For the pajama bottoms, I used the Sewaholic Tofino Pants Pattern, and ‘frankenpatterned’ them by adding elements from the Lazy Morning PJ Bottoms pattern found in the book Downtown DIY Sewing by Alice Chadwick. I also added a pajama top to the mix and decided on Colette Patterns Sorbetto top. This is actually a free pattern and you can download the PDF for it by clicking here, then print it out onto letter sized paper and tape together.I love the wide legs, shaped front and back and piping design element of the Tofino pattern, but also wanted to add the ridiculously adorable heart-shaped pockets and contrasting hem and waistband from the Lazy Morning PJ Pattern. Both the body and the contrast fabric for the pajamas are 100% cotton. I used ivory coloured lingerie piping, which is made of satin, (instead of the ready-made cotton piping), and the sheen really made the pajama bottoms look elegant. This type of piping would look great with silk or satin fabric.
I had just enough fabric for a small matching top, so downloaded the Colette Sorbetto, as it only used approximately 3/4 of a metre of fabric for the entire top. This was my first time making this pattern and I just love it! So simple, but the result is very polished. I used an ivory 1/4″ pre-made bias binding (although the pattern calls for 1/2″) as I wanted it to emulate the thin piping on the pants. An alternative would have been to make bias binding out of the contrast fabric from the pajama bottoms hem and waistband. Ultimately, I decided this would have been too ‘busy’ as the main fabric’s paisley pattern was already quite elaborate.And now, you are wondering to yourself, “What is she going to do with two little heart-shaped pockets on the pajamas? What will she carry in there?” Well, I can answer that…
The phrase, “the cat’s pajamas” was coined in the 1920s in reference to the unconventional spirit of the female flapper (“cat”) and, combined with the word pajamas (a relatively new fashion in the 1920s), it formed a phrase used to describe something that is the best at what it does, thus making it highly sought after and desirable.For the Great Gatsby Sewing Challenge spearheaded by Miss Crayola Creepy, I decided to sew a pair of Beach or Lounge Pajamas from a Butterick 4177 Pattern.
Pajamas were the new lounge wear of the 1920s, no longer limited to actually sleeping in.
In the 1920s and 1930s, these garments, made of soft satin and embroidered “a la Chinoise,” became not only acceptable, but a chic, stylish item for women to wear to soirees in the homes of their bohemian friends.
Art Deco was also popular in the 1920s and fabric prints reflected this.
I selected an Art Deco inspired geometric print for the Beach Pajamas in a very delicately thin and airy rayon challis, 100% viscose (which was difficult to cut and sew with) and added a silhouette bird pattern fabric (also popular in the 1920s) for the collar and pockets, in a poly gauze. In the years 1880-1910, the ideal female profile would resemble the letter “S”. Ladies would force themselves into corsets and squeeze their waists down to often below 20 inches in diameter. This would raise their ribcage producing a prominent chest or “pigeon front”. The sides would be pushed back and the rear raised or padded to produce the lower curve of the “S”.
Before the twentieth century, women were technically not allowed to wear pants because it was deemed a masculine item, and they were ostracized if they opted to do so. The Women’s Suffrage movement gained its greatest victory in 1920 when the 19th Amendment prohibited gender discrimination in the voting polls. This political gain opened a decade of many radical changes in the perception and presentation of women. One of these changes was the change in the oppressive and sometimes health detriments of women’s fashions of the time. Dress reformers in the 19th century tackled this issue of female oppression by fashion by promoting social improvement in practicality over trends, for health and comfort over convention, and rationality over conformity
The arrival of World War I (1914–18) gave many women jobs as men went to join the military and many women wore trousers and overalls to work in factories.
Eastern culture inspired French designer Paul Poiret (1879–1944) to become one of the first to design pants (trousers) for women. In 1913 Poiret created loose-fitting, wide-leg trousers for women called harem pants, which were based on the costumes of the popular opera Sheherazade.
1920’s fashion trends were all about rebellion. The 1920’s were a time of backlash. People were lashing out at the rigid formalities of the Victorian era and defying the restrictions that came with the Prohibition era.
