Image: Fifi pyjamas by Tilly and the buttons.
Clothes refashioning,  My projects,  Patternreview,  Sewing

Successes and difficulties with silk – Fifi pyjamas and a blue camisole


I found this big silk blouse from a flea market and, since it costed only 3 €, I couldn’t resist buying it to see whether I could refashion it into something useful for me. I browsed through pattern sites and finally decided on Fifi pyjamas pattern by Tilly and the buttons.

Fifi consists on a camisole and a pair of shorts and it has sizes ranging from UK 6 to 20 (EUR 34 to 48). I chose to make the size UK 10 which is my usual size and matched best my measurements.

The blouse was a basic short sleeved button up and I started with unravelling all the seams to save all the fabric I had. Then I started playing pattern puzzle, which was complicated by the fact that most of the piece were cut on bias. The sleeves gave me the breast cups, the back gave me the lower front and the rest of the shirt the back pieces. I had to make a seam at the center back, but I did manage to get all the camisole pieces except the bias binding.

I finally had to go to the fabric shop to get a piece of silk to make the straps and the binding so I got a big enough piece to make a matching pair of shorts. Since I couldn’t find exactly the same silk I chose to use contrasting white. I happily found out that the little pink fabric scraps I still had were enough to make binding for the shorts. I thus ended up with a pink top with white binding and white shorts with pink binding. To finish the top, I found a small pink bow with a bead that had at some point come loose from an old bra or something. I sewed it in the center front and my top was done:

Image: Fifi pyjamas camisole

The shorts were much easier to do when I had enough fabric.

Image: Fifi pyjamas shorts.

My finished pyjama looks luxurious and I like it. You couldn’t guess that the camisole was made of an old silk blouse! However, I should have chosen a smaller size for the camisole at least at the bust which is slightly big. Luckily this is a pair of pyjamas we are talking about so they can be a little loose. I can warmly recommend this pyjama pattern for everyone!

The Diana camisole

I had bought some blue silk from London and, after spending some time thinking things through, I found an old pattern that I had stored a long time ago. It was a Diana cami by Spit up and Stilettos. Unfortunately, the pattern company has disappeared from the internet at some point.

I did make changes to the pattern. This camisole was originally cut on grain but I decided to cut it on bias. I also did not want use bias binding but make a complete facing.

I thought this would be a simple make, I had just made a silk pyjamas, so a basic camisole shouldn’t be a problem? Well, I seemed to make every mistake that was possible for me to make.

I hadn’t even started cutting the fabric, when I noticed how slippery it was. It didn’t stay in place enough for me to cut it with scissors so the first thing I did was to buy myself a rotary cutter. Then I started sewing.

I did know to choose a microtex needle, but wasn’t so smart with my other tools. I thought a walking foot might be a good idea with slippery fabric. Wrong! The walking foot made the fabric jump all over the place and I ended up ripping everything away.

Then there was my choice of interfacing. I thought that silk needed silk interfacing, so I used a silk scarf to cut interfacing. That might have worked but I did not know enough to cut my interfacing on bias! Well, I ended up ripping everything off once again. Finally I used normal fusible interfacing that I cut on bias and it worked.

I am still not very happy with this make. I made the facings a little too narrow so that the edge shows through  and ruins the smooth look. Also I chose a size that is a bit too big. I think the size might have been ok without the bias cut but the bias cut affects the drape so much that it ends up looking a bit too loose.

Image: Diana camisole

Anyway, I am sort of happy that I made and fixed most of my errors. Now I know how not to make a bias cut camisole and my next one will be much better!

Thank you for visiting my blog and see you soon! Happy sewing!

I am a mother of two. I sew, knit and create and blog about it.

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