Fabric Suggestions for 252 Beach Pyjamas

By Molly Hamilton
on July 07, 2020
1 comment

Fabric Suggestions for 252 Beach Pyjamas

Folkwear's 252 Beach Pyjamas, made of silk, linen, or cotton, often in bright, cubist-inspired prints, were the height of summer and resort fashion in the 1920s and 1930s.  They were worn from the afternoon to the evening as a fashionable summer style.  Our one-piece, sleeveless version features a full shawl collar that wraps in front and falls gracefully over the shoulders in back. The wide palazzo pants give the appearance of a skirt, and a contrasting or self-fabric sash ties around the waist.  For daytime wear you may want a cool linen or cotton and for evening try a silk or rayon with nice drape.

Suggested fabrics: Light to medium-weight fabrics with soft drape such as rayon, silk, or challis; also crisp, lightweight cotton or linen. Not suitable for fabric with nap, pile, or one-way design.  Attached waist sash is great in contrasting color or pattern of same fabric quality.

Below are some fabric suggestions from some of our favorite fabric stores.  Please note, these suggested fabrics are based on fabrics that are in stock at the time the blog post is written, and may go out of stock from store at some point.  If link is invalid for specific product, look for a similar fabric you can substitute.


Of course we had to suggest a cool cubist print - this one in rayon from Style Maker Fabrics.  How fun and gorgeous would this be??

black and white faces in cubist print


I also love this abstract leaf shaped rayon print from Bolt Fabric Boutique. This would make a fun and flirty casual summer frock.

Cotton and Steel brand Rayon fabric form Bolt Fabrics.  Ginko leaf shaped multi color print on off white background.  p


Crepe de Chine has such a lovely drape and feel.  I love the breath-ability of the silk with the soft texture of the crepe.  The Beach Pyjamas would be perfect of this floral print from Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics.

Silk crepe de chine fabric photo.  Off white background with pink floral accent print.


This lightweight cotton shirting would work very well for a casual daytime version of the Beach Pyjamas.  Harts Fabrics has several colorways of this fabric in stock at the moment.

Light weight cotton shirting.  Navy blue cubes on off white background.


We have some beautiful yarn dyed organic linen in stock here at Folkwear (Pictured above from left to right: apricot brandy, pacific blue, and charcoal).  Taker a look at our full fabric offerings here.


This rayon batik from Elfriede's Fine Fabrics would be so pretty and have a great drape and flow!  There are several other rayon batiks to choose from there as well.


We hope you enjoy the pattern and would love to see what you do to make it your own!  


Folkwear Patterns For All

By Molly Hamilton
on January 23, 2019

Folkwear Patterns For All

You have asked for them . . . and Folkwear has worked on getting more patterns graded to larger sizes into the mix.  Many people are surprised by how many plus-sized patterns we have!  We have graded some patterns up, produced patterns in larger sizes, and worked to make sure everyone who sews might be able to use some Folkwear patterns.  Including patterns for women (and men) of all sizes is important to Folkwear. 

We have grouped our patterns below into patterns made in just one size (one-size-fits-all), patterns that go up to Misses Extra Large (XL or size 22-24), 2XL (or size 26-28), and 3XL (size 30-32).  Most of these are sized are according to our own grade rule, though some of the early patterns are sized according to height, or were labeled slightly differently.  

Patterns with an (*) beside the name are also sized for men, which means they have been graded up a bit farther than the misses sizes, depending on the pattern.

For a PDF version of this chart - for downloading or printing - click here.  Note: this chart is not as up-to-date at the list below.

To see our grade rule (sizing chart), click here.  

