Pattern Matching Tricky Bits! My latest Carolyn Pajamas…and a Giveaway!

I’ve sewn another pair of Carolyn Pyjamas by Closet Case Patterns! It’s been years since sewing my last pair and they finally gave up the ghost. I’ve sewn a few knitwear PJs lately (see here) but I really wanted another classic, more tailored, set. The Carolyns are a more involved sew which satisfies my itch to get deeper into a project; time that I know will be repaid in a garment that should survive years of repeated wash and wear!

(And yes, I really wished I’d cut out in the opposite direction! It really bothered whilst I was sewing them up – thankfully though, it bothers me not a jot in the wearing ‘cos at least the books are faced so I can ‘read’ them when looking down at my bottoms!)

My first two iterations of this pattern were sewn from the easier of the three Views (View A). This time around I wanted the full works – cuffs and piping! I chose this book print broadcloth fabric, or rather it chose me, as at the end of every day, I’ll declare “I’m off to bed to read!” Given the ‘busyness’ of the print, I wasn’t particularly bothered about pattern matching generally, however I did want to match the breast pocket, which is both cuffed and piped, so it wouldn’t look ‘off’.

I thought I’d share with you how I pattern match trickier pieces like this – taking photos of each step of the process to clarify how straightforward it really is – ‘strap yourself in’ though as there’s a few of them as I also thought I’d illustrate a closer look at how the cuffed pocket is constructed at the same time! In reality, the doing is a quick process, promise!

Piping and a pattern matched breast pocket
Read More
Closet case files Carolyn pyjamas

New PJ’s! Sewing the Carolyn Pajamas from Closet Case Files

Carolyn Pajamas pyjamas closet case files

Woohoo I have new PJ’s! Let me tell you these were long overdue because I was too busy sewing clothes I could actually leave the house in! But the time came when my very last pair developed holes in unmentionable places and I could overlook this pattern no longer. I think  Closet Case Files  released the Carolyn Pajamas in early 2015 and the pattern has been on my radar ever since, so it was an obvious choice. I guess you could say I was late to this PJ Party…but better late than never, right?!

I spent a long time trying to decide what fabric to use. Is anybody else also addicted to online fabric browsing?! I can lose myself for hours. Hours, I tell you. I initially fell in love with a gorgeously cute double gauze print but I didn’t want to pay out £16 a metre on a relatively fabric hungry pattern on my first attempt. So I opted instead for this lilac gingham cotton with daisy prints from Minerva Crafts (see here) I’m really glad I did; it was an absolute dream to work with, it’s lovely and soft and it barely creased/crumpled even after a nights sleep.

Carolyn pajamas

This was my first CCF pattern and I was, admittedly, a bit nervous regarding certain elements of the construction, namely the collar and lapels. (See below for construction photos). The pattern also features a faux fly and front facing pockets; none of which I’d come across before. I opted for View A; the most basic option. Given what I needed to learn, throwing piping into the mix felt like an additional skill too far at this stage. I decided against cutting straight into my fabric and instead proceeded to make a toile and practice the techniques involved using old bedsheets.

The pants are a straightforward sew. Turns out sewing a faux fly is a doddle. As were the front facing pockets. You can easily knock a pair of these pants out in one sitting. Which is good as I’ll probably make more pairs of the pants and shorts than I will tops so that I can wear them just with a tee in warmer weather. The recommended 1.5″ wide elastic makes for a very comfortable waistband and I like the way it’s stitched in to prevent it twisting/rolling.

Buoyed by this, I began on the toile for the top. Now, even the pattern instructions themselves state that the construction of the collar is fiddly. And it is, but only a bit! It’s no more fiddly than sewing a set-in sleeve for example; possibly less so. And, incidentally, this pattern calls for you to sew the sleeves in the flat and then sew up the sleeves and side seams in one, which couldn’t be simpler.  When putting in the collar and lapels it definitely helps to remind yourself that you’re sewing a 3D garment, therefore matching up concave and convex shapes. I’m probably making it sound more complex than it is, hopefully these pics help show the construction:-

Collar lapel construction sewing Carolyn Pajamas pyjamas closet case files

Collar lapel Carolyn Pajamas pyjamas how to closet case files

(If you would like to see a step-by-step photo demonstration then I’ve written a detailed separate post on sewing the collar and lapels hereor, in short, you will need to make sure you accurately transfer your pattern markings to your pieces; in terms of getting your lapels to accurately butt up against your collar those dots are your friend. Heather wrote a detailed blog tutorial on this element of the make too which is really useful.

The bedsheet toile confirmed that the only alterations I needed to make to the pattern pieces were to remove 2.5″ from the legs and shirt length (and therefore the lapels) and 1″ from the sleeve.  There’s no cut/lengthen lines on the sleeve pattern – I took the excess from the elbow point.

Once I’d ‘got my head around’ the techniques involved I proceeded to cut into my fabric and sewed everything up in three sittings. I spent more time than necessary on cutting out the fabric because I wanted to have a go at pattern matching. I know this is probably overkill on PJ’s but, heck, I was on a learning roll!

Closet case files Carolyn Pajamas pocket

I’m absolutely thrilled with my lovely new PJ’s! The pattern is wonderfully drafted; the fit is feminine and flattering and the instructions very considered. The resultant make is an incredibly comfortable, luxurious and quality wear. I’m delighted with what I learned; it’s been an real confidence booster.

Oh and remember the £16pm double-gauze? It WILL be mine 😂 This pattern deserves it! Twist my arm and I might even have a go at the piping!

Until next time,

Sarah x

Psst : I’m also active on 📸Instagram – either click here or scroll down to click/tap on one of the photo links at the very bottom of this page to join me there! X

Carolyn pajamas