Tropical Pyjamas

Hey everybody! It's finally time for something different! Pyjamas - with piping and everything! I'm sure by now, most of you have seen Heather Lou's latest pattern (and if not, head over to Closet Case Files and check it out). This time it's all about upping your lounge wear game and I am all for that. John recently bought me some pyjamas (for Christmas) and I absolutely love wearing them. I never used to be a full set type of girl. I used to only wear pyjama bottoms and a t-shirt, but this latest pair I own has changed my thinking. They are flannel (kind of like these but with penguins) and snuggly, and I love wearing them as a set. Who knew matchy-matchy could be so fun? Anyway, being a new full pyjama set convert, I was thrilled to see this new pattern for the Carolyn Pajamas. I really love all the versions included with this pattern, and that they are designed to be fitted, feminine, flattering and comfy, not the usual boxy unisex business.  This girl likes to lounge in style. Plus, I will be way less embarrassed answering the door in the middle of the afternoon in these babies, than in my usual pug-hair covered yoga pants and ratty t-shirt. (Heather Lou the UPS man thanks you too.)


I have never sewn with piping before, nor have I sewn a notched collar, so I decided I would try the shorts version first (version C). It seemed like less fabric so a good place to start just in case I made of mess of them. I should also mention that the pdf went together really well. All of the markings match up, and I like how you can print the top, pants and shorts separately. Also, I love that you can put the pattern pieces together individually. I'm not entirely sure how to explain it, but you don't have to stick all the pages together to form one giant paper. You can put the first 2 pages together for 8 or 9 rows, then the 3rd and 4th pages together for 8 rows and have all the pattern pieces. Here, I'll show you the layout so you can see what I'm talking about.

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 9.15.41 PMHopefully, it's okay that I show you that little diagram, but do you see what I mean? Closet Case Files' pdfs are really well thought out, and always a breeze to put together.


I made up a quick muslin of the shorts in some cheap rayon I had lying around before I cut into this tropcial gorgeousness. I chose the size 10, but found the shorts a little too snug for pjs, so for this version I made a straight size 12 for both the shorts and the top, and I think they both fit perfectly! In fact, I can't really get over just how perfect the fit of the shirt is. I mean check out those shoulders. Once again, it feels like Heather Lou drafted this pattern just for me.


The fabric is a really gorgeous tropical print rayon voile from Blackbird Fabrics. When I saw it I knew it was destined to be warm weather pyjamas so I snapped it up right away. Unfortunately, I think it is now sold out. Have you ever sewn with rayon voile before? I hadn't until this, and let me tell you it is amazing! This fabric is so incredibly soft, and flowy, and silky, and it was a dream to sew with. I wish I could send each of you a little swatch of it, so you could feel it. It's beautiful! And it makes for an uber luxurious set of pyjamas.


I went with store bought piping that I picked up at my local Fabricland. I think it looks okay, but it's a little stiff and bulky (the shorts can almost stand on their own). For my next pair I will either make my own smaller piping, or go with flat bias tape piping. I think this stuff might be more suited to pillows and cushions and what not. This was my first time piping anything and I was a little nervous but it went okay. I started with the shorts and my stitching doesn't look the greatest when you get really close up, but I'm okay with that. I mean, who's going to be getting that close to my cuffs while I'm in my pyjamas anyway? The pugs maybe, but they love me and I feed them, so they can overlook wonky stitching every now and then.

After struggling a bit with piping the shorts (I started off using my zipper foot, then my regular foot which worked better than my zipper foot but still wasn't great), I ended up buying a piping foot for my darling Pfaff and it made a world of difference. So if you plan on doing much piping work I would definitely recommend getting the proper foot. It made my life so much easier, and it made my sewing look a lot better too! By the time I got to the cuffs on the shirtsleeves, I felt much more confident in my piping abilities.


I also struggled a little bit with the notched collar too, but I am confident that my next one will go much smoother. The instructions were fine, but I still consider myself a beginner sewer, and I am definitely someone who needs to do things at least once to figure them out, so I know next time will be a lot easier. And also since I made these, Heather Lou has added a tutorial to her website that is quite helpful for visual learners like myself.

All in all, I am thrilled with how these turned out and I can't wait to make more. I already have a stash of fabric reserved for more sets. My dream is to have a set of these to wear everyday for every season. They are like my version of the leisure suit.

Do you wear pyjamas? And if you do, do you wear the full set, or just one piece? Also what do you think of the pyjama on the street fashion trend? Would you wear them out of the house?

PS: This post comes to you live from Las Vegas. John is here for business and I tagged along. I thought it would be cute to photograph these in the hotel room, but it ended up just being a little creepy so John ended up taking my picture by the window instead of on the bed. LOL

Top 5 Misses of 2014

15343108663_0fbe099154_m So I might be a little late to the party, but I wanted to join in on Gillian's year end round up. I had lots of fun discovering sewing blogs last January and I especially loved reading everyone's round ups. I only just started sewing at the beginning of 2014 so I did have a number of projects that didn't quite work out. A lot of them have long been forgotten (I do keep a sewing notebook however and have written about pretty much every garment I've made this year), but I thought I would share a few of the ones I have photos of. Really even if I am saying these garments are fails in this post, they really aren't. Even if they didn't work out I did still have fun sewing them up and with every project I sew, I learn - and that's all good.

