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May 19, 2011

Pajama Party Tonight!



It's time to sew again, friends, and can you guess what I'm sewing?

Pajamas!

I don't sleep in pajamas very often, but I do like them for lounging around in.  So comfy and cozy, so My Three Sons.


I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to make my pajamas out of (I'd eliminated wool crepe and taffeta), so I high-tailed it over to my favorite fabric dive, H&M on 35th St., which has been going out of business for the last two years -- how long were they in business?  And whom should I bump into there but lovely Bloggette, Tricia, of Clio & Phineas!  I wish I'd shaved.

It's always a little unsettling to see someone I know at a place like that, where shopping is more akin to dumpster diving.  Still, I buy most of my fabric there and so far nothing has spontaneously combusted -- yet.

I found some great stuff for pajamas and a few other things.  One of my all-time favorite summer fabrics, perfect for pajamas, is cotton seersucker, and I picked up three different ice creamy colors.  My pajamas are going to incorporate all three!



Right next to the seersucker was a single bolt of the most amazing gray sea island cotton (it had its original label), as soft and as smooth as silk.  I have never seen stuff like that there before.  I picked up four yards and I'm not sure what it's going to become -- perhaps a shirt.  It's a little luxurious for pajamas -- unless you're Cary Grant.



Anyway, back at home, I dug through my pattern stash and discovered I have four pajama patterns -- not exactly sure how that happened.



At first I thought I'd use the vintage Simplicity pattern on the upper right, but I don't have enough fabric for it: they were designed to reach up to your armpits, apparently.   Even with pattern adjustments, I'm still short width.
 

A 14" fly?



Anyway, I'm settling for the more contemporary shorty pajamas using the newer Simplicity pattern. I'm hoping to finish them in just one day.  Now I need to get invited to some event where I could actually wear them.



In closing, friends, what's your take on pajamas?

Do you, or someone you love, actually wear them, or are they a leftover from more modest times?

Ever been to a pajama party?  (I don't think those ever caught on in New York City.)

Happy sewing, everybody -- do the frug!

32 comments:

  1. I love pajamas. I have two vintage flirty chiffon numbers I wear quite often. Oh so Annette or Doris. I feel like a movie star in them....and because the chiffon glides around on the sheets, I never end up in a tangled mess like I do with cotton.

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  2. I only wear pj's lounging around. BUT my kids wear them every night. I made them some awesome pj's a few months ago, little shorts and shirts with appliques made from the shorts fabric.

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  3. I wear tshirts and always have. Now, of course, they are custom long tshirts. Pajama pants are nice to lounge around in before bed and early in the morning.

    PS. I finished the jeans this morning.

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  4. I have been to pajama parties in college a la "School Daze" and there was a kidnap party I got kidnapped to attend where people were in various levels of undress.

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  5. Dawn Young CunninghamMay 19, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    We called them Slumber parties if it was all girls and Lock-ins if it was a mixed group. That was the '80's though.....

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  6. After last year's marathon pajama sewing, I'd say I'm something of an expert... in flannel jammies, anyway. ;) I only made 13 pairs! Well, at least it wasn't this year, when I will have to do 14 of something...

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  7. You know, I usually don't wear pajamas. But lately I've been really getting into them. I have a vintage Vanity Fair slip that I love. I made the Colette Patterns Madeleine bloomers and I wear them with a cute vintage silk camisole. I really want to sew some more Madeleine bloomers, they are so cute and comfy. I also want to sew a robe soon. And I think I may have to sew my husband a set of flannel pajamas with a robe and all.

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  8. I tend to wear PJs when I work from home (like right now!). Mostly menswear-style pajama bottoms worn with T-shirts or other tops. I have a wide collection in modern & vintage prints, flannel & cottons, plus some shorties, to cover all seasons. I don't sew my own tho -- keep saying I will, but I find such interesting ones, I don't need to :-)

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  9. I love them to lounge in, but I don't really have any true pajamas. Maybe it's time to make some 2 piece sets and housecoats!

