Republique du Chiffon Juliette
Did you follow the whole ‘parents in pyjamas’ saga recently? The one where a school principal in the UK tried to ban parents from doing the school run in their jim-jams? While part of me was a little surprised that it’s such a thing (up to 50 parents doing regular school drop offs in their PJs and slippers, according to the reports), most of me was impressed with all that pyjama pride. After all, who hasn’t woken up all cosy in their flannels and wished they could stay in them all day?
The daywear/nightwear divide gets even more confusing if you’ve bothered to follow recent fashion weeks in London and New York. Because judging from a few galleries I scanned, pyjamas and heels are going to be huge in 2016. French Vogue says so. This means while somewhere in northern England schools are trying to ban pyjamas as daywear, down in London fashionistas are forking out thousands to wear Dolce and Gabbana jammies to work. The world is a complicated place.
While I’m not brave enough (or rich enough) to try either of those extremes, I like to think I’ve added my small voice to the debate about pyjamas as daywear with this green shirt. The pattern is Republique du Chiffon’s Juliette shirt. If you were to give a pattern a personality I’d say this one has a sweet nature: short sleeved, tiny pocket, softly curved collar. And it’s slightly, subtly reminiscent of a summer pyjama top for a small boy. But in a good way!
This shirt was a surprisingly quick sew (yes sometimes that does happen!) The collar is on the simple side and much quicker to construct than a traditional collar with a stand. It’s very similar to the RDC Dominique jumpsuit collar, so it’s a skill you can apply if you want to make the Juliette and move swiftly on to the jumpsuit (we featured the jumpsuit recently here). The Juliette pattern diagrams are clear and self-explanatory – my version was in French but I didn’t need to crack out my translate phone app. None of the RDC patterns I’ve made have come with seam allowances, so cutting the pattern takes extra time. Why do some patterns not include seam allowances? Is there a reason pattern makers leave them off?
I wanted a fairly fitted shirt, so I cut a size 38, and I didn’t have to lengthen the shirt which is unusual for me. Throughout the make, the only adjustment I made was to top stitch the collar because mine pillowed a bit – the extra row of stitches sorted it out. I included the single breast pocket that’s so small it’s not high on function – again part of the sweetness, but you could leave it off with a busier fabric.
I made this version in a cotton from the Anna Maria Horner Loominous range, which I found in the amazing offcuts section at Nomura Tailor in Kyoto. It’s a medium weight cotton, but it feels more like a light weight – it’s super soft and has a silky, polished feel. The fabric isn’t printed, the pattern is created by what looks like a complex weave of dyed cotton. I have no idea how they make material like this, I can only imagine big old machines hard at work. The other fabrics in the Loominous range are just as lovely and worth a little pat if you find them in your local fabric shop. My buttons are little shells found at Jimmy Buttons in another comical shopping trip spent crunching on spilled buttons and side stepping teetering boxes of notions.
I’m pretty happy with this make – I needed an easy, casual shirt to wear with jeans and summer skirts. Best of all, it’s so comfortable to wear I feel like I’m in my pyjamas.
Some other sweet Juliettes:
This striped RDC version convinced me I needed to buy this pattern;
Le Coussin du Signe has two spotty, flowery versions in one blog post;
More stripes in this gorgeous version by the prolific Bee Made – I love the brass buttons.