Carolyn Pajamas - PDF sewing pattern
Closet Case Patterns


Hello everyone! I’m super excited today because I finally get to share my latest pattern with you; meet the Carolyn Pajamas! I’ve been planning this design for some time because once again, I simply couldn’t find what I was looking for when I wanted to sew some elegant pjs. The only patterns I could find were boxy and unisex (UNISEX!) and I’m a firm believer that practical and elegant need not be mutually exclusive. I was tired of wearing ratty old pjs around the house and decided if I was going to work at home in pajamas all day, they better be beautiful pajamas.

The Carolyn Pajama Pattern is designed for chic lounging, and is thoughtfully tailored with a modern, figure flattering cut. The top features a classic notched collar, curved hem and breast pocket. It includes a short cuffed sleeve, a long cuffed sleeve, and a regular long sleeve option. For a matching set, you can choose between a straight legged pant (with or without cuff) or a cuffed short. Both pants and shorts feature an elasticized waist, pockets and a faux fly.

The fit is slim but relaxed. I was aiming for something comfortable, but still chic enough to wear outside the house if sewn in a beautiful silk or cotton. The top can also function as a blouse in the right fabric; I think it would look super lovely in a lightweight silk with jeans and heels.

If you’ve never sewn with piping before, this pattern is a great introduction. Adding some contrasting colour to the collar and cuffs makes these pajamas feel super luxurious and expensive. Here is View B in washed silk and cream piping (let me tell you – you haven’t lived until you’ve hung around your house on a Sunday afternoon in head to toe silk):

Carolyn Pajamas sewing patternCarolyn silk pajamas - side viewCarolyn silk pajamas - back view

I am especially happy with the fit of the pants. They’re not your typical baggy pjs, and I’m planning on sewing up a few pairs in lightweight fabrics to wear in the spring with t-shirts for running around town.

Carolyn pajama pants front viewCarolyn pajama pants back view

If piping isn’t your jam, you can also make Carolyn straight up without cuffs. Here is View A in plaid flannel:

Flannel pajamas - Carolyn Sewing patternFlannel pajamas - Carolyn Sewing pattern

I experimented with a lot of fabrics with this pattern, and one of my favorites for a lightweight summer set is rayon challis. I can’t wait till it’s warm enough to run around in these babies:

Carolyn pajamas - shorts set in rayon challis Carolyn pajamas - shorts set in rayon challisPajama top notched collarCarolyn pajamas - shorts set in rayon challis

The Carolyn Pajamas Pattern can be sewn in a variety of light-weight wovens, depending on the effect you want. Soft cotton flannel has a classic cozy vibe, silk charmeuse and crepe turn the luxury knob up to 11, and in a soft drapier fabric like double gauze, voile or challis they are perfect for the summer. I don’t generally use quilting cottons for apparel sewing, but a few of my testers made them up in crazy adorable prints and they looked great. It’s the perfect excuse to go nuts with novelty prints.

A few pieces of business:

I’ve added one smaller size to the my range after a few requests. All future Closet Case patterns will now span from size 0-18. Additionally, for the first time, I won’t be offering a full-blown sewalong for this pattern, for a few reasons. One, I think they make non-sewalongers want to poke their eyes out, and two, I laboured over the instructions and think taking a lot of step by step pictures is probably redundant. Having said that, I do have a few supplementary posts planned. I’ll be showing you how to sew a notched collar if you’ve never done one before. I’m also going to help you make and insert piping, along with a few posts on styling inspiration, fabric selection and elastic waistband finishes.

Oh, and one more thing – I’m hosting a PAJAMA PARTY in a month and I’d love for you to participate! I’ve rounded up some really generous gifts from a lot of great sponsors to giveaway at the end…. but more on that later this week.

Finally, a huge, universe spanning hug goes to my muse for this pattern, Carolyn. If you read Handmade by Carolyn, you’re probably also in awe of this titian haired Aussie beauty. She’s one of the most inspiring makers I know, and her incredible skills and imagination never cease to delight me. She’s also been an amazingly supportive “big sister” over the last few years and I wanted to design something that suited her Katharine Hepburn grace. The pajamas she made during testing really blew my mind, as per usual.

So that about sums it up for today! Hope you like the new pattern; it’s currently on sale in my shop here, and as usual it’s available in copyshop and print at home format.  Can’t wait to hear what you guys think!

