I am officially in love with Cotton+Steel rayon, and will definitely be buying more. It feels so beautifully soft, looks gorgeous, and is even great to sew with in spite of the almost silk-like flow of the fabric. It irons like a dream and that definitely helps the sewn garment to come together neatly.
And given how often I’ve used it now, including my favourite dressing gown which I posted about previously here, I think I can safely call McCalls 6659 a tried and true staple for sleepwear in my wardrobe. I’ve made the gown 3 times so far, and now this pyjama set. I’m very happy with it all.
The idea for these pyjamas came from the fabric itself. I saw it at the Drapery, on sale, and I bought the whole 4.5 metres they had left (or thereabouts).
That gave me enough fabric for some pyjamas with a shirt, shorts and long pants. But only just, and that’s with some cropping of the long pants, so if you’re taller than me (and almost everyone will be) I’d suggest you measure up and perhaps buy a bit more than I did.
I started with the shirt.
I made a few mistakes which don’t seem to bother me a bit. You’ll see in the photo above that I accidentally sewed the collar piece inside out. It’s pretty hard to spot which is no doubt how it happened in the first place. I think it’s something only I will notice. And you, now that I’ve pointed it out.
I always agonise over buttons, but this time the choice was obvious and I used some buttons I had in my stash. The perfect size and colour – and would look even better if I’d matched the thread for the buttonholes more closely to the fabric. I guess I was in a hurry this time around. But again, for some reason, while it’s an obvious mistake it just isn’t bothering me on this project. I think it’s because I’m so in love with the fabric.
The button spacing tool in the photo above is a godsend on shirts of any kind. It’s real name is an ‘expanding sewing guage’, and it can be used for all kinds of things including spacing pleats and other things. So far I’ve only used it for buttons and it’s brilliant. I bought this one online from Punch with Judy. She keeps an enormous range of sewing bits and pieces. This is the one I use – purchased several years back but it looks the same.
Once I’d made the shirt, I made the shorts to check the fit on a smaller piece of the fabric. I like them a lot, but decided an even looser fit was better for pyjamas. I added some extra lounging room into the longer pants.
One thing about these pyjama pants (both the long pants and the short pants). It’s quite hard to tell front from back when you’re putting them on. So I’ve borrowed an old couture trick and embroidered little x’s inside the centre front. That way I’ll never put my pants on backwards.
There’s no doubt I had the perfect fabric for this project. It’s soft, smooth and luscious. I smile just looking at it and I keep running my hands over the softness of it just because it’s so lovely.
Based on this experience, I would highly recommend the range of rayons from Cotton+Steel to anyone who is wanting a lightweight and drapey fabric. I will be using it again to make shirts and possibly a dress or two as well.