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She Dreams In Vintage | 1940s Vintage Pyjamas

January 12, 2014 · 44 comments

Happy New Year everybody! So sorry for my absence on the blog for a little while, I had some little festive posts planned but the slightly early arrival of a darling new niece and a two night stay for our own little fur baby in an out of town emergency vets had us staying with family over the break without my blogging equipment and surrounded by festive distractions!

So, to kick the new year off in style what could be better than the most important clothing item any of us own (in my opinion)… PJs!

Now I must confess I did feel a little odd taking photos of myself in pyjamas, in the middle of the day, but us bloggers have to embrace these oddities and on the plus side Gatsby seemed very pleased at the prospect of heading back to bed at lunchtime… !

Despite the fact that there are few things I love more than putting my pyjamas on after a hot bubble bath at the end of the day, historically I have never made my own. This seems odd to me as I love vintage style home wear- house coats, nighties and frilly aprons are all the kind of things I live for! I decided to remedy this before Christmas, found this Vogue pattern from the 1940s on Etsy and got cracking.

vintage pyjama pattern

I did change one thing about the pattern and that was to add some pyjama elastic to the back waist instead of sew in in the back waist darts. I kept the waist darts on the front so as not to distract from the style but I couldn’t resist the extra level of comfort that elastic gives- comfort over style has to apply to night wear to a certain degree, right?

Vintage Vogue 9427 Pyjamas

I also made a button fly down the side waist rather than the zip suggested as I really didn’t fancy a zip in PJs, but because of the elastic it turns out that I didn’t actually need it- blonde much? So the next pair will be super speedy to construct!

I found the cotton flannel at Fabrics Galore, one of my most local fabric shops but for anyone looking for a nice selection online, Truro Fabrics have some super pretty ones. I particularly like this cute spotty one, it reminds me of apples, which reminds me of apple pie… yum!

I also think I will be whipping these up in some cotton lawn for the spring too, and perhaps adding in a matching strappy cami top for hot summer nights.

Vintage Pyjamas Image 1

I really loved the neckline on the top and so I definitely wanted to add detail there and included the piping that was shown on the pattern pic- just some bias strips of white cotton folded in half so nice and easy.

Vogue Vintage Pyjamas

They are super comfy and I have already worn them more than enough to have deemed them worth making. I think I will try a 1950s style pair next with the slim trousers and the baby doll top. A girl can never have too many pyjamas can she! My only complaint is not being able to wear them out of the house!

Have you ever made any vintage nightwear or your own pyjamas?

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Louise - There She Sews January 12, 2014 at 8:56 pm

They’re just gorgeous :-) I was only looking at my PJ drawer earlier thinking I needed to add a few items. I’ll so have to add them to my queue!
Louise x
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amelialowden January 14, 2014 at 10:00 am

Yep you should! :) There are so many cute vintage pj patterns for your little girls on Etsy too :)
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Caroline Joynson January 12, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Super cute. I love the colour on you!
I have a stash of cotton that I bought in the summer which is destined for PJ’s but I just haven’t got around to making them yet – this has given me that little extra bit of incentive to get them made!
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amelialowden January 14, 2014 at 10:02 am

Thanks Caroline! Some things do seem to end up stuck on the to-do pile like that don’t they! Hope you get them done soon :)
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Claire (iwanttobeaturtle) January 12, 2014 at 9:38 pm

What a lovely addition to your nightwear. They are beautiful and can see why you have worn them a lot. When my RTW pjs need replacing, I’ll look up vintage patterns.


amelialowden January 14, 2014 at 10:03 am

Thanks Claire :) Yep you def should, quick to make too:)
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Amber Rose January 12, 2014 at 10:22 pm

You look so stylish! I suddenly feel a disdain for all my pj’s! I’ve never thought about making my own, I think I’ll have to add it to the list as they are so cute!


amelialowden January 14, 2014 at 10:04 am

Hehe, thanks Amber! I was feeling that same disdain for mine! You absolutely should :)
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allie January 12, 2014 at 10:45 pm

