Monday, 20 July 2015

Impossibly Pretty Pyjamas

When I made my first pair of lady boxers last week, I had some scraps of that beautiful floral print cotton voile left over that looked like I might just be able to squeeze a matching pyjama top out of. Emphasis on the squeeze.  You'll recall that I didn't want to buy a pattern for a pyjama set because I'm fussy and I'm tight, yes; but also because I already have so many beautiful patterns in my stash that I haven't managed to sew up yet.

I like to have a little coverage on my shoulders when I sleep, or else I often wake up with a stiff, frozen shoulder (yet another reason why the various summer pyjama patterns available aren't right for me - they tend to come with strappy camisoles). So I flicked through my pattern library and chose the 'R' ruffle top from Clothing for Everyday Wear to complete my summer pyjama set.

To trim the top, I used gorgeous dusty rose coloured cotton sateen from my stash, and the remaining piece of vintage turquoise bias binding from the shorts. After pinning it on the neckline, I only had 1cm left - talk about cutting it close!

For the armholes, I made bias binding from the cotton sateen for underneath the ruffles. I decided to go for the same colour so that the ruffles here looked more subtle, and read more as texture than too much additional decoration. I didn't have enough of the floral voile to cut the whole back, so I made it empire line instead with my contrast fabric.

I really like how the excess girlyness of all those pink ruffles tones down the sporty vibe created by the bias-bound shorts. And vice-versa. It's like 1960s frou-frou hitting 1970s track shorts!

The buttons of course were from my stash, and I had lots to choose from. I was surprised by quite how many sets of buttons I had in rose pink, turquoise and white! I guess my colour choices tend to be pretty predictable. I picked very elegant clear plastic droplets in the end, wanting to avoid anything too clownish and bold. The top is cutesy enough as it is!

Technically, I was surprised by how long it took me to sew this top. I'm not normally one for decoration: I wear very minimal jewellery, and normally forget to accessorise outfits. I choose fabric with loud patterns over having to create textile effects; at the most, I might sew in some lace. Bias binding is a favourite as it adds visual interest in a place where you'd have to sew a hem anyway. So going to the effort of cutting and applying bias ruffle strips isn't something that I normally do. I think that the result is super-cute so it was worth it!

Pattern-wise, I lowered the front neckline by 1cm and the back neckline by 1.5cm, tapering the curve up at the shoulders. In the future, I would also take in the armhole by 1cm so that the top doesn't emphasise my shoulders quite so much! I cut a size S even though my measurements fall between S and M in the book. The patterns are cut quite boxy, which I personally don't think is very flattering if you don't have the waif-like figures of the models in the book! It's lovely and loose for a PJ top, and would look great in viscose or anything with drape. Voile is the heaviest plain-weave fabric that I think should be used for this pattern.

I had to use a surprisingly large array of threads on this project, and kept changing between reels on my machine. These were from my stash (more stash busting points, hurray!) and I managed to use up two of the reels above. Slowly getting closer to my aim of being able to close the lid on my tin of threads…

Project details:
Impossibly Pretty Pyjamas
Tank pattern: 'R' from Stylish Dress Book: Clothing for Everyday Wear by Yoshiko Tsukiori
Shorts pattern: self-drafted lady boxers
Fabric: stash-busting cotton voile from Clothhouse circa 2009. Cotton sateen and vintage bias binding from my stash via unknown sources. 
Haberdashery: Vintage buttons from Accessories of Old.
Cost: £4 for the card of vintage buttons I used, everything else is stash-busted from hoarding and scraps

Final words…
I haven't been blogging properly for a very long time (we're talking years, people) and I completely forgot how hard it can be to pose for, and take, good blog photos! On the plus side, it seriously forces you to tidy up your home!! Here's an out take from my living room where I don't look so hot, but the sofa cushions look GREAT!

Happy Monday, people!

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