Woo-hoo! Sounds like you’re well up for a pyjama party. You bring the marshmallows, I’ll make the hot chocolate. I am very excited – can you tell?
I thought I’d run through some of the suitable fabric options for making a pair of pyjama bottoms. I can already see that many of you will be using this as a stash-busting exercise (respect) but others, myself included, may be thinking about buying some fabric especially for the make.
What would be some good or less good choices? I’m going to run through a few swatch examples and would love it if readers made their own recommendations – or voiced warnings.
First up, the cottons – or are they?
Working left to right, the lemon yellow is actually some Italian suiting. But look at that drawn thread detail. Wouldn’t that make the most breathable wear on the planet? Some of you may be in or visiting hot climes, so natural, cool fabrics will be very important to you.
I think there’s a healthy debate to be had over natural fibres, yay nor nay on this make. My new jim jams featured in the launch for Pyjama Party are so synthetic I’m sure they’d have a real party with a naked flame. This makes them easy to launder and they don’t crease much, but I know that in a really hot climate I would be able to feel the heat being kept close to my skin. Thoughts, anyone?
The middle swatch looks like a really pretty floral cotton, but it’s actually a viscose. I’d love to know people’s opinions – would you use this or not?
The blue check on the right is that classic for a pyjama set – brushed cotton. Soft and cosy, easy to launder, natural fabric. You can see why a lot of people use this.
On to the next three swatches…
On the left is some shirting cotton. Those obvious stripes scream PJs to me, and I’d like the opportunity to work with shirting. I often admire it in fabric stores, but never know what to make with it. Not, you know, wearing many shirts myself.
In the middle is some nice giant polka dot cotton. You can have lots of fun with prints on a set of pyjamas, sporting the types of design you’d never wear in the street. Anything goes! But a word of warning: both the shirting and cotton samples above were pressed prior to photographing, and they’re still looking creased. Would these be difficult to wear and launder? Is 100 per cent cotton the right way to go – or should it be just the right type of cotton? Again, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
On the right is a black double jersey. I thought this would make an unusual, cosy option for winter pyjamas. There’s a lovely pattern woven into the jersey that you sadly can’t see in the photograph.
Now, onto the luxe options…
On the left is some printed silk, but immediately we come up across one of the cautions needed for luxury: what are the washing options? If you’re going to buy expensive fabric for your pyjamas, you really need to ask. This one is hand wash only. Want to hand wash your pyjamas? No, thought not.
The middle swatch is some silk crepe de chine that I’ve been lusting after for ages. It barely creases and is so soft to the touch. I’d have to enquire as to laundry advice, but something like this might be an option for a high-end take on that most basic piece of clothing.
Last but not least, an awesome swatch of Italian pink, grey and ivory printed silk satin. But it’s heinously expensive at £36 a metre and dry clean only. Um, no. Only in Hollywood films.
So that’s it from me. I hope I’ve inspired some thoughts and ideas about your own makes. If buying new fabric, you may want to keep a careful eye on the width. My pattern piece isn’t cut out on the fold – I need at least a 45″ width to accommodate my trouser pattern piece. It may be the same for you. So buy creatively, buy with excitement – and ask the necessary questions.
All fabric swatches are from Stone Fabrics. Not because I’m on commission, but because I had them in the house, being a member of their Cloth Club. If you want the details (and I know some of you will) I’ve outlined them below in order of appearance with Stone Fabrics’ reference codes for telephone ordering.
Stone Fabrics aren’t the cheapest in the world (though they are quality). I would happily use their swatches for inspiration and then get myself down Goldhawk Road. You may have a similair source to hand?
I recently had a conversation with Handmade Jane about buying linen. Could she get some at Walthamstow market? I’ll be honest. I love me a piece of Walthamstow market action, as you know. There’s myriad choice out there at stupid prices. But if I want an affordable option for quality fabrics – say, a crepe de chine or a linen – I would get to Goldhawk Road as fast as my little feet could take me.
A few people have got in touch with me recently about the planned demolition of the Goldhawk Road shops. I’ve mentioned this before; clearly the issue isn’t going away. You can find the protestor’s Facebook page here, but I thought it worth highlighting again.
STONE FABRIC SWATCHES
CC944 Lemon yellow Italian drawn thread cotton suiting, £10.80 a metre
CC905 Small floral print viscose, £6.50 a metre
C834 Blue check brushed cotton, £8.50 a metre
CC720 Multistripe shirting, £7.50 a metre
CC685 Polka dot printed cotton, £11.98 a metre
CC792 Double jersey, £8.50 a metre
CC782 Printed silk, handwash, £14.30 a metre
CC614 Silk crepe de chine, £16.95 a metre
CC935 Italian pink grey ivory printed silk satin, dry clean only, £36 a metre