Pyjama Party Presents- the Striped Swallow Coachella shorts.

As promised in my last post, here’s one one of the projects I had been stashing away, as it was birthday gift.
For a good few years, I have been making my friends hand embroidered Pyjama bottoms, as Christmas and birthday presents. Then I thought, “hey! I can rev this up a bit and MAKE some PJ’s”.

As the humid weather has been coming in and looks set to grace us through the next few weeks, I thought I’d make some shorts instead of full length bottoms.
I chose to go with the Striped Swallow Designs’ ‘Coachella’ . I loved this design and have seen similar in Topshop and Urban Outfitters, so it probably won’t be long until I make some for myself. Why buy when you can sew?!
This is a truly great stash buster- If your fabric is non-directional, most sizes will fit into only one meter of fabric!

I thought the trim detail on this pattern was gorgeous and the instructions run you through how to add a standard trim, bobble trim or bias binding trim, meaning the fabric/trim combinations are endless!
When faced with the question, “to bobble or not to bobble?” the answer will almost certainly be to bobble!


As these shorts were intended to be pyjamas, it meant I could go crazy with the fabric choice and choose something too loopy for everyday wear.
Now I don’t know if you’ve ever been down the “looking at novelty quilting cottons for a bobble trimmed birthday present pyjamas for a friend” rabbit hole…but it is a deep one!

The giftee is a big F1 fan, so I wanted some awesome race-car fabric. Unsurprisingly most of the race car quilting cottons were very chequered flag and primary colours. I wasn’t aiming for anything feminine in particular, but there is a part of me that wished my everyday pyjamas were like Frenchie’s from Grease, you know in the scene when they are using peer pressure to make Sandy drink underage and be more slutty?


But anywho I stumbled across this amazing pink double gauze on eBay with old fashioned race cars across it and I couldn’t resist. I thought the double gauze would be nice and light for loungewear in the hot weather and the blue highlights matched with my bobbles.

The pattern was a pdf print out and gives you a slim and regular fit option as well as different options for the waist band height. As these weren’t for me I went for mid waist, but would be tempted to try the high waist option for myself.

The pattern was very easy to put together, with only two mian pattern pieces and then the strip for the waistband. I must admit it took me a while to work out where the waistband info was but if you read the instructions carefully, like a good sewer they are very obviously there!

All in all this came together very easily and very quickly. Because my fabric was a quite loose weave and light I spent a while with some scraps to get the tension right.

All of my seams were finished with zig-zag stitch and then the excess was removed with pinking shears, although this looks pretty neat, this was an occasion I would have loved an overlocker.

I did come across a bit of trouble when first adding my bobble trim. My stitching went a little haywire using my standard foot as the bobble went underfoot and wasn’t as neat as I wanted for a present (sorry Ally!). In any other circumstances I would has unpicked and started again, but as mentioned the fabric is quite delicate, so the edge probably wouldn’t have survived this, so hoped that it would go mostly unnoticed.
For the other side trim, I popped on my zipper foot and also took my foot off the accelerator a bit and it is remarkably neater (well there are still a few wibbles but a vast improvement).



The last part of construction was to add the waistband. This was clearly and simply explained and easy to do, creating a channel and then threading the elastic through. On my next pair I would be tempted to anchor the elastic at the side seams, but for a lounge pair some movement will be fine.

Watch this space, as if the weather holds out, I will be making a pile of these short shorts, in rockabilly tropical prints, hula fruit prints and maybe something barmy for my own PJs.


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