Burn After Reading

Since Christmas, when Santa gave my daughter these sweet and luxuriously soft wrapover pyjamas, I’ve been meaning to copy them and make my own.  No buttons, you see, thus perfect for sleeping on the tummy.  Did You Make That‘s Pyjama Party Sewalong  provided the perfect incentive for getting on with the project, with Karen’s well-timed and clearly explained tutorials illuminating every step of the trouser-making process.  What could possibly go wrong? 

Well, considering:

1. My tendency towards thriftiness, coupled with a knack for picking loony fabrics….?  Once upon a time, this Morocco-inspired duvet cover from Jonelle attracted much admiring comment.  I loved its deep indigo colour with light blue and silver embroidery .  Nine years of hot washes were beginning to show though and the fabric was looking thin in places, but reluctant to turn it into dust sheets yet, I decided it deserved a genteel retirement as my pyjamas.  A bit of upcycling, thought I.  How now! 

It wasn’t a good idea.  Here’s a lesson: tired fabrics don’t make tired people look any fresher!   

And here’s lesson 2.  To the amateur designing her own patterns: it’ll take more than one draft!  I thought a wrapover top design would be fairly straight-forward.  After all, there aren’t any darts or contours.  But whilst this may be true of designing a wrap for a child, it doesn’t much flatter a woman’s shape.  The result is a flat, mannish silhouette, made far worse by the “exotic” fabric;  less Coco Chanel, more manservant bringing a tea platter to the memsahib.  And the ties create bulk in the waist area.  

Reader, if you want to show this picture to your friends, for a laugh, like, I’d urge you to do so right away because this post is gonna be torched!

So did anything go right?   Sure, not only did I learn a couple of valuable lessons, I also got to draft the “Trousers Master Pattern” from the Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing.  It was easy and the only adjustment I made was to straighten the sides for a looser shape.  Karen’s tip on the triple-marked back notches was noted and I appreciate the clear explanation on telling the front from the back: I’ll keep these in mind when I make these again out of some lovely flannel.  If anyone knows of a flattering yet comfortable wrapover pattern that I could use for the top, I’d appreciate the tip.   

Oh,  and my bedtime book.  3.5 out of 5 for “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer.  It centers around Juliet, a young writer in post-war London, who by chance begins correspondence with a group of characters from Guernsey.  They reveal how their literary society came to be formed against a background of the island’s German occupation.  It’s a moving and thought-provoking story set in a time and place of which I hitherto knew nothing.  But like my mannish pyjamas, I don’t want to reveal too much!!  You’ll have to read it yourself. 

8 thoughts on “Burn After Reading

  1. I like them. I don’t think they are mannish at all. No, don’t throw your book at me for disagreeing with you. I will add that book to my “to-read” list.

    Consider yourself hit with a pillow. 😎

  2. Na, they look cool. Just dye ’em. They’re unlikely to shrink if you’ve already hot washed the fabric. Dye ’em! The embroidered bits will come out differently depending on the fibre content (i.e. if the fabric is pure cotton and the embroidery is poly thread and you use natural fibre dye the embroidery either won’t dye or will dye very faintly. Do it! It’ll be cool =D

  3. I think your PJS are nice, I love the wrapover top. I think need one to go with my PJ pants.

    The Readers Digest Complete Guide to Sewing was one of the first presents my hubby gave me years ago and I refer to it all the time!

  4. Once again, my readers’ gentle and encouraging comments have saved my creation from the bonfire!! Thanks everyone. The update is that the I’ll fiddle around with the bodice till I get a better fit and I’ll replace the bulky rope-like ties with something in a slinkier fabric. Might then consider dying a different colour. But I realize now how useful (i.e. cosy) this wrapover style is if you like to read in bed at night, once the heating’s gone off….

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