Carolyn sews the Carolyn Pajamas – finished!

Carolyn Pajamas in Shetland Flannel - finished

Winter is coming, and now I have a cozy new pair of flannel pajamas to enjoy the cold weather in style!  I never thought it would take me over three months to complete this project, but if life is going to get all up in my grill, the least it can do is give me a new pair of fancy PJs in the process.  🙂  I chose gender-neutral colors for this project since I still plan on making matching PJs for my boyfriend – stay tuned for that awesomeness!  For now though, let’s talk about this set that’s mine, all mine!

Carolyn Pajamas in Shetland Flannel - front with pockets

Project Stats:

Pattern: Carolyn Pajamas by Closet Case Files, View B, size 10.  This two-piece pajama set has contrast piping around the collar and lapels, across the breast pocket, and highlighting the sleeve and pant cuffs.

Fabric: Robert Kaufman Shetland Flannel in navy herringbone and maroon.  This flannel is a dream to sew and wear.  It’s thick, soft, and warm.  My only regret is that I should have used a lighter weight fabric for the piping to reduce bulk.  For interfacing, I finally splurged and bought some Pro-Sheer Elegance Medium from Fashion Sewing Supply.

Modifications: Shirt: 3/8 inch broad shoulder adjustment (see this post), added 1/2 inch to each side seam at the hips, and added 1.5 inches in length to the sleeves above the cuff (I love extra-long sleeves).  Pants: No fitting adjustments, but I added piping along the pocket openings of the pants.

Level of crafty satisfaction: These pajamas are so comfortable and luxurious!  I suspect the loose fit and deep neckline of the shirt will prove to be too cold in the dead of winter, but I’m hoping to remedy this by wearing a close-fitting tank top underneath.

Click here for all my previous posts on the Carolyn Pajamas, including muslins of both pieces, thoughts on fitting adjustments, and even a video of me wearing the pants muslin.

Carolyn Pajamas in Shetland Flannel - back Carolyn Pajamas in Shetland Flannel - side

Everything went together smoothly with this pattern, as many of you have noted as well.  The instructions were clear, all the notches matched up nicely, and the forgiving fit seems to work on many body types.  I have a long torso, long arms, and broad shoulders, and I got away with only minor adjustments.  Hooray!

Shirt Details

Carolyn Pajamas in Shetland Flannel - shirt

The highlight of this pajama set is the piping around the collar and lapels – so classy!  I used single-fold bias tape inserted flat (no cording), and I really like the final look.  The notch of the collar was a little tricky to get just right, but it was still very do-able with a little patience.  Since I like to take my time when sewing and usually sew at a glacially slow pace, taking a little extra time around the curves was actually pretty enjoyable for me.  🙂  I’m proud of how everything came out!

Carolyn Pajamas in Shetland Flannel - collar detail

You can see some bulk around the lapels in the photo above – this is because there are so many layers of thick flannel where the piping is inserted.  There was some major seam grading, clipping, and notching going on around the collar and lapels, but there is only so much seam allowance you can trim away without losing the integrity of your garment.  I think next time I’ll use a lightweight cotton for the piping instead.

Carolyn Pajamas in Shetland Flannel - under collar detail

Here’s a view of the underside of the collar/lapel notch.  Even the back looks neat!  The instructions have you tuck in the lapel piping where it meets the collar piping, and I think this is a clever way of getting a smooth finish in this area.  The topstitching holds everything securely in place.  You can also see above how nicely the bias tape piping goes around the curves of the collar and lapel.  Bias tape is still so magical to me.  🙂

Oh, and the photo above shows the navy and black herringbone pattern of the flannel.  Isn’t it lovely?

Carolyn Pajamas in Shetland Flannel - interior facing

And here’s a view of the interior of the shirt.  The major seams are finished with the serger.  For the free edge of the facing, instead of folding over twice and topstitching as the pattern recommends, I folded over once and zig-zagged to reduce bulk.  I also could have simply serged it.

I deviated from the pattern in another small way by skipping the gathering stitches on the sleeve cap when setting in the sleeves.  The sleeves are set in flat, and I find that I can get a smooth seam just using pins and a little finessing, as opposed to always winding up with a tuck or two when gathering.  Screw those gathering stitches!  I haven’t used them for a while now and have been getting along just fine.

Pants Details
Carolyn Pajamas in Shetland Flannel - pants front

Things I do for the blog: exposing my bare stomach on a chilly morning to show you how the top of the pants fit.  🙂  These pants are awesome!  Heather was spot-on with her design here.  The pants are loose enough to be comfortable as pajamas, but sleek enough to look put together and a little feminine.  I am not-so-secretly contemplating using this pattern to make “outside” pants because they are just so great.  Will I wear elastic-waist pants in public??  I’ve worn worse!
Carolyn Pajamas in Shetland Flannel - pants backNo droopy butt here!  Just comfy PJ pants that nicely wrap my butt in warm flannelly goodness.

