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. 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’. 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 so long 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 Til 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 good drape to it, so hangs nicely. I must say, the customer service and communication from Til 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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