July 14, 2022 8 Comments
by Esi Hutchinson
It is finally summer according to astronomical dates and Folkwear is featuring 252 Beach Pyjamas, a perfect one-piece for a hot summer day, while still covering up the body from the sun and looking stylish. Here in North Carolina it is hot! This pattern suggests to use fabrics that are airy, flowy and that drape gracefully on ones body. Silk, linen, rayon, chiffon, challis or even cotton are great fabrics for the Beach Pyjamas pattern. When looking at this pattern early last month, I was inspired by the lines of the garment and how they could be made as separate pieces. It is a fabulous pattern as a one-piece beach Pyjamas, but it can also be "hacked" into more options.
In this blog post, I will show you how I made just the top of the Beach Pyjamas for a great summer blouse.
In this history of our 252 Beach Pyjamas pattern, it says that often the Beach Pyjamas were made from fabrics with "bright cubist-inspired prints". I did not consciously choose this fabric due to this description, however the fabric I chose seamed to fit the 1920-30's style perfectly. It is a lightweight rayon with a small abstract design.
I was lucky enough to try on one of Folkwear's samples to see how I want to lengthen and shorten the waist yoke to fit my torso. I suggest you make a muslin to see what fit changes you might make to the pattern before working with your fashion fabric. The main idea is that I am just going to make the top portion of this garment to create a blouse - I want it to fit my body the way I like.
I decided I wanted to shorten the three yoke pieces at the waist and the placket by 2in. (5cm)
There are not lengthening and shortening lines on yoke pieces D,E and F, however there are waistline indicators for your size on those pattern pieces, you can use those as your lengthening and shortening lines.
If there is puckering in the pattern pieces after you have folded on top of your waistline, you can make small cuts where is it puckering so the pattern piece can lay flat.
Here are all my shortened yoke pieces. I trued the side seam lines so they would be straight.
We will only be using pieces A-G, I-K which includes the Bodice, Collar, Yoke, Bindings, and Sash.
A nice thing about this sewing pattern is you can use French seams for fabrics that are delicate instead of overcasting or using a zig zag stitch. It causes less tugging and distress on the fabric. If your fabric moves a lot I would suggest basting your seams before using your final machine stitch length. This will prevent your garment from shifting too much. You can also read more about working with shifty fabrics in this blog post.
Constructing the Top
I sewed the bodice front/back with French seams at shoulder seams.
My favorite detail of the Pyjamas is the collar. It is very similar to the collar of 266 Greek Island Dress Jacket. To finish the outer raw edge of the Collar we will be using the Picot technique which the instructions suggest.
Picot: A rolled hem with a zig zag stitch sewn over the hem to hold it.
I do not have a rolled hem foot but you can picot a hem without one. You should practice first. I used a zig-zag stitch, with my stitching length at 1.30 and my stitching width at 5. I made sure the stitches pulled the outer edge of the fabric curling it up to encase itself.
Press under 1/8"/3mm on your practice piece, like the instructions say.
I made a couple of small stitches to attach a tail of thread to help me pull the fabric through at the start of picoting the hem.
Here is my practice picot hem. Adjust the tension, length and width of the stitch as needed for your preferred look.
I sewed a picot edge around the outer edge of the collar (after I practiced doing this edge). The picot edge gives a slight ruffling effect to the collar which I really liked. Now you can attach the collar to the bodice.
Pin wrong side of the Collar to the right side of Bodice front/neck edge, matching small dots, notches 2 and 3, and square to seam. Stitch, backstitching at small dots. Press both seam allowances away from Collar.
Trim seam allowance of Bodice only to a scant 1/8 in.(3mm).
I folded under 1/4in. (6mm) of the Collar seam allowance and folded it over the trimmed Bodice seam again, then stitched close to the fold, taking care not to catch COLLAR in stitching.
Continue with the pattern instruction steps, and stop after your have sewn on the Yoke.
I decided to get rid of the point that Yoke Right Front D has, it is there because it attached to the pant legs, but we are just making the top, so you can make it whatever shape you want. If your want keep it, great.
Take a ruler and cut a line to the shape you like. I did it like this.
To finish the raw bottom edge of the yoke, you could use a Picot hem, bind the edges, or fold under 1/8-1/4 in. (6-3mm) and fold under again and stitch close to the folded edge. I used a picot stitch on the raw edges (folded under 1/8 in. (3mm) then using a zig zag stitch to enclose the folded edge).
Follow the instructions to place the hook and bar closure and adjust to better fit your body. Then add three evenly-spaced snaps closures to the placket.
For the Sash
You could use contrasting fabric or the same fabric for the Sash. I would suggest using the same or similar type of fabric. Cut four of pattern piece K two in one fabric and two in another, or all four in the same fabric (that is what I did).
Right sides together stitch short edges in whatever fabric combo you have and, press seam to one side a make a flat-felled seam. Repeat with other set of the Sash.
Again, picot the hem of the Sash by folding under 1/8 in. (3mm) on all raw edges of both Sash pieces. Then machine picot Sashes together.
I will not be tacking the Sash to the upper Yoke seam at side seam, as I want to be able to use it when and where I want. You can even use it as a head band.
We are finished! Personally I think the 252 Beach Pyjamas is a versatile garment, you could wear it to get drinks with friends, dancing, go out for a meal, wear to the beach! And now you can also make just a top from it. It is very flattering and comfortable, who doesn't love that!
August 06, 2022
That came out perfect. Nice job!
August 01, 2022
I adore everything about your top, especially the small abstract rayon print. Perfect!
August 01, 2022
This is gorgeous! Thank you for the tutorial.
August 01, 2022
Wow Esi ! What a great alteration.. You are so talented. It looks wonderful on you.
July 19, 2022
What a great idea, and such a terrific set of instructions! I’ve always thought I’d like this pattern but not as a one-piece garment. This allows me to create a lovely breezy top which is perfect for the horrible desert-type weather we now have in Sacramento, CA.
July 16, 2022
Very clever! I think I would like to adapt the techniques described here to make just the flowing trousers from the Beach Pyjamas, also. It is a lovely pattern but much more use to me as two pieces than as one.
July 15, 2022
Absolutely gorgeous! I love the picot hem making it look like a lettuce hem. Thank you for the tips— I’ve always stayed away from the Beach Pyjamas pattern because it’s not practical when you have to use the restroom. Well, now I can just make a top with all the breeze and style of the real outfit.
August 22, 2022
Esi, your blog post about making a top from the Beach Pyjamas pattern is very informative; well done!
Your photos clearly show what reason your choosing the changes you are making and how to achieve them.
I’ve loved and bought this pattern but have been delaying making it because it’s a one-piece.
With your inspiration, it has moved up in the sewing queue! This is great!