Until the 1920s, pajamas were only worn as sleepwear, then sometime in the 1920s, they made their way outdoors as a cover-up over swimming costumes on the beaches of the French Riveria.
During the 1920s, Coco Chanel and Madeleine Vionnet promoted silky, luxurious pajamas as evening wear to wear initially in private after which Coco Chanel began to wear trousers herself in public. This was a new, ‘masculine’ look that offered loose, sailor style trousers for women to wear at home and at the beach. These ‘beach pajamas’ were an early form of the pants suit.
When crepe beach and lounge pajamas were first worn at the seaside, trouser wearing women were a rare sight and still very much confined to only beach and promenade areas while in public. Society still did not want to accept women in this new role.Finally, by the late 1920s, beach pajamas appeared outside the bedroom as swimsuit cover-ups on the beaches and boats of the French Riviera, then quickly moved on to the streets of Britain and spread across the globe.
They are comfortable. They are stylish. They are cool and breezy. They are practical. They are leaps and bounds above corsets, petticoats, cages and heavy long skirts. Long Live the Lounge / Beach Pajama!!
The entrants were from all across the globe and were asked to tell us their favourite season. It was so exciting to find out where everybody was from and why they chose their season. I compiled the information into a chart. CHART!! (The science and math geeks just perked up :)). Some people chose all the seasons as their favourite. D’oh! Way to skew a chart! LOL.
Spring was the clear winner with autumn/fall and summer (the dry season in the tropics) practically tying for second and third place and winter (the wet/monsoon season in the tropics) coming in a distant fourth.
The following are a few of the simply beautiful and poetic quotes for each season, written by YOU! The comments really allow everyone to see why you love your favourite season and made me appreciate seasons that may not be my favourites, by being able to see them through your eyes. I was right there with you! I thank you for that. Your thoughts were truly lovely, you poets you! A book or song should really be written; read on to see what I mean. (Can you find your comment?)
WINTER – Wet / Monsoon Season
The storms are so wild and huge and you feel so small in a good way. The monsoon, it’s hard to comprehend. There is just so much water in the world, all raining down on you at once!
I love the look and the sound of snow.
I love when you’re all warm and cozy next to a fire with a nice hot cuppa and u can hear pitta patter on the window.In the tropics, the monsoon is in full swing. Nothing like falling asleep to the rain on your roof and the sounds of distant thunder!
I like the beautiful view after a snow storm, when everything is blanketed in pure white.
SUMMER – Dry Season
It feels like the climax to my year…. I adore the long evenings and early morning sunshine, I can walk the dog and have had my breath of fresh air by 6am… wonderful stuff!!
If I had to pick, I’d go for the last days of summer, with the plentiful fruit, the somewhat tired heat, the foreboding of darker days.
It’s warm and sunny and if you’re lucky enough to have a garden, it peaks in mid-July. We cycle and swim outdoors, we go mad because winter will begin again in November.
I love hot and humid weather, iced tea, pools and ocean time.
I get to sleep in as much as I’d like and my children are all home with me. What could be better?
I love sitting in the garden sewing. We live beside a river, so a glass of wine outside as the sun goes down is just lovely.
The rains stop for a while and we get to have sunshine.
Lucky for me I live in the desert, constant summer!
It means BBQs, hikes, camping and swims.
AUTUMN / FALL
I think, it’s the most beautiful time of year, full of colour and charm.
I love that it’s still warm but the colours are changing. It often brings the best of the weather. It also feels ‘new’ to me; a hangover of the new school year starting, I guess!
I love the trees shedding their leaves not to mention the beautiful warm colours that are associated with autumn- orange, chocolate, tan, coral, khaki, cream and cinnamon.
I love the change, the drama, the unpredictable weather.
I love Autumn, the crisp air and the changing colours of the leaves. The chilly mornings where fog lies low in valleys and the smell of woodfires is on the breeze.
My favourite season is early autumn, where it is still warm but not too hot, and late flowers are still blooming but the air is already getting an earthly smell. It just gives me a happy warm feeling.
Cool nights for snuggling.
Perfect weather for watching the amazing sunsets over the ocean!
The smell of autumn leaves is delicious.