One Size (check pattern for finished measurements):

132 Moroccan Burnoose*

150 Hungarian Szur*

151 Japanese Hakama & Kataginu*

152 Scottish Kilt*

207 Kinsale Cloak

271 Sunset Wrap 

Patterns that go up to XL (or size 22-24):

112 Japanese Field Clothing*

113 Japanese Kimono*

131 Tibetian Chupa & Skirt

133 Belgian Military Chief's Jacket*

135 Jewels of India (PDF pattern)

137 Australian Drover's Coat*

139 Vietnamese Ao Dai

140 Flamenco Dress & Practice Skirt

141 Korean Han-Bok

145 Chinese Pajamas*

153 Siberian Park

202 Victorian Shirt*

219 Intimacies

231 Big Sky Riding Skirt

254 Swing Coat

255 Swing Suit

261 Paris Promenade Dress

263 Countryside Frock Coat*

264 Monte Carlo Dress

503 Poiret Cocoon Coat

Patterns that go to 2XL:

104 Egyptian Shirt 

108 Turkish Dancer

111 Nepali Blouse 

116 Shirts of Ukraine and Russia*

117 Croatian Shirt*

119 Sarouelles

120 Navajo Blouse and Skirt

126 Vests of Greece and Poland

130 Australian Bush Outfit*

135 Jewels of India (PDF pattern, Kurta Shirt)

143 Japanese Michiyuki

144 Tribal Style Belly Dancer

204 Missouri River Boatman's Shirt*

240 Rosie the Riveter

242 Rodeo Cowgirl Jacket

243 Rodeo Cowgirl Skirt

251 Varsity Jacket

252 Beach Pyjamas

253 Vintage Bathing Costume

256 At The Hop (1950's)

264 Monte Carlo Dress

266 Greek Island Dress

508 Traveling Suit

Patterns up to 3XL (or size 30-32)

121 Guatemalan Gabacha

122 Hong Kong Cheongsam

124 Bolivian Milkmaid's Jacket

134 South Asian Tops & Wraps

142 Old Mexico Dress

157 Moroccan Djellaba

203 Edwardian Underthings

205 Gibson Girl Blouse

209 Walking Skirt

210 Armistice Blouse

215 Empire Dress

223 A Lady's Chemise

227 Edwardian Gown 

247 Lindy Shirt Dress

249 1930's Day Dress

250 Hollywood Pants 

267 M' Lady's Corset

268 Metropolitan Suit

270 Metro Middy Blouse



Fabric suggestions - #225 Childhood Dreams

By Molly Hamilton
on July 20, 2017

Fabric suggestions - #225 Childhood Dreams

Our #225 Childhood Dreams pattern is on sale for all of July.  This cute dress or nightgown is really a fairly easy garment to sew. And, one of the really fun things about it are all the adorable and beautiful prints out there to make it in.  This garment can be made with cotton lawn, voile, flannel, or even quilting cottons - and there are so many choices.  Even I had a very hard time trying to make any specific suggestions for this post.  Instead, I am going with one fabric in a "collection" or group of fabrics.  Enjoy! And, don't forget to post what your sew on Instagram and Facebook and tag us!  We want to see what you make!

PLEASE NOTE: Fabrics used as examples in blog may go out of stock from store.  If link is invalid for specific product, there may be another fabric from the supplier that you can substitute.  These suggestions are based on fabrics that are in stock at the time the blog post is written!

jess and jean.jpg

A Liberty of London Tana Lawn, of course.  For an heirloom dress of beauty and softness, this is hard to beat.  (this is Jess and Jean from Bolt Neighborhood Fabric Boutique)


Best Tree On The Lot Holiday Lights Quilting Fabric - White

This pattern would also make a perfect Christmas nightgown.  And, Christmas fabrics are now hitting the fabric stores.  This one is at The Fabric Depot.


And, there are many adorable flannel prints (and plaids, which would also be pretty) available (Hart's Fabric has this one in their large collection).  I love the elephants, of course, because of the great memories of Africa!



