Sunday 8 March 2015

The Carolyn Sari Pajamas

Almost all of my pajamas have either fallen apart or are on their very last legs, so when Heather Lou of Closet Case Files released her Carolyn Pajamas pattern recently it was perfect timing. And when she decided to have a pajama party in early March it was a good motivator to actually get them made quickly!

The pattern is very much a classic style of pajamas, and are very timeless and well designed. They also have pockets in the shorts! The pattern had a breast pocket, too, but I decided to leave that off this time, and I only put four buttons on the top instead of five because I only had four of the buttons I used. The fit is relatively slim for pajamas, so they look quite elegant, although if you're a person who prefers loose fitting PJs you'd probably be best to go up a size, especially on the shorts.

The fabric I used is actually a sari, which was given to me by a friend who knows how much I love to sew. She sews a bit too, and had been given the sari. but couldn't work out what to do with it. I didn't have any ideas either, because while it's a beautiful teal colour the fabric is a little thin so might not be the best for clothing. But when I saw the Carolyn pattern, I thought this would be perfect for it.

I made use of the embroidered edges of the sari for the cuffs of the shorts and sleeves. This meant adjusting the pattern slightly, by extending the length of both the shorts and sleeves so that the embroidered section formed the main part of both. I cut the sleeve just slightly too short, though, and ended up sewing some of the embroidery into the armscye rather than having it start just below, but that's a minor detail.

Because the sari fabric frays like crazy, I used french seams throughout. I found they helped the sleeves to set in better, which was great because I normally hate setting in sleeves (if a genie gave me three wishes setting in sleeves perfectly first time every time would be one of my wishes). I also hand finished the facings so that there wouldn't be visible stitching lines.

I had one hitch when making these - I discovered I had no elastic for the waistband! I also didn't have time to go searching for some, so I looked at what I could find when I had to go to the supermarket. Because it was a small supermarket they only had 6mm elastic.But Heather Lou had posted about different waistband finishes, including multi-channel elastic and waistband frills, so I decided to try out both with my narrow elastic. The picture on the right shows my double channel elastic waistband with top frill (as well as a close-up of the embroidery detail), which I actually really like and will probably do again. It's great when an error turns into a feature.

Overall, I really liked both the pattern and the final result. The instructions were nice and clear, the construction very smooth. Even with doing french seams, the pattern was very quick to make. This time I only made the shortsleeve and shorts version, but there's also long sleeve and long pants, which I plan to make as well with more of my sari fabric. But it's still very warm weather here even though Autumn has started, so I've probably got a bit of time before I need long-sleeve PJs.


  1. Stunning fabric! They really make your new PJs look luxe. Glad they sewed up to your satisfaction.

  2. They're amazing! That fabric makes them look really swanky :). I'm with you on the french seams, although I'm flat-felling my Carolyns as I'm using poplin which is a bit stiff and bulky for french.

    1. Thanks, Lucy! Flat-felling seams is something I haven't tried yet, so it's something I still need to learn.