Pattern Review Sewing Bee Round 1: Uniquely You Pajamas!

So, the first week of March has sort of been kicking my ass, but I decided to try and enter the first round of the Pattern Review Sewing Bee anyway. And…. I finished! I made a set of “uniquely me” PJs in a week, and I’m really excited with the results.

When the project of pajamas was announced last Monday morning, I can’t say I was surprised – it feels like a very 2020/2021 challenge! I’ve never had fancy pajamas, but I’ve always wanted a nice matching set, and I thought that this was the time to go for it! While I considered other pattern options, since I needed 2 pieces I decided to use BurdaStyle 11/2009 #130 for the top and BurdaStyle 01/2017 #124B for the trousers:

My original plan was to use a solid color with contrast pipping and do an embroidery monogram on the patch pocket. However, time and stash limitations being what they are, I made a few changes…

As you can see, my finished pajamas are anything but a solid:

They are so bright and colorful – I love them!

I’m really proud of all of the finishing details, especially from working with such a slippery, shifty fabric:

Overall I’m so happy with the way these turned out! Here is my official entry for the pattern review:

Pattern Review

Pattern Description: BurdaStyle 11/2009 #130: Silk-satin pajamas with breast pocket and pajama jacket detail. BurdaStyle 01/2017 #124: Flowing pajama trousers with pipping trim at the hem.

Pattern Sizing: The top comes in BurdaStyle sizes 36-44. I used sizes 40 at the shoulders and graded out to 44 for the sleeves, and out to an approximate 48 at the hip by adding a bit of extra width at the side seams on both the front and back pattern pieces. The pants come in BurdaStyle sizes 44-52, and I cut a straight size 50.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  The instructions for both patterns seemed like very typical Burda instructions, meaning that the general outlining of the steps was fine, but the detailed steps were occasionally confusing. I’m not really sure I attached the collar facing to the neckline in exactly the way the pattern wanted, but I think it worked out alright. The sections on adding the hem bands to both the top and the trousers was a bit confusing, so at a certain point I sort of just stopped paying attention to the instructions and just went off of my general sewing knowledge because the shapes of the pattern pieces weren’t too complicated once the more details of the collar were in place.

Did it look like the photo/drawing when you were done with it?  Yes, I think so! Burda also used a silky print in the magazine for the trousers, so they look very similar. I think that the print I chose subdues some of the details of the top, but the overall shape looks very much like the photo in the magazine.

What did you particularly like/dislike about the pattern?  Since the pandemic has started, I have been living in my TNT pajama pants and oversized t-shirts. For this contest I wanted to choose similar styles to what I’ve been wearing, but make them a bit more elevated than my current pajama wardrobe. The pajama pants pattern is very similar to my TNT trousers, except that it had a piping detail at the cuff, which I wanted to incorporate to match the top. As for the top, I wanted to find something that had the relaxed fit of a giant t-shirt, but was a bit more elegant. I really love the shawl collar and pocket details, and I especially love the 3/4 length sleeve. My only dislikes are related to the instructions, and that the permanent stitching line that keeps the top closed was in an awkward spot, though that was easily moved.

Fabric used: I used a polyester satin butterfly print that I bought from Jo-Ann years ago. For the Bee, I’ve decided that I’m going to try to sew from stash as much as possible because (1) stores are still very locked down in my area, (2) shipping has been very irregular so I don’t want to have to rely on deliveries if it can be avoided, and (3) I have a massive stash of fabrics that I love and really should use. I’m so happy that I went with this fabric! I’ve had it for years, but never used it because I hadn’t bought it for a specific project but “just because it’s pretty.” Although I would have loved to use something a bit more luxurious like a silk satin or a very soft cotton, I didn’t have anything in the stash that was a large enough quantity to get the fully matched pajama set I wanted to make. I decided to prioritize the shape of the pattern over the fiber content of the fabric, and I’m really happy I went with this print. It makes me smile every time I look at it and it has all of my favorite colors in it. The trim is a flat bias pipping I made from a scrap of leftover Bemberg rayon, which was great for a bit of stash busting, and I used a bit of a lightweight fusible interfacing on the collar facing.

