Posted on Sunday the 5th March 2017 by Alison Jane
I am a huge procrastinator, so putting things off for ages because they are too scary or too difficult comes naturally to me.
The Carolyn Pyjamas by Closet Case Files is a pattern that has been sitting in my stash for ages – I desperately wanted to make them but was too anxious about the ‘what ifs’ …. What if they are too tricky, what if I mess them up, what if they turn out awful. And then I gave myself a good talking to and realised that I would never learn new skills or improve my sewing if I was unprepared to challenge myself. The worrying and procrastination actually got on my nerves after a while and when I started on this project, I realised it was totally unfounded anyway as the instructions and online tutorials for these Pyjamas are so brilliant that nothing huge can go wrong.
Of course, choosing to add piping and contrast cuffs added extra pressure and these Pyjamas are far from perfect but I am totally thrilled with them and they have been worn and washed regularly since finishing them.
At the risk of sharing too much information, I don't wear anything in bed, so these Pyjamas are my lounging clothes. Sunday morning with a cafetière of coffee and every evening when I come home from work and change to relax, that's when these Pyjamas are perfect for me. And I will make several more pairs now I have bullied myself into overcoming my irrational fears of learning new skills.
The beautiful pink gingham Cotton Fabric I chose is perfect for this pattern but they could be made in all sorts of fabric – I would like to use a brushed cotton or winceyette next time for extra snuggliness.
I used Ready Made Piping but I could have made it with a contrast fabric or from the main fabric using a bias binding tool or even using folded bias binding which I would like to try another time.
And I think these simple Grey Buttons work well. I used some floral cotton from my stash for the contrast cuffs and pocket top but in retrospect, I think they would have looked better without.
Making the Pyjamas turned out to be a joy. The pants were a very easy sew, the faux fly front is a nice addition although I found finishing it off neatly a bit tricky and elastic waists are always comfy. I used 2 inch Wide Elastic and a safety pin for threading through.
I used my piping foot for attaching the piping but realised that it was also easy using a regular zipper foot.
I loved finishing the edges with pinking shears and understitching so the trouser pockets were neat and all seams were finished with the overlocker, threaded in four different pinks!
The pyjama jacket collar was the bit that I wasn't looking forward to but I just kept reading the instructions out loud to myself until I understood!
Piping round the corners is made easier by snipping into the piping to make it lie flat. Concentration was needed, lots of it, and lots of pins and my Tailors Ham were essential for neat sewing and pressing.
The buttonholes made me squeal with delight as they were all perfect thanks to the automatic button hole setting and foot on my machine. But I would really like one of those gadgets for equally spacing the markings and the special tool for cutting the hole. They are on my birthday list!
I took my time with this make, wanting to learn and do the best I could. There are a lot of things I can do better next time but I really like my pyjamas and am proud to have made them. I feel braver to tackle another project that will stretch my skills now.
And I made a little zip up pouch with the leftovers and the Pyjamas just about fit into it for holiday packing!
Every day is a learning day ……
Next time I will make a size smaller, shorten the legs and arms and increase the rise by an inch. I recommend you check the pattern pieces with your body measurements before you cut. Bring on the Winceyette Pyjamas!
See you next month with a fur coat …. Very seasonal hahaha.