Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

The Morning After



Welcome to the world of the everyday, the normal, the commonplace – unfortunately no ballgowns or exquisite wedding dresses, no perfect prom frocks or elaborate costumes – just plain and simple stuff. I’ve a girly weekend away and that’s as good as an excuse as any to make something new.

I’ve made my very first pair of cotton pyjamas for myself. Now, you’d think is would be easy, simple, a quick sew but there’s so much that needs to be decided upon – the options are endless and I was obviously in “decision dilemma” mode during the process. The sewing itself is not difficult, but I hmmm’d and ahhh’d  for ages.


To add piping or not? Pockets and where? Elastic closed waist or ribbon tied? Ankle length or cropped? Topstitched or plain? French seams or flat felled or overlocked? Etc……

With two main fabrics – a blue and a pink – I eventually made some decisions. I added piping to the trouser outside seams, finished the legs with deep bands, made a front tie (useless, just for show and to signify the front so I don;t put them on back to front), sewed on two trimmed pockets. The pattern is Vogue 8641 (OOP) and is meant for stretch but I’ve found it works for woven too – just add 1cm to the side seams and cut the waist a little larger.



Darts or no darts? Edge finishes – bias bound and slipped stitched, folded and edge stitched, frayed, overlocked and topstitched? Front placket with buttons? Button opening the full length? No opening at all? Simple hem, bound hem, depth of band for hem? Breast pocket or not? Indecision and changing-mind half way through has resulted in a rather scrappy and patched button closure  – but heck, they’re jammies and I’ve learned stuff.


The jammie top is Sorbetto (free download). Just Google Sorbetto images and you’ll see what I mean about variations, options and design decisions. In the end I opted for no bust darts, but took a little bit of time and care with bias bound edges and creating a short front opening with a button, which is also useless as the Sorbetto slides over the head with ease. The opening leads into a pressed pleat. To balance the trousers, the top is also finished with a contrasting band.




Then you need a dressing gown or some such to complete the ‘outfit’. With not enough of either fabric left to make a brand new one I dug out an old pale pink cotton dressing gown that I used to use when dyeing my hair and was stained and splattered. This is the ‘before and after’ shots.



It was shortened and a contrasting band added to the new hemline. An inverted pleat was inserted in the back for extra room, pockets on the front, new neck edge bands added to cover the stains, a strip of blue sewn along the back to hold the pleat, the sleeves were given an elongation with cuffs – endless stuff done. I think I only stopped when I ran out of fabric.

Now I know why I use patterns – they have taken all this decision making out – that’s the designer’s job; perhaps I have a pair of designer jammies though……


BTW – the photos were taken first thing in the morning – no make-up, no styling, bed head hair – just what I’d look like when wearing these for real. And don’t you dare say that I don’t look any different than when I spend 30 mins prepping each morning!

46 thoughts on “The Morning After

  1. Wow! Amazing and completely professional. I can’t actually believe how you transformed the dressing gown. And how nice the PJs are despite having been slept in. Well done, and have a great break.

  2. Love these! I have this comment doesn’t duplicate – wordpress gets weird sometimes! Great designer touches, Ruth –

  3. Oh nice! What a difference to the dressing gown. Love them all. You are truly a designer.

  4. I LOVE this!!!

  5. Love these! Your contrast is perfect. So cheery and comfy looking!

  6. Wow your stuff always looks so polished…even pyjamas. And I think you look just as beautiful without makeup..truly!

  7. all your decision making turned into a fabulous outfit!

  8. such a lovely job and the colour choice is perfect. Hope you have a fab time with the girls.

  9. Love the way you did the bias on the top so it looks like piping. I’ve always just turned it entirely inside. Want to try your method on a future project. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Thanks Mary. Instead of turning the bias all the way to the inside, just fold it over the seam allowance to create a little outside edge, press and top stitch in place. I serged the raw edges of the bias to the top, so by folding it over it covers the serging too for a very neat finish.

  10. Gee, I wish I’d look like that first thing in the morning! And the deshabillé looks nice, too. I must try piping, fake or real…

    • First time for me doing piping and it’s not real piping Viliene, just a folded strip of fabric, no cord or anythiing. Onwards and upwards…. Thank you

  11. A very professional looking job, so many neat details.

  12. Very nice with the contrast bands. PJs are such a fun and satisfying to make and forgiving of any little boo-boos.

  13. Love the pj set, with all the design details and the contrasting bands. So pretty! You look sweet in the morning.

  14. A real success. Loved all the details!

  15. Wonderful jammie set and the dressing gown makeover is awesome.

  16. These are great. I’m definitely jealous.

  17. Great pjs almost too good to wear in bed

  18. So, even your pj’s are enviable. You are right about just how much you can learn from anything you choose to make. You set the bar very high for your friends on this girly weekend 😉

  19. Very cute pj’s Ruth!

  20. Beautiful and most definitely desighner. Well done.

  21. I’d answer my front door wearing this set! Love the updated dressing gown, perhaps because I’ve just returned from Japan and it takes me back to the bathhouse yakudos.

  22. These are brilliant! I love the white piping and deep hems. Also, you did a great job on the dressing gown, I thought you’d made a new version at first.

  23. Love the PJs and the dressing gown hack even more. Great way to recycle( from done to designer!)

  24. SO very chic for pi’s! I love all those gorgeous details. Your sewing is perfection. I need a set just like this one 🙂

  25. Pingback: and counting… | corecouture

Let's talk.....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s