. I am not perfect but the basic fit is so much better. Made me so glad I sew!

  8. lisa carver (@Lisa_Carver) November 24, 2015 at 6:47 pm #

    Those look fantastic! They are also making me rethink my intended plan to ask my mom for pjs this year, because if I start now I can have a handmade pair by next xmas ;P

    • LLADYBIRD November 27, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

      Yeah!! Handmade Christmas 2016 πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  9. liz-o-matic November 24, 2015 at 7:52 pm #

    New Christmas tradition…. ever year your Mama buys you flannel to MAKE a new pajama set πŸ˜‰

    • LLADYBIRD November 27, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

      Why have I never thought of that? Now THAT is an excellent idea!!

  10. Alison November 24, 2015 at 10:30 pm #

    These are awesome!

  11. bubiknits November 24, 2015 at 11:12 pm #

    So beautiful Lauren!! I love checks and the flannel wear! It turned out beautiful!!

  12. Crafty Clyde (@craftyclyde) November 25, 2015 at 1:50 am #

    These are gorgeous πŸ™‚ one step away from a fine suit! I’ve got some red and cream Carolyn pjs all cut out – this is the incentive to get them put together! Hope you’re enjoying the coziness:)

    • LLADYBIRD November 27, 2015 at 5:30 pm #

      I am! Now get yours sewn up so you can enjoy some cozy too πŸ™‚

  13. Rosie (@EatReadGlam) November 25, 2015 at 5:44 am #

    These look beautiful, and so cuddly and cosy. I think you could get away with wearing the top in public, especially during the winter when everyone’s wearing plaid.

    • LLADYBIRD November 27, 2015 at 5:31 pm #

      I am starting to think I can! I’ll have to try and see if anyone calls me out on wearing my jammies in public πŸ˜‰

  14. rosemary November 25, 2015 at 6:35 am #

    Love them! These are my next project – a pair for myself and for my bff for xmas. Both out of plaid flannel. Gotta love the flannel.

    • LLADYBIRD November 27, 2015 at 5:31 pm #

      You are such a good friend! I am way too selfish to sew anything for anyone, ha! πŸ™‚

  15. thetelltaletasha November 25, 2015 at 7:35 am #

    You can def wear that shirt out in public.

  16. Inclement November 25, 2015 at 9:06 am #

    Ha ha! “The Battle of the Sewing Machines” –

  17. Cocos Loft November 25, 2015 at 10:30 am #

    Your ps’s are great! I just finished a plaid flannel shirt – it’s the season, right – and like you I used a walking foot and cut it all out in single layers. Just part of the flannel mantra…now I want some of that Mammoth plaid.

    • LLADYBIRD November 27, 2015 at 5:32 pm #

      You should get some! It is really awesome hha

  18. Christie November 25, 2015 at 11:18 am #

    Though I’ve not yet made plaid pjs, it never occurred to me to match the plaid from the top to the bottoms. Ack, something else to get OCD over…

    • LLADYBIRD November 27, 2015 at 5:33 pm #

      Yeah, that was my same thought! I doubt ANYONE would ever notice, but I clearly just loooove making things as complicated and fussy as possible!

  19. Jennifer S November 25, 2015 at 11:35 am #

    I bought some AMAZING “flaid” (that’s usually how I say it, I don’t really know why) from Connecting Threads. It’s thick, they have amazing colors and the prices are awesome. I need to get a quilt done so that I can get making it into some flannel shirts for my hubby to wear into oblivion – his last one was in rags and his boss made fun of him until he explained that his wife made it.

    • LLADYBIRD November 27, 2015 at 5:34 pm #

      I am going to have to check that place out! Love me a good flaid πŸ™‚

  20. Megan November 25, 2015 at 3:40 pm #

    OMG you are just too adorable! Ha ha, I iron everything but not my flannelette pyjamas, it would flatten the pile! I do love the fit and would consider making these… we are heading into a rather hideous summer here but my flannelette pi’s are pretty thin so I still wear them… Oh and btw my partner had a luminescent red and black flanny shirt that everyone at work thought was pyjamas, he didn’t car he loved that shirt sadly it faded over the years. So I say wear it out, as long as you are happy. Great work and very funny blog post.

