Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

A cropped Carolyn PJ shirt

I had the idea for this shirt a while back but it’s taken me a while to get round to doing it!

I originally tried the Closet Case Carolyn pyjama pattern a year or so ago (see it here) with the idea of wearing it is a regular shirt. Unfortunately due to the type of fabric I chose I felt it was too pyjama-like to actually work as daywear! (It was also a nightmare to sew!). At the time I just put it out of my head and felt it wasn’t the right look for me but I think that was more because I was so distraught at how difficult that fabric was to work with.

I was still really drawn to those kinds of shirts though so I wanted to give it another go!

This is chose a much more sensible fabric – a printed woven fabric I picked up for, the Peter Jensen fabric sample sale a couple of months back. (I’m not sure on the fibre content but it actually feels like polyester. I think I should do a burn test sometime soon…). On a happier note, it’s covered in a very funky lipstick tube repeat print which I adore and was an absolute dream to sew up!

I made the size 10 exactly as I did before except that I shortened the sleeve and did a big bicep adjustment which always makes things a little comfortable for me.

Again, I’m always pleasantly surprised at how good the Closet Case instructions are. I don’t know why I’m still surprised after all these years and all these amazing patterns! They are always a joy to use!

When it came to the hem at the last minute I decided to crop the short. There was a little too much print going on and with the stiffer fabric, it came out to a nice body cropped shape. I had half a mind to keep it long and tie it in the front but it looked too messy.

As a fallback plan in case I ever changed my mind about tying it at the waist, I left an open channel at the hem where I can thread a ribbon/cord/belt through and still achieve a more cinched in look.

I used some white satin piping for the trim around the collar, lapels and sleeve cuffs. I’ve half a mind to unpick the pocket and add some piping there too but, well, I’m not sure it’s worth the effort!

Overall I think this is a much better result than my last attempt at this pattern!

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