My trip to Southern Africa

By Molly Hamilton
on June 14, 2017

My trip to Southern Africa


lions lounging

elephant reflection

Saddlebill stork

I got back from my 2 week trip to Southern Africa less than a week ago!  With my mother, and through the company Natural Habitat Adventures, we visited Zambia (Livingston), Botswana (Okavango Delta region in the north), and South Africa (though that was mostly the Jo'burg airport!).  I learned an impressive amount of information about the ecosystems, animals, politics, and culture of the areas we visited.  Our guide was amazing, and the whole experience was wonderful. 

baskets made from recycled bags

making baskets


Textile- and craft-wise, I learned about traditional Botswana basket weaving and dying of fibers, and even got to try weaving part of a basket myself.  The women (and some men) who work at the lodges weave baskets made from grasses and held together by palm fronds.  They dye the fronds with roots, bark, leaves, and fruits of plants that grow in the Delta, and which they gather.  They gather dyes, dye the fronds, and weave the baskets during their off-shifts at the lodges.  Some of the traditional weaving patterns were "tears of the giraffe", "water lily", "flowing water", and "urine trail of the bull"(!).  I also saw so many beautiful wax printed cloths and skirts and dresses when we were in Zambia (not so many once we were in the "bush"/on safari), and I purchased many meters to play with at home. Women wear the cloth tied around their waist for a skirt, or around their backs with a child in it, or on their heads as a type of turban (especially helpful when also carrying baskets or pots on their head).  The cloth was also used in more tailored shirts, jackets, and dresses, and I was inspired to see the colors, patterns, and uses of the fabric. 


It was a life-changing trip and I am still thinking of it often.


Pattern Profile: #142 Old Mexico Dress

By Molly Hamilton
on June 05, 2017

Pattern Profile:  #142 Old Mexico Dress

This month the #142 Old Mexico Dress will be on sale for all of June!  This pattern is such an easy pattern to sew, with just 4 pieces that are so well drafted that this is a fun and quick project.  It is a perfect summer top or dress!  And, you can do lots with it - from embroidering (by hand or machine) parts of the yoke or whole dress, to using fun fabric combinations to make this uniquely yours. 

The other great thing about this pattern is that we just graded it up to a size 3XL!  You have asked for larger sizes, and we were able to start with this one.  So, now this dress and shirt can be made is sizes XS to 3XL!

I made the shirt version as a gift for my son's preschool teacher (I've had a child in her school for the last 10 years!), and plan to make another one for her of the dress version with some fun animal prints.  I love using this pattern so much (and of course, the actual garment), that I am going to make a shirt for myself too! 

Sewing with sheer fabrics

By Molly Hamilton
on May 19, 2017

Sewing with sheer fabrics

The Greek Island Dress is a great garment to use with sheer flowing fabrics, but these fabrics can be a bit tricky to work with.  Here are some tips to help you before you begin to cut into and sew with those wonderful and fun (but maybe intimidating) fabrics.

  • If the pattern calls for interfacing, choose light-weight, sheer fabrics for interfacing, such as organza, organdy, or other sheer fabrics that match the fashion fabric or are flesh-colored.  For materials other than lace, you can even use the fashion fabric itself as a self-fabric interfacing.
  • If the sheer or lace fashion fabric is too transparent for your taste, underline the pattern pieces with a matching or flesh-colored sheer.  To underline, cut the pattern out a second time for the selected underlining fabric, baste underlining to the fashion fabric pieces (wrong-sides together), and handle as one piece. 
  • If neckline, armscye, front opening, or other facings will show through the fabric, omit them altogether, and bind the edges with bias strips, or line the entire garment with a compatible sheer fabric.
  • Cover cutting surface with a muslin, flannel, or old sheet to keep sheer, slippery fabrics from sliding around. 
  • Instead of cutting on the fold, cut in a single layer (making full-size pattern piece as needed).
  • Insert pins in seam allowances only, so you won't have pinholes showing in the finished garment.
  • Start sewing with a brand new sharp (or Microtex) needle and use size appropriate for lightweight fabrics (60/8, or 65/9, or 70/10)
  • If the fabric is too slippery and hard to manage while stitching, put a layer of tissue paper on top of the fabric, then tear away tissue after stitching. 
  • Don't backstitch at the beginning or end of seams.  Instead, set stitch length to 0.  Or, tie the thread tails in square knots.  Also, pull thread tails taunt for the first couple of stitches when starting to sew.
  • French seams are ideal for lightweight, filmy garments. 

