Sewing Without a Plan & The Silk Pajama Set
This past fall & winter, I’ve been a sewing renegade; I’ve been sewing without a plan. I generally like to make lists and sew what I feel I need in my wardrobe – there’s nothing better than checking off items in a list, ya know?! But I did quite the opposite in this past winter & I LOVED it!
I’ve had a few sewing projects that I’ve always wanted to make in the back of my mind, but never got around to doing them. Something practical, or needed, or a new pattern came out to distract me and I just never gotten around to doing making those original garments up. This winter I decided – what the heck – why not just do it? So I did. :)
One of these projects was a kimono robe that I already shared with you in September. The second of these projects was pajama set – a silk charmeuse 40’s pajama set, to be exact!
As you can see, I took these photos quite a while ago as I had long, long blonde hair still.
I bought this New York 1028 pattern on etsy shortly before moving into my house. It never got officially packed up – which made it easy to find and even easier to get swayed to make this up.
Pajamas & lounge wear has always been on my to-do list but why sew pajamas that no one will see when you could make a cute dress to wear out?! Without my sewing list to reference, I felt free to sew some of these more “novelty” type items. Nothing I need but things I’ve always wanted. Let me tell you… I was so happy whenever I sat down at my machine to stitch these puppies up.
I maaaay have been inspired by Miss Phryne Fisher of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries when I paired this menswear charmeuse fabric with my pajama pattern. :D It’s a brown and marbled grey square pattern – kinda reminds me of dominoes. Whenever I see this fabric, it makes me think of a ‘gents smoking jacket or bathrobe. lol
I’ve had this charmeuse fabric in my stash for at least a year. I found it at my local fabric store and I bought juuuust enough to make the set. I had to piece together the sash and had to cut a few pieces on the cross grain to make it all fit. Lets just say – it’s lucky I’m so short otherwise I would have needed more fabric.
I had the hardest time cutting this fabric out on the grainline. Not because it’s silk charmuse (but that was tricky in itself) but because the squares aren’t printed quite square like, more like some squares, some stretched out diamondy-squares. I wanted to be on grain, but also match the squares on the trousers and I had quite a tricky time with it.
You can see the seam on the side of the trousers is not quite in line – but it was the best I could do given the wonky squares…
All seams were sewn with french seams and I used silk organza as a sew-in interfacing on the waistband and the button band area, and collar. The organza gave the silk charmeuse the perfect crispness and stabilization for these tricky areas, while allowing the charmeuse to still be soft and silky.
Of course I made a muslin of the bodice portion of the pajama set – but I underestimated my narrow shoulders & the 40’s wide shoulder silhouette. I stitched the sleeves on and serged those seams oh so narrow and then tried on my top. The sleeves looked like they were falling off my shoulders! This was a *I wanna cry now* moment because I can’t unpick this.
I’m very pleased with myself in my solution and I actually think it adds to the charm of the pajama top. I added in several rows of basting lines right at the shoulder edge (on the front and back bodice) and made a little smocked area just to pull in the shoulders – but no where else. It worked like a charm and the shoulders fit perfectly and it transitions to the bust nicely too.
Besides being a little rough on the inside, it actually looks like a design feature. (Inside, back neckline area with collar up top and sleeve to the left.)
I think my favorite part of this pajama set is the long, swishy peplum. I’m almost certain it makes me look uber short, especially paired with the wide legged trouser bottoms, but I love it so.
Speaking of trouser bottoms…
I made a muslin of these too (because I’m crazy like that). But I was glad I did, like always.
When I tried the trousers on for the first time they were hideous. I was showing Felix all of the adjustments I’d have to make and they looked like rubbish. Then…. I realized I had them on backwards. *Facepalm*
They fit much better when I had them on properly, but I had to take in the the tucks a bit as it felt too loose.
Yet… when I stitched up my silk charmeuse set, I had to unpick my tucks and put them back to the original position. Unfortunately all the previous stitching lines are visible in the silk charmeuse, but luckily I’m the only one who will ever see it, plus the peplum covers it up anyhow.
After making this set up, I meant to make another one in a flannel, with long sleeves but I never got around to it. But this is my go-to pattern now, anytime I feel like making some more pajamas.
The one downside is that I really can’t wear this set much at my house. (These pics were taken at my mom’s house.) Besides having a cold winter, my house is just really dusty from construction and I don’t trust myself enough to not snag them on something sharp.
But they always get packed whenever I go on a trip and get lots of wear that way.
P.S. It’s cranberry juice. hehe