How cute! I have been purging my ancient tee shirts etc, and just purchased a little 1960s pajama set for myself to replace them with!
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amelialowden January 14, 2014 at 10:06 am

Oooo lovely! Makes you feel so much nicer than the ancient tee shirts doesn’t it, and after all it is very important for us to feel pretty while sleeping. Hehe ;)
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Danielle January 12, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Could they be any sweeter?? What a gorgeous way to lounge around the house! And thanks for the store link – I’d almost given up on finding any flannel / flannelette that isn’t cartoonish or for kids.
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amelialowden January 14, 2014 at 10:07 am

Thanks Danielle, yep i was pretty impressed by Truro’s seletion, bit more expensive than the average stuff but so pretty :)
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Ruth January 12, 2014 at 11:09 pm

They’re lovely! And no, a girl definitely can’t have too many pyjamas (glad I’ve found someone else that understands that! I’ve actually just been making a pair of pyjama trousers this evening and I’m really happy with how they’ve turned out so far. Need to finish them off tomorrow!
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amelialowden January 14, 2014 at 10:08 am

Ah coinkidink! Hope you got them finished off :)
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Kathryn January 13, 2014 at 4:06 am

These are brilliant! They look so comfy but also super stylish! I need to make some new pyjamas, you’ve inspired me!
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amelialowden January 14, 2014 at 10:09 am

Ah thanks, glad to hear that Kathryn :) Def worth making and it only took me over ten years of sewing to get round to it! Hehe
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bonita January 13, 2014 at 6:09 am

How perfectly perfect! The soft blue, and delicate white detailing look gorgeous. I love the idea of stylish lounge wear/pjs like these, and maybe one day when I run out of things to sew for my every-day wardrobe {haha!} I will sew myself an elegant set of pjs like these. Stunning! ♡

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amelialowden January 14, 2014 at 10:11 am

Thank you Bonita! (great name btw!) I think that was what I was waiting for too but eventually I realised I am never going to run out of things to make for my every- day wardrobe, hehe! The list just keeps getting longer in my case!
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Tialys January 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Delightful! How much more beautiful and feminine than the hideous onesies you see everywhere – yet some people seem to think they are O.K. to wear outside :< I hope you enjoy your new niece – will you be making her lots of clothes? – and I'm glad to see Gatsby appears to be fully recovered.
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amelialowden January 14, 2014 at 10:18 am

Hehe- they have never appealed to me either!- plus the fact that they are one piece is surely really inconvenient, no?
Aw thank you! Yep I think she is going to be fully kitted out with frilly dresses whether she wants them or not bless her! Hehe. She is so adorable.
Aw yep he is absolutely fine thank goodness!- he ate a giant lump of Christmas cake, and apparently raisins cause fatal kidney failure in some dogs so they had to make him sick and then keep him on a drip for 48 hours. He really enjoyed the cake tho! ;)
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Haylee January 13, 2014 at 9:03 am

These are soo cute! I especially love the rounded collar.


amelialowden January 14, 2014 at 10:19 am

Ah thanks Haylee- yep I really liked that about them too :)
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Ginger January 13, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Too cute! I love these!
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amelialowden January 14, 2014 at 10:19 am

Thanks! :)
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Gemma January 13, 2014 at 3:27 pm

These are lovely!! You could make them up in many different weights of fabric!
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amelialowden January 14, 2014 at 10:20 am

Thanks Gemma- yep I was actually thinking of making the little top in something really cosy as more of a bed- jacket type thing! :)
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Rachel Marie January 13, 2014 at 7:27 pm

Yes, I worked on a 1950’s pj pattern last winter! I found that pretty much all pj patterns from the 40s/50s have the exact same bottoms. I went ahead and added an invisible zipper but I think a button closure makes more sense.