  21. Ladawn November 25, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

    Goodness, girl! You are the master of matching-and sewing, in my opinion and take ‘matching pj set’ to the nth degree! These are gorgeous all around. I think the top would be fine to wear out with a deep v-neck sweater or contrasting vest with skirt or pants. Well done–you set pretty high standards for the rest of us, Lauren!

    • LLADYBIRD November 27, 2015 at 5:35 pm #

      Thank you so much! πŸ™‚

  22. Denise November 25, 2015 at 7:49 pm #

    I love these! Now this is another thing to add to my list.

    • LLADYBIRD November 27, 2015 at 5:35 pm #

      Ha, welcome to my world. Endless lists of things to make next! πŸ™‚

  23. Karen Lyon November 28, 2015 at 6:45 pm #

    Lladybird. Congratulations! That is the finest plaid matching I have ever seen. Those pj’s are a hit. Karen

    Date: Tue, 24 Nov 2015 21:09:42 +0000 To:

  24. Jae November 29, 2015 at 1:52 pm #

    This look great! I was so inspired by all the Carolyn pajamas out there I finally bought the pattern and cute blue flannel in a pattern called “baby whale plaid”. It was in the baby flannel section, couldn’t find a plaid I liked with enough fabric left on the roll. Excited for some warm winter pajamas! :).

  25. toileandstripes November 30, 2015 at 10:50 am #

    I totally hear what you’re saying about matching PJs haha these look great!

  26. Jennifer November 30, 2015 at 11:40 am #

    These look so great! Definitely some motivation for me to make my own. That and the fact that I dig through my pajama drawers every night hoping something warm and not pathetic looking suddenly appears. I’m also loving that label! I have labels for my kids’ clothing company, but now I’m thinking I need my own personalized labels for clothing I sew myself!

  27. Anonymous November 30, 2015 at 11:49 am #

    Lauren, what kind of interfacing did you use? Awesome PJs – I want some!

    • LLADYBIRD December 1, 2015 at 12:25 pm #

      I exclusively buy my interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply (cos it’s AWESOME!). I primarily use the lightweight fusible weft – including for these pjs – although I’ve also used their super lightweight fusibles as well. All their interfacings are wonderful and super high quality, not to mention they come in 60″ widths and black (as well as standard white). I’ve been using their interfacings for a few years now and I highly recommend them!

  28. Hannah November 30, 2015 at 5:27 pm #

    I LOVE plaid pajamas!! These are awesome xx

  29. gingermakes November 30, 2015 at 9:11 pm #

    These look so cozy and nice! The radiator isn’t working in my bedroom right now, so I need some new flannel pjs stat!

  30. francescapia December 1, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

    These are yummy! Your matching is extreme. I really want some but can’t get flannel here, and online I have only been able to buy 4 yards, a bit short, before the shipping doubles. I have always loved flannel nightclothes for our cold and damp winters – and sheepskin slippers save me from chilblains…so from 4 yards I managed to make a floor length nightie made from a 50s pattern – perfect. Now I want to make a dressing gown – I think you’d call it a robe? I’m fed up of huge wrap round robes with very wide sleeves, which is what I have, in fleece – cosy but they catch on everything. And either they have hoods or they have oockets, and I want both. So I’m going to make a button up one from a 79s pattern, floor length, add a hood, and make sure it has pockets:). Not fleece, wool – like the one I had when j was a kid. So much cosier,

    Dude – I’ve been searching your posts because I recall reading a post of yours where you said that at work you always lay out fabric overnight. I usually do that with 4 way stretch. Do you lay it out overnight with normal two way also? And wovens? Please enlighten me, oh guru…..

    • LLADYBIRD December 6, 2015 at 11:08 am #

      I know what you’re talking about in regards to laying the fabric out overnight, but that’s not something that I personally do πŸ™‚ I’ve never had a problem with laying out and cutting in a single session – whether it’s a woven or a knit, 2 way or 4 way stretch.

  31. Eryn @ December 9, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

    Perfect as usual! I just love reading your blogs all the way through!

  32. rachelsingh2015 August 21, 2016 at 12:34 am #

    Hi, I just got the Carolyn pajama pattern and was wondering if the seam allowance is included in the pattern? Thanks.

    • LLADYBIRD August 21, 2016 at 9:00 am #

      Yes, 5/8″ seam allowance should be included in the pattern


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