Pattern alterations or design changes you made:  I didn’t make too many design changes, but I did use serged French seams throughout the top and the trousers. The fabric loved to fray, so I thought that using a serged French seam technique would prevent the fraying, reinforce the seams, and make a really lovely finish on the inside of the garment. For the sleeve hems, I also used under-stitching to get a really sharp, clean hemline, although the pattern didn’t call for this. I also think that these patterns intended for a typical raised pipping to be used, but I decided to use a flat pipping because I have a bit of a princess and the pea issue and thought that it might be annoying to sleep on top of raised pipping. I also adjusted the top pattern by adding about 1″ overall at the hip level, and by lowering the front stitch line closure by about an inch because it hit me at a really awkward spot. I also tried a new finishing technique for the facing that I learned about on Instagram. I serged the interfacing to the facing fabric wrong sides together before flipping it and fusing it to the inside, which gave a super clean finish on the facing piece. I’m so happy with how tidy the insides of my garment look!

Would you sew this again?  Would you recommend it to others?  I would love to sew this again! I think it would be really luxurious in a silk charmeuse or a soft, lightweight cotton for summer, or even in a soft flannel for winter. Although I love the print I used, I would also love to make a version that uses a solid fabric and a brighter contrasting pipping detail. I would definitely recommend these patterns to others; the trousers are super easy and would be a great first sewing project. The instructions for the top might be a bit confusing to a beginner, but anyone who has some experience should be able to make the top fairly easily as well.

Conclusion:  I’m so excited with my new pajamas! I love how happy the colors and print are. I’ve never had a matching set of pajamas before, so this feels really luxurious, especially in a silky satin fabric.

Tell us why your garment is uniquely you: I think this set of pajamas is uniquely me because it incorporates design features I love to wear with a print that is very much my color palette and aesthetic. I also added personal design labels that are unique to me! The pattern is a relaxed fit with an elastic waistband, which is basically what I’ve been living in for the past year. I also like to have my legs covered, so the full length trousers are also very much my style. The top is a relaxed fit as well, and while I like having a bit more shape in my “real world” clothes, I hate having any sort of constriction when I’m in PJ mode. The fabric is a mix of my favorite colors (blue, purple, and green, and I especially love the mix with the black), and the sort of organic but very vibrant print is very much a style of fabric that I love. I think that often we are drawn to the shiny beautiful fabrics that we love, but then realize they maybe aren’t “practical” to wear, or that they don’t play nicely with other pieces in the wardrobe. But because these were pajamas I didn’t really need to worry about how they would look in the outside world or how they would coordinate with other pieces. There was a lot of freedom in being able to choose a fabric that I loved and just going with it, and I’m so happy with the result!

How does this fit in with the Sew Your Kibbe Challenge?  Does it work as well for you as you expected it to? Obviously this wasn’t really made for the Sew Your Kibbe Challenge, but I did stick to some principles of Kibbe; mainly the organic fabric print and the flowing fabric. I don’t think Kibbe would have particularly loved this style of top for Soft Naturals, but since this was for me and I wanted to be comfortable, I didn’t overly concern myself with that.


14 thoughts on “Pattern Review Sewing Bee Round 1: Uniquely You Pajamas!

    1. Sure! It’s when you use a serger for the initial stitch (when the fabric is wrong sides together), then you flip it to the inside and do the second stitch with a regular sewing machine to complete the French seam. I used this so all the wispy fiber strands wouldn’t stick out of the side seams.

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  1. Fantastic combination of color, print, and style! And fit! I am so inspired to use some of my fancy fabrics for pajamas now. That way I know they will actually get worn!

    Liked by 1 person

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