These tips, plus quite a few more (including tips on sewing with lace) are included in the #266 Greek Island Dress pattern.  Happy sewing . . .  with sheers!

Kimono Inspiration

By Molly Hamilton
on April 17, 2017

Kimono Inspiration

Kimonos are a beautiful and classic garment of Japanese origin and influence.  The Folkwear Kimono pattern is for the yukata, or unlined informal kimono, worn by all classes of Japanese in summer.  The word "kimono" literally means "clothing" but has come to distinguish the Japanese national costume from other clothes. 

Kimonos are great garments to be used as robes, house coats, jackets, or outwear.  They can be statement pieces or simple and elegant garments.  Kimonos can be made with beautiful silks, medium to lightweight cottons (cotton gauze is a favorite of mine right now)., or even heavier fabrics like denim or brocade.

I found a great book in our collection entitled Kimono Inspiration: Art and Art-to-Wear in America, from the Textile Museum at George Washington University. I've put some pictures from the book on our Facebook and Instagram accounts.  If you want to know more about the history and tradition of kimonos, as well as see some amazing artistic interpretations of them, you should check out this book.  Kimonos can be a canvas for your art - quilting, painting, dying, embroidery, weaving, etc. 

Traditional kimonos are a work of art themselves, so however you want to make one (traditional interpretation or modern art interpretation), it is a rewarding garment to make.

In our kimono pattern, we give information on the history and use of the kimono, styling and dress information, and instructions for traditional handwork (sashiko) and dyeing (shibori). 

Have you ever made a kimono?  What would you be inspired to make now?

** FYI, #113 Japanese Kimono is on sale for all of April (it is a great deal).  Enjoy! **

About me

By Molly Hamilton
on April 01, 2017

About me

I thought I should probably tell you all a little about myself!  I am Molly Hamilton, the current owner of Folkwear.  I am a relatively new owner of Folkwear, just taking over at the end of December 2016 (more of the history here), and I am slowly working on transitioning Folkwear to be more digitally accessible, while remaining true to its roots - and fun to explore and learn!

I grew up in a small farming town in northeastern North Carolina (considered “the South” in the US), where my grandparents were very influential in my life.  My grandfather was a farmer and my grandmother a farm wife who cooked, raised 3 daughters, and was an amazing seamstress.  

I learned to sew from my grandmother.  As a child, I hand-sewed Barbie dresses and machine-sewed lined notebook paper so I would learn to sew straight lines. I finally got into sewing with patterns when I was in college, and I loved it!  I sewed through college - mostly concentrating on important dresses that I loved but rarely wore.  

I got married to a wonderful man soon after graduating from college, and moved to the beautiful mountains of NC, near Asheville, where my husband’s family has a farm (two actually).  Here is where we remain, excepting 2 years when we lived in Raleigh and went to graduate school.  I have worked part-time for NC State University for nearly 13 years, doing Extension outreach for organic grain production in our state.  Here you can see the farming influence from my grandfather.  Agriculture, especially sustainable agriculture, is important to me.  

However, I got more excited about sewing after I had my first baby 12 years ago, and a friend gave me a baby present of a large bag filled with sewing patterns for children, cute girly fabrics, thread, and lots of gorgeous trim and notions.  I had so much fun with that present!  I started sewing as much as I could - clothes for my children, clothes for myself, items for the house.Home sewn dresses for everyone!

We now have 4 children - 2 girls and 2 boys (ages from 12 to 4).  They love getting the clothes I make for them and I love to sew for them.  They are wonderful children - delightful, fun, and lots of work!  They are a priority (which is why I am usually not at the Folkwear office in the afternoon/after-school hours), and I love being their mother.

In the last few years I started drafting patterns for myself and my children.  I enjoyed it, even though most of the time I had no idea what I was doing - but it worked (mostly!).  I also got more involved in the local sewing and art scene, and last year exhibited two outfits I made for a juried Local Cloth fashion show.