  • Teri Dodds

    I am so excited about this pattern. I love sewing the Oliver + S sleepover pajamas for my sons and each time I make them I wish for a pattern to make a pajama top and bottom set for myself. Your pattern is exactly what I’ve been wishing for! (Also, your hair is amazing in those photos!)

    • hahha Thanks Teri! I got my haircut the day of the shoot so I asked for Gisele bedhead. If only it didn’t take an hour and all of the hair product, I’d do it every day!

  • These pajamas are SO PERFECT! I can’t wait to figure out how to do the notched collar. They completely baffle me at the moment!

    • Notched collars are a bit of head scratcher. Hoping it’s clear in the instructions!

  • sewinsteady

    I am SO EXCITED about this pattern! I had literally just this morning been staring in the mirror at my ratty pj set wishing I knew of a good STYLISH pattern to make a new set from. Thank you for answering my sewing prayers! 😀

  • These are gorgeous! I particularly love how you’ve styled them with heels!!! And I really really need those cloud print ones.

    • I made the pants extra long to accommodate my vintage Manolos 🙂 I really wish there had been more of that cloud print challis. I would have loved to offer it in a kit.

  • April

    These are beautiful! They are going directly onto my list of things to sew!

  • Ruth Federico

    Ooh, so tempted to make the version with the shorts in something silky and luxurious as a 21st birthday present for my little sister. 🙂

    • That is an AWESOME gift idea!

    • Angela

      Great idea!! Just might need to make use of that…. 🙂

  • #1: These are gorgeous. Really classic, but pretty in all the right ways!
    #2: I am endlessly impressed you wore your green silk pjs around before photos without getting a food stain on them. You are a classy lady. Classier than me!
    #3: PJ party!!!!! Woohoo!

    • I lived in perpetual fear of staining but now, ALL BETS ARE OFF. Although really, I have to stop wearing samples because you never know when you’ll need them. Also, I’ve been thinking about you throughout his process so I hope you have a chance to make a pair!

      • I will definitely give them a go! I’ve had no less than THREE pyjama day events at school this year and i haven’t worn pjs for any of them because all my pjs are ass-hugging knits! (And I refuse to go to work in anything that will take power away from my teacher-glare!) These will make the perfect pair for looking-good-in-pj days at school, staying over at people houses, etc!

  • Kaoru Marie

    Your styling is so chic and sexy! Ahhhhhh, now I want to make some in rayon challis!

    • Thanks love! It’s all about the Giselle bedhead (thank god for hairdressers).

  • Eeee! This pattern is AWESOME. Can’t wait to make me some fancy pjs!! I also can’t wait to hear more about this pajama party 🙂

  • Jasika Nicole

    You and your stylish aesthetic are such a dream come true, and provide ENDLESS inspiration for me and my sewing life. I am so thankful to have stumbled across your work, and, unsurprisingly, this pattern is GORGEOUS and I cannot wait to add it to my queue! One of my favorite things about your designs is that they span across all the needs of a modern, stylish individual, suiting so many of our various needs; I love going from a bathing suit to a pair of jeans to a pair of pajamas in one fell swoop, and it just makes me really excited about the journey you take your clients/readers on. I AM SO HERE FOR YOU!!!

    • Shucks. What an absolutely lovely thing to hear on this day of stressful days! The admiration is duly reciprocated m’dear 😉

      • Amy

        I’m seconding Jasika’s comment. 🙂 Thank you for being a sewing inspiration, Heather! And for these timeless and chic, but very practical patterns. I really want green and cream pajamas now. Just perfect, all of them.

  • You just blow my mind with your patterns!! I’m banging my head against my computer right now because I have zero time to sew and the Gingers, a Bombshell already bookmarked/half cut out and now…. these!! Absolutely beautiful.

    • DON’T HURT YOURSELF ASHLEE! There’s lots of time, haha.

  • Angela

    OOHHHHH!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Carolyn and her blog, and for you to have named this pattern after her is just the best thing you could do. SO awesome!! No, she doesn’t know me in any way except that I occasionally comment on her blog, I just admire her skills so very much. I have already purchased and downloaded this pattern, looking forward to making a set soon.

    • She’s the absolute best. I think of her like my sewing fairy godmother 🙂

  • Oh, they are beyond Lovely! Your patterns are always so stunning, well done again, you’re such an inspiration! Can’t wait to make a start :).

