Ah, pajamas. Who hasn’t pulled on an old t-shirt and some worn-out shorts and called it a day? It’s comfy and it works, right?! But considering that we spend roughly a third of our lives wearing pajamas, we think it’s time for a reminder about how making your own PJs can not only make you stand out at the breakfast table, it can also bring a bit more happiness and style into your everyday, too!  

Spoonflower Ambassador Rumana Dawood shares why she began making her own pajamas and the things she learned along the way. Read on below to see how easy it is to up your PJ game and take your sleepwear from worn out to wonderful!  

Rumana stands in a living room with a gray couch behind her; a green pillow is visible to her left and a dark yellow pillow is visible to her right. She is looking up and to the right and holding a blue mug. She is wearing a dusty pink hijab and pajamas with a tropical print featuring toucans, pink and orange flowers and a bright blue background. To the right of the photo is a monstera plant in a raised light bright wooden planter.

The Case for Making Your Own Pajamas 

Rumana: Today for Me Made May I’m giving a shout out to the humble pajamas! I’m actually a relatively new convert to me-made PJs. If I’m being honest, I didn’t really see the need to sew them? Juggling life, work and home, my sewing time is so precious I didn’t see the point in spending my time of something that I wasn’t going to wear out of the house. I was always an ‘old baggy t-shirt’ type of pajama person. But then I sewed my own underwear and realized the joy of making something just for myself, and that soon snowballed into making my own pajamas. And I can tell you now, it’s addictive. Once you make a set, you’ll never go back to buying them—I love mine that much!

We spend so much time in our sleepwear at night (and let’s be honest, a fair amount of time in them on the weekend, too!) it only seems right to give our sleepwear an upgrade and a little me-made loving. With summer coming around and the promise of warmer days, I wanted to make myself a pair PJs that were comfortable, practical (for me that means they need to be full coverage so I can use them on holiday with friends/a sneaky pop to the shop for milk!) and fun. I’m naturally not a very daring print wearer (I’m working on it!) but when it comes to PJs I love to go all out. For this pair I went with vivdesign’s tropical print Whimsical Toucan Forest-Dark/Medium Scale

Rumana’s Favorite Pajama Fabrics to Use

I created a collection of the few prints that made my shortlist, which can be found at this link. Here are three of them:

There are so many lovely fabric options, but I chose Organic Sweet Pea Gauze™. You might have seen double gauze used for swaddles for babies but it’s also a favorite for sleep/loungewear. It’s light and airy for warmer nights, but also soft and cosy against the skin. This was really important to me as I still wanted a breathable set of PJs, especially as I was making a full-length set. The fabric has the added bonus of a beautiful, crinkled texture after washing, too.   

Other fabrics that would work well for summer PJs are Cotton Lawn (for a very crisp set), Cotton Spandex Jersey (for a cosy set) or Satin (for an extra-luxurious set, just a note that the polyester may not be as breathable if it’s very hot).

Pro tip: If you do plan to sew with gauze note that it has a natural stretch due to the loose weave, and your cut pieces might ‘grow’ if you handle them too much. Take care and try not to stretch out necklines. 

A close up of the top and neckline of pajamas with a tropical print featuring toucans, pink and orange flowers and a bright blue background.
A close up of a front pocket of pajamas with a tropical print featuring toucans, pink and orange flowers and a bright blue background.

Suggested Pajama Patterns 

When it comes to pattern choice, there are so many out there for you to choose from. There are the more traditional collared sets or more casual loungewear sets. You can always hack a pattern you already have e.g., the Gilbert Top by Helen’s Closet Patterns is a great one for beginners. The camp-style collar is super simple to sew, and the whole shirt works up quickly! For your basic elastic waist trousers, you may not even need a pattern, you could get away with tracing around a pair in your wardrobe. 

Here are a few pattern ideas if you do fancy a pattern though: 

·      Paper Theory’s Agnes PJs: In Paper Theory founder Tara Viggo’s signature style, this is an oversized and relaxed set of PJs with comfort at the top of her design. It’s also got her unique pattern cutting to give things a twist. 

·      Closet Core Patterns’ Carolyn Pajamas: A tailored classic! This is the full works in pajamas— the collar, the cuffs and if you want to go that extra mile, piping, to make the most luxurious set of pajamas. 

·      Common Stitch’s Pipit Loungewear Set: A slightly different style with its statement sleeves and collarless design. Not just for sleepwear, you could use this pattern for all sorts. 

·      Peppermint Magazine’s Loungewear Set: Perfect if you prefer the loungewear look but don’t fancy buttons. This would be dreamy in Organic Sweet Pea Gauze. 

I went with the Agnes PJs—I really like that they have been designed with minimal seams to rub against the body and I love the grown-on sleeve. It’s also very quick to make. I got most of mine done in an evening (with finishing and buttonholes left to the do the next day!). 

Hopefully you feel inspired to turn your sewing attentions to a set of PJs. They are well worth the effort—I feel extra special every time I wear mine to bed and I’m pretty sure my husband is a bit jealous now of my growing collection. No worries though, I’ve already started teaching him to sew, so what better project to start on that a pair of PJs for himself! 

Want more apparel-sewing tips from Rumana?

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