Morning turkey gizzards! My, my, how time flies. It seems like just yesterday I was posting grainy photos of my not-too-exciting long sleeved T-shirt, and yet here we are and it’s been nearly two weeks since my last post. I’ve missed you. Turns out that blogging, which started out as a fun way to motivate myself to finish projects and find folks who like to yak about sewing, has turned into the cornerstone of my daily routine. Since I’ve last posted, every day I slept in a bit later, went to bed a little closer to midnight rather than elevensies and on Sunday committed the shameful act of sleeping ’till 9. That’s at LEAST two hours later than the normal weekend wakeup time. The result has been me, crabby, lacking a routine, not managing to get dinner cooked, running out of time to walk the basset hound and not having our Christmas cards out the door. Egad.

But let’s put that behind us, shall we? I had these photos taken and even EDITED all last week, but never got around to posting them! (Really, it was crazy week at work, month end and all that.) My new PJs….

I’ve been wanting to make a new set of PJs for a while – I’d been rotating between two sets, one of which I wasn’t wild about the print. I’m partial to very wide, slippery PJ bottoms that I think of as ‘harem pants’ – just really relaxed with a tapered leg. I use an out of print Burda pattern that I REALLY need to trace to swedish tracing paper – it’s in tatters. Here’s the technical drawing.

8143ld{Burda 8143}

I love how wide legged the PJ bottoms are! I hate feeling constricted while I sleep, and using charmeuse and/or flannel-backed satin makes sure that my legs don’t stick to the sheets! For this pair I really wanted to go with all red polka dots, but [a] I didn’t buy enough! and [b] I have early morning dog-duty, which means going outside in my PJs at 5 in the morning. The flannel backed satin is SO much nicer in the winter! I came up with the idea of using the flannel backed plain red with the fun polka dots for the lower leg, which is already cut separately. I added the black ribbon (much of which I had to splice!) for a fun detail and then laughed when I realized how Santa-suit the black trim made the PJs! It wasn’t MEANT as a christmas set of PJs… that’s just the way the reindeer rolls, I guess!

To make the elastic treatment a bit more special I topstitched about a quarter inch from the fold at the very top of the waistband. I think it makes the plain-jane boring elastic casing a bit more elegant.

I used the rolled hem function on my serger. I may go back and turn up and do a simple topstitched hem at some point. These look unfinished to me, but they’re OK and I like the length as is.

I also added the hanging loop (and tag) to the back. This hanging loop is SO helpful!! I hang my PJs on the back of the bathroom door in the mornings and they kept sliding down the hook and ending up as basset hound bedding prior to my loop days.

I find the tag super helpful for things like PJ bottoms and tshirts where it’s harder to find the front/back by just looking at the garment.

The whole reason these ‘jams came into being was this awesomepants swimsuit material I found at Hancock for the top half!

Isn’t it adorable? Most of my PJ tops are of a nylon/spandex blend and they are ace bandage-like in their supportive qualities. I like things to stay… in place while I’m sleeping. Swimsuit material has the same sort of supportive structure, it’s just a bit more slippery. I was concerned the first time I used it that it wouldn’t be comfy to sleep in – you know, night sweats and all that. I find it perfectly fine, though I think it might be one of those your mileage may vary things. My plain old nylon/spandex camis from the shapewear section of target are a wee bit more comfortable, but they are only available in white, brown and ‘nude’. Swimsuit material, on the other hand…

The other super fun part of the PJ top is the cool elastic I used to finish the top edge and fashion the sleeves. This is from the Babyville collection that has popped up recently at Joann’s and Hancock. It is geared towards making baby… stuff. I think diaper covers or something along those lines – there’s all kinds of semi-waterproof cute fabric and all these great COLORED elastics that fold in half and are super soft! Here’s what my package looked like.


Most of the colors are wimpy baby colors, but there’s a few good ones, including the perfect red and white for my project – the printed elastics are actually woven, and are reversible. The flip side was white with red dots – you can see a bit peeking out in this photo.


I finished the front and back top edges first. I just cut a piece of elastic the same length as each edge then folded the elastic in half, encasing the unfinished edge, and stuck a few pins in. I stitched near the NON-folded edge, using the straight stretch stitch on my machine and a size 14 stretch needle. The elastic is ‘scored’ so that it folds easily down the middle – perfect for encasing edges!

Once the font and back edges were finished I cut the remaining elastic in half (there was a yard to start with) and starting at the side seam, I stitched up the back of the PJs, then tried on, wrapping the elastic over my shoulder and back down where I thought it was comfortable. I trimmmed the elastic to the right length, finished stitching along the front of the cami, then straight stitched along the edge of the strap. I reinforced at the corners with the x-in the box move. Also I didn’t take a photo, but at the side seam where the two ends of the elastic meet up I butted up the cut ends and then ‘spliced’ with a heavy satin stitch. I set my zigzag with a 5 mm width and .8mm length and stitched, covering the cut ends completely. It worked perfectly and looks nice. That’s the same method I used to splice together the ribbon for the leg trim – I had a lot of pieces of the ribbon I wanted, but nothing long enough!

For the bottom hem, I just turned up and topstitched with the straight stretch stitch. I don’t really like that the turned up edge is unfinished, but I didn’t want a lot of bulk. I almost left it uncut AND unhemmed, so this is my happy medium!

The ‘pattern’ for the cami was me tracing one of my existing PJ tops folded in half. Basically, it was two rectangles with slight scoops at the front and under the arms.

So, what do YOU guys wear for sleeping?

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