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Jul 29, 2013

1920's Pajama Project -- Choosing Fabrics



Readers, it seems there will be 1920's pajamas this coming August.  And a kimono-style robe.

I went fabric shopping today.  At first I explored silk crepe de chine, but it was too expensive.  Instead I opted for some soft-as-silk (or nearly) cottons, which are also easier to work with.

I like to think I'm not the type of fabric shopper who agonizes over his choices.  In a store the size of Mood, if you let yourself be overwhelmed you'll never leave with with anything.  I remind myself that there are many good choices and, in the worst case, I can always get something else.

For this project, I wanted to explore a muted palette.  I found myself drawn to soft purples, cocoa browns and pale pinks.  But I've done a lot of pink.  I opted instead for acid greens.

Here's what I bought, and I'm not entirely sure in what combination I'll use them.

I'm pretty sure the kimono robe will be this floral cotton voile-like print.  It's slightly sheer with a lovely drape.  I have two yards of a 54" bolt.  (I expect it will be basically a bunch of rectangles.)  It has a William Morris-y feel.



This is the type of thing I have in mind (lower left), only considerably shorter.  (This is a Mrs. Depew pattern from Etsy.  Has anyone ever used one?)



To add some richness and heft, I bought a yard of chartreuse cotton sateen -- cheaper than silk satin but still heavy and lustrous.



To pull things together, I can also use the chartreuse sateen on the pajamas trim.  For the pajamas I chose two fabrics: a silky cocoa brown (2 yds) and a muted eggplant (1 yd).  (I could also trim the robe with either one instead of the chartreuse sateen.)



Here's everything together:



The pajama top and bottom could also be different colors.



I didn't have it in mind specifically, but here are some William Morris prints with somewhat similar tones:





Thoughts?

In other news, friends, today I also bought dressmaking pins, style tape for draping, and five yards of cotton muslin.  Learning draping -- or starting to -- is my other big project for the month.

This Craftsy draping class, taught by Paul Gallo and currently 20% off, is a strong possibility.  Looks promising, no?

Have a great day, everybody!

25 comments:

  1. How about some glamorous beach pyjamas? They were popular in the 1930's and would be fabulous today!

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  2. Lovely colours! I think using the heavier sateen fabric for trimming the kimono and PJs is the way to go. I fairly recently swapped the trim on my kimono dressing gown and opted to underline the Japanese print cotton with bamboo and then quilt it. I think it looks much nicer than the previous cotton trim, which just lay flat on the garment. The heavier weight on the PJ legs should give a lovely drape.

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  3. This pajama pattern is awesome! I can't wait to see how you make it up!

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  4. I really like the color pattern, the fabric combo for the kimono is my favorite.

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  5. Make it my size and then give it to me. Juuuuuust a friendly suggestion. ;) That looks gorgeous.

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  6. Re: Draping I've signed up to that class too (not started it as yet though), and I'm thinking that I shall pre-wash and press my muslin (we call it Calico here in the UK) before I start the actual draping on my dressform. My reasoning is that every time I've seen any videos etc. of someone draping with fresh off of the roll Muslin is how stiff and ridged it performs. I have a theory that if I launder the Muslin first it will drape, and have a softer hand to it - and I throw hope that it will perform more similarly to the final fashion-fabric I'd intend to use for the final design. Similarly, using different weights of Muslin fabric would effect the draping process/effect during pattern making too.

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    1. You could also just press it heavily with steam -- that's what most people do...

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  7. I love the color scheme, I would definitely try to mix them together! And a william morris type of print for a 20s robe is a match made in heaven. If you are looking for more William Morris (inspired) designs you could try Spoonflower, although it's a bit pricey.

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  8. I love this project and had been hoping that you'd make a kimono robe :)

    Nice fabric choices too (I'm nearing the end of a William Morris cross stitch so right into this style at the mo).

    Can't wait to see PJs and robe on the MPB house model.

    Spud.

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  9. This ensemble is going to be divine. Love the style, love the colors, love the fabrics. I think it will be the sort of ensemble that disrupts gender stereotypes- too good for Cathy! Keep it and wear it yourself!

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  10. Delurking to say I'm jealous of your fabric choices. We have JoAnn Fabrics and Hobby Lobby, chock full of quilting cotton, novelty fabric, and sateen.

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  11. Wonderful William Morris-y prints.

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  12. Oh, I think these choices are quite elegant, Peter. Maybe you should start a vintage PJ business. I am looking forward to your project, and I am also looking forward to a review of this pattern. I have looked at Mrs. Depew patterns, but I haven't bought one yet. I already have so many patterns, I am trying to restrain myself.

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  13. I adore 1920s fashion so much that I bought the one hour dress pattern book. Then the last time I was NOB (north of the border), I made a special trip to Lacis in Berkeley and bought a Mary Brooks Picken sewing book reprint and it's accompanying special ruler.

    Enough about me, I love the color choices. You can't go wrong with William Morris's palette of colors. However, I disagree about the pink, you can never have too much pink. It is such a flattering color, you just need to vary the shades. Right now a bright coral pink is my favorite, but you can't go wrong with a soft shell pink. If you trim it with black it's dramatic, with cocoa it's sultry.

    Can't wait to see the finished clothing. Lucky Cathy.

    regards,
    Theresa

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  14. Love, love love the colors!!!

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  15. I love both the William Morris prints and your floral that coordinates. The whole palette is really lovely. I agree that the heavier fabrics may be better as trim.

    I can't wait to see the photo shoot!

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  16. I am watching how this pans out because I want some of those items....

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  17. This is going to be fabulous, Peter! Those 1920s pajamas remind me of the scene in Thoroughly Modern Millie where Julie Andrews is blissfully dancing around the hallway after bedtime until she sees Mary Tyler Moore sneaking into James Fox's bedroom... Sad, to be all alone in the world. ;-) Good luck with your PJs!

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  18. I just made some 1920's style PJ's! I wore them to a costume contest that was a bust, so I went to my favorite bar and attracted the attention of drag queens. It was freaking awesome. You must strut your stuff in these, people absolutely hit the roof when they saw me, you will have fun!

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  19. I picked up that exact voile print (in the light blue colorway) two years ago at Mood. I love it, but have yet to make anything with it. The bolt said it was lawn, but it feels more like voile to me as well... -Amanda

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    1. Confession: I'm not sure I know the difference! ;)

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  20. The Paul Gallo draping class is definatly worth the money. I've watched it several times now and can't believe how much this experienced ( or so I thought!) dressmaker learnt!

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  21. Where did you find the picture of the William Morris Poppy print? I love it!

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  22. just discovered your blog... love it, I'd love to make myself some of these p.j.s, looking forward to your results

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