1930s Beach Pyjamas

The past year or so, my style has been evolving slightly. When I first became interested in vintage clothing, it was the 1950s that caught my heart. Those volumous skirts, nipped-in waists, cheerful prints were all exactly what I wanted to portray in my personal look and style. I sought inspiration from movies like ‘Funny Face’, ‘High Society’, ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’; and also the modern-day styling’s of ‘Pleasantville’, ‘Mona Lisa Smile’ and even caught a hint of the 1950s in the TV show ‘Pushing Daisies’ – I so want to see this show brought back, I loved it!

But, for the past few years, I have been more of an 1940s girl. I think this started with my hair. I waved goodbye to the strawberry red I had sported for the most-part of 8 years, and instead went the darkest shade of brown (although, it was supposed to be a nice medium brown, but home mishaps can happen with hair dye, which I found out the hard way). I then learnt to pincurl my hair using traditional techniques, and it was from there that I started my love affair with the 1940s.

Fast-forward a few more years on, and here we are. I still love the 1950s & 1940s eras for fashion, but I am now drawn to the even earlier decade of the 1930s. (If I carry on like this, by the time I’m 90 I will be probably be in 18th century clothing! Ha!) Over the past few months or so, I have been searching for 1930s sewing patterns in order to make-up some nice 1930s outfits. Now, original 1930s sewing patterns are not only rare, but also rather expensive, and of course, extremely fragile. So instead, I looked to repro pattern companies to find what I was after.

One of which was this fabulous beach pyjama pattern from Wearing History called ‘Lounging at the Lido’. Regular readers might remember that I wrote about it here, back in February when I purchased it. Now that it is July, and supposedly Summertime, I thought it was high-time I made-up the beach pyjamas! I made up a toile first, and discovered I needed to take some excess fabric out of the bodice, so I created some vertical fish eye darts. I also needed to adjust the armscye, as it was sitting too high. And, surprisingly, I needed to ADD an inch to the hem of the trousers (which, if you have read my previous posts on trousers that I have purchased, you will know that never happens). I made-up my own interpretation of the waist ties, which I made 1 inch wide, and positioned on the vertical darts. I also sewed-up the back placket to around 3 inches below my waist, as I found I didn’t need it be open all the way down. The final adjustment I made, was adding a sailor-style bow to the front collar, just for an aesthetically pleasing effect.

Now, the fabric. Settling on the fabric choice was partly why it had taken me from Feb-July to make-up these beach pyjamas. I just couldn’t decide what to use, and on all my fabric sourcing trips to London, I hadn’t seen anything that caught my eye. Browsing the internet, I came across a fabric company called Till The Sun Goes Down, which offer reproduction vintage fabrics, based on original vintage styles. This was perfect! I choose the Dahlia print, as I loved the colours (it has yellow, and we all know I’m a little obsessed with yellow). The Dahlia print was based on an 1930s style, so it was perfect for my 1930s beach pyjamas! It is light, but also has a bit of weight to it, so hangs nicely. Admittedly, it was expensive, especially as I had to purchase a good few metres to make-up my garment. But, I just felt that 6 months of searching for the perfect fabric had not proved fruitful, and here was the perfect right in front of me. So I ‘splashed out’ and got it. I must say, the customer service and communication from Till The Sun Goes Down was excellent, and I received the fabric the very next day.

I absolutely LOVE THESE beach pyjamas, they are so so comfortable to wear, and move brilliantly. I am so glad that I found the right fabric and made them, as I adore them so much! I am already planning on making another pair to wear around the house, perhaps in a cotton fabric. I love how crazily wide the hem of the trousers are, they are definitely the widest trousers I own! I am tempted to take a copy of the pattern and alter it into a trouser pattern by shaping the waist, imagine how fantastic they would look!

Also, you will notice I have had my hair cut rather short. I really love it, and am only wondering why I hadn’t got it cut sooner! I have a blog post lined-up about ‘What to Expect When Bobbing Your Hair’; which I shall publish soon. I just want to give it a few weeks so I can impart all the tips & tricks I have learnt, as I am still learning at the moment.

Until next time dears!

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17 thoughts on “1930s Beach Pyjamas

  1. Stephanie says:

    I adore this look. Your version of these beach pjs are just fabulous. I love your hair at this length. And your glasses are so lovely! I think earlier period spectacles can scare glasses wear gals away but you really rock them.

  2. Porcelina says:

    They look amazing on you! I recognised that pattern right away. I’m a novice sewer, so I am not skilled enough to craft something like these beauties yet, maybe one day! x

  3. Bianca Esposito says:

    These are gorgeous beach pajamas! What an amazing fabric, I am definitely going to have a browse around that site. These photos are 30’s perfection, and I love the shorter hair!

  4. Jenny Frances says:

    Thank you Jennie, I love the fabric! It goes so brilliantly with other items of clothing already in my wardrobe too (like my 1940s Swagger Jacket). So glad I finally found the right fabric!

  5. Jenny Frances says:

    Thank you Bianca, I’m so pleased with how my hair turned out! It’s a bit scary getting your hair cut, as you can never truly tell how it will look/act until you actually do it! xx

  6. Jenny Frances says:

    They were not that tricky to construct really, I think the most cumbersome thing was actually cutting out the fabric from the pattern pieces due to sheer size of the pattern! I had to do it in two stages, as my cutting area was not large enough, and that did make me panic slightly. I measured the fabric again & again to double-check I had left myself enough fabric to cut out the other pieces of the pattern, as I did the back bodice piece & trouser back first, then the front pieces. Usually I cut pattern pieces all on one layout so I can see everything & know it all fits! 🙂 xx

  7. Jenny Frances says:

    Thank you Trish! I know, I totally loved Pushing Daisies. I was trying to explain the plot to my other-half yesterday, and if you haven’t seen the show, explaining it to someone makes you realise how far-fetched the storyline was! But it was so good, the Aunts had the best costumes! xx

  8. Jenny Frances says:

    Thank you Stephanie, I LOVED your version too! I actually got these glasses lensed on a whim, unsure that I would actually wear them. But weirdly, they have become my ‘go to’ pair of glasses, as they are so easy to wear! As they are quite ‘sturdy’, I feel it’s less likely that I am going to break them, especially as some of my other styles are really fragile. They are quite a strong look, as the frame is so dark and bold, but I love them now! xx

  9. Flashback Summer (@EmileighRogers) says:

    These are fabulous! I also made up this pattern, and I was really surprised at the pant leg length, too! I’m 5″ and didn’t need to remove any inches… which was a first!
    The fabric you used is amazing, and I LOVE the collar bow detail! It really takes it over the top.

  10. Jenny Frances says:

    Thanks Emileigh! I loved your version too, so pretty! I’m glad a did a toile mock-up first, otherwise I would have been kicking myself about the length! xx

  11. Ellen says:

    Love these so much, this type of thing is all I want to wear this summer. I’ve also just cut my hair and am struggling with it so far, yours looks amazing, a blog on how you are styling it would be fab.

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