Completed: Liberty of London Carolyn Pajamas

7 Aug

I hope y’all are ready to look at some fancy shit today.

Liberty Carolyn PJs

Behold, my newest set of pajamas – also known as the most expensive thing I sleep in πŸ˜›

Liberty Carolyn PJs

A few months ago, I was contacted by Josephine’s Dry Goods to try out a piece of Liberty fabric from their staggering collection. They actually have a LOT of incredible, high-quality fabric from all sorts of designersΒ (and they always happy to send samples if you are on the fence!) – but I was really keen to try the Liberty specifically because, let’s face it – you should never say no to free Liberty amirite. While I’m not generally a fan of the cutesy floral prints – they are pretty, but they definitely are not my style – there are plenty of non-cutesy non-floral prints to choose from – Adelajda, Weather Wonderland, Oxford, Melting Elements, Lauren’s Leaf (best name ever), Endurance – to name a few!

After a LOT of deliberation, I decided on Fornasetti Forest – I love the psychedelic print, as well as the colors. The colors aren’t necessarily ones that I tend to wear – but I was making PJs with my Liberty, which allows for a little more color experimentation. The fabric was shipped out quickly, and arrived in a beautiful little package.

Liberty Carolyn PJs

Liberty Carolyn PJs

Liberty Carolyn PJs

I used the Carolyn Pajamas pattern from Closet Case Patterns – having made these twice before (in summer linen and cotton flannel – both of which are still nighttime wardrobe staples for me!), I was pretty familiar with the pattern – both in terms of construction and fit – which means that I could get straight into sewing and know that I would be happy with the finished garment. I made a size 2 for both the top and the bottom, which is the same size I made for my other PJs. I went with view C, which features shorts + a short sleeved top, and added the optional piping to really make the style lines stand out.

Liberty Carolyn PJs - on dressform

Liberty Carolyn PJs - collar

Liberty Carolyn PJs - pocket

While this was a pretty straightforward project, I did put some thought into construction before I started. Since the Tana Lawn I used is so fine, I decided to use French seams for all the construction seams – yep, including the armsyces! – well, except for the mock fly, which I ultimately decided to just serge (I did consider binding that seam, but I was afraid it would be too bulky in an area that definitely doesn’t need even a hint of bulk haha). The piping and topstitching are both black – to bring out the black detail in the print and kind of ground it a little. I did have some coral-y orange lawn that exactly matched the orange in the fabric, but I went with black because I think it pulls all the colors together a little better. This print is pretty wild on its own! Getting black piping meant that I didn’t have to make my piping, either – I bought some premade stuff from a local shop here in town and that saved me a bit of effort!

Liberty Carolyn PJs - shorts flat

The top of the shorts waistband has a little ruffle, which is the result of using an elastic that is about 1/4″ too narrow. I couldn’t find elastic in the correct width that was soft enough (I like wearing the really soft PJ elastic, but sometimes you don’t get the best variety of widths), so I went a little narrower. Rather than redraft the waistband to reflect the new width, I just sewed a line of stitching 1/4″ away from the top edge and then inserted the elastic. I did this on my linen pair and I like the way it looks.

Liberty Carolyn PJs - top flat

Liberty Carolyn PJs - waistband

Liberty Carolyn PJs - cuff detail

Liberty Carolyn PJs - inside detail

Working with Liberty fabric was super easy – the Tana Lawn is a nice, tight weave that doesn’t fray much and responds well to pressing. Despite the expense (it’s about $40/yard), this is probably one of the best fabrics to make pajamas out of. Like I said, it’s SUPER easy to work with – even on a more complicated pattern – and it’s also really delightful to wear, as it’s nice and cool in the summer heat. Plus, the prints are really fun – perfect for a wacky night’s rest. Since the fabric is pretty light, I did use a really fine needle – a 70/10 sharp. I also found out that silk pins work best with this fabric, as larger pins will show pinholes (although I also learned that a quick steam will usually make the holes close up pretty easily).

I reaaaaally wanted to finish these in time to wear to Belize (I had visions of getting some island backgrounds in a photo or two), but I pretty much only managed to get them prewashed before it was time to leave. On the flip side, I was able to wear them to a little weekend cabin retreat with my book club – and everyone was really jealous of my awesome sleepwear. I think the top actually would do well on it’s own as daytime wear (with pants, I mean hahaha), which I’ve considered wearing. I just need to get past the mentality of it being PJs, you know?

Liberty Carolyn PJs - full set

Liberty Carolyn PJs

I think I’ve said enough about these PJs for now, but don’t think I don’t have more versions on the horizon – my plaid flannel ones suffered a bit of a dye transfer earlier this year (btw I’m never indigo dyeing anything ever again). While they are certainly still wearable, I’m on the lookout for a good replacement fabric to make a fresh pair!

As a side note – I have officially made all 3 versions of this PJ pattern. Heather, am I the only one? Can I have a trophy?

Note: The Liberty of London fabric that I used for these pajamas was very generously provided to me by the fine folks over at Josephine’s Dry Goods. I highly recommend them for all your Liberty needs!