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  10. I have wanted to make lounging pajamas for some time now but I'm still working on my second pair of jeans. I know,I know, but I work full time, have a small child, at home, etc. I only have about an hour each day that I set aside for sewing, heh.

    I think I might have to work on some pajamas next. :)

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  11. I made my hubby flannel PJs a few years ago. I call them the $1000 PJs.

    This is because after sewing all day, I was top-stitching the collar. I had two inches of sewing to finish for the night... And for the first time in my sewing career...I sewed my index finger. Gasp. The needle went into the nail and broke. My nurse neighbor, her teenage son and my two teenage sons could not keep my arm still when she tried to remove the broken needle. Reflex was hypersensitive.

    Off to the emergency room where they anesthetized my finger and the needle slide out like butter. Bill from ER: Approx. $1000.

    My husband is still wearing the PJs and will be for years to come so we can prorate that ER bill.

    Not to worry, however. I got right back to sewing the next day. Enjoy the PJ sewing. Watch out for the top-stitching.

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  12. I never thought of using seersucker for pajamas before, but why not? Those colors are so lovely. I thought H&M was on 39th, but I guess I've never been there since I don't normally get down to 35th. I'll definitely have to check it out.

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  13. Grace, there are two. The one on 35th St. has the same prices (more or less) but has the grungier atmosphere we dumpster divers prefer.

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  14. PJs aren't just a leftover from a more modest time period but were used to provide another layer for warmth or to protect the bedlinens from human fluids of many types. Way back when, it was hard to wash bed linens, and they were often expensive to buy and time consuming to hand stitch. And the modesty factor was often related to the fact that many families lived in one or two communal rooms and going to the john in the middle of the night was often a public and outdoor affair.

    So lots of reasons to don the jammies and the bed cap!
    -Linda (historian)

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  15. LOL - In fairness, I was already there... knee-deep in the dumpster when you found me.

    I made Phineas pajama bottoms some time ago in blue and white striped broadcloth. Very classic looking, like your patterns. He wears them all the time, although with a tee shirt rather than a matching top. I prefer knits for sleeping. I can't wait to see how your jammies turn out!

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  16. I am really digging the idea of seersucker anything right now, but seersucker pajamas sounds extra neat. Please share how you go about pressing the fabric in order to trace the pattern!

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  17. Speaking of luxurious fabric for pajamas - I got an email the other day from fabric.com all about their Liberty of London fabrics and every single one of the 'suggested patterns' was for pajamas! I won't spend $23-28/yd for a really nice shirt, i'm definitely not spending that on pjs!

    Now on to the answer to your question: I have a few pj sets that I wear around the house, but I sleep naked. Hubby has a few pj pants that I've made him and he wears those practically everyday after work when it's too cold for shorts.

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  18. I wear nightgowns and robes or caftans a lot, early morning and late night when my bra hurts too much to keep it on another minute. It's hard to beat cotton flannel all winter. I had a nasty lung infection in February & was so thankful I had more than one robe--a shower and clean robe are quite therapeutic when you are Medicated and Sick.
    My late father wore PJs and robes too--most vividly, waiting up for me & my dates to come home to. Scared the dates right out the door!
    Your humor is so welcome, Peter. You put the finger on what is wrong with the JoAnn Fabric store experience--not enough grunge factor. There is danger, however. I discovered another fabric store in central Ohio that is not a chain at all, never will be, but there is so much grunge fabric there (picture Hideous Garish sleazy fleece prints of disfigured puppies and disturbing landscapes) that when something unhideous appears from the pile, it looks better in comparison to the fleece, and when brought home can be less attractive. That's my excuse and I'm sticking with it, for the 100 yards of orange nylon lace for only $1 that followed me home... There must be a Halloween costume in my future. Kristina in Ohio

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  19. Save some of that seersucker for me! Hoping to get to NYC and Asbury Park in mid June. I desperately need a summer bathrobe and it would be perfect.