Autumn always feels like a big relief that the heat is over.
The hot winds of the desert blow through the basin. The air is clear and the heat is sharp and by this time the garden is bursting with color and fragrance.
I love the freshness.. the new growth… planting a garden… daffodils…
I’m big on light layering and I love to see the new growth appear.
I love that it’s hot and sunny, and seeing all of the flowers blooming after a dreary winter.
Cherry blossoms in the spring. That is what I’m waiting for.
I love spring because it’s fresh, new, and hope for what’s to come!
The days are getting longer, and everything is still green from the winter rain.
The grass starts to turn green, the leaves begin to bud, flowers start to bloom. Bliss.Spring is so full of new beginnings for so many things. There’s always new baby birds flying around and all the plants come to life and are blossoming everywhere, I just love it.Everything is bright and beautiful and it leads to summer.
Cool crisp mornings and evenings and the newness of Spring with leaves emerging on trees & flowers blossoming everywhere.
I love spring, when all that has been sleeping in winter comes back to life. Warm days and cool nights that usher in refreshed fields of color and the wonderful perfume that springs from it.
Days are getting longer, but it’s not too hot yet.
I love Spring the most because the newly appearing rays of sunlight after a long winter make me happy and make me feel alive.
After a cold, wet & snowy winter, the flowers are beginning to bloom, the trees are turning green and the birds begin to sing. The temperature is not too hot & not too cold and it is so nice to be able to go out and get my garden started. I love the colors of spring as well, the yellow daffodils, the red tulips and purple pansy. I love to get inspiration for my sewing from the flowers. You can see many colors in one flower.
The transition from cold grey wet days into slightly less cold, occasionally blue wet days here in Manchester is always welcome.
And, something to be said for the beauty of ALL seasons:
There’s something grand about the circle of life, and the different feelings the change of seasons evoke that I enjoy more than “just” a single season.
I love every season, especially when they are beginning. The blooming flowers in spring, the warm summer nights, putting on the first cozy sweater in fall and I love a good snow fall. By the time the seasons are changing, I’m ready for the new one.
In NZ, colours are so much greener all year round, so these wonderful changes are a little more muted.
Missjoiedevivre from A Charm of Magpies, also shared an interesting seasonal factoid for us:
“Here in New Zealand, we mark the turning of the seasons on the first of the month, not the equinox/solstice. So it has been autumn since March the first!”
I had no idea!! Does anybody know why? Please, do share.
Because this Giveaway induced a very contemplative, calming and thoughtful vibe, Kitty thought that he would take his initial draw officiating ceremony idea, down a notch and also relate it to the seasons. (However, do not fret, Kitty fans, I have just won the Wellington Pattern Pyramid from Laura over at miymdiary, so for the winner of that draw, Kitty is going to put his original plan into action and let loose his boisterous side).
I listed numbers from 1 to 70 on tiny bits of paper, that looked like hopeful spring flower buds. Kitty inspects the flower bud numbers, and they are then placed at the beginning of the Kitty Tunnel, which depicts the hot yellow sun, clear blue sky and calm blue water of a gorgeous summer day.
A blow dryer was then set up and aimed at the flower bud numbers. The blow dryer was turned on and Kitty delighted in watching as the flower buds create a lovely winter storm and swirled around frantically and hypnotically inside the windy tunnel.
Kitty then bravely enters the eye of the hurricane. Oh, our gallant and fuzzy beast. Will he persevere over natures elements?
Kitty stands strong, never taking his eyes off the prize.
He grabs fruitlessly in the air, on the ground, in the tunnel; so many paws, so much paper, such wind.
Kitty leaves no sense underutilized and even tastes the spring flower buds, to ascertain which paper holds the possibility of being the winning entrant. Kitty then exits the tunnel, patiently watching his targets fly out of the tunnel and flutter delicately to the ground. Like gentle autumn leaves, departing their spring and summer homes on the trees, they fall softly to the ground.
Kitty waits for the bewitching autumn leaves to land while contemplating his next move. He inspects the items, never quite pinpointing just one, moving effortlessly between all the spring buds/fallen leaves, until…..his eye sees what it wants.
