rayon challis pajamas

Rayon Challis Pajamas

I’ve been looking to make a nice pair of pajamas for forever (I think it’s been on my sewing goals for 2 years), but I could never find the right fabric and I was pretty discouraged after the disaster that was the HotPatterns pajamas of doom (which despite the awful fit I find myself wearing because I still love the fabric).  I’ve gotten to the point that I could not keep shoving this project down on the queue anymore.  I’ve lost enough weight now that all of my bottoms are too loose, and the reality is that I’ve been wearing the same mismatched pajamas since at least college through prepregnancy and all the way through 40 weeks twice.  No garment should be wearable at 40 weeks and in a non-pregnant state.  That’s just crazy.

My mother-in-law who kindly bought me 2.5 yards of rayon challis for Christmas.  Why hadn’t I thought of rayon challis before?  It has a nice drape, it’s lightweight, and it keeps me cool which is exactly what I want in pajamas.  A pair of rayon challis pajamas seemed the perfect thing.  Ah, but what pattern?  Call me dotty, but I didn’t really want to spend money on a pajama pattern.  They’re not terribly innovative.  For example, other than how you put the pants on and a few decorative elements, there’s not much technically different between this 1930s pattern

rayon challis pajamas

and this modern day Simplicity:

rayon challis pajamas

It’s a collared shirt with some pull on bottoms.  Given my Burda stash, I knew the collared shirt would be easy to find, but I had to do a little digging to get to the elastic waist pants.  This is yet another case of why technical drawings are so helpful.

Take out the weird ankle ruching and the top that’s fused to into this hot mess of a jumpsuit, and you get a basic elastic waist pattern (Burdastyle 5-2010-119).

rayon challis pajamas

My Dad has always maintained that the way that you beat Bobby Fisher is to not play chess.  So how do you make a nasty jumpsuit fashionable?  Don’t wear it like a jumpsuit.  I cut a straight 34, did a flat seat adjustment and cut the back inseam 2 sizes smaller and they fit great.  I put on some back pockets as an afterthought, so they’re definitely too small, but they still help distinguish the back from the front.

rayon challis pajamas

For the top, I really liked Ottobre 5-2007-2–a collared shirt with some shirred ties on the sleeves.  I experimented on this one, grading down the neck and shoulder and sleeve to a 32 and swinging out to a 34 at the bottom of the armscye.  After a petite adjustment in the armscye/sleeve and lowering the bust dart (even after nursing 2 kids, this dart just looks really really high–is that typical for Otto?), it fits perfectly.  I guess for my next Burda, I’ll see how those sizes play out.

rayon challis pajamas

My review of the shirt is here,

and my review of 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.

[maxbutton id=”1″]


  1. they look so comfy!! I still haven’t used that HotPatterns yet…hmmmm!! One day I will actually sew something for me, and I’ll be thinking of you the whole time 🙂 Great job on these!

  2. Pingback: Wardrobe sew along: turtleneck progress « ~E Made This!

  3. Pingback: Short naps and awesome things you learn during them « ~E Made This!

  4. Pingback: A blue white shirt « ~E Made This!

  5. Pingback: Pattern repeat: Ottobre 5-2007-2 | ~E Made This!

  6. Pingback: Pattern repeat: Ottobre 5-2007-2 - Elizabeth Made This

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.