Happy Summer Solstice! It is suddenly quite hot here in Southern California. I can deal with the heat during the day, but is sure is uncomfortable trying to sleep when it is still 77F in my bedroom at 11pm. Ugh! Not looking forward to the long hot summer ahead of us.
Pajamas are one of the items I rarely make for myself. The main reason I sew is to have well fitted clothing for my non-standard shape. In pajamas the fit is less important. On the other hand, I’m getting tired of buying nightgowns and pajamas sets in XL or XXL to fit my bottom while my top half needs 2 sizes smaller.
Recently I took a dive into my pattern stash and found Tilly and the Button’s Fifi. I actually made a nightgown version in January 2016 as a gift for my sister. It turned out really cute! And as luck would have it, I’d done an FBA on the pattern cups back then so all I had to do was trace off my size and get to sewing. Hooray!
So cute, right? I ended up grading between sizes, the top is a 6/7 and the bottom is a 7/8. The only change I made to the pattern aside from the FBA was to swap the bias straps for fold over elastic (FOE) instead. That was a lesson learned when I made my sister’s version. If you look closely at the pattern photos you can see the bend where the bias goes from edging to strap. Drove me bonkers when I realized that was considered normal for the Fifi. I like the FOE much better. The back of the Fifi top is a tad large, but with the elastic gently gathering the edge, the back feels nice and snug. I also much prefer the FOE straps for their supportive yet flexible hold. Support! It is sort of important!
I’m still torn on the shorts. Really out of my comfort zone, but I do like them for pajamas. Less twisting around than a nightgown and helps with the summer thigh rub. They maybe look tight in the photo, but they don’t feel tight in person and if anything the waist elastic could be a tad more snug.
Tilly doesn’t recommend using fabric with a directional pattern. It’s a fair warning as the top is cut on the bias and the shorts are cut on the grainline. Originally I’d bought this Cotton + Steel rayon with a Cashmerette Springfield in mind. It was part of my epic Hart’s Fabric shopping spree in early May and I’d had my eye on this print for months. But after I made my first Springfield I knew I didn’t want a ton of them. Just 1-2 would fill the gap in my wardrobe and the crane fabric had just exactly the amount of yardage needed for pajamas. Sold! The pattern is so busy, that I don’t think the direction is super noticeable.
I’ve worn this Fifi set a few times now and I do really like the top a lot. The fit is exactly where I want it, but the shorts are just not holding up like I’d hoped. They feel great the first night, but then the fabric stretches and bunches and the crotch doesn’t sit where I’d like for another wearing. Ultimately I want to wear my pajamas twice before washing. I’m on the search for a different shorts pattern, so if you have an option that is free or not too expensive, please let me know! I’m tempted to try the City Gym Shorts, but they only go up to a 46″ hip and I need a 48″ hip.