When I came across this fabric on the Minerva Crafts website I couldn’t resist it for some PJ bottoms for Jez – he loves pirates. I set out make him a set of PJs using the ‘Margot Pyjamas’ pattern from the ‘Love at First Stitch’ book for the bottoms and the Simplicity 2116 T-shirt I’d used for his stripy t-shirts. In the end, I just bought a plain black t-shirt, as I didn’t have much time and he was keen to start wearing them.
As this is the fourth time I’ve made the PJ bottoms, there isn’t much to say about them, other than it works perfectly for men too. I am generally a selfish sewer (sewist?), but Jez’s joyful reaction when I make things for him means I love sewing for him as much as for myself, maybe even more.
How often do you sew for your significant other?
I find that my pyjama tops last longer than my bottoms and, in the past, I’ve thrown out perfectly good tops, just because my bottoms are no longer wearable. In October, I had two pairs of PJ bottoms wear out. I realised that I could use the ‘Margot Pyjamas’ pattern from the ‘Love at First Stitch’ book, by Tilly Walnes of Tilly and the Buttons, to quickly replace them.
The first, and only, pair of Margot PJs I’d sewn were made with woven fabric, and although they are very comfy, I find stretch PJs much more comfortable. I bought some pink & white stripe and some black & white check jersey fabric, and very quickly had them made up using my overlocker and twin needles on my sewing machine. These were a quick, practical make and I’m really pleased with the results.
(As this is a post-dated blog entry, these PJs have since worn out with constant wear and I don’t have any photos, so here is a photo of the fabrics. That’ll teach me to put off my blogging for nine(!) months.)
Have you extended the life of a matching set by replacing the worn out parts?
While I was in the mood for night wear, I decided to try copying a pyjama top that I find very comfy and flattering which was starting to wear out. I had a lovely t-shirt fabric from Abakhan’s in Manchester sitting in my stash, which would be perfect for this pattern. I was hoping to end up with a t-shirt, that I could throw on with my jeans for a casual look.
I drew around the t-shirt/pyjama top onto some large sheets of tissue paper to create my pattern and then used this to cut out my fabric. This is where my big mistake happened – no seam allowances! The main issues were that it was much shorter than I would usually wear a t-shirt, the neck line either gaped at the front or pulled tight as it sat off one shoulder, and there was gaping at the arm holes. The resulting t-shirt was tighter than intended, which actually improved it, as the original top was just a little too roomy for outside wear. This is not an item of clothing I would wear out of the house, but it was an interesting experiment in copying clothing and an experience that will hopefully prevent me forgetting seam allowances next time.
I may come back to this pattern in the future and see if I can adjust it to make it more wearable.
Continuing my exploration of ‘Love at First Stitch’ by Tilly Walnes of Tilly and the Buttons, my next project was the ‘Margot Pyjamas’. I had a pair of pyjama bottoms which had recently worn out and rather than get rid of the whole set, I found this purple fabric from my stash, which I thought would complement the dusky green top.
I made size 22 and used my woven stash fabric, which had no stretch. They did fit around my hips and bum and, although wearable, were a little bit snug around this area, while being very wide at my calves. I tripped up a couple of times, catching my big toe at the hem, but I would definitely put that down to my clumsiness as much as the fit of the pjs – wearing slippers helped to solve this problem.
I made them with the draw-string, having perfected the technique on my Kindle cover, but I think I would probably prefer them with an elasticated waist. The instructions were very clear though, and I’ll definitely be making some more, but with the following adjustments:
- Use a knit fabric
- Make the waist elasticated
- Taper the legs to the ankles by a couple of inches