1930s | Vintage Sewing

Lounging 1930s Style

April 29, 2012

Pyjamas for lounging only because there is so much fabric in this 1930’s style that I’d get very tangled if I were to actually wear them to sleep.



I took my inspiration from this Simplicity pattern image. I find myself using the illustrations as inspirations rather than actually using the fragile tissue originals. By the time I’ve traced a pattern off and sworn blue over the folding back into factory folds  I may as well have found a likely basic block in my pattern boxes and just got on with drafting a pattern myself. I stay much calmer. I like drafting my own anyway. So that is what I did.


The fabric is a thin silk. The side seams and shoulder seams are french seamed and the armholes, under bust and hems are finished with bias bindings. The pant legs are a very wide 28″. Dangerous on stairs I discovered. I made the pants waist 4″ bigger than my own and put elastic only across the back as I didn’t want too much gathering at my waist so a side snapped placket was also necessary to get in and out of them.

The top just pulls over my head. The lower part is cut on the bias and the upper on the straight. Doing the V neck in the contrast silk satin was fiddly and could have been a mess except that I used a very light weight knit iron-on interfacing on that piece which helped control it. It’s basically a facing done to the outside rather than the inside. There are super light weight fusings made for silk fabrics but a very lightweight one for knits works just as well. I did try a rolled hem on the sleeves at first but as they are almost a full circle a pin-hem made them stick out just too much so I recut them with a little less fullness and the bound edge keeps them hanging softly.

I have put a free pattern for the pj top as a pdf download on the VV Free page on my blog.

Would I make this again? Yes, I am intending to try the pattern in a cotton jersey . I’m curious to see how that will turn out.

Do I enjoy wearing my PJ’s? – Yes, really fun to wear 🙂


  1. Too-wide trouser legs are also my prob with 1930’s lounge styles. This is a great suggestion – thank you! (Also thanks for free pattern!)

  2. WoW! I wish my drafting skills were at the same level as yours. (Sadly, one course in flat pattern making does not make me an expert.) I love this design and have plans to lengthen it a bit and turn it into a summer sleep shirt. Thanks!

  3. ~ * ♥ * ~

    Wow, amazing job with these pjs! I love the style; they look so comfortable and glamorous! I really want to try making a pair for myself now… Is there any chance of getting the pants pattern as well? 🙂

    bonita of Depict This!
    ~ * ♥ * ~

  4. Wow! Looks so comfy and elegant. Those 30’s girls knew how to lounge stylishly (I’m starting to think I need an alternative to leggings and oversize t-shirt.)

    I’ve been trying to find some trousers like that…but all the RTW ones are just tooo long unless I wear the waistband up round my neck. lol

  5. these lounge pjs look fab-well done, ive been thinking about doing something similiar for awhile now, so cheers for pattern. 1930’s glamorous lounge wear Vs present day trackpants and sweatshirt – lounge p.j for shizzle-hands down

  6. Glad you like the style and thank you all for the comments!
    If, when using the pattern, you have any making questions I’m happy to answer.

    @Stephanis & D’ellis- my daughter wants a shortie version for exactly that reason, I think it would be cute! and @paloverde- a nightgown version just happens to be on my personal list too..
    I think it’s a versatile little pattern-could be made into a dress as well?

    @Bonita- as my pj bottoms are part of a bigger project I’m working on unfortunately not 🙁
    But a flat fronted to-the waist trouser pattern you may well already have can be pretty easily altered to create a look like this 🙂
    As a super brief guide of how to go about it: my pattern has about 5″ more ease at the waist and hips than my actual measurements and I ignored the darts on my block. I made the crutch total 4″ inches longer than my actual body measurement and the inseam and out seams are parallel lines from the hip to hem, which is 28″ around.

  7. That looks perfect for a party, just add high heals and you are ready to go. Thanks for sharing the pattern. Would love to have a pyjamas like that in black or striped silk if I can find it.

  8. Thanks for additional suggestion for blouse lengthened into dress – agree with you! (I do adore those sleeves.) Comments on how you handled additional fabric in various places also most helpful!

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