Wednesday, 11 March 2015

When the going gets tough, the tough... make multiple pairs of polka dot PJs?

Uh. I think maybe that's not a phrase that's going to catch on. Nevertheless, I had a fairly glum few days due to several things sending me down a spiral of the dismals. I had been planning to make some woven blouses/shirts next, but I couldn't really face the lengthy production process that is involved in doing so. Thus, I scanned through my spring sewing queue for the easiest and most straightforward project I could find and thus hit upon: polka dot spring PJs.

Burda 8271 line drawing
With nightwear, I feel very little urge to do anything other than sew the same functional patterns over and over, and thus far I've settled on Butterick 5704 for full length woven PJ trousers and Ottobre 05-2011-02 for woven PJ shorts. To round out my collection, I made the trouser part of view C of OOP envelope pattern Burda 8271, which is a pair of mid-length PJ trousers that are hemmed just below the knee. I originally bought this pattern because at the time I thought making a woven nightshirt, as in view B, would be a good way in to making woven tops generally. (I later totally forgot this plan, of course.)

PJ bottoms made with Burda 8271

At any rate, I made two pairs of PJ bottoms from this pattern.  It is meant for lightweight woven or knit fabrics, and thus I made one pair in a woven (pale blue polka dot cotton) and one pair in a cotton knit (cream polka dots). The pattern does not have much ease at all compared to the other PJ patterns I've used, and while the blue woven pair is perfectly wearable and fine, it is on the fitted end of the scale, whereas the knit obviously has more give and is maybe a tad more comfortable as a result.

Pleasingly, both of these fabrics came from the deepest darkest recesses of my fabric stash. The cream spotty fabric, originally bought for t-shirts way back when I first started sewing with knits, turned out in fact to be far too yellow for me (my skin tone + wearing anything on the yellow end of the colour spectrum = concerned enquiries as to whether I feel well). Since I had a bit left over and no desire to use it for something to be worn in public, I decided to make a matching sleep tee.

Basic crew neck t-shirt based on a pattern I "made myself" sort of thing

Up to now, I've mainly made close-fitting tees so I didn't really have a suitable pattern to hand to duplicate my usual men's-size-large shapeless tees I like to wear to bed. I briefly considered obtaining from somewhere a commercial basic men's t-shirt pattern but then decided instead to just make my own. I hesitate very much to say that this tee is "self-drafted", which I think sounds (a) like I put some actual pattern drafting knowledge to use, which is wholly untrue as I have no such knowledge; and (b) pretentious for a t-shirt that is basically a big rectangle anyway. However, it is actually created by me, by dint of combining a tracing of my favourite sleep tee with another pattern for the sleeve and armhole. Given these rather dubious origins, I am quite happy with the outcome. It may not be very exciting or flattering, but it's precisely what I wanted and I am sure I will use it again as I gradually replace my current collection of ancient t-shirts with naff logos.

In conclusion: Utterly unexciting projects, I know, but I am happy that I have now rounded out my PJ pattern library and, more importantly, I felt much less dismal at the end of a successful day of sewing.


  1. Haha! I often roll my eyes *just* a tad at "self drafted" circle skirts and tshirt dresses. ;-)

    Very nice pjs! I am in dire need myself so I get it. "Boring" sewing wins at times.

    Hope you're back on the mend soon!

    1. I don't know whether I am more annoyed by self-aggrandizing "self-drafted" patterns when it's a rectangle with a hole in it, or people proclaiming their amazing "pattern hack" when they, idk, lengthened a top from t-shirt length to tunic length.

      I know a lot of people won't make PJs etc because they don't want to use limited sewing time for such a dull project but for me personally, I like having a few little easy/fast/99.9% chance of success type projects in my sewing queue. They are great for when you have the yen to sew but limited mental capacity for anything complicated.

  2. I adore sewing PJs! Well, for my small monsters, but they are still PJs. :) Everyone should have a pair of polka dot jammies in their drawer. Polka dots rock.

    1. I really like sewing my own PJs. I get to wear something I've made every single night, which pleases me greatly.