I also attempted to make the cute crop top that came with my pattern but had an issue with my, ahem, ladies falling out. Still wanting to experiment with elastic in the underbust. Hooray for cozy vintage sewing!
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amelialowden January 14, 2014 at 10:23 am

Hehe- that made me giggle- they don’t sound very comfy! Hope you fond a way to fix that little inconvenience! ;)
Yep there is something very un-pyjamary about a zip isnt there!
And yep absolutely hooray for cozy vintage sewing! :)
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Karen January 14, 2014 at 2:00 am

So comfy and cute! Does the pattern call for shoulder pads? It sure looks like it, but it may just be the 1940s’ sketch/interpretation of a squared shoulder. I like what you did to the shoulder – and the piping on the front adds the perfect touch!
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amelialowden January 14, 2014 at 10:24 am

Yep it does! I skipped that addition tho :)
Thanks Karen :)
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Rochelle New January 14, 2014 at 6:18 pm

Ooo I’ve been looking for a 1940s pajama set very similar to this! I love your version, the blue is such a beautiful color :)

Too cute!
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Siri Andersen January 15, 2014 at 6:46 am

Oh, these are fabulous and the color is so nice :) Your alterations sounds very sane (who wants a zipper in their PJ’s?)
I’ve been procrastinating a pajama set for a while, I have this awesome 40s pattern but can’t decide on a fabric :/ English isn’t my native language, so everything here is called something else, but I think this twill or flannel is what I should go for. I think I will make one in silk too, but that’s for later ;)
Thanks for adding that link to Truro, they will be receiving my order, me thinks ;) Found fabric there for multiple projects *woot*
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Kaitlyn January 15, 2014 at 10:11 am

These are very lovely! Made me even more determined to add PJs to my sewing list
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Gail January 15, 2014 at 6:20 pm

So cute and cozy!
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twotoast January 16, 2014 at 3:44 am

Very cute – the color is surprisingly feminine and the neckline is definitely flattering!


Alisa January 21, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Oh my god, you look so cute in these! Such a sweet colour.
And your hair makes me super-envious. I still have to master the art of pin curls properly.


Abby January 28, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Oh wow! I absolutely adore them! I have decided to try and sew my own!!
Beautiful is what they are!

Question, how do you curl your hair how you have it curled in your pictures? It’s beautiful!!


Abby January 28, 2014 at 3:31 pm

Alisa, I agree with what you said!! The hair!!


Abby January 28, 2014 at 3:33 pm

What I love about it. It’s classy, lady-like, and the color is very feminine.

Job well done I’d say.


kylie January 28, 2014 at 6:52 pm

those pjs are lovely and they really suit you! I love your style – vintage through and through! – say hi :) xx


Pauline January 30, 2014 at 5:26 pm

This is really cute! They look both stylish and comfortable, which is the perfect combination.


Ally & Woozle February 1, 2014 at 10:23 am

So lovely! I like the fabric you chose. Those PJs looks comfy and warm. Well done ^_^
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Cyndi February 13, 2014 at 6:17 pm

I’ve just found your blog and wow, such an inspiration! I have just started sewing and just purchased some beginner Colette patterns to begin with – I hope I could one day be as good as you, your garments are so beautiful!


francesca February 20, 2014 at 11:15 am

So adorable! You could be in one of the Poirot or Miss Marple TV episodes – and that is a huge compliment:). And your dog is adorable – what a cutie:).

Last winter I made myself my two first memade nightclothes. A pair of flanelette pyjamas from a modern Big Four pattern – very simple elasticated waist, no side seam pants, which I adapted to elasticated bottoms to keep the cold draughts out – and a sort of kaftanny top where I elasticated the sleeve bottoms (same reason as pants). They’re ok, but I much prefer my next make – a lovely flannel I bought from the US online and made using an early 50s nightie pattern – fdloorlength, yoke with a few gathers underneath, meant to have frills at the cuffs but I once again elasticated for warmth – I live in Malta where it’s a short but cold and windy winter, and noone here has central heating, so get out of bed clothes need to be cosy! This was a total success and has seen loads of wear.


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