Sew Relaxed

VV Weldons pattern pjs

PJ layout illustration showing how F. & B crutches are almost identical, placket and faced buttonhole method.
PJ layout illustration showing how F. & B crutches are almost identical, placket and faced buttonhole method.

Take a late 40′s or early 50s Weldons pj pattern add a fun flamingo cotton border print bought yesterday  (Ditto Fabrics, UK) and hey presto- pjs. It’s an unprinted pattern but the original seamstress very helpfully pencil labeled each pattern piece. I joined the two pants pattern pieces together down the sides so there is no side seam on my version… but as the top of the pants has pleats and a tailored waistband I still had to make a slash placket on the left hip to get them on and off. I also left 2 of the back pleats unpleated, which gave me about 3 inches extra in the waist. I cut a longer waistband and slotted in a bit of elastic into the centre back to create some ‘give’. I had bought  2 and a half metres of fabric with no particular usage in mind but looking through my vintage pattern stash this one seemed perfect.  Unfortunately the fabric was only 45″ wide and so I had to lose 3″ off the length of the top to fit all the pieces in. The crotch is very low and almost comes to a point rather than the scooped out shape modern trousers have.  I still need to add buttons and buttonholes and will be sleep testing properly tonight. But so far I’d say I will definitely be using this pattern again- comfy to wear, more practical than my earlier silk pjs, definitely uncomplicated to make- a relaxing project for a change,just what was needed after a manic month of costume work.

The black velvet and pink floral georgette were very recent jobs. I can’t post pictures of the other things I’ve worked on for ‘confidentiality’ reasons. Whatever. The lower row of images are a few costumes I made last year… just re-found the photos on my computer. I’m not that organized when it comes to taking pictures of all my professional jobs… mostly only if I like them. Been a lot of bias dresses between my own and 3 of these. The pink floral georgette was a nightmare to work with. Couldn’t press it well, terrible fraying. Give me bias velvet any day over nylon georgette any day!!

Anyway this goes to show why sewing up a pair of easy cotton pjs from a vintage pattern is my idea of relaxation 🙂

19 thoughts on “Sew Relaxed

    1. Thank you Piper!
      The man-made fibre fabric for that gown was sent to professional pleaters http://www.cimentpleating.co.uk. By using man-made (a rayon mix maybe…. I just don’t remember exactly what it was but defo not silk) the pleating will be permanent. I believe the Fortuny formula is still the only one whereby silk can be fairly permanently pleated but your question caused me to do some quick Googling and came up with this post about silk pleating http://www.alleycatscratch.com/lotr/makingem/Tips/CrushSilk.htm . An interesting method, ‘broomsticking’ plus chemicals. Lol, I think I will stick with Ciment pleaters though.

  1. Great pyjamas, I like the print. Very interesting to know that you made that Dancing on the Edge dress. I loved that programme and thought that the costumes were marvellous.

    1. Thank you Evie, the gowns are the sort of work I would do all the time given the choice. Challenging but my idea of fun too.

  2. Love your new PJ’s I could lounge around in them all day long and I wouldn’t be embarrassed to answer the door in them either 😉 Well done you keep coming up with such wonderful outfits, I would love to rummage through your wardrobe 😉
    Thanks for all you do x

    1. I’m in the pjs now, finally got buttonholes & buttons done and can say very comfy! Lol, I’d like to rummage in my wardrobe too … I’ve accrued so much over the years there is stuff in the back I forget I’ve got 😉

    1. If only mine did too 🙂 I’d love to say I swan about in lovely things while I make them but it just ain’t so , jeans and t-shirts most days. When I’ve tried dressing up to work, just for a fun change, I just get so covered in thread snips and bits it just isn’t fun.

  3. Oh! love those pj’s – how stylish.

    Beautiful costumes. Is panne velvet the best for bias gowns? I am inspired to make one, that pink is stunning – I watched this series and loved the costumes!

    1. I think panné works well on the bias but best when there are 4 panels in the pattern rather than just two so you can get the nap to chevron cf & cb. Otherwise I just think the panné velvet shading can look odd… could just be me being overly persnickety though. I’ve used it more for straight grain patterns. For a bias dress that has a 1pc front and 1 or 2pc back I like to use a rayon or rayon/little bit of silk mix so there is not an obvious directional shine, if you know what I mean.

  4. I have serious pj envy-that border print looks so-o-o good in this pattern.
    I loved the drama ‘Dancing on the Edge’. The gowns really added to the atmosphere-and the original songs were amazing! Well done VV!

    1. So did I! Many of the costumes were original vintage but a few were made specially… I loved doing that dress. It was a copy of an original just too fragile to wear

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