PYJAMAS GALORE

I’ve been throwing out clothes. This is long overdue. Not being unduly concerned about fashion, I keep my clothes for years. I’m still wearing some clothes that I had in Scotland when we left 30 years ago. But my wardrobes are becoming overfull.

What happens when you retain a garment that you no longer care for is that it languishes in the back of your wardrobe, denying ordinary , wearable clothes room. You never actually wear it. When I transferred a garment to the other season wardrobe recently I realised I had never worn it over the entire winter. Indeed I could not remember ever having worn it in recent years. The garment beside it was similarly rejected by me – it was too tight and too short.

I pay them the courtesy of trying each one on. Several are too tight – when did this happen, I wonder? I ask myself each time I try something on: does it look shabby; is it too tight; is the colour flattering; is it comfortable (very important these days.) I send some to the charity shops but mostly I decide that when I’m finished with them, my clothes are not fit for other people. I therefore cut them up for patchwork, removing buttons, zips and any sections of embroidery.

I made up three pairs of pyjamas. I am particular about these. I have cut a pattern which is exactly made to my requirements. A top with a round neck with a slit in it, a yoke at the back, wrist length sleeves, easy to lift off and on. The edges of the neck and sleeves can be trimmed with self made bias binding or they an be sewn onto cheesecloth and turned. It’s easy to sew – no buttonholes or zips. The bottoms have legs the right length and width. I usually make them in pure cotton and occasionally silk. Because only my close family sees them I can decorate them in an eccentric manner, so I sometimes cut embroideries out of old tablecloths etc and apply them.

The three pyjamas I made this week comprise firstly a blue cotton pair. I discovered I had bought insufficient material, so found a piece of matching flowery cotton and with judicious piecing was able to produce a pair. The second ones are of thick white cotton and there are blue gingham bottoms and a bias trim on the top. The third pair are white, and I had bought in a junk shop a set of mats, I think intended for a dressing table, with blue shadow work embroidery. I attached one long mat (its edges cut off) to each leg and a small square to the bottom of the sleeves. There was enough material (just) left over from the blue pair to provide bias binding for the neck and sleeves. I’m quite pleased with them!

And the good thing about throwing out clothes is that it leaves gaps in your wardrobe which it is absolutely urgent and essential that they be filled!

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