Anyway, with out further ado, here are my top 5 misses:

1) Megan Nielsen's Tania Culottes - This is a great pattern, and I had lots of fun making it up, but the finished product just didn't suit my figure. I had hoped that they would fit a lot like a circle skirt and become a summer staple, but they looked horrible on me (so horrible that you will never see me in them). I did however have fun learning how to use the rolled hem feature on my serger. The fabric was a cheap but cute polyester I picked up in the clearance section of Fabricland. I've seen lots of great versions of this pattern online, and it looks great on some people, but it's not for me.



2) Bluegingerdoll's Winifred Dress - This one was actually really heart-breaking. I was confident that it was going to fit my shape well based on the pattern description, but after two failed attempts, and lots of Instagram advice, I left it behind. I wasted some gorgeous fabric I got on Goldhawk Road in London, and learned my lesson about making muslin. I still really wish this dress fit me, as I love the style and the bold print, but I just couldn't make it work.  I have however taken extensive notes, so I may try it again someday when I'm feeling more confident about fitting.


3) Grainline Studio's Scout Tee - I have made this pattern a number of times now, and to be completely honest, I have never really been happy with the fit. I have one floral version that I wear every once in a while, but usually only when everything else is in the laundry. It's okay, but not good enough for me to get a lot of wear out of. I think that I really need to add a bust dart for it to work on me. I'm a bit too curvy to not have a bit more shape. I still probably would have worn this top as is, but the fabric makes it look like a scrub top. It doesn't look too bad in the photo, but in person it looks awful.


4) Jalie Pattern's Dolman Tops - I actually made 5 of these. I wear 2 of them frequently, but this one just did not turn out. The combination of stripes and long sleeves makes me look like a circus tent. I did end up cutting off the long sleeves which made it better, but I still count it as a fail. I think the look on my face says it all. LOL


5) Christine Hayne's Emery Dress - this is a fantastic pattern and I love all the versions of it around the interwebs, but this version I made just does not work. I was inspired by Lauren's version, and I should have read her post about it more carefully, because she had the same feelings about hers when she was done, as I did about mine. I wore this dress the day I took the pictures, but that was it. It doesn't look too bad in the photos, but the fit is awful. The bodice is super tight, my boobs are squished, and I think the check is just generally unflattering. I made another version in different fabric that I am much happier with. And truth be told, I will probably make another one someday with some more fit adjustments.


So there you go, my misses for 2014. I have learned so much this year and I am now making more garments that I wear more often. My first projects were pretty much all dresses, but now I'm making button-d0wns and jeans! JEANS!!! I'm thrilled! When John gifted me a serger last year at Christmas, I had no idea how this little hobby would take over my life, my blog and introduce me to so many new internet friends. I love this community of sewers and bloggers, and a year later I still can't get enough.

Next up will be my Top 5 Hits. I'm having a hard time narrowing it done.

How was your 2014? 

I Made Shorts!!

I know, right? I can hardly believe it myself! I made shorts and they even fit!

IMG_4739My goodness, do I look fine in photos. That girl can pose. LOL

IMG_4742Stop you're blinding me with your white legs - please...noooooo.....

IMG_4743Can you tell, John is taking these pictures and I am having too much fun?

Okay, but seriously, down to business. These are the Juba Shorts by Imagine Gnats. When I first saw this pattern hit the net, I thought, oh what a cute pair of pyjama shorts. And then I thought, not for me, I have too much lounge wear already (and plans for more). But then I saw some other versions cropping up, and Rachel posted a couple of pocket tutorials on her blog, and I thought, I could make these and wear them out of the house! And I could make them the right length and they might actually look good on me. And it soooooo hot right now. (Side note: I have struggled with shorts FOREVER! Every time I try some on they just don't look right, and John crinkles his nose and says, maybe shorts just aren't right for you. At first I thought it was just John being hyper-honest, but then I took the boys shopping with me too, and they said the same thing. I don't know what it is, maybe a proportional thing.)

Anyway, I am super happy with how this pair turned out. I used a super cheap, supposed to be cotton, but I think it's polyester, fabric from Denver Fabrics. And while the fabric is kind of rough and scratchy, they turned out so well (and the polka dots are so cute) that I have been wearing them. They're a teensy bit big in the waist, but I think that might be from my choice of tricot elastic (you don't always know until you try right?). It seemed like a good idea at the time.... Anyway, of course I had to make a second pair. And they turned out even better (if I do say so myself).

IMG_4727This would be a pretty typical Summer House outfit for me. Sorry for the old t-shirt, but it's one of my favs. I got it at Lucky Brand in Montreal back in 2009 just after John and I got married. I don't know why I love it so much. I think that it's just soft and comfy and it fits well - maybe I need to figure out how to copy it......

IMG_4728And check out those cute shoes. They have little anchors on them, and when I saw them at Walmart for $12, I couldn't resist!



For the second pair, I used a super soft and lightweight cotton twill from the clearance department at Fabricland. I am super happy with how they turned out. A cute casual short. The awesome thing about this pattern, is that it is simple and comfy, and endlessly customizable. I have plans to make another pair with side seam pockets and I am even playing with the idea of trying welt pockets for the back - but welt pockets kind of scare me.

Anyway, how's your summer going so far? Do you wear shorts, or are they on your no no list too?