It’s no secret that I love button-down shirts, the kind where the collar fastens with a button to get that close-to-the-neck fit. This is because I also love adding little things to an outfit, like a necktie, bow-tie or ribbon in order to create a bit of interest, and these require button-down shirts. However, it hadn’t occurred to me to extend this interest to sleepwear. I was in the habit of getting PJs secondhand, in particular getting full sets where I could. I love a matching set! However, the trend for modern PJs in terms of bottoms seemed to be either 3/4 length, or the shortest of shorts. Neither of which are great for me in the middle of summer.
I was interested in extending my love of vintage fashion to my sleepwear, having spotted all kinds of adorable vintage sleepwear patterns. I was particularly interested in button up and down styles of tops, or tops with button plackets at the collar. I already had some secondhand sheets in my stash and felt they would be perfect for PJs. I was then able to pick up this pattern – McCall’s 2560, through a Facebook selling group in bust size 36″ and was so excited to give View C a go.
The most fascinating thing for me about this pattern were without a doubt the shorts. I’ve had a little experience with elastic waist bottoms, but these would tend to be a general, cut four pieces and sew together, sort of arrangement. Not so with this pattern. The front and back pieces have been combined into one, so there is no side seam to speak of, and the front and back crotches sit on either side. So all you need to do is fold it, right sides together, and stitch the inner leg to create one leg of the shorts! How simple is that!
Even better, this is now the first bottoms pattern where I haven’t had to alter the crotch or hips to get it to fit. Despite my measurements being larger than the waist and hips of the size chart I have had no issues getting in or out of them. I suspect the elastic waist design makes it more fit friendly. So that, combined with an excellent finished length that makes them lightweight, comfortable when it’s hot, and practical in terms of still being able to leave the apartment without risking indecent exposure.
I did struggle quite a lot with the collar and facings, and in the end – after a week spent making multiples attempts to put it all together, was forced to admit defeat. I think it’s something I’ll be able to do later when I have had more experience with collars and facings. But in the meantime I was at least pleased with the bust dart placement and size of the arm-scythe. Had I been able to figure the collar portion out I think it would’ve worked out great!
In the meantime, I was so in love with the shorts that I decided to give a serious scrap-busting task a go, and made a pair out of patches of scraps from my scrap box! This was inspired by various patchwork items I’d seen on Instagram, as well as the patchwork tutorial from Elba Textiles. I simply couldn’t figure out how she’d put her patchwork together, so made up a method that worked for me instead. I trimmed each piece so it had straight edges on all sides, then stitched rows together with a 3/8″ seam allowance. I then attached each row to the bottom of the one above, also with a 3/8″ seam allowance. Although in the future I think I’d either use french seams, or I’d overlock all the seams together to reduce bulk.
Once I had two large rectangles I cut out another set of the shorts, and got to stitching. I decided to risk overlocking the edges of all the inner seams to add an additional level of security. I’m still getting to know my overlocker, so it took quite a bit of patience to work it through. However, I’m really pleased with the results and feel like it’ll definitely help the shorts hold together for longer!
Pattern: McCall’s 2560
Views Made: View C
Pros: The shorts portion is very quick and simple to both cut out and construct, and the length of the shorts is great too.
Cons: Collar and facing instructions are a bit tricky to understand if you’re not very experienced with that particular style.
Would I recommend it to beginners: I would definitely recommend the shorts, but not perhaps the blouse as I have yet to actually figure it out myself.
Would I sew it again: I plan to sew the blouse in the future, as soon as I have figured out how to assemble it.