There is something very satisfying about making the simple things really well. This Tilly and the Buttons Margot Pajamas pattern is the very first item of clothing that I sewed for myself, and also the first pattern that I was confident enough to make for someone else. Pajamas can be about as simple as it gets- you can use well behaved cotton fabrics and the fit is forgiving because they are usually loose with some method of drawing in the waist.
The pattern comes from Tilly’s first book ‘Love at First Stitch‘ which was my first introduction to garment sewing and is a fantastic resource for a novice dressmaker. It certainly gave me the confidence to branch out into other patterns, and has lots of good advice about technique and terminology too. Over the last couple of years it has been my reference of choice for sewing an invisible zip, and has yielded some great garments, including a couple of Delphine and Clemence Skirts, a slightly unsuccessful Mimi blouse, and a Megan Dress.
This time, I’ve made my sister some new PJ’s though. She has had a couple of pairs from me which have gradually worn out so definitely time for a new pair. My skills and equipment have improved massively in the last few years so I wanted this pair to be a higher quality finish, and hopefully they will last much longer too. In the past I have finished the raw seam edges with a simple zigzag, but as these are a gift I’ve gone for a more robust and attractive French seam. I also popped a little Kylie and the Machine label into the back.
This fabric has been in my stash for a while. I bought it without a particular plan which is part of the problem because I only bought a metre and every time I have pulled it out it has been a little bit too short for any pattern that I have tried. It was too short for this pattern too, but I decided that it was time to make it work for something and decided to shorten the main pattern pieces by 15cm so that I could add a wide hem cuff. Even so, it required some very careful cutting because there was still only just enough.
The fabric is a cotton lawn from Minerva Crafts which is still available, and has a nice smooth feel. This is the blue colourway, but there are a few different options with varying degrees of peacock realism! There were plenty of colours in the print to co-ordinate with for the cuff which meant that I could easily ‘audition’ a few solid cotton options from my stash too. The navy blue which I settled on was originally a pillowcase I think so this feels like quite an efficient sew, having not needed to buy any new fabric or findings.
One change that I do make to the pattern is to swap the drawstring for an elastic waist, and just sew on a decorative ribbon at the front. This was feedback from my sister after the first pair that I made her, and is a very easy switch because the pattern already includes a casing, it just needs elastic inserting into it before it is fully closed, and the buttonholes can be omitted.
I would like to make myself some more pajamas sometime, and have had my eye on the Closet Case Carolyn Pajama pattern. It would definitely be a big step up in complexity from these Margot PJ’s, with the piping and the more traditional shirt style top but would be a nice challenge in accuracy and finishing technique.