50 Responses to “Completed: Liberty of London Carolyn Pajamas”

  1. LinB August 7, 2017 at 10:23 am #

    In the 80s, that kind of waistline finish was called a “paper bag waist.” It was a design feature. Top ruffle could be up to 2″ in depth. You paid extra for pants and skirts that had that finish.

    Also, only you need know that this delightful set of garments is pajamas. It totally could be sold in a high-end shop as a shorts set. Wear it proudly, daytime or nighttime, in public or in private.

    • LLADYBIRD August 7, 2017 at 10:44 am #

      This is true! Looking at these pictures just solidifies my reasoning that the top totally looks like a really fab shirt to wear out and about πŸ™‚

      • Aheila August 7, 2017 at 10:59 am #

        Cute pajamas, and nice post, except the curse word was totally unnecessary.

      • Miss Celie August 7, 2017 at 3:06 pm #

        Anywho, I was just going to post that after a weekend of travel away from home I saw SO MANY PAJAMAS AS CLOTHES. Tops like this, kimono robes as toppers and birkenstocks. I know Birkenstocks aren’t pajamas. But, I wore them in college so it’s depressing to me they’ve made a comeback.

        • LLADYBIRD August 7, 2017 at 3:35 pm #

          Haha I am way out of the norm here, but I hate Birks! I get that they are comfy. But I also think they are ugly haha. I guess now that they are back in style I’ll be seeing a lot more of them though haha

  2. Meira August 7, 2017 at 11:12 am #

    Those seem like they must be heavenly to sleep in!

  3. bethnegrey August 7, 2017 at 11:34 am #

    I agree with LinB — you could wear the top separately (like a camp shirt) as well as the shorts. A little tank top would be SO cute tucked into that frilly little waist. And I really like the piping. Nice designer touch. It just makes this a really cool pair of jammies…or even for jammin’ away from home! πŸ™‚

  4. rebeccajanematthews August 7, 2017 at 12:57 pm #

    I love your PJs! I’ve had some beautiful Liberty lawn lurking in my stash for a while. It was a gift and I love the print but it’s not my usual style or colours. Inspired by you, I’m gonna make the most expensive jim-jams I’ve ever owned as well! Long trousers though…I do live in the UK!

    • LLADYBIRD August 7, 2017 at 3:32 pm #

      Yes!! It’s so worth it, and a fun wear to wear prints and colors you normally wouldn’t. I’m jealous you have enough to make full length pants, though πŸ˜‰

      • Anonymous August 7, 2017 at 3:50 pm #

        I might only have enough for the pants! The top might have to make do with a Liberty patch pocket! πŸ˜ƒ

        • LLADYBIRD August 8, 2017 at 10:41 am #

          Sounds like a fair payoff to me! πŸ™‚

  5. Amanda S. August 7, 2017 at 2:06 pm #

    These are ridiculously cute!

  6. Anonymous August 7, 2017 at 2:09 pm #

    Love your posts, and love your pajamas. Re your dye transfer comment, have you tried the sheets to stop dye transfer? I think they are under “Shout” label now. They are usually located in laundry section with stain removers, etc. They have really worked for me. They say they are for mixed-colors loads. You are a wonderful seamstress!

    • LLADYBIRD August 7, 2017 at 3:34 pm #

      I haven’t, it’s my understanding they only work preventatively. I did a few things to reduce the dye (color remover, oxyclean), but they’ve now been machine dried so the color is set. No worries, it just means I can make moreeeee hahha! And thank you!

  7. Graca August 7, 2017 at 2:30 pm #

    Your pyjamas are quite spiffy, I like them a lot. Gorgeous fabric.

  8. stitchystitchyblog August 7, 2017 at 4:23 pm #

    These are beauties Lauren!

  9. katiemakesadress August 7, 2017 at 4:48 pm #

    God I love that pattern, it’s so nice to swoon around in fancy PJs. I’ve used Liberty once (in a splotchy print because I’m not super into florals) and it is awesome to sew with and wear. Love the jungle print πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD August 8, 2017 at 10:41 am #

      It is really lovely stuff! Wearing them is almost as much fun as sewing them πŸ™‚

  10. charmingbubble2 August 7, 2017 at 5:02 pm #

    One of many things I miss about Portland is Josephine’s. I still have a few garments I made from fabric purchased there before I left for the U.K. In 1990. Big sigh. Great job on the PJ’s and tana lawn is such a lovely fabric to sew with.

    • LLADYBIRD August 8, 2017 at 10:42 am #

      I really really really want to visit the shop someday! It’s on my list πŸ™‚

  11. Charlotte Elliott August 7, 2017 at 5:51 pm #

    These pjs are the bomb! The black piping is the perfect addition. The orange would have been colour overload. I too am not a fan of the Liberty ditsy floral but the more modern prints rock, just the price doesn’t 😦

    • LLADYBIRD August 8, 2017 at 10:43 am #

      Thank you! I agree with you that the price is not my favorite, but I had such a wonderful time sewing (and now wearing!) these that I feel I could easily justify it in the future haha

  12. joolzsews August 7, 2017 at 7:48 pm #

    love these. sleep well. oh and I think you might need to do a post about the new Vogue patterns.

