Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Pajama Game

One of the less challenging items of clothing to make is a set of pajamas.  They usually don't require much fitting as nobody sees them anyway (or shouldn't!).  The top either is a slipover with a v-neck or a placket, or buttons down the front.  The pants either have an elastic waist or elastic and buttons.  The styles haven't really changed much in 100 years for men, and women have adapted the look and comfort of men's pajama styles for their own.  Following is a selection of pajamas from the 1940's and 1950's.  Most of them are available in my Etsy store.

This guy has to get in one last smoke.  This is an example of the placket style and a very simple round neck button style.  The pants are only two pieces--no side seams.  Notice the shes instead of comfortable slippers.

These little guys have pajamas just like Dad's, but with the addition of a collar.  In pajama sewing the seams are usually flat-felled or french-seamed for comfort.  Topstitching is also used to keep the soft flannel from rolling.  Buttons, when used, are flat.

Proving that pajamas are timeless, here's a redo of the former pattern--this time the tissue is printed!

Interestingly, these pants have a side seam and are shaped at the hip.  I like the contrasting piped trim.

Here is an annoying little brother and some elegant frog closings.

These are looking just like the first pattern for men.   I like the shortalls with the drawstring waist.

I'll bet these are a little uncomfortable.  A waistband and side seams for a really fitted pant.  Looks more like a leisure outfit than pajamas.

Now these are really wide and wonderful!  Bellbottom pajamas.

A terribly unflattering robe without the belt, and extremely bulky with it!

Robes are pretty universal except that women's and men's wrap to different sides.  Looks like Ronald Reagan as a boy!  Ken doll had a pajama set with slippers just like #1.

Cute slippers.

Aren't these adorable?

From the 1990's.  Showing that things never change (except the models get hunkier!).  And evidently floors get warmer.

Here are some bedjackets for eating breakfast in bed.  They look pretty pulled together for just getting up.

Baby Dolls.  I remember them well!

And this is my mother's nightgown pattern.  I understand when my father saw version 1 for the first time as a new husband he was not amused.


  1. I was wondering what is the earliest women wore PJ's rather than nightgowns?

  2. I don't know, but I do have a pattern for ladies' all-in-ones, like Dr Denton's, from the 'teens.


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