I read somewhere once that making clothing for a significant other signals the death knell for your relationship. It’s basically sod’s law – you put all that care and attention into doing a nice thing for your partner but then you break up, rendering all that effort wasted. Coincidentally I’ve never made anything for Chris to wear, but since we’ve been together for nearly five years and married for almost one, I think I can chance it. After all, divorce is expensive.
Anyway, Chris is just about as enthusiastic about spending time in his PJs as I am, so it seemed like a natural choice to make him a pair. When I bought that Ikea duvet for my Carolyn pyjamas, I knew I’d be able to get more than one pair out of it. I’d only used about a metre, which left me with just enough for some bottoms for Chris and the longer length Carolyn bottoms for me. And when I say just enough, I mean it – it was a real squeeze fitting the pattern pieces in, so any stripe matching you might see in these photos is a complete fluke.
I spent a bit of time searching for a men’s pj pattern. Chris wanted a fly front, but none of the Big Four seem to do them as far as I can tell (please do prove me wrong though!). I eventually settled on New Look 6859 as view A looked like a straightforward pattern without any fancy bits (unless you want them – unlikely with Chris). They’re a basic pyjama with slash pockets, an elasticated waist and a mock-drawstring, with sizes in XS to XXL.
This was my first time using a Big Four pattern and I have to say that my experience with it was largely positive. The pieces (all three of them) fit together easily and the instructions, though brief, were clear. They even included a tip on inserting elastic into a casing, which is something I’ve been struggling with lately. To avoid getting the elastic stuck under wayward seam allowances, simply baste them down before you stitch the casing. It’s so simple, I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before!
It was a pretty quick sew, too. I did most of it in a morning, and completed it that evening when I could get Chris to try them on for size. The sizing is probably the thing I’m most unhappy with – I cut them based on Chris’ hip measurement which is precisely between an L and an XL. I went for the larger size but they do look rather baggy on him. They’re only pyjamas and he says they are comfy to wear so I won’t alter this pair, but I’d size down if I was making them again.
I don’t have much to say about my Carolyn bottoms. They’re exactly the same construction as the shorts, only a little longer, so I knew they’d fit nicely through the hips. I took an inch off the drafted length, and I think for my next pair I’ll take off a further inch as they’re skimming the floor a little. Still, I enjoyed making them, and they’ll serve me very nicely through the autumn. I don’t wear long sleeves in bed unless it’s really cold, so I’ll be wearing these with the Carolyn shirt I’ve already made. I’ve really enjoyed having coordinated PJs over the summer that I’m feeling a bit disappointed with my tatty old RTW pairs.
Anyway, I do like making pyjamas – they’re a quick and satisfying project, and it is kinda fun to be matchy matchy with your husband and your duvet cover. My PJ love is not going anywhere and I’m looking forward to making snugglier pairs as winter approaches.