I know it's only October as I write this, but let's admit it upfront, it's been a long year. Certainly it's been a year unlike any other that's we've ever experienced unless you're over 100 years old. (And if you are, welcome! I'm so glad you learned how to use the internet at your age!)
But with it being such a, shall we say, bumpy ride these past ten months, I thought it would be a good idea to end the sewing year with a set of boxes that are all about comfort and security. And that means Pajamas!
Every single Christmas until she passed, my mom would give me a pair of pajamas. It became one of those not so secret surprises that when I would get a box from under the tree - or in a mailer bag for the years I couldn't come home for the holidays - I would find a pair of brightly patterned cotton PJs staring back at me. It was a ritual I dearly loved, and now that I make most of my clothes, one that I want to continue in spirit and pass along to you.
Plus, as a person who may or may not spend more than one day a week never getting out of pajamas, I know you can get a lot of use out of a humble pair of PJs. 😆
Sew Fearless Box: Reef Camisole & Shorts from Megan Nielsen
Not specifically called out as pajamas, the Reef Camisole and Shorts from Megan Nielsen are sleep wear, loungewear, and stylish separates all in one! As someone who has worn her Lakeshore PJs top as a cute camisole, I can attest to the versatility of pajama separates.
Perfect for people live in warmer areas during the winter, or people who just like lighter PJs, this set will keep you cool while you sleep and will be super comfy while you're awake. The design of the pattern is super simple, making it great for confident beginners, but it also features some really unique style elements. Cut on the bias, the camisole top will move with you, and a cute, criss cross back, elevates the look. The shorts also have in seam pockets, because, let's face it, even your pajamas should have pockets, and the curved hem adds a sweet detail.
With the idea that these PJs could double as everyday wear, we've chosen some fabrics that can go from the couch to the grocery store with ease. Let's take a look!
- Pink/Purple/Navy Floral Rayon Poplin - We love rayon for sleepwear as the fabric is naturally cool to the touch and feels so incredible against the skin. Because the camisole is cut on the bias, choosing a patterned fabric can be tricky, but this liberty floral looks amazing in any direction you cut it. The bright pinks contrast beautifully with the dark navy background, and will transform into an adorable pair of pajamas that are both fun and stylish.
- Violet Cotton Double Gauze - Soft as a baby blanket, double gauze is a no brainer for sleepwear. This gauze, unlike many out there, has a smooth, uncrinkled surface, and light, airy hand. And because it's cotton, it will soften with each washing and get better the more you wear it. Plus, the light violet purple reminds us of cupcake frosting, and how sweet is that?
- Denim Blue Swiss Dot Cotton - If you want just a hint of texture in your pjs, look no further than swiss dot. Little bumps of thread dot this denim blue voile, and it creates a beautiful polka dot pattern that look amazing on this pattern. The fabric is wonderfully lightweight and soft, and the pajamas you make will feel just like a dream. A beautiful choice!
Sew Confident Box: Piccadilly Pajamas from Nina Lee Patterns
Pajama sets, as much as I love them, do often following the same design. That's part of why I was so pleasantly surprised to see Nina Lee's take on PJs and all the unique details in the pattern. Where most patterns are straight lines, this pattern has curves - literally - a curved hem, an arched pocket, a round mandarin collar, and it creates a pair of pajamas unlike most of what's out there.
With two versions of each piece, you can mix and match to create the exact pair of pajamas you want. The top has an option for three-quarter length sleeves or a cute, gathered cap sleeve and the bottoms, both featuring a flat front, come in ankle length and shorts. No matter which combination you choose, you'll have a set of sleepwear that will keep you comfy all night (and day, depending on your desire to get dressed).
Now to the fabric!
- Fishes Cotton Rayon Voile - The beauty of pajamas is that you get to play with fabrics that may not have a place in your daily wardrobe but that are oh so much fun! Because, honestly, how cute is this fishy pattern? Each line drawn fish is filled with a bright blue, green, red and violet pattern as they float on a navy background. The fabric itself combines the coolness of rayon with the durability of cotton to make a pair of pajamas that will feel amazing and last you for years (Oh, and in case you're wondering, the fish swim selvage to selvage, so they will be horizontal when you put your pattern on the grain)
- Rosy Pink Double Gauze Check - I love everything about this double gauze. The rosy pink color is cheerful and bright. The gauze itself is light and slightly squishy. And the subtle check weave of the fabric gives the impression of a plaid without going full tartan. It all adds up to one gorgeous fabric, and in turn, a gorgeous pair of pajamas. The simplicity of the fabric will really let the design details of the pattern shine, and with complementing bias tape for finishing, you'll have a pair of pajamas that are one of a kind, just like you!
- Seafoam Floral Rayon Lawn - There's a lovely vintage feel to the colors and pattern of this fabric. The sagey, seafoam green and the peach accents remind me of aprons my grandmother had from the forties, and the line drawn floral has a distinct art nouveau quality in its long stems and directionality. And it all matches the style of the pattern, very 1920s in and of itself, perfectly. The coolness and silkiness of the rayon lawn only ups the pajama game and ensures that when you choose this fabric, you're gonna have a pair of pajamas that are absolutely stunning!
