Pyjama Dresses

Since my goal in sewing is to make clothes I really want to wear every day, I’ve been sewing a LOT of knits. Some of this is just practical, as for example the Style Arc Nina cardigans that I have (one acrylic sweaterknit and one merino doubleknit) are workhorses that I wear all the time. Here’s one Me Made May selfie of me in one of them:

It's hard to see, but this is one of the Ninas--I wear them ALL the time.
It’s hard to see, but this is one of the Ninas–I wear them ALL the time.

And some of it is because I love walking around the world looking put together but feeling like I’m wearing pyjamas!

I have two pyjama dresses to share with you today, one which I made up in April, and one that I schemed and dreamed and lusted to sew up for weeks while stuck finishing my homework for the moulage* class I took at the local community college this spring. I finally made that up this past weekend.

(*The moulage, or “French pattern” is a kind of skin-tight sloper drafted to measure, from which one can draft a sloper, a jacket sloper, a knit sloper, etc. I took the class from Lynda Maynard at Canada Community College, with Cindy and a bunch of other wonderful ladies–and a gent! It was fantastic, even if I did spend 15 hours trying to get my sleeve and my sloper to kiss and make up.)

The first I’ll call the Easter Egg dress, and it came to life because of a confluence of events:

  1. I wanted to make another Craftsy Weekender dress for its pyjama-esque qualities
  2. I had fallen in love with Seamster Patterns’ new Rose Hip Tights pattern and found an amazing fabric for them
Seamster Patterns Rose Hip Tights
Seamster Patterns Rose Hip Tights

3. I found some Robert Kaufman cotton/spandex jersey in colors that would coordinate with the tights.

Next thing you know, this fabulous outfit was born!

Easter Egg Dress, Tights and Ocelittle
Easter Egg Dress, Tights and Ocelittle
Easter Egg Dress in the wild, Me Made May 2014
Easter Egg Dress in the wild, Me Made May 2014

This next one started as a twinkle in Heather B’s . . . pyjamas. What can I say? I learned from her pyjama sewing (and then Katiediddiehopper’s fantastic Trifecta tops and more) about the existence of Lillestoff. Otherwise known as the cutest prints on earth on organic cotton jersey—Oh my goodness I love this stuff.

Since Night Foxes seems to be all sewed up in this world, I chose my second favorite print, World of Knights, and ordered enough for a Kitschy Coo Lady Skater. Which I purchased as part of the Perfect Pattern Parcel #1. What could be better? It just took a while before I could attend to making the dress up, as I had homework to finish (gardblangin’ sleeve!). Thank goodness, however, said homework helped me do my very first flat pattern adjustments for a great fitting experience. W00t for me! It’s actually been a really great sewing month or two for me.

Just in case you’re interested, here’s what I did with the moulage and the tracing from Kitschy Coo’s pattern:

Figure out how to line up the two pieces for comparison (center line, of course, and inside shoulder points)

Comparing Moulage and Pattern Piece
Comparing Moulage and Pattern Piece

See that I would need to take a LOT of length out of the bodice to get the waist to my natural waist

Overlapping at "Lengthen/Shorten" line
Overlapping at “Lengthen/Shorten” line

Make up a muslin (not pictured)
Check the half-hip circumference against my own half-hip measurement and decide I wanted just a skosh more swing to the skirt to skim over my prodigious hips, then
Slash and spread the skirt piece by the needed 1/8”

Slash and Spread!
Slash and Spread!

Draw in the curve for the extended hem.

Fix the Curve!
Fix the Curve!

After muslining the bodice I added a bit of length back in, but as it happens I think I’ll want to take it up about ¼” next time. But it’s still pretty great, and it’s my first time really comparing a pattern piece to good measurements and succeeding in making proper adjustments.

That’s pretty much the whole story. I used ¼” clear elastic for the first time, having used knit stay tape on knit shoulder seams in the past. This pattern calls for elastic on the waistline as well, which seemed wise, so I anted up and used the real thing. It worked just fine, even though I skipped straight to attaching it while serging the seams. I also set the neckband in the round as I like that finish better. I’m very pleased with my coverstitching, which is getting ever better as I get used to my newish Babylock, and I’m pleased as punch with the dress.

Knights in a Garden!
Knights in a Garden!

Aren’t you?

KnightDress09 KnightDress08

The best thing is, this one won’t get worn to work! All my other pajama dresses are work-appropriate (in my line of work, software development, the dress code isn’t too formal), and I love that now I have a super-happy dress just for leisure time!

5 Replies to “Pyjama Dresses”

  1. I love everything you posted (of course I’m partial 😉 to the tights) because you picked such great fabrics!

    Thanks for your interest in Sewing Indie Month. Unfortunately, I’m not sure which garment you’re entering. Just a reminder, garments entered must have been finished between May 1st and June 4th and must use a pattern or tutorial by one of the participating companies. That is because the participating companies put in a ton of behind the scenes work for months in anticipation of Sewing Indie Month. You can see the rules where you entered or on my blog at http://seamsterpatterns.com/sewing-indie-month/

    1. Hi Mari! Thanks for checking in. I was, indeed, slightly confused about which companies were participating. I would still love to enter my Rose Hip Tights in the Everyday casual sewalong, because in the SF Bay Area, they really are something I can wear every day when the weather is cool! And of course I don’t have any attachment to winning anything, I just wanted to participate! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *