Done and Done: The Carolyn Pyjamas

If you follow along with my stories on Instagram, you know that I’ve been going through a bit of a sleepwear crisis. Before I was pregnant, I was wearing cotton leggings to bed but they don’t quite fit so I had one pair of comfy pyjama pants right after my son was born. I’d reached a point where I had enough mat. leave-appropriate clothes and didn’t really need any more daytime garments, so I figured this was a good time to create the sleepwear capsule of my dreams.

I have really specific needs in my PJ bottoms, so I took a good long time deciding on what I wanted to make. I hate nightgowns or any kind of bottom that rides up (ie boxer shorts), which is why I’d been sleeping in leggings forever. I am, however, also a really hot sleeper and found that even the cotton leggings kept my legs really warm in a really bad way. I decided to try the Carolyn Pyjamas by Closet Case Patterns .

I went to the fabric store before buying the pattern, which was a real mistake. The information available online (and on the envelope) only give yardage for making the whole top and bottom set in either long- or short-lengths, but not the tops or bottoms individually. I guessed that just the long bottoms would take about two metres of fabric, so I got two metres each of coordinating quilting cotton by Ruby Star Society, both of which seem to be gone off the Fabrications website. This was a huge mistake. When I went to cut out the pattern, I realized I had not nearly enough and had to do some major hacking to make it fit. I don’t ever use quilting cotton so there was no way I would be able to use four whole metres for anything else.

I took two inches off the length of the leg, which is my standard. This worked out really well for me as the length is perfect. I also took two inches off the rise of the pants. When I compared the pattern to the one pair of bottoms I already owned, the rise seemed significantly higher, so I felt confident doing this without a muslin. Well, suffice it to say that these are pretty much throwback low-rise bottoms that I would have loved in the early 2000s. Not so much now. They’re comfy, and actually hit a nice part just below my mom gut, but sit at the widest part of my hips making them pretty unflattering. These are not the chic, grown up pyjamas I’d hoped for.

I also got rid of the pocket because I just couldn’t make it work no matter what I did. To do this, I just taped the pocket pattern piece to the back of the pant front piece so I only have to un-tape them the next time I make these pants. I managed to keep the cute hem band, but had to cut them on the cross grain. These simple pyjama pants were not so simple. I also adjusted the width of the waistband to accommodate the slightly narrower elastic I used because I bought a massive roll of it from the Cleaner’s Supply. 

At the same time, I had plans to make two matching Briar t-shirts and embellish them with some cute embroidery so I wouldn’t be tempted to wear them every day. Spoiler alert: I am wearing one as I write and it is not nighttime. I realized that the Briar was way too long in the back for this type of pyjama pant and was much better suited to leggings. Thus the Briars were absorbed into my everyday wardrobe and I have no regrets. This is just as well since I never loved the colours I originally got and now have some pink scrap that will work eventually better. This does, however, mean that I am wearing ugly cast-off tank tops that I don’t love and I do not feel like the stylish coordinated grown-up I had hoped to when wearing these pyjamas. I did, however, decide to make my ruffly Linden sweatshirt a “bedtime” sweatshirt and I do like how it looks with the pants. I just only wear it in the early morning until I get dressed as it’s too hot for sleeping.

In sum, I don’t love these pyjamas, but I will wear them for now. I am definitely going to splurge sometime soon on some soft, drapey fabric and make myself a full set of nice pyjamas. Just need to get through Christmas crafting first!


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