Pyjamas, and a minor national/personal cultural identity crisis

Hi friends! I have another quickie sewing project to bore you to tears with: pyjie pants!

Pyjama bottoms - B3314

And I’m having an existential crisis here because I thought you spelled pyjamas PYJAMAS! But according to all those red underlines that started showing up as I typed this post, you don’t! Apparently it’s spelled PAJAMAS. Which now makes it hard for me to justify calling them pyjies, and my tiny world is kinda crashing down all around me. Plus, how have I not ever had a reason to type the word pajamas since the advent of word processing and spell check? Weird.


I wanted a very lightweight pair of full-length pajama pants but had a hard time finding ones that weren’t made of flannel or brushed cotton — too hot for summer sleeping. And I used to think that I would never spend precious sewing time on something I couldn’t wear out in public to receive hard-earned compliments on my sewing skills (lol), but then I realized that it would be pretty easy to sew up what I needed fairly quickly. I used a lightweight cotton woven with 3% elastane that I picked up on the cheap from Fabricland. It’s got great shades of blue with tiny flecks of bright, almost neon, green in there, which you might be able to see better in the last picture below. The bright green clinched the deal for me. πŸ™‚

Butterick 3314: Ed Grimley Pajama Pants

Anyway, my pyjie pants (dammit!) were made using Butterick 3314, a “Fast & Easy” pattern with 8 versions of sleep shorts/pants plus a spaghetti strap camisole. The pattern’s copyright is 2001, which doesn’t quite explain why the waistline is designed to come up to your armpits; that would suggest at least a decade or so before that. I hacked off at least 3 inches from the top of the waist before folding over the elastic casing…thankfully the crotch was hanging down around my knees before this adjustment so it mostly evened out in the end (wah-wah). I cut a size small but these are so baggy I could’ve cut an extra-extra-extra-small, which wasn’t obviously an option, so I did my usual here-we-go-again, let’s-hack-the-shit-out-of-this-until-it-fits thing. This approach has worked for me on simple dresses and tees in the past but apparently it’s not the best approach for pants — I’m discovering that fitting pants around the crotch is a black art into whose mysteries I have not yet been initiated. Suffice it to say these aren’t the world’s best fitting pants, but they’re comfy for sleeping and making them gave me an opportunity to use loud and colourful fabric.

The first time I slept in these I woke up in the morning and thought, Hey, they worked! And they weren’t too loud for sleeping!

Alright, now my spell check is telling me that COLOURFUL isn’t a word, so I am beginning to realize that this must be Surreptitious American Cultural Imperialism reaching its long arm into my home via the interwebs. But I am CANADIAN! And we spell things the CANADIAN way! (Er, um, the British way, actually.) So pyjamas pyjamas PYJAMAS PYJAMAS! And therefore PYJIES! Phew. My tiny world remains safely the way I like it, for at least another day.

28 thoughts on “Pyjamas, and a minor national/personal cultural identity crisis

  1. Pyjamas for ever! It’s definitely how we spell it here in Canada, eh. πŸ˜‰ They look great – and the first pic made me giggle! Love it!


  2. Fab fabric. Pyjamas! pyjamas! always pyjamas. Being dyslexic, pyjamas is one of the words I can actually spell and in my own little world I’m quite proud of this. I get very confused when my spell check tells me I can’t.


  3. I made PJ shorts recently from a Butterick pattern that turned out HUGE. Made large according to my measurements, and the waist was also under my armpits. Love the color and print of your fabric. I also have the pattern that you used in my stash.


  4. I was shocked, shocked I tell you, because that is how I spell it and I have no intention of changing. I think the spelling is pyjamas in french so we are just classy broads who occasionally slip, accidentally, into french.


    1. Lol. I’m all for redundant o’s! We could add a lovely roundedness to a lot of words: oenter, oempty, oepicentre (ooh!–that’s a good one!)…


    1. “Others” is the operative word that exposes you as a very wise person who can easily coordinate outfits from your closet! lol


  5. “Pyjies” and pyjamas is perfectly perfect spelling – as long as you adhere to English spelling and not North American. Don’t get me started on “aluminum” – it’s freaking “aluminium” people seriously!!! Ok rant over, it just drives me mental and I’m neither a metallurgist or chemist. I’m weird like that (I know, I know, it’s just different spelling between countries). Your PJ bottoms are cute as πŸ™‚


  6. Pyjamas is the French spelling. But I second the “British English” setting to solve all these existential crisis.

    Also, if you want stuff to fit remotely at first, and -especially- pants, start with Butda, not the big 4

    Liked by 1 person

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