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  20. I have a feeling you would enjoy the Fabric Warehouse in Melbourne (Australia) should you ever visit, Peter. It's FULL of grunge factor. I've only ventured in there once, and the mould smell and collapsing ceiling almost scared me off as much as some of the prices (despite appearances, the fabric isn't cheap).

    When you say you "dug through your pattern stash" I wonder, how do you know what patterns you have (and fabric too)? Do you have some sort of catalogue of your stashes? Or just have them stored all higgledy-piggledy and burrow through them to see what you can find?
    Have been looking at stash-cataloguing software and wonder about your thoughts on the matter.

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  21. Jenerator, are you referring to the store at the top end of Bourke St? If so, it is definitely worth getting to know better. I used to visit it regularly as a uni student and the then owners (uncles of the current owners, I think) were ever so sweet. The gentleman came to Australia after the war and were real characters. They use to often pinch my cheeks and give me biscuits. Of course, that meant I always felt I had to buy something! I'm still sewing with beautiful wools I bought there at least a decade ago.
    As to jim-jams, well once a year my daughter's school has a girls only pyjama party to raise money for breast cancer research. And not just any pyjamas, pink ones. The girls and staff wear jim-jams, watch pink fashion parades, do each other's hair and facials and manicures. And, I'm pretty sure they watch Gidget movies too.

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  22. Jenerator, you might enjoy this:

    http://malepatternboldness.blogspot.com/2010/11/mastering-sewing-mess.html

    I'm not very organized, but I do separate the men's patterns from the women's.

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  23. I majorly love pajamas (but not nightgowns...too twisty and drafty). Maybe it is because, as a woman, they are bra-optional! Anyways, they're just sooo comfortable. I made 1940s ones from purple flannel int he winter, but now I need to make some lighter ones for MMJune, so I ordered a 1960s pattern yesterday. I am very jealous of your seersucker purchase. Someday, when I get to NYC I will find some for myself.

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  24. I love pjs. I get far too cold at night if I don't wear pyjamas. I have made quite a few and have to stop myself making more - cotton ones for summer and flannelette ones for winter. They're great for the prints I fall in love with but are a bit too silly for making into clothes to wear out in public.

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  25. "lounge wear" is the new pajamas

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  26. Melbourne Australia (home of the grungy fabric warehouse often called Job’s warehouse that’s been mentioned already) is heading for a chilly winter, so I’m already snuggling in my new Black Watch tartan (well nearly Black Watch tartan) cotton flannelette nightie. Since the fabric was only 90cm wide it took 4 metres but at $5 a metre that’s OK. I await the outcome of your elegant sounding PJs with interest Peter. Maybe they’ll inspire me to turn the red tartan flannelette that’s waiting to become a shirt for my partner into PJs for me. Otherwise if the temperature stays down, I may not be able to wash the nightie till spring!

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  27. Melbourne sure is cold right now! So I'm wearing my made-to-a-vintage pattern 1940s jimjams right now. Super easy to make but I love them to death. Just remember, if you're sewing a 40s pattern - no elastic! I find them comfortable but it might not be to everyone's taste.

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  28. I think "Cary Grant' pyjamas would look kind of cool..

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  29. I love the idea of pyjamas more than I like actually wearing them. But I do have a pair I made using Hot Patterns "Boudoir of Bliss" pattern, and I love them. It's nice to have a pair of 'dressy' pyjamas to wear around the house, especially as that pattern is designed for wovens.

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  30. I love pajamas made out of fine cotton shirting. But I get tangled up in those loose baggy pj bottoms, so I prefer to wear nightgowns made out of that same fine cotton shirting. Seersucker will make some great pjs to lounge in. I had some fabulous summer clothes made of seersucker in the past. So comfy.

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  31. I love them. I forgot all about seersucker. Its so 70s! I had lots of summer outfits made of seersucker and the first dress I ever made was a green floral seersucker school dress! I tend only to wear pjs when Im staying over anywhere but I love the idea of lounging around in pjs at home, on a summer evening, undisturbed, on the chaise with a good book and a glass o vino . . . like that is ever going to happen!

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