  • Jaime jo Tanis

    Where or where can I get me some of that rayon challis!! are you going to offer some kits in your shop? (wink** wink**)

    • Angela

      Sounds like a super idea!

    • I’m going to make you very mad with this story. I stumbled on a bolt of this dead stock challis and got about 20 yards for $2/yard. Unfortunately they didn’t have more, or else I would have TOTALLY made kits with it. Challis is hard to find anywhere so I feel your pain.

  • Nicole Mar-Fan

    Gah! Pajama pants WITH POCKETS? YES!!!!!

    • RIGHT?! Why most RTW bottoms are pocket-less is beyond me.

  • Silk or rayon challis pajamas is a genius idea! I just wish challis and washed silk were easier to get here.

    And, just yesterday I noticed about 5 holes in my one pair of 9 year old PJ pants… perfect timing?

    • This is a great idea. I’ll try and redo the yardage estimates this week!

  • Quite possibly the most stylish pj’s I’ve ever seen. I can see these being a wonderful gift, especially for expectant mamas. Beautiful work on the design.

    • Thanks Debbie! I was initially planning on having them ready pre-Christmas for gift season but that CLEARLY didn’t happen, haha.

  • Classic, beautiful, well done!! I am looking forward to making a shorts version or two for summer!

    • I want to make a few more pairs just to have as comfy daywear, setacular style!

  • Oh I love these! And the bottoms have pockets! Pocketed pajamas are essential for lazy early morning dog walking. And I was looking at some double gauze earlier today wondering what I could make with it…

    (PS – don’t want to be obnoxious, but Katharine Hepburn spelled her name with two-As one-E. I spell it the same way and whenever I see it misspelled it just glares at me 🙂 )

    • POCKETS ARE KEY! I always get so mad at pajama bottoms that I can’t shove things in. And thanks for the Hepburn typo – oops! Fixed that rightaway.

  • Caroline Somos

    Loooooove them! Can’t wait to make a pair and join the party.

  • Mon

    You look gorgeous in all versions!! Congrats!! :))

  • Angela

    I have bought many PDF patterns online, and own all of Heather’s 🙂 so I’m not a newbie. But, I bought and downloaded these pajamas and can’t print them off. When I try to I get a message saying that I need a password?? Does anyone else have this problem? i can print every other pattern of Heather’s just fine so I’m really baffled.

    • Hi Angela! What program are you using to print them? They won’t open in Illustrator or Photoshop, just PDF viewers like Adobe Reader/Acrobat or Mac Preview. There were some “pattern bandits” out there so I’ve had to password protect files so they can’t be edited or copied. Please let me know if you can’t open them there because I might have accidentally messed up the security setting!

      • Angela

        I’m just using Mac Preview like I’ve always done, nothing in Photoshop or Illustrator. I trashed everything I downloaded the first time and re-downloaded, but still having the same problem. The computer really isn’t happy, it keeps freezing up with the “spinning wheel of death” and just sits there when I try to work with the files. Sorry to have to bother you again – just excited about the PJ’s!!

        • I fixed fixed it! If you re-download the files it should be fine. Sorry about that – I was in too much of a rush today.

          • Angela

            I tried again after this last message and still had the same problem…Wanted to let you know before I try again since I’m about out of downloads. SO sorry this is being such a hassle for you! If I hadn’t downloaded and printed other patterns from you the exact same way on this computer I would think it was a problem on my end.

          • Angela

            Just to tell all – Heather sent an email with corrected files and all is well. Now to have some fun sewing!

    • Hi Angela! I fixed it. I screwed up a permissions setting. If you re-download the Letter/A4 files you should be able to print now. Sorry about that!

  • Oh my god you NAIL it every time! I love these! I think you read my mind and probably the mind of about a thousand other women – this is exactly the type of pattern I’ve been wanting to make but didn’t want to make a bunch of adjustments to a cheesy vintage pair. So excited! Gotta get through my Gingers so I can make some pi’s!

    • I’m so glad to hear that! I wasn’t quite sure if people would be into making something as practical as pjs but I’m happy to save you from etsy trawling the vintage dudes.

  • Ann T.

    You did it again! You filled a gap that had been overlooked by everyone else, and did so masterfully. My only problem was deciding whether to comment, or download the pattern, first. I have been looking for a good pajama pattern for more than a year, without success. Lots of people offer patterns for bottoms, but I am not the type to wear a tee shirt to bed. This is exactly what I didn’t know I was seeking. I think I’ll make my first pair in a Liberty Tana Lawn. I look forward to the piping lesson.