Carolyn Pajamas in Shetland Flannel - pants pocket detail

I really like the added piping along the pocket openings.  It can’t be seen when wearing the shirt, but I know it’s there.  🙂  I added a small strip of fusible interfacing to the pocket openings to keep them from stretching out too much.

Carolyn Pajamas in Shetland Flannel - pant cuff detail

And here’s a blurry shot of the piping along the pant cuffs.  I just love all the contrast piping!

Final Thoughts

Carolyn Pajamas in Shetland Flannel - frontThese pajamas were a really fun and satisfying project.  You know I enjoy sewing practical, everyday garments, and flannel PJs are about as everyday and practical as you can get!  I love that I can wear them all winter long and feel stylish and comfortable in something that I made myself.  I also really enjoyed sewing all the details on this pattern.  The shirt was just as fun as a full button-down shirt, which you know is one of my all-time favorite things to sew.  Basically this PJ set is a winner all around!

I’ll be sure to post and update when John’s PJs are complete and matching pajama awesomeness has been achieved.  For now though, I’m off to wear my new PJs and feel all classy and elegant!

24 thoughts on “Carolyn sews the Carolyn Pajamas – finished!

    • Thanks Gillian! Life is definitely calming down, and I’m looking forward to getting back to my normal sewing routine. I’ve been carving out more time slowly but surely. 🙂

    • Hahaha, thanks Tutti! I wasn’t planning on baring my stomach, but the cold weather and time constraints prevented me from taking another photo to fix it. Oh well! Hope you’re hanging in there with the rain.

    • Thanks Lisa! I like the classic vibe of this solid pair, but I’m contemplating a more girly (floral?) set for myself as well. 🙂 You should totally make a pair – the fit is pretty forgiving of tall figures.

  1. You’re back! Apparently you have been for some time, but I haven’t seen your posts. Glad to hear you’re in your new position, sorry about the commute. These pj’s are pretty jazzy I’d say and flannel is so cozy and warm. On my list. Quite certain there will not matching hers and his in my household, though. John is such a good sport! 🙂

    • Haha, thanks Jen! Yes, John has been a great sport about this crazy matching PJs idea, and I’m looking forward to sewing up his set. The flannel is indeed very cozy and warm. To me, flannel is the ultimate choice for winter sleepwear!

    • Oh man, that’s awesome!! Suffice it to say that these pajamas were not cheap, but the flannel is really great quality, so in my eyes it was worth it. It’s very thick and soft, and it seems to be holding up well in the wash so far. I sew really slowly, so I’ll often splurge a bit on fabric since I don’t buy it very often.

  2. Luxurious is what came in my mind as soon as I saw the first photo, you have done a wonderful work, from fabric selection to construction, and that piping is perfect, well done!!!

  3. Just wanted to pop over and say Bravo! These pi’s are beautiful and you did a wonderful job!! I’ve been following along with all of your posts and so happy to see the final product. I have to say, most people don’t put that much care and technical attention into the clothes they wear outside, never mind cozy clothes that won’t leave the couch. Your detail work is terrific. I’m waiting for some Kauffman flannel to become available for a project I’m queuing up, so I’m glad to hear that the quality is good. Now go back inside, it’s cold here in BOS!

    • Thank you so much! I really love detail work and enjoy taking the extra time to get everything right. Life is so hectic, and work is full of deadlines, but my sewing time is mine to savor. 🙂 I hope you enjoy working with the Kaufman flannel – it’s great quality!

  4. These are just BEYOND. I didn’t realize that Aspirational Flannel Pajamas could be a thing, but you’ve done it! You did such a lovely job on these, and I for one am eagerly awaiting the matching ‘jammie photoshoot! I will have to make a note of the type of flannel you used…you know, for “textile research.” 😉

    • Thanks Mads! Haha, Aspirational Flannel Pajamas. The humble flannel PJs finally get some love. 🙂 I’d highly recommend the Robert Kaufman flannel. It’s thick and soft, and it comes in a bunch of grown-up colors and plaids. I’ll be sure to post photos when John’s matching PJs are done!

  5. They’re gorgeous and have turned out so well! Love all the details, they look so expensive. If they were mine I don’t think I’ve ever want to get dressed. Can’t wait to see the matching ones!

    • Thanks Ali! I’ve been wearing them a lot lately, changing into them as soon as I get home from work. Is it wrong to be wearing PJs before 6pm? If so, I don’t want to be right. 🙂

    • Thanks Linda! The are indeed super warm (actually too warm for the mild weather we’ve been having lately), and yes, John’s will be the same fabric. Matching PJs are on their way!

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