My Superman in the Sky Designer Pyjamas (from Simplicity 4378)

Pyjamas are all too boring these days. So when I recently saw some great cheap $3 a metre fabric that screamed out pyjamas at me, I bought it and made a set of custom fit designer pyjamas for myself.

The fabric was shiny, delicate and silk like, though it wasn’t silk. It said machine wash, though, so that was plenty good for me regarding durability because I had no intention of doing special laundry any clothes I will be making for myself.

The fabric was a very daydreamy light sky blue, with enough clouds to be a Simpsons opening scene. On its own, it would have been nice, albeit a bit boring and pansy, but still sleep oriented with a dreamy look and feel. That’s what screamed pyjamas at me. I wanted more than just a set of sky pyjamas, though, so I put my creative cap on to think what I could add to it.

Of course, the sky is a great canvas, the way we look up to it and see all kinds of things against it. There is the sun, birds, planes and all that stuff. Problem with the sun was that there could only be one. Any more than one, even if meant to be playful, and it wouldn’t look right. The sun is a very real thing in the sky. I also couldn’t find something that bright to stand out against this already shiny light blue and white.

Birds were too girlie for me, and I couldn’t find a plane. But then it hit me. If it weren’t a bird, or a plane, then it had to be Superman!

So the hunt was on for some Superman prints. I was going to have to cut it out and appliqué it on with Steam-a-Seam Lite 2 double sided fusible, given the thin fabric. The print would probably be too hard to sew down after that so I only had one choice.

The nice thing with common stuff like Superman is that it isn’t hard to find, especially if you’re just looking for some drawings rather than the exact pattern on a background colour you like. The not so nice thing about popular stuff that is trademarked is that it is is not cheap! Fortunately, I only needed a quarter metre to get all the drawings I wanted from a piece of heavy cotton Superman print, but it costed about 75% of the entire pyjama fabric!

With the proper fabrics, I took them to the Simplicity 4378 scrubs pattern because I like my pyjamas scrubs style with heart collars. The pattern is nice in that it has a variety of pants and tops, for men and women, in a wide variety of sizes. I just ended up using my Auntie’s 2 piece pants for a pattern rather than their 4 piece because I wanted to minimize breaking up the sky canvas from my fabric. It was also a bit hard to sew with its slippery surface, thinness and slight stretch. Less sewing, and serging was better.

Fitting the pattern, I found the sleeves to be excessively wide. For the style, sure, but not for me. I don’t have thick arms and because I get cold easily, I adjusted the pattern to be more like my dress shirts for fit and made long sleeves. It’s quite comfortable even with the adjustment, but you might also find the sleeve hole to be a bit big.

Before I sewed everything together, I cut out the Superman drawings on that fabric, stuck each to the Steam-a-Seam Lite and cut that out. It’s a bit tedious, yes, but if you love the design like I knew I was, it’s just a minor nuisance. Then I applied the Superman on to the fabric. I was careful not to make it too “symmetric” in location, even though each one of the six was different. Asymmetry is my fashion design trademark, you see.

The other thing I did with the Superman appliqué was to make sure he overlapped a cloud for some slight 3D effect, and to avoid sticking his feet in the clouds as if he was jumping off of them. But other than that, they went on four places on the top and two on the bottom, as shown in the picture below.

I am pretty happy with how this project turned out. The custom fit actually makes me look tall proportionately! The dress form in the picture below is my height and measurements so that’s how the PJs look on me (minus the woman breasts). Seeing how well this turned out, I will become a pyjama guy again as I make more designer pyamas in the future. I tend to run around in shorts and T-shirt at home. They’re relatively easy to make and I have a shell that fits me well now to use for turning out new PJs like a factory. I’ll also be looking for more slumber party opportunities to show them off, too, hahaha!

Please click here to see more of my fashion.

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