I love working for Folkwear and love this company.  When I am not sewing or working or taking care of my family, I love to hike (right from my house), garden, read, and just sit and watch the view.

I love to hear from customers too, and see what you all are making.  We have a new Facebook Group for customers and fans to share what they are making, ask advice, and chat.  It is called Folkwear Patterns Sewing Group. So, join if you are on Facebook and we will get to know each other!




Pattern Profile: #107 Afghan Nomad Dress

By Molly Hamilton
on March 20, 2017

Pattern Profile: #107 Afghan Nomad Dress


I am starting a series of blog posts (called "Pattern Profiles") that will provide a little more information on each pattern - from its history to geographical, cultural, and historical context, to sewing info.  I won't be going in pattern numerical order, but will be picking patterns due to their popularity, seasonality, or perhaps just by whim.  So, I hope you'll follow along and enjoy!  (and feel free to suggest a pattern for us to cover)

And, I want to start this series with #107 Afghan Nomad Dress.  This dress has gotten some love lately: a few customers have sent me pictures of their creations (above), and one is being shown right now at the NYC Museum of Art and Design exhibit "Counter-Couture" (the very top one).  It seems everyone who has made this dress loves it.

The pattern features a full skirt and high-waisted bodice, with full three-piece sleeves and arm gussets.  With no zippers or button closures (just an opening in the back), this dress is not hard to construct, and can be a way to display multiple beautiful fabrics. 

This dress is traditionally worn by nomadic women in Afghanistan and neighboring countries (along the "Silk Road").  Typically, the dresses have embroidery at all the openings - neck, cuffs, and hem.  This is said to repel evil spirits.  The Folkwear pattern includes three traditional embroidery patterns, as well as some techniques for adding fringe, beads, and shisha mirrors.

Various fabrics are often used in one dress - plain or printed cotton, silk, and sometimes patches of velvet.  To be most authentic when making this dress, you can mix colors and prints will wild abandon! The traditional costume is completed by a veil hanging down the back and gathered trousers under the skirt.  But, this dress is great however you wish to wear it. 


New fashion exhibit in NYC has Folkwear connection

By Molly Hamilton
on March 12, 2017

New fashion exhibit in NYC has Folkwear connection

It seems like the 1960s and 70s are “in” right now.  There has been a renewed interest in the era of free love, peace movements, and the creativity that sprang from youth of the time, especially around fashion. The 1960s and 1970s were known for the renewed and creative use of traditional textile craft such as embroidery, applique, dying, and crochet in clothing to create unique and colorful garments.  There is a great article in this month's Vanity Fair about the summer of 1967 and its impact on fashion and culture in America - the era from which Folkwear sprang (note: link only show pictures from article, you must be a subscriber to read the article).

This month a new exhibit called “Counter-Couture: Handmade Fashion in American Counterculture” opened at the Museum of Art and Design in New York City.  This exhibition was organized by Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, Washington, and curated by Guest Curator Michael Cepress.  And, Folkwear has a connection to it!

One of the original Folkwear dresses is in the collection on display.  Alexandra Jacopetti Hart, one of the founders of Folkwear designed and created the dress when creating the Afghan Nomad Dress (#107) pattern when they founded the company in the mid 1970s. 

#107 Afghan Nomad Dress

Folkwear's #107 Afghan Nomad Dress on exhibit at the NY MAD Counter-Couture exhibit.  Made by Alexandra Hart.

If you want to check out the exhibit, click on any of the links below and you will see great photos of the garments on display - and learn quite a bit more about the period and fashion.  See if you can spot Folkwear’s Afghan Nomad Dress!  Bonus if you can find a version of the Gaza Dress (#101) in there too!

Exhibit is open until August 10, 2017

Links to view exhibit (if you can't make it to NYC):

Exhibition Link Online with photos of the installation: http://madmuseum.org/exhibition/counter-couture

New York Times Video:


Womenswear Daily:


Arts Summary - A Visual Tour:




Accessories Magazine: