Pattern Refresh: The Carolyn Pajamas

This Tuesday was one of the most fun days I’ve had since starting this business. We shot our new pattern along with some new samples of older designs, and it was kind of magical. Since I made the decision to stop modelling our patterns, I’ve found I love playing photographer and being behind the lens, figuring out how to best capture our designs so you can see how they look from every angle. This spring I invested in a new Canon 6D camera (I’ve been borrowing Guillaume’s work camera for the past year, always haunted by the idea of breaking it) and picked up a new gorgeous cream backdrop, which I find much softer and more flattering than the white we’ve used in the past.

I also hired an actual, professional model. Up to now I’ve been having friends model for us, and while I’ll probably still continue to do that I wanted to see the difference with someone who actually models for a living. Guys? MODELS ARE AWESOME. At least Laura was, the radiant and sassy Italian babe I shot this week (she reminds me of a curvier Michelle Pfeiffer). First of all, she blinked maybe 6 times in the almost 1500 images I snapped, and she knew how to move really organically and naturally so I didn’t have to direct her very much. Best of all, she is one those freaks who just looks astonishingly good in every photo. I’d be looking at her when pressing the shutter and think “Maybe her face will look weird in that one”, and then I’d check the image on the screen and it looked like an angel was smiling at me. Such stark contrast from myself where I look like Golem in like 90% of pictures (before I edit the bad ones out).

One of the samples we remade was our Carolyn Pajamas. This continues to be one of our bestselling patterns two years after its release, and I wanted to freshen up the samples since I think the green silk ones I originally modelled were kind of a weird colour. I wanted to make a super classic navy pair, and used a tencel twill from Blackbird Fabrics. This fabric is GLORIOUS for pajamas; super soft and breathable, it has the weight and sheen of 4ply silk crepe without the hefty price-tag.

Carolyn Pajamas Pattern // womens pajama pattern // Closet Core PatternsCarolyn Pajamas Pattern // Silk pajamas // Closet Core Patterns  Carolyn Pajamas Pattern // Silk pajamas // Closet Core PatternsCarolyn Pajamas Pattern // womens pajama pattern // Closet Core Patterns

One of the things I was looking for in a model was someone who fell in our sample size range (we draft everything in a size 10 and then grade up and down accordingly). While the dream would be to eventually model each pattern on a few different figure types, for now I’m using ladies who are generally somewhere in the middle, since our sizing survey last year told us it’s our median customer size.

Here’s a fun/depressing fact; it is really, really hard to find models who fall in the middle size range. Laura told me that she’s considered an “in between” model (she is a size 12 in our size chart) and that they are far less common because most campaigns either want traditionally sized (ie. very thin) models or plus size. I was pleased to discover that there are no shortage of plus size models, but I can’t help but find it strange that there is such a small market for the “in between” sizes. The sewing world exists completely outside the conventional fashion industry, so it’s frustrating to discover this limitation for model casting.

We decided not to remake the samples for the shortie Carolyn pajamas. I still love this cloud print sample very much (its vintage deadstock rayon) and think Laura looks great in them.

Carolyn Pajamas Pattern // Pajama shorts pattern // Closet Core Patterns Carolyn Pajamas Pattern // Pajama shorts pattern // Closet Core Patterns Carolyn Pajamas Pattern // Pajama shorts pattern // Closet Core Patterns

Hope you like this little refresh to one of our favourite patterns! If you’ve been wanting to make a pair of Carolyn pajamas for yourself we have a ton of related tutorials here.


Core Fabrics


Hi! I'm Heather Lou, a pattern designer and sewing educator for the modern maker. At Closet Core Patterns, we transform your imagination into step-by-step implementation that helps you create a wardrobe you love - not one you're limited to buying off the rack.

Access Library

Access our members-only resource library filled with free patterns and downloadable resources!

Become a Member

Get Sew Inspired

Featured Pattern

Featured Course