Carolyn Pajamas: Savor the Process
In looking over some of my past blog posts and projects I found myself falling into a “fast and easy” sewing rut. Don’t get me wrong, I love a top that you can finish in an afternoon or a pair of leggings you can whip together in just an hour or so. Sometimes, though, you just need more of a challenge- a pattern that is going to stretch your abilities as a seamstress and make you think about your technique and how you want your end result to turn out.
When Heather Lou, from Closet Case Files, came out with her Carolyn Pajama pattern I knew that I wanted to make them. I love lounging in PJs on a lazy Sunday, watching movies all day, and these are perfect for that. When the Cotton & Steel lawns arrived in the shop earlier this year, the stars aligned and I knew I found the perfect fabric! I just love the colors of Melody Miller’s vintage floral print and the hand on this lawn is just so soft and yummy.
Going into this project I did have some reservations. The Carolyn Pajama pattern was going to test my skill level as a seamstress- I had never used piping on a garment before or had much success with button holes. I also was a bit frightened by the amount of fabric I needed to make a complete pair of full length jammies- 5-1/2 YARDS! It was easy to decide that this project was worth my investment of time and fabric, but I also wanted to make sure that I did it justice. I didn’t want to just throw them together and rush through each step.
My Carolyn Pajamas took me about a week to complete. I took on a new step each afternoon or evening when I had time to think about what I needed to do. I also redid anything that I wasn’t quite happy with, rather than pushing forward, hoping nobody would notice in the end. From making my own piping (I couldn’t find pre-made that matched just right) to actually learning how to make a decent button hole on my machine (thank you YouTube!) I took the time this garment deserved and I have an amazing final result to show for it.
In the end, I am very proud of everything I accomplished in making my Carolyn Pajamas and I just love how they turned out! I have to thank Heather for all the blog posts and detailed pattern instructions she provided; they really helped along the way. My PJ’s are uniquely mine and better than anything I could ever purchase. They are sewn to last, in a fabric I love and they are sure to be well worn.
I hope my experience in sewing my PJ’s inspires you to take on a new challenge and really savor the sewing process. In the quilting world, there has been some buzz about Mark Lipinski’s Slow Stitching Movement. He is encouraging quilters to take on a legacy project- one that isn’t made just to finish a project but that has some more heart and soul behind it. I think all seamstresses and makers can apply this to their craft in some way and enjoy the creative process a bit more on a special project- savoring each step and learning something new along the way. Best of all you will have something you really care about and cherish when you are finished- I know I do!