I love me-made PJs because there was always something that was not-quite-perfectly-comfie about RTW PJs. The arms were always too tight or I couldn’t button the bottom buttons, often both things were a problem.
There’s also the classic problem that you never get the same options for fat PJs as straight-size folks get. I like to be able to choose exactly what I like, and to avoid any of those gross poly cotton blends. I do not want to sleep in plastic.
So, the Spinifex PJs are now my go-to sleepwear. Sometimes a full set or sometimes the bottoms with a matching knit top (I like a turtleneck in the winter).
I remember nothing specific about this project from back in July- I think I made a different size in the pants than in the shirt, but I can’t really remember. These slipped directly onto my body and are now in regular rotation in my sleep wardrobe. I’m never going back to buying PJs.
I generally do try and take photos of the things I’ve made before I bring it into serious rotation, but these PJs have been well worn by the time I’m getting around to taking pics!
I actually made this combo in August 2021… so here’s my pics a year late!
The top is a modified Tarlee T-shirt (One of the hack toiles for this top) and the bottoms are the Spinifex PJs bottoms. One of my winter pain points is that my neck gets cold overnight unless I manage to keep my sheets up over my ears (but never covering my nose) all night long. The turtleneck of the Tarlee is perfect for keeping me cosy in bed… and on the couch.
The top is a viscose knit that’s quite stretchy but still hefty and the pants are actually a cotton fabric from the curtain section that’s crisp and smooth like a lawn. Clearly the print on the bottoms (lots of Australian flowers) required red piping and a matching red top.
Although I used to wear non-matching PJs sets, I really like feeling quite put together when I go off to bed- if I had to evacuate in the middle of the night I wouldn’t be embarrassed when the fire folks saved me (and Fifey).
These are my original Spinifex PJs, and I’ve really been enjoying them as night-time wear. Since releasing the pattern, I’ve also made a second sleepwear set with the bottoms from this pattern and a Tarlee T-Shirt turtleneck (because it’s cold in the house in NZ in winter)!
If you want to read more about this project, click here!
I took advantage of an extra-quiet neighbourhood to take some outside pictures of these PJs, and it wasn’t until I was sorting through the pics on my computer that it occurred to me that, actually, these look like they’d make good day-wear!
The PJ bottoms in the Spinifex PJs have a gusset in the middle of the legs which adds comfort and increases your range of movement (but the bum fit ends up looking pretty good on me too). The top comes with cup-size options, but no dart and there’s an ever so-slightly dropped shoulder. Describing it for you, I realise ‘that’s my perfect shirt’!
I haven’t decided yet if I’d make a matching top and bottom for day-time wear, and I have been thinking about how to remove the PJs vibe. I think I’d omit the piping, and increase the size of the pocket (and maybe add a second one?). I’d definitely remove the cuffs, and I’m wondering if I’d change the sleeves (to add a placket, or shorten them) too.
This Medlow Robe from Muna and Broad is made from cutting into my favourite waffle blanket to make myself a cosy & delightfully textured robe!
Since making, I’ve been intending to wash the robe, to get it back to peak squishy/waffleness.
I bought this blanket back in 2020 with the intention of sewing with it, but then it arrived and the texture was so lovely and it was such a great throw for the couch that I never did anything with it. A robe is a bit like a blanket for just 1 person, so it seemed like an appropriate use. The blanket came from Briscoes in NZ (no longer available), and it cost me $35. I did the math on various sizes of blanket to work out the best price per metre, and the small size blanket was it (though I can’t remember the actual dimensions now)!
Fabric consumption: so my size in the Medlow calls for 3.9m/4.3yds (150cm/60” wide) or 5.2m/5.7yds (115cm/45” wide), but I just had this blanket. I lay the whole blanket out on the floor and realised I didn’t have enough to make the robe as intended. I reduced the length of both the front and back pieces by maybe 5″ and that gave me space below which was big enough for the sleeves. From there, I figured I would be able to piece together what I needed to get the pockets, neckline and waist ties.
Pattern changes: Because of fabric constraints, the robe is shorter than intended, the neckline is less wide than intended and the waist ties might be too. I skipped the interfacing (because I didn’t want to iron the waffle), and I didn’t press most of my seams. The edge of the blanket had a matching pink cotton (look) binding. I used that at the top of the pockets so that I could skip topstitching down the top of the pocket (you can see it in the first picture back at the top of the page)!
Sewing with waffle: The sleeves stretched out a bit while I was sewing them, so they look a bit more bell-like than my silk robe. I think that if I threw this in the wash, and then in the dryer, it would shrink up nicely and bring the sleeve ends back in (maybe).. One benefit of having used the blanket is that I did wash it about 6 months ago, and it was very squishy and plush afterwards. But, in the 6 months it spent draped over the back of my couch, it stretched itself out to be less bunched up, which made it much easier to cut than a fresh washed waffle. It also meant that I didn’t have to choose between ironing the waffle (and totally flattening it out) or having it super squished up and stretching out while I was trying to sew it! There are a lot of little pink threads in my carpet, but I’m pretty certain the overlocking on the seams means that I won’t be creating more.
I started cutting this out in the afternoon yesterday, I whipped it up while watching netflix last night, and I’m writing this blog post on the couch while I’m wearing this waffley robe to protect myself from the dreary Christchurch chill. Although my luscious red silk Medlow Robe is an absolute delight, I think I’ll probably be pretty precious about protecting that one. Since this is a $35 wonder, I imagine I’ll be eating breakfast and washing dishes in this bad boy without an iota of guilt or concern!
