and now for something completely different


I don’t know about you, but I am a planner. Especially when it comes to sewing.

I’ve got spreadsheets, I’ve got lists, I’ve got a mental line-up of blog posts. My stash is categorized by when I plan on using each piece, and I periodically reorder it when my to-sew list changes.

(Lest you think I’m some sort of neat freak, this just means that I keep pulling things out of my for-later box of fabrics, then stacking them on top of my to-sew pile of fabrics, then repeating the process until the box is pretty empty and the pile has exploded all over my bedroom. Then I refold everything and start over.)

So you can imagine how it went when my sewing machine went on the fritz for more than two weeks.

I had PLANS, big plans for projects to make and blog, and it was all for naught, because all I could do during that time was cut out future projects. And I hate cutting.

So when I got the ole machine back, I needed to make something. Right away. Start to finish! This is a tall order for a snail-like sewist with a strong tendency to get distracted by things like food, email, and air currents, so I glanced at my to-sew list with an eye for the fastest project possible. And I skipped ahead to summer.


Yes, these are summer pajamas. With adorable crocheted lace.

So there you have it. We’re taking a detour from my cherished “staple sewing” series for the most seasonally inappropriate make you’ll find on the Internet this month.

(If you’re saying, “Sarah, you only have one ‘staple sewing’ post, and that does not a series make,” all I can tell you is that I HAD PLANS.)


Light as air. And totally unseasonal.

The fabric is one of my greatest deals ever: Anna Maria Horner voile from the sale table at Fabric Mart. I can see why people pay $16/yard for this stuff: It feels frigging fantastic. I, however, paid $2 a yard for it, which is how I ended up with three yards of a print that I don’t even particularly like.

That’s OK. I’m never wearing these out of the house (I hope).

I wasted a fair amount of this fabric on a disastrous attempt at drafting a bathrobe, which we won’t discuss here. I’m not bitter about it, because I absolutely love these pajamas. The stripes keep it kind of classic, the scallops add some cuteness, and the lace just makes me smile every time I see it.

(To be honest, this project would never have occurred to me if it weren’t for Zooey Deschanel’s character on “New Girl.” So many cute pajamas.)


The pattern is McCall’s M6848, which includes an eyemask, two pajama tops, pajama shorts, and a pajama romper that apparently would need to be entirely removed if you needed to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. There’s a variation with a ruffle around the bottom edge of the shorts, which sounds pretty cute, but eh, that’s a lot of really fiddly gathering, and I had this lace gathering dust in my stash. Plus, the scallops on the lace echo the scallops on the fabric.

Construction notes:

  • As drafted, the hem of the shorts curves up, gym-shorts-style, at the side seams. I squared off the hem to make it easier to add the lace, and I think that gives it a charmingly old-fashioned shape.
  • I sewed a medium of both View A (the racerback top) and View D (plain shorts). I was worried about the shorts being a little tight, based on the finished measurements, so I added about 1/2 inch to each side seam. Turned out to be a good choice. Meanwhile, for the top, I had to take probably 10-12 inches out of the side seams at the underarm, tapering to nothing at the hem. Boy howdy, am I a pear shape.
  • For the top, the instructions tell you to use fairly wide bias strips to bind the armholes and neck, leaving the binding visible, and to slipstitch the whole thing. My response: No. I cut the bias strips in half to make them narrower, then tucked them to the inside and topstitched. This makes the straps on the tank a fair bit narrower, which I like anyway.

a folded-over bit of ribbon marks the back of the shorts

The shorts, in particular, came together so easily that I cut out another pair — to go with my fabric-failure top, which turned out to be a failure on more than one level, because I never iron it and therefore never wear it. Let’s hope it gets a new lease on life as loungewear.

All in all, this is a huge improvement over my usual old-boxers-plus-ratty-tank-top combination that I usually wear to bed in the summer. I really can’t wait to wear these in, oh, six months!

Pattern: McCall’s M6848, size medium with adjustments
Fabric: About 3 yards Anna Maria Horner “Pastry Line” voile, $6 at Fabric Mart’s store in Pennsylvania


7 thoughts on “and now for something completely different

  1. So cute, and you did make me laugh at the start of your post – I too plan like a fiend, list, relist, but am yet to spreadsheet….. Maybe I should…. How sad for those that cannot understand the deliciousness of a planning list!

  2. Pingback: me made may: part 1 | root branch bole

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