    • LLADYBIRD August 8, 2017 at 10:43 am #

      I looked at them the other day and tbh I didn’t see anything worth commenting on except for that one dress with the armpit vents. The rest of the collection was either nice or just meh haha

  13. esewing August 8, 2017 at 12:36 am #

    Lovely , that print is gorgeous, love the cute shorts ,thank you for sharing this make , so tempted by that fabric

    • LLADYBIRD August 8, 2017 at 10:44 am #

      Thank you! You should get you some πŸ˜‰

  14. Hélène August 8, 2017 at 6:27 am #

    I would never use a 40$ a meter fabric for jammies, but gosh, these look sooo damn exquisite! They are good AF, especially with black piping and French seams. Great job Lauren!

    • LLADYBIRD August 8, 2017 at 10:45 am #

      I think they are worth it! Why not use expensive fabric to sleep in – you’ll be wearing them for awhile haha. And I guess technically I can wear these as outerwear, so they’re pretty double-duty haha. Anyway, thank you!!

  15. Angela nz August 8, 2017 at 6:52 am #

    I love the pjs! Also, they have reminded me I have some lawn fabric that would go well as some new pj pants.

    If you ever get the urge to dye again, I’ve seen people use an unpowered “camping washer” to prevent some of the dye getting stuck in their main machine and getting onto the next washload. It has a bit of a cost (buying a new tool) and you have to crank it by hand/foot pump. That might still be too much effort, but could still be worth it.

    It’s something I’ve thought about but I don’t do much dyeing. I thought it was a great idea so I can’t resist sharing!

    • LLADYBIRD August 8, 2017 at 10:47 am #

      Thanks for the tip! I actually dyed in a bucket, so the dye transfer wasn’t due to residue left in the machine – it was when I washed the garment for the first time. That was a crappy lesson to learn haha

  16. Robin August 8, 2017 at 8:03 am #

    These ‘PJ’s’ are so nice that if they were mine, they would not be hiding under my covers. They would be coming out to play! Like someone else suggested…the shorts would be wonderful with a tank top……Nice job.

    • LLADYBIRD August 8, 2017 at 10:47 am #

      I am gonna try that look! Y’all have convinced me!

  17. seagyrl August 8, 2017 at 8:30 am #

    I’m sitting here, reading this,WILD print, and for some reason or other, all I can hear in my head is your laugh, with a song by Jethro Tull, “Bungle in the Jungle”….. Second thought, you know how so many people think it’s ok to wear their pajamas to the grocery store or to Walmart….. Well if they were all wearing those, I’d be so happy!!!!!!! And thirdly, thanks as always for giving me inspiration and education πŸ™‚ Now you’re gonna have to google that song πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD August 8, 2017 at 10:47 am #

      I will! It’ll probably get stuck in my head every time I wear these pjs hahaha

      • seagyrl August 8, 2017 at 9:17 pm #

        I had to listen to it after I saw those jammies, then I had to put Jethro Tull on pandora and man, I just love it more than I did when I was a kid!!!! So much talent πŸ™‚

  18. Smaktcat! (@Smaktcat1) August 8, 2017 at 4:20 pm #

    oh too cute! like everyone elsr, the print is just fab, kinda reminiscent of a trashydiva style print

  19. Donna B. August 9, 2017 at 8:11 pm #

    Just finished a blouse for my daughter out of the omnipresent Liberty/Rifle Paper Co. flamingo lawn. So proud of all the French seams I used, but didn’t have the guts to go for French armsyce seams. Since the sleeve cap was gathered, didn’t know if it would work. And besides, I’ve never sewn French seams on an armsyce. It might be beyond my skill set.

    • LinB August 17, 2017 at 12:44 pm #

      You can absolutely sew French seams on an armscye, even one with pleats or gathers. You do it just exactly as in a straight seam: sew all the way around the sleeve, wrong side to wrong side, with about a quarter-inch seam. Trim the seam to about an eighth of an inch. Turn sleeve inside out, so that now you are sewing right side to right side. Finger press the seam if needed, so that you have a good sharp edge. Sew seam at about a quarter inch all the way around the sleeve, enclosing the raw edges of the first pass. Done.

  20. faye177 August 13, 2017 at 11:14 am #

    Very cute pj’s love the print you chose.

  21. Tomasa August 16, 2017 at 7:17 pm #

    I love the fun colorful print you chose and the black piping is just right!

  22. Kirstin August 20, 2017 at 2:40 am #

    Not only do I want these pajamas, but I also want to join a book club that goes on weekend cabin retreats! That sounds so awesome!

  23. Christine Mitchell September 3, 2017 at 12:48 pm #

    Great fabric!! I’d love to make my husband a camp shirt with it, but he’d probably say it’s too lightweight. (And I don’t think I could afford 3+ yards of Liberty!)


  1. 2017: A Year in Review | LLADYBIRD - December 31, 2017

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