Sunday, January 19, 2020

McCall 3872: The 'Mr Sandman Pyjamas'

Mr Sandman, bring me a dream..... the dream of making these lush velvet 1940s pyjamas. Thank you very much.

The idea for this project came when my friend Rachael decided to host a vintage pyjama party at her vintage store, Carnivale Vintage. I was so excited as I have been wanting to to make some vintage styled pyjamas to match one of the 1940s bed jackets that I bought from her. The peach bed jacket has amazing red velvet buttons and collar.

So enter McCall 3872, a 1940 pattern that I've been wanting to make for some time. I decided the cropped top version B might be perfect for a bed jacket.

I had originally wanted to sew with silk velvet but the fabric store didn't have any shades to match my bed jacket. BUT I did find some stretchy velvet which did. I've never sewn with this type of fabric but it was such a perfect match I had to get it!

The trickiest part was by far the bodice. The interesting thing about this bodice top is that there are NO closures. It pulls over your head. Also the bow at the bottom is mostly for decoration.  The pieces themselves were relatively easy to sew --the fitting is a bit tricky with stretchy velvet. Already, I'm thinking I might need to add either 1) some elastic in the bottom bit OR 2) another dart or pleat to the back because I think over time, this will definitely stretch because of the fabric I've used. What would you recommend?

The trousers were fairly straightforward--though a ton of fabric. But they are basically gathered to the waistband. I used some basic but soft interfacing for the waistband --as I do want to sleep in this!

The fabric was much easier to sew with than imagined. My feed dogs on the sewing machine had no problem and I didn't have to use a special needle.

YAY! Super happy with how it turned out (minus the need to address potential stretching in the bodice to avoid under boob! hahaha)

I think it's also interesting that the trousers close with a button AND zipper at the back! Ladies weren't kidding about dressing for bed!  It's actually very comfortable.  I did a feature over on my instagram about these type of pyjamas that could also actually be worn outside (with a jacket/coat if needed) that were popular in 1940 because of the war and the need to be prepared to go to the bomb shelter at any time of night. It basically meant you had to be presentable to the public even in your loungewear. Apparently Churchill himself had a pair of velvet 'lounging' pyjamas made for the likelihood of having to go the the air raid shelter!

I'm so happy to get to take some very vintage looking pictures with these PJs. These photos were taken by Nicola in her vintage bedroom set. I just love them!

This is part of my 1940 McCall project--where I attempt to find and sew all the patterns produced by the McCall pattern company from the year 1940. You can follow my attempts on this page. I'll be updating this soon with all my projects! YAY!

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