I have had my eye on the Carolyn Pyjama pattern by Closet Core Patterns for so very long, I’ve been stalking the hashtag on Instagram and ogling over all of the lovely pairs I’ve seen made up online. So enamoured was I with this pattern that it actually made it onto my ‘Make Nine’ for 2021 – if you’re not familiar with the Make Nine challenge it’s an Instagram based challenge whereby makers set themselves a challenge of nine new things they would like to make during the year. I’ve added a picture of my grid of nine hopeful makes below incase you’re interested, you can also watch my YouTube video explaining the reasons for my choices here if you’d like to…
So, I purchased my pattern from Minerva, and set about making my first pair which I chose to sew from a pretty floral viscose fabric from Abakhan Fabrics. I’m not sure why I decided to use a viscose for my first attempt rather than something easier to work with, but I think my reasoning was that they would be more comfy for bed wear in something soft plus I thought they would look lovely in this print. I decided to make the short version as summer was approaching at the time of making but I’d love to have a go at the full length version one day too.
Something to note about this pattern is that it takes a lot of fabric. I needed approximately 3 metres even for the shorts version but there are a lot of lovely details in this make so all that cutting is worth it in the end!
I was a little nervous about trying this pattern but it’s so helpful and well written I didn’t really need to be. There are a few tricky techniques in there, the main I found being the finishing of the collar at the back of the neck but again the pattern is very helpful with tips and drawings throughout. I wanted to try out the piped seams but for this version, I decided to use a bias tape folded in half to give the white edging. This I did find a little (a lot) fiddly to get in neatly but in hindsight I think this might have been because I was using a polycotton binding against a drapey viscose which perhaps wasn’t the best match.
This certainly wasn’t a quick make for me but I really enjoyed slowing down, taking my time and trying to get everything as neat as possible. I consider this pair my wearable toile pair because, although I really love how they’ve turned out, I don’t feel like I’ve done my best work on them in terms of precision but I know that’s just me being hard on myself perhaps 😉
So, onto my second pair. I was kindly gifted this amazing Art Gallery Cotton Poplin sunglasses print fabric from Minerva in exchange for a review (which you can read here) and knew instantly that it would make an amazing pair of Carolyn’s.
I had three metres of this fabric and it wasn’t quite enough to get all of the pieces cut out in the direction of the directional print – that’s a mouthful! So, I ended up cutting my shorts pocket facings with the print going in the opposite direction. I’m calling this a ‘happy accident’ because I actually really like how this looks and to be honest you can hardly tell unless it’s pointed out I don’t think anyway… 😉
For this version I decided to use ‘proper’ piping rather than folded bias tape and it went in much easier and neater than with my first pair. Maybe because I was working cotton against cotton this time?? I went for a navy piping to bring out the navy in the glasses print and I absolutely love how that looks.
Since I knew what I was doing this time, I’d say my second pair came together a little bit quicker but this is definitely a ‘take your time make’. I thoroughly enjoyed the process though and anything that makes me take my time and sew mindfully is a good thing in my book.
I highly recommend this pattern. If you’re nervous about it, like I was, I’d definitely recommend using a cotton or something more stable than my viscose for your first version. Oh, and don’t be tempted to skip the piping, I was but I’m so pleased I took the time and care to add in that extra little detail, it really does make the garment in my opinion!
I hope you like my Carolyn’s! Have you made this pattern yet? What did you think?
Until next time – happy sewing!