Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Polyester Penguin Pajama Party

You might remember that a few weeks ago these penguins swam up to the top of the fabric heap and begged to be made into pajamas: This is a polyester knit that I got in a big batch of vintage fabrics on eBay, back in March or April this year. I think it’s from the 70s because it reminds me of those tightly fitted knit shirts with the wild prints and big collars. But it could just as easily be something from Joanns from last year. I am not good at identifying what is really vintage.

I can say that this knit was one of the easiest materials I’ve ever sewn. It has a good one-way stretch and is very smooth, but did not snag, run, unravel or curl up at the edges. It was happy with regular poly thread and a size 11 ballpoint needle. The only time I had issues was in topstitching over several layers of fabric and piping, and there are some crazy thread bubbles in a couple of the corners.

My first instinct was to go all funky 70s housewife and make a long, zip-front caftan-style housecoat, which I would wear all day with big fluffy slippers while I watched TV and ate bon-bons. (This seems to be a recurring theme in my imagination. My mom never wore stuff like that, so I must have gotten it from television.) However, I have eight bathrobes currently in rotation, and the Piemaker has two which he never wears, so adding one more robe to the closet seemed excessive.

So pajamas it was. I like the 1940s style pajamas that look like men’s, and thinking of men’s pajamas made me think of piping, and all I had was dark red piping. So that’s how we ended up here:

I used two patterns: B3210 for the top and B5571 for the pants and sleeveless shift. Having no actual men’s pajama shirt pattern near my size, I adapted this oldster (formerly of the fish shirt) to a pajama style:

The nightgown was actually an afterthought since I had a bit more than a yard left over after the top and pants. The knit made for easy neck and armhole bands: I cut on the stretchy cross grain instead of bias. I added piping here too.

I don't usually care for brown or red, especially not together. But I have to say these are some of the cutest pajamas ever!

Now I need to get off this pajama and underwear kick. What's next?



  1. I love these! The fabric is fabulous, and the red just makes the whole look.

    What's next? I am on holiday gifts; aprons, hats, boxers and pillows all over the place. And I can't blog about them, because the recipients might see! It definitely needs to be time to sew for myself soon!

    xo, Anita

  2. Thank you and thank you!
    Anita, hats? I hope you'll show us after the holidays. Sounds interesting!

  3. You might remember that a few weeks ago these penguins swam up to the top of the fabric heap and begged to be made into pajamas: This is ... ppajamas.blogspot.com