Last weekend Chris and I went to see the Big Lebowski at Seattle Outdoor Cinema. I like to think I have a few things in common with the Dude. I think a rug can tie a room together. I like cocktails, but I prefer a margarita to a white Russian. I also like spending most of my time in my pyjamas. And to be honest, a lot of my pjs are so old (erm… well-loved) that they’re beginning to look like the Dude’s. I don’t leave the house in them (I do have standards) but it’s time to put a bit more elegance into my lie-ins and lounging.
I picked up the Carolyn pyjamas by Closet Case Patterns a few weeks ago, attracted by the details – I’ve never done a notched collar, nor have I inserted piping before. It’s been pretty warm here over the last few weeks and sleeping in full length pjs is a bit uncomfortable so Version C with its shorts and short-sleeved top was the perfect option.
As luck would have it, the perfect fabric was sitting under my nose. One day, as I was enjoying a particularly long lie-in, it hit me – my Ikea duvet cover (the Nypronos – available in blue or grey) would make awesome pjs. Now, I wasn’t about to cut my duvet cover up just to scratch that particular itch. I took my scissors to a new set instead, figuring that I’d be able to get at least a pair of pjs each for me and Chris out of it, and then keep the pillowcases for their original purpose. I wasn’t wrong – so far I’ve only made the Carolyns out of it, but with around four metres of extra wide fabric to play with I think I can squeeze out a pair of full-length pj trousers for me as well. Not bad for $30, AND I reused the buttons!
This was my first time using Closet Case Patterns and I was largely pleased with the experience. The pattern is well drafted, and almost everything came together easily. I appreciated the extra instructions about using piping and was so pleased with my first efforts that I immediately posted a pic on Instagram. The novelty didn’t wear off either – Chris probably got sick of me waxing lyrical about piping and how professional and neat it looks. That aside, I would have liked a bit more hand-holding on the notched collar, but Heather had included a detailed post on her website. I followed that and everything turned out peachily.
I made the shirt first and really took my time over it. I feel like it’s paid off, too. I’ve managed to pattern match, which doesn’t always happen on my makes. It’s a shame that the under collar isn’t the top collar, because the pattern matching on that is a thing of beauty. Part of the reason I’m so pleased with it all is the fabric. It is basically chambray, so sewing and pressing it was a dream (which is weird cos usually I hate ironing duvet covers). As a result it’s turned out really crisp, and once finished I was convinced I could wear it out in the real world. Chris then pointed out that I looked like a nurse, so that dream was crushed.
I left the shorts till last, mainly because I wasn’t sure about my pattern grading. To accommodate my child-bearing hips, I graded from a 10 to a 16 from the pocket notch. As they’re quite short shorts (i.e. the shortest shorts you will ever see me wearing), there isn’t a great deal of space to grade between sizes. This means that the cuffs don’t quite fit properly and stick out a little bit, but not enough to put me off wearing them. Next time I’ll take a proper look at the pattern and adjust accordingly but right now I’m just glad they fit round my legs!
So in short, I’m pretty enamoured with these pjs and I can see myself spending a LOT of time in them over the next few months. They are super comfortable and perfect for lounging about the house on lazy weekend mornings. When winter comes round I can see myself making more so I can gradually replace my tatty pyjamas with something a bit more put together. I hope the Dude would abide.