Kitty does it!! He hones in on, and dutifully captures a solitary flower bud/autumn leaf! He gets his paws on the winner!!!
The paper is unfurled like a beautiful tulip in Spring,
…the winner is…..Number 33!! Which corresponds to……Elise Lin from What the Dormouse Sews, whose favourite season happens to be: Autumn.
Congratulations Elise!! Kitty and I are both so happy for you. Please email me with your specs so that I can mail/post you, your brand new sewing book!
-Thank you to everybody for stopping by the blog and entering the giveaway, and for your engaging commentary on nature’s finest hours.-
I will leave you with Nick Drake, metaphoring on the seasons with the hauntingly beautiful, The Time of No Reply. You’ll thank me (after you’ve finished rocking back and forth in the fetal position, while weeping gently.) You’re welcome. (click on the song title to view it, you won’t regret it).
photo and comment credits: Giveaway entrants favourite season comments, quoted in this blogpost, have been edited, by me, for grammar and spelling as well as for brevity and are the sole property of the authors. The original comments and their corresponding authors can be found on the Giveaway sign-up post, here, in the comments section.
Photograph of the four seasons courtesy of: winter, summer, autumn, spring Photograph of Kitty in Spring courtesy of Halo Pets.
Well, today is that glorious time of year. The Vernal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere (first day of spring)
and the Autumnal Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere (first day of autumn). Both are excellent seasons and an exquisite end to the grey, cold snow and the sticky, humid heat.
An equinox happens twice a year and is the day where the terminator (twilight zone) is at 90 degrees to the Earth’s equator and the length of day and night is precisely equal! Ooooh, the wonderful math and symmetry involved. I get goosebumps!
To help celebrate this momentous occasion, I am giving away the sewing book Chic and Simple Sewing by Christine Haynes.
This book includes paper patterns, instructions and photos for 20 fashion projects that range in difficulty from 1 to 5. There is a rating system applied to each garment so that you know what you are getting yourself into, before you begin sewing.
The first section of the book explains some sewing techniques ranging from patch pockets to applying bias tape and the rest of the book presents a variety of garments for you to sew with the full patterns included in sizes small, medium and large (measurements included). The fun part of this book is that it is divided up into seasons, Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter with associated clothes and patterns for each season. I thought this fit perfectly into the Seasonal Celebration we are having!
For most of these projects, I altered and embellished the pattern and sewing to add a bit more polish and finishing. That’s one of the good aspects I found about this book: that it is aimed at the experienced beginner, but as you begin to climb up the levels of difficulty, or if you are already an advanced sewer, you can alter, embellish and add to the patterns and the sewing style to make your own, more tailored creations.
Also, this book is now out of print. Christine Haynes just blogged about this recently, so you will no longer be able to order or purchase this book anywhere!
To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment letting everybody know what is your favourite season and why. You can enter from anywhere in the world, no matter what season it is for you currently. :)
The giveaway will close on Sunday April 7, 2013, so please be sure to have your comments in by then. Kitty, of course, will be officiating the draw to pick the winner. Drop by again for the, sure to be exciting, entrant selection!
Update: See the official draw ceremony and the winning entrant here!
Good luck to everybody! And please ensure there is some way of contacting you, if you do win.
Feel free to ‘like’ Gjeometry on Facebook and follow this blog so we can all keep in touch!
(Autumn in Australia pic courtesy of Reef and Outback Rail Tours, Projects from the Book pics courtesy of Christine Haynes blog)
So, this years Christmas gifts were….wait for it……sleepwear for everybody! YIPPEE!!
Pajama bottoms, a matching camisole and nightgowns.
I did not make the jersey t-shirts (I’m still working on inserting sleeves as well as learning to sew with knits), so I bought T-shirts and just embellished them with monkey appliques and matching fabric appliqued on.
The green Jammies set were all based off of the Monkey fabric, so they all coordinated with camouflage patterns, shades of green and monkeys.
I also added coordinating fabric to the hems and waistbands of some of the pajama bottoms as well as to the chest pieces and straps of the nightgowns. And note the blue monkey slippers that match with the blue linen nightgown.