Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Charm Patterns Harlow Pajamas, for the Pattern Review Sewing Bee Round 1

I was a little distracted by my original March sewing plans by the arrival of the Pattern Review Sewing Bee! It started a little later than usual this year, and I was paying attention but not necessarily planning on participating...but the first round challenge was pyjamas -- I've never really made a two piece pj set before, which was the brief for this round. Plus it had to be "uniquely you" in some way. 

I sorted through my pattern stash, and found that I didn't have any paper patterns in my extensive collection for a pj set -- a few nightgown patterns, but nothing like a classic pyjama set. Fortunately, I have many Burda magazines so looked through those, but ended up going with a free pattern from Charm Patterns, the Harlow Pajamas, a 30s inspired retro glam set that I'd downloaded and printed a while ago. 

I like this set, as it has a real vintage vibe (as to be expected from Gertie at Charm Patterns). It can be made in a luxury silky fabric for glam wear, or in cottons for a more casual pj vibe. I went with cottons from my stash.

To make this uniquely me, I used a cotton-poly sheet that I thrifted a while back; it has a brightly coloured alphabet print, and I knew when I saw it that I'd find a use for it somewhere. This was it! It's not too stiff, and sewed up into these pyjama pants perfectly.

It is faintly see-through, and I noticed that my usual seam finish (just pinking) would show through from the right side, that zig zag edge was kind of obvious. Although nobody but me would ever notice, it bothered me, and so I used my overedge foot & stitch for the first time and gave the seams a nice clean finish that way. With a good press they meld into the fabric much better and are not obvious to the eye from the outside. Very pleased with the finish, although it used MUCH more thread than a pinked edge ;)

Then I had to match the print with a solid top. I sorted through my stash for a few different options, but when I came across this bright green cotton lawn I knew that was it. The perfect colour, the perfect softness for pj top. I'd originally purchased it a few years back, to line a dress I was planning on making from a green & yellow cotton that was quite thin, but that's never materialized, so the pj top it was. 


There are a lot of nice details in this pattern -- a contrasting neckband from the sheet fabric, plus a belt, and then a decorative frog closure. All that contrast is very pleasing to my eye. The cotton lawn is beautiful to work with, so soft and drapy, and the alphabet fabric turned into a confetti of coloured bits in the neckband, also pleasing!

I cut a 10 in this pattern, but could probably size down slightly if I made it again. I like a loose pj but this could benefit from being just a pinch smaller, I think. I had to shorten the pant leg by 3", and would likely take 1/2" off the waistline rise next time just to make it perfect. I didn't have to adjust the top at all. 

I really like this set! It feels fun and beachy and colourful, and will be a great summer sleepwear option. Even if I don't move on in this year's Sewing Bee, this first round was a great challenge for me, to make something I've never tried before, and do it using some wonderful, fun fabric from my stash. I enjoyed the process of making this set, and will also enjoy wearing it in future. 


  1. Great job! The alphabet fabric seems very librarian-appropriate.

  2. That's what I was thinking...on theme for reading in bed ;)


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