Closet Case Patterns Carolyn Pajama’s

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I’ve had this Blue Birds Eye Nani Iro fabric in my stash for far too many years, and it’s been marked for at least 4 different patterns over that time, making it to the top of my to-sew list before I realised that the hand of the double gauze fabric really just wasn’t going to work for what I had in mind, each and every time.

Finally, a match in the Carolyn Pyjamas by Closet Case Files, pattern acquired from Fibre Smith (conveniently, a fabric shop within walking distance from my house!), perfectly timed as my sewing remains leaning heavily towards practical knits and lounge-wear, and also because my summer pyjama drawer is disturbingly lacking, and I wanted a pair of swish pjs to wear once bub#2 arrived earthside. Honestly, this double gauze fabric could not be better for loungewear – so soft on the skin, I’m predicting they’ll be a delight to wear!

Thanks to the popularity of this pattern amongst my IRL sewing friends, I’d been able to try on the size 14 and size 12 back in early pregnancy, landing on the former for the pj top and latter for the pj bottoms, meaning I could completely escape muslining, yay! I’d need to stick to making the shorts, as this fabric is a mere 106cm wide (!!) so squeezing everything out of the 2.4m length I had was tight – I had to piece together one of the shorts cuffs (I picked the bit at the back, of course) and the inner pockets were made from a pieced together backing and finished mostly in the trim fabric. There was a tiny pile of scraps at the end of it all – which at least felt like I was making the most of it!

Piecing was required!

The only adjustment I did do was to align the crotch curve to that of the Style Arc Flat Bottom Flo Pants… for reasons that I think are entirely obvious. Should I make this pattern again – I’ll also increase the height of the sleevehead slightly, as I personally I’m of the opinion a bit more height here would take away the drag lines apparent on the sleeve when I try on the top. Overall, a relatively minor quibble!

I bought some maroon fabric to highlight the wine coloured splotches in the Nani Iro – to be used as contrast piping (and the part of the shorts pocket bag I couldn’t eek out from the scraps) – but ended up not using this and instead using the leftover cornflower silk from my Bias Cami – the one I made with Tatyana Design (she’s now opened a couture sewing school – check it out!) Admittedly, I’ll more likely be teeing these pj’s up with a stretch cotton nursing singlet for now, the bias cami will have to wait!

I went with flat piping – mainly so it would be ‘easier’ to sew with. Because of this, the ‘piping’ on the shorts and sleeve cuffs I cut on grain – as they’re all straight. This is much easier to get beautifully straight, than working with bias silk satin, which is notoriously slippery and shifty. I used bias cut strips on the collar and lapels – in order to get around the curves, and despite my medium-level attempts, is still a little wavy. This is where dealing with the frustration of sewing with piping is offset by getting a more consistently even outcome!

Sewing these up was actually great practice for sewing notched collars with piping/trim – it’s the first time I’ve tried this, but I have at least 2 jackets in my mental to-sew list that have trim like this on notched collars, so I was appreciative to have the first run through on a lower-risk garment like this! I did change my construction method a little from the instructions here, which are actually decently good! I also used silk organza in the collar and facing as sew in interfacing, instead of using a fusible.

Buttons are from Buttonmania – who I sent the largest scrap of double gauze remaining, and some of the cornflower blue silk so they could find something matching for me. As always, a stellar result, and I love how the buttons tie in with the wine colour splotches hidden in the print:

I also appreciated the additional pattern piece included which you can line up against the finished top and mark out your buttonhole placements. I haven’t mentioned much about the pattern in this post – I found it to be straight forward, with good instructions (I actually mostly followed them, too!), and about the only change would be in future to add a bit more height to the sleeve head for me (and that flat bum adjustment).

And at the end of this – all I want to do it make another pair. So I’ll be stalking Nani Iro double gauzes until another of Naomi Ito’s beautiful watercolours leap out at me :) Only thing outstanding to do is finalise the length of the elastic in the shorts, which I’ll do post partum. A very satisfying sew, and I’m now impatiently waiting to be able to fit into them.

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