I made my first pair of Carolyns in April 2021.I really liked the elegant glamour of them, the optional piping and how they have a few style options. When Sarah got the Catwalk Cotton Lawn in again, I knew I was going to have to make ‘my Cat’s Pyjamas’. It also gave me the opportunity to change a few things I didn’t 100% love about my first pair.
I had previously selected a size 4 for the top and 8 for the bottoms based on my measurements and the finished size chart. I was a little surprised at the size difference from top to bottom. I made up the bottoms and to my surprise they still felt a little snug. I am also a high rise kinda girl and the rise of the Carolyns felt a little close to flashing my bottom. I was really happy with the top and how comfy it was.
For my second pair I knew to make a few edits:
- Slightly smaller seam allowance (I’d already cut the PDF printout)
- Higher Rise on the Bottoms.
- No Piping or Accents, beautiful but I wanted the fabric to do the talking.
A lot of the time when ‘hacking’ anything I look for a tutorial, why reinvent the wheel after all? If it’s going to potentially alter the fit and if there is also a beautiful fabric on the line. I make a quick and dirty toile. The tutorial I found for the high rise hack was the one helpfully provided by Kelli of True Bias, Originally intended for the Hudsons.
I added nearly 3 inches to the front and back. I also kept the pocket depth, for transporting snacks up the stairs. One of the key things to remember for this hack is to alter both sides of the pocket and pocket bag, if you don’t you are likely to get a pocket which is hard to secure to the waistband and causes a few pulls.
I whipped up a quick toile out of some bedsheets (cropped so as not to waste fabric) and put them on. I did a quick assessment doing things I’m likely to do in pyjamas i.e. Lounging, sitting, drinking tea and decided that they worked for me. The minor edit I made was to the length of the waist elastic, as the bottoms were sitting a little higher I needed slightly shorter elastic.
I cut out the fabric having selected the short sleeved version with long trousers. I liked the idea of having my arms out in my ‘summer pair’ of pyjamas. I’m naturally always a bit chilly so long trousers are often still a necessity. The fabric is lightweight so should keep me at a nice temperature.
I really loved working with this fabric, I’d previously made my mum a tunic with some. It has a lovely soft yet crisp hand feel. It is nice and stable to work with, which would make it ideal for a beginner looking to get into sewing.
Having made the edits I sewed up the trousers according to the pattern instructions. I marked the faux-fly with one of my chalk pens to help with the topstitching. I am also a big fan of my gadgets and used an edge stitching foot for any point where I had to stitch in the ditch.
I made sure that prior to attaching the pocket I added a Pink Coat Club ‘May Contain Cat Hair’ label. I liked placing it somewhere visible and it worked really well with the fabric itself.
I made two edits to the shirt construction. The first was to sew the interfacing to the fabric right sides together before trimming the seams, turning it to the wrong side and fusing it. This was to give it a cleaner finish on the inside. The second deviation from the instructions was to set in the sleeves as opposed to laying them in on the flat. For me, this stops any pulling under the armpit which can cause me quite a lot of irritation. Pyjamas are meant to be cosy after all!
I’m very glad I now have my own pair of the cats pyjamas. I will be flaunting these at every opportunity, the high rise hack makes me feel more secure in them. I have also had a few requests from my Hen Friends so it’s likely I’ll use my experience to make a few more.