Sew Curvy Box: Cozy PJs from Laela Jeyne Patterns
At times, it can feel like there are more independent pattern companies out there than one could possibly keep track of, so forgive me if I only recently heard of Laela Jeyne Patterns. I stumbled upon them when I was looking for swimsuit patterns this summer, but it was the pajamas that really caught my eye. For some reason, none of the go-tos for extended size patterns have any sleepwear, so I was thrilled to find such a lovely pair of pajamas that goes to size 4X (roughly US size 28).
On top of the extended sizing, this pattern really has it all. It has all the hallmarks of your traditional pajamas, from the notched collar to the patch pockets to the elastic waist. Plus, there are variations for both a sleep shirt or a top and bottom set, options for different sleeve lengths, depending on how warm you want your PJs to be, as well as a choice of either shorts of pants for the bottoms. With so many variations, you can really create an entire sleep wardrobe with just one pattern.
With so many options just in terms of pattern design, the fabric can also make a big difference, so we picked three distinct choices so you can get the look and feel you want for your sleepwear. Here they are!
- Red and Blue Calico Floral Rayon Poplin - As we said before, one of rayon's best qualities is its cool touch. This makes it an obvious choice for pajamas because, like pima cotton, it will actually keep you cool as you sleep. This rayon, a thin floral poplin, ups the ante with a bright calico design where tiny blue and peach flowers cluster on a red background. Sew up a lovely pair of pajamas with this fabric that will feel wonderful against your skin and look beautiful when you look in the mirror. And honestly, who could ask for more than that?
- Royal Blue Brushed Cotton Lightweight Flannel - Flannel pajamas are about as classic as you can get, but sometimes, flannel can get really hot when you're sleeping. That's where this lightweight flannel comes in. With all the brushed softness you love about flannel, and none of the lack of breathability, this fabric is tailor made for pajamas. Plus, the deep, bright blue is serene and calming, exactly what you want in your sleepwear. It will also let the piping really shine, taking your handmade pajamas to the next level!
- Minty Mountains Cotton Twill - Sometimes you just want a fun print for your pajamas. It's almost become a cliché to have kittens or teacups or foxes on your pajamas, but sometimes things become clichés because they are just that good. Have some fun with this mint green twill that features mountains, bears, foxes, and a whole host of other forest animals. The fabric is soft and cool and will keep you cozy all year long!
Sew Indulgent Box: Carolyn Pajamas from Closet Core Patterns
Have you ever watched an old movie and marveled at how chic everyone's pajamas were in say, 1957? Even if you haven't, you probably still have the image in your head of the classic pajama set. Well, the Carolyn Pajamas are pretty much that ideal.
Cuffs, piping, a classic notched collar. This pattern has it all. And just might be the only pattern you need to create a classic, yet modern set of pajamas for both sleeping and lounging around the house.
With the sophisticated feel of this pattern, and because this IS the indulgent box, we decided to go with some really luxurious feeling fabrics. Don't be fooled by the cotton content, these fabrics are high thread count and incredibly soft, just what you want in your pajamas. So let's take a look!
- Blue and Black Buffalo Check Flannel - We couldn't do an entire pajamas theme and not have a plaid option. Honestly, when I think of pajamas, this is the fabric that comes to mind, lumberjack and all. This top weight flannel, a thin, lightweight brushed shirting, is just right for pajamas - not too hot, not too cold. Plus, the vibrant blue is a subtler take on the traditional red and black check, and the serene feel of it is perfect to take you off to dream land. A classic pajama choice!
- Cranes at Sunset Cotton Lawn - The softness and opacity of lawn makes it so versatile and wearable that you could consider it an unsung wunder-fabric. This lawn is no exception. Plus, the color! The bright watermelon pink evokes beautiful sunsets, and the white cranes are playful without being cutesy. The crispness of this lawn will soften over time, just like your favorite set of bed sheets, and the tightly woven cotton will keep you cool all night long.
- Turquoise Space Thistles Double Gauze - Incredibly soft and lightweight, with an almost spongy hand, this fabric is what people use to swaddle babies, if that gives you any idea of how lush it is. So why not swaddle yourself as an adult in this wonderful fabric? The bright turquoise of the gauze is speckled with teal, white, and navy dots and stars, creating a fun and subtle pattern. If you're looking for a fabric to brighten up your sleepwear game, this is it!
That's it for this month! I know everyone is about to enter the holiday season where it can get crazy busy, even if most parties and gatherings are cancelled or virtual. When that happens, hobbies tend to be the first thing to fall by the way side, but I hope with these boxes, I can make your life just a little bit easier and make sewing a little bit more achievable, even when it's hectic.
For the Classic series this month, I'm reviving our robe boxes from last year. You can read about them here. Normally, I like to contrast the Classic projects with the regular series, but this year, after all we've been through, the more comfy clothes I can offer the better.
Until next time. . .