Tag Archives: carolyn pajamas

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 😛

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 designers (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!

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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 Fabric.com. Every other site was sold out, and I think I bought the last of Fabric.com’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 🙂 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 🙂

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.

Completed: Linen Carolyn Pajamas

27 Apr

Let’s start this post with the shocker: I don’t really care for linen.

Carolyn Pajamas

I know, I know. Linen is supposed to be a rite of passage for Southern gals – it’s cool and breathable, and the wrinkles are supposed to be there. Well, I HATE the wrinkles! Wrinkly fabric drives me insane, makes me feel rumply and unkempt. I just can’t get behind a fabric that wants to wrinkle the second I look at it, much less wear it around for a few hours. Nope nope nope.

nope

That being said – I really want to like linen. Seriously! I love the idea of a fabric that gets softer with every wash, and as someone who could probably work up a sweat in the middle of the Arctic (I don’t even know how that’s possible, considering that I’m ALWAYS cold, but leave it to my body to fuck up my heating and cooling system), I’m always on the hunt for light and breathable fabric to wear during the summer months. Linen was my nemesis, but I was willing to extend the olive branch and make an effort at friendship.

Also, I’ve been eyeballing that striped linen fabric for months now at the studio (and probably for more months to come, since stripes just launched at Elizabeth Suzann woohoo!), and I knew it needed to be in my life/on my body. Linen wrinkles be dammed.

Carolyn Pajamas

There are many, many, many important things I’ve learned through my sewing journey. One of the biggest ones (well, other than not sewing over your pins. STOP THAT RIGHT NOW) is not to fight against your fabric. If your fabric is drapey, don’t try to sew something form-fitting with it. Alternatively, fabric with a lot of body needs to be made into something that will work with the shape. And if you are sewing linen but still hating on the wrinkles… make pajamas. No one cares if your pajamas are wrinkled (and if they do – get out. Get out right now while you still can).

Also, have you slept in linen pajamas before? LORD HAVE MERCY.

Carolyn Pajamas

Making proper pajamas has been on my sewing to-do list for aaaages. I love wearing matching pajamas sets, even if Landon does think they are dorky (I did compromise and get rid of the hot pink cat pajamas though. Relationships, man!). My mom actually buys me a new pajama set from Victoria’s Secret every year for Christmas (not the hot pink cats, those came from my AWESOME Mamaw). Still, I’ve always wanted to make my own so I could have – what else? – complete control over every aspect of the design, color, and fit. But I’ve never really found a suitable pajama pattern that didn’t look like something more appropriate for an 8 year old boy, so I held off on that dream.

The winning pattern you see here is the newest pattern from Closet Case Files, the Carolyn Pajamas. I looooooved this pattern the second it graced my inbox – the slim, feminine cut of both the top and bottoms, as well as the inclusion of the piping (I mean, I know how to sew piping, but it’s pretty nice to have a pattern that was designed for optional piping, if you get my drift), were what really got my gears turning. Also, Heather Lou looks amazing in those product photos, doesn’t she? I could steal that hair right off her head. I won’t, but should it ever go missing, well…

Carolyn Pajamas

I really enjoyed sewing this pattern! While I wouldn’t exactly call the linen easy to work with (it was a shifty little bitch and was prone to constant fraying), it did respond beautifully to pressing and took all the piping and topstitching like a champ. I recall when Heather Lou first released this pattern, she mentioned how much she labored over the instructions – and it really shows. Everything is very clearly laid out with beautiful little diagrams and helpful tips, and it’s about as hand-holdy as you can get with a pattern without actually having it be part of a sewalong (there’s no sewalong for this pattern, however, there are a few posts on the CCF website to guide you through the trickier steps if you need it!). I’m especially impressed with how nice my collar turned out – piping and all!

Carolyn Pajamas

Carolyn Pajamas

I made the size 2, based on my measurements and following Heather Lou’s advice. I reeeeally wanted to make the 0 because the ease just seemed excessive, but I’m glad I followed along faithfully because this fit is pretty spot-on. It’s sleek and somewhat fitted (I mean, fitted as far as pajamas are concerned), but there’s juust enough ease to make them super comfy. I did trim about 2″ off the legs, but that’s about it. I feel like there could be some tweaking with the armhole – it seems a bit low and pulls when I reach forward – but that may just be because I’m used to wear shirts that are a lot more tailored. It’s not uncomfortable or restrictive by any means.

I chose to make the long pants with the short-sleeved top. I was originally just going to make shorts, but my new digs are in a basement (I mean, it’s a happy basement with windows and a door – but it’s still a basement, with basement chill), and it’s a bit chilly down here right now. I added piping to the pocket, cuffs, collar, and leg side seams. The piping is self-made – I used more of this glorious linen fabric in the opposite colorway, and cut bunches of bias strips and sewed it around yards of cording. I prefer self-made piping, not just for the color/print selection, but also because it tends to be a lot softer than the stuff you can buy (well, I’m sure you can get awesome soft and flexible piping at some place like in the Garment District, but here all we have is that Dritz stuff in the packages and that stuff is AWFUL if you try to sew it to a drapey fabric. Again – don’t fight the fabric!). I didn’t have wide enough elastic as was required by the pattern, so I sewed an extra line of stitching about 1/4″ away from the top of the pants edge and inserted the elastic below, resulting in a frilly little gathered edge (some of my RTW pjs have this feature and I’ve always loved it!). Here’s a post about elastic waistband finishes if that doesn’t make sense.

Carolyn Pajamas

As I mentioned, I got my fabric from Elizabeth Suzann, because I work there and I get awesome employee benefits like wholesale fabric prices (don’t be jealous). It’s striped 100% linen (I’ve seen similar fabrics to this rolling around on the internet, but most are referred to as a cotton/linen mix. The stuff I have here is definitely all linen) and it is GLORIOUS. It also wrinkles, frays, and shifts like crazy. It wasn’t the most amazing piece of fabric to work with, but I’m glad I powered through because it is pretty amazing to wear. I made sure to finish all my seam allowances with the serger to keep the fraying down (for the front facing, I just serged the edge instead of doing a rolled edge, since I thought the bulk would show through). I didn’t realize how sheer the fabric is, so some of the dark piping shows through on the right side. It’s super sheer and everyone is absolutely aware of the color of my underwear when I wear these pants, just so we’re clear (I’m wearing nude undies for these photos, to save your eyes). It’s also, like I said, super shifty – so my pocket is really wonky. I’m going to call it “charming.”

Detail shots:

Carolyn Pajamas

Carolyn Pajamas

Carolyn Pajamas

Carolyn Pajamas

Carolyn Pajamas

Pretty good stuff! I love my new pajamas and I definitely feel like a Classy Adult when I wear them, wrinkles and all. I definitely want to make a flannel pair when winter rolls around – finally, I won’t be at the mercy of whatever pink shit they’re selling at VS, woohoo! Too bad my mom is going to have to find a new Christmas gift to buy for me. Sorry, mom! Maybe I’ll make you pajamas instead 😛

One last thing – the giveaway winner from last week! Random number generator says…

winner1

winner2

Woohoo, congratulations Kayse! I’ll be in touch to get that gift certificate out to you ASAP. Can’t wait to see what you make with your fabric :DDD

Carolyn PajamasFinally, this would be my senior picture, if I was still in high school and did things like senior pictures. The end.