Peter Pan Collar Pajamas: Elizabeth Made This

I have a phobia about new patterns I’d like to get over.  I’m the type that would rather use the patterns I have and modify them vs. buying a new pattern from a new company.  I guess I worry about having to make a million different adjustments if company x’s sloper  happens to be not close to mine vs. taking 30 minutes to make a change to an existing well tested pattern.  The Curvy Sewing Collective wrote a great post on this very topic back in September–check it out, it’s well thought out.

As I can see it, here’s my pros and cons list for choosing to modify well tested patterns instead of buying new ones:


  • You’ve already done all the fitting
  • Muslins are only needed if you do a big drafting change (collar, make your sleeve poofy etc) because you’ve already done all the fitting.
  • It’s cheap!
  • You don’t have to worry about new styles from new patterns not fitting you because you’ve done all the fitting.


  • Drafting takes brain work.  You have to have some knowledge of construction before you can compose a variation on a theme.
  • New patterns come in fresh shiny envelopes with fresh shiny pictures of fresh shiny people.  Your beloved TNT is probably stuffed unceremoniously into a nondescript manila envelope that is decidedly not fresh and shiny.
  • Sometimes you royally screw things up and have to start over.  Wait, you have to do that with new patterns too.
  • Pattern designers work really hard to create reliable, fashion forward patterns and it’s good to support their efforts.

I’m curious…would you rather use a beloved pattern and modify it to suit your changing style or buy a fresh new pattern with all the pattern work already done for you?

Peter Pan Collar Pajamas

Just after Christmas, I sewed these new Peter Pan collar pajamas in Cloud 9 Fanfare Flannel by Rae Hoekstra (lovely to sew and wear even if it’s only 44″ wide and I had to order extra).  I was imagining of a sort of vintage feel somewhere along the lines of vintage McCalls 9480:

Peter Pan Collar Pajamas

I’ve never tried a Peter Pan collar before, and pajamas seem like a safe sort of project to try out a new style.  If you hate it, who’s going to be offended–your pillow?  I decided to work with Ottobre 5-2007-2, a pattern I’ve made multiple times (here and here, and here).  It’s a pattern for a good basic button down blouse with front and back darts.  To change the pattern into something more comfortable for sleepwear, I did the following:

  1. Lengthened the sleeves by 5.5″ to make them full length (it’s January!).
  2. Peter Pan Collar Pajamas
    pressed and stitched peach cotton for trim


    2.  Left the darts unsewn except the side bust darts for that cozy big flannel loose pajama feel.

  3. Added patch pockets to the front per the inspiration photo above.
  4. Added a back neck facing for a cleaner inside look.Peter Pan Collar Pajamas
  5. Drafted a Peter Pan collar to fit this neckline.Peter Pan Collar Pajamas

It seems like a lot of changes, but all total, it took me about 20 minutes to do the additional drafting for the collar and back neck facing.  The pockets I blithely cut out approximate rectangles and went to town, pinning them on after I made the top to check placement.

The pants pattern is Burdastyle 5-2010-119 which I left as is, or as I’ve made it before.

Peter Pan Collar Pajamas

Peter Pan Collar Pajamas


So what about you?  Are you a pattern hacker or do you crave the smell of fresh tissue paper?

As for this round of pattern hacking, I’m enjoying the cozy soft flannel and glad that I actually have something to contribute to Jungle January (so fun!).


My updated review for the top is here and the updated review for the pants is here.


Elizabeth Made This

Let’s keep the conversation going!  Check out my sewing dreams and inspiration on Pinterest, and keep up to date on my projects on Instagram and Facebook.

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  1. I honestly am more prone to buying a new pattern, because I don’t trust my drafting skills to get it right. But in the interest of frugality, I’m trying to experiment more with using what I have first.

    • Sometimes drafting works and sometimes it’s disastrous.  I totally agree that frugality is a good reason to give it a shot.

  2. gilliancrafts Reply

    I definitely like adapting TNT patterns… to a point. I feel like if I make more dramatic changes I’m likely to get something wrong! 🙂

    • Jacket patterns are the ones I always eat it on–there’s so many pieces anyhow that fixing this and adjusting that seems always to be more work than just getting a fresh pattern going.  Since any given Burdastyle has 8000 jacket patterns, I don’t think I’ll ever run out. 😉

  3. Love your pyjamas, they look very soft, stylish and comfy.

    I have only just picked up drafting skills so this is a new one for me. I love drafting, but as you say it takes time. I also like commercial patterns though for variation. Especially pant leg shapes, I will happily buy a new pattern so i can rip off the leg shaping and add it to my own drafted pant pattern. Commercial patterns are also good for picking up new techniques and construction techniques.

    • Yes!  Leg shaping!  I totally misthought that I could make skinny jeans out of my Jalie 2908 by just nipping things in starting at the knee, then I compared 2908 to other skinny jeans patterns–holy cats, so so much more fabric taken out than that.  Sometimes it’s good to have a stash of patterns just to do some comparison work.

  4. I go back and forth, depending on my whims, I guess. I will happily hack one part of a pattern on to another, but I’m loathe to actually try to draft anything. And sometimes I try to hack a pattern and then I just end up buying it anyway after I get frustrated!

  5. Mikhaela from Safe and Scrumptious Blog Reply

    Usually I am in the “old patterns” camp, because I hate having to start from scratch with fitting.

  6. Your pajamas are so cute! I prefer using an old pattern if the changes I want are something I think I can tackle. I try to balance it out and not buy too many new patterns because it’s overwhelming having to start every pattern from scratch! Oh man and I will never use another jeans pattern than my current one because it has taken me forever to get that right!

  7. Pingback: Me Made May '15, days 7-9 - Elizabeth Made This

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