The Medlow Robe is the latest pattern from Leila and I at Muna and Broad! I knew I was going to be making this up in silk, which I assumed would be tricky to cut out, tricky to sew, and tricky to photograph…. No pressure!
Not sure if you can tell from the pictures below, but I actually had a relatively pain-free experience, and I’m THRILLED with the results!
Pattern details: Okay, so I’m obviously biased here since I get a say in what the pattern looks like, but some things that I love about the Medlow include:
The back neck has a curved seam (same as the Belmore Jacket) which lets the neckline sit flush with my rounded back neck/hump and stops cool breezes from entering- Genius!
DEEP Pockets are a delight for hankies (keeping it real), your phone, snacks.. They’re deep enough to carry actual stuff.
The waist-tie is sewn on at the back. I don’t know about you, but I’m forever losing un-attached waist ties. Or dragging them on the ground, tripping on them, accidentally draping them into the toilet.. Well, this is not a problem here.
The long length of this robe adds to the luxury- I could absolutely fold myself up on the couch and arrange the robe over my legs so that I was entirely covered, but it’s not long enough that I’d be dragging it in mud if I was somehow outside and near mud. You could shorten it if you want something shorter, but I’m not really sure why you’d want that.
The Medlow is available in the standard M&B sizes, 40-64″ (102-162cm) Bust and 41.5-71.5″ (105-182cm) Hip, and Leila will grade up if the sizes are too small to accommodate you, etc. etc.
My measurements: My current measurements are a 54″ low hip and I’m 57″ at my roundest point (around my belly). I am relatively short through the body, and have narrow shoulders compared to my other measurements.
Size details: I made a Size F, which is the usual size I make in Muna and Broad patterns. Although I have narrow shoulders and could get lost down the rabbit hole of grading between sizes in order to militantly adhere to the size chart, I just make the size that accommodates my hip.
Fabric details: This is silk that was given to me by sewing buddy (and long-time photography collaborator), Naomi (4 metres of it, no less)! The fabric was only just wide enough to accommodate the two front pieces cut mirrored and I ended piecing together one of the pockets, and also the waist tie.
I was really worried that this would be slippery to sew, that my machine would chew on it, and that I’d have tension issues. Actually, the matte silk gripped to itself nicely when sewing, so it was actually a delight to work with. I used a brand-new Size 70 needle, and only had tension issues on 1 sleeve (life isn’t perfect). The whole robe did keep slipping off my table while I was sewing, but some folks on the ‘gram suggested towels and non-slip draw liners to help it stay put (not tested, just passing on the news).
The Spinifex PJs are pattern #21 from Muna and Broad, and they’re available in the standard size range, from a 41.5″ hip to a 71.5″ hip. These classic PJs with an easy-application collar come with dartless cup-size options, a crotch gusset for comfort.
If the Muna and Broad sizes are too small to include you, Leila will grade the pattern up to your size at no additional cost.
On fat luxury sleepwear
I’ve been hoping for/petitioning for Muna and Broad classic PJs for almost as long as Leila and I have been releasing patterns together.
My memories of being excluded from clothing goes back to my childhood, and not being able to shop at the cool PJs shops (like Peter Alexander, because they didn’t offer my size), or being lumped with ugly, ‘mumsy’ looking PJs which were basically ultra-infantalising.
Even now, while some companies might make PJs for my fat body, they’re still making fat fewer options for fatties and they’re often still mumsy, compared to their ‘straight-size’ lines. Don’t get me started on how there’s always so many more knit sets in the fat section (if we’re fat we most love knits, right?)!
Basically, I feel like me spending the time to make these PJs that will fit my fat body (and not require me to keep the bottom two buttons on the shirt undone), is a kind of self-care, a panacea for a life of not having access to the cool PJs that I wanted!
Size details: I made Size F with the 2+ front option (2″ difference between upper and full bust), and I didn’t make any pattern modifications. Although my measurements don’t suggest that I’m a B-cup, I’m more lung than boob, and most of the increase between the two measurements comes from ribs.
My measurements: My current measurements are 43″ high bust, 48″ full bust, 43″ waist (smallest part, close to my underbust), 54″ low hip and I’m 57″ at my roundest point (around my belly). I am relatively short through the body, and have narrow shoulders compared to my other measurements.
Fabric: This Kirsten Katz Jocelyn Proust fabric was on sale at a local big box store, and is actually a cotton curtain fabric, which feels nice in the hand. It was quite nice to sew with, and I got it for a steal at $10 per metre. I had 5 metres of this fabric, and I have a little bit left over, but I also wasn’t very careful with cutting efficiently or trying to match the patterns.
Components: I ordered some piping from Aussie, which unfortunately got lost in the post- I got a partial refund, so no harm done, but it did mean that I had to get some piping cord and make my own piping! I used purple cotton lawn from Fab Fabrics in Auckland. I made a little less than 5 metres of piping and had enough!
I’m already thinking about my second pair of Spinifex PJs, I’ve got colour-blocking on my mind! Maybe colour-blocking with pattern clashing! I’d love to make a silky pair (but I don’t think I’d enjoy the process of working with a slippery silk) but I’m also thinking of a cosy flannel pair for reading on the couch during our cooler months!