  • Look at your wave-a-licious hair!!! Glamorous! Looking forward to sewing these up… my sad unisex PJ bottoms + ugly old t-shirts are about to be history, yes!

    • Hahahaha, yes. Get on it. Please find a pug print?!?!

      • Angela

        oh, I love pugs!! And bostons…… well, about any doggie is good with me! LOL!

  • I love it! Another one out of the ballpark. 🙂

  • OMG love these. I am amazed by you, in the sense that when you released even your first pattern, you hit the ground running. I look forward to your releases as they are seriously top notch! Secondly Carolyn is one of my fave bloggers, so it is so cool to see a pattern named after her.

    • Thanks Sassy! Pajamas are where it’s at for me right now, fersure.

  • Hélène

    J’adore! Your new hairstyle, you confident look, your new pattern. All the stars seem aligned for your complete success. Bravo! T’es la meilleure!

  • Dude!!! I cannot wait to make these! They look so awesome! I already know I am going to be tempted to wear them out of the house!! I love all your versions and I look forward to upping my pyjama game!
    PS: You look absolutely gorgeous!

    • Thanks Heather! Pretty pajamas make you feel about 200% less shitty when you’re being lazy, let me tell ya.

  • BAM. Perfect PJs!! Great work!

  • YES YES YES!! All of your samples are amazing and beautiful (so is your face, just throwin’ that out there…), but the blue print pair just completely sold me. I love. LOVE!

    • Thanks babycakes! Full responsibility goes to the hairdresser. If only one could wake up with Giselle waves…..

  • AuntyMaimu

    Damn woman! You look HOT!

    Happy launch day!!!

  • Amanda

    I totally want to steal that green set you made. Congrats on the new pattern!

  • OK, so this pattern is lovely and I was just thinking about needing new basic pajamas, so well done!

    But I have to have to know where did you get that blue fabric? I really really need it in my life….

    • Sorry Aleksandra! I scored it at my wholesalers. I may go back to see if he has any left since people love it so much.

      • Shoot, I was worried that you’d say that! I sure hope you can find some more. It’s dreamy! (Apologies for the terrible pun. :P)

  • devra

    great work girl! and that hair – luscious! perfect styling for your intimate budoir shoot 🙂

    • Thanks Dev! The hair lady told me how to do it on my own, but I’m helpless with styling tools.


  • aaaaagh! huge universe spanning hug right back atcha! Your pi’s look awesome on you,all 3 pairs. And your hair, woooo! So beautiful…
    You are so clever, it’s clear how much of “you” you put into your designs and they all reflect your chic and clean modern style beautifully. I love all three; the green is a stunning colour on you, flannel check, well what’s not to love about that! and obviously I ADORE the cloud print, like everyone else!
    Thank you so much for those lovely words too, you’re the sweetest 🙂 xx

    • Thank you my dear friend! I’m glad you like the green. I stressed the day of shoot that they looked too hospital-y. Now if only that hairdresser could do me up every day…..

  • Super cute! I love good luxe loungewear and these are great!!! I think we should all have a set made up for camp!

    • That is an absolutely amazing idea. All in crazy novelty prints. Now to find some “Yummy sushi” fabric.

      • Kassi Kasinger

        I’m so glad to know I won’t look like a groupie if I wear these at camp.

      • YES! I’m dead serious BTW. jammies for everyone at camp!

  • Suzanna Forsythe

    These PJs are gorgeous, I absolutely love them. I think it’s the curved hem that really sells it to me, so much more flattering than the usual boxy tops you get with PJs. And the idea of an all silk set is just heavenly – I am 5 months pregnant with my bump finally starting to show, I’m thinking silk PJs might make me feel slightly more glamorous than the big hippo I’m currently feeling like! lol

  • Katie

    The timing is amazing. I have picked up some beautiful PJ-fabric on sale on Monday and have been looking for a pattern. My imagined pattern looked pretty much as these PJs, curved collar, piping, a pocket.

  • Elena Knits

    This was exactly what I was looking for!

  • That are some sexy mother freakin pajamas! I’m thinking those shorts would be a good intro into making bottoms for me. Hooray!

    • YES! I think these bottoms are super beginner friendly. They have 2.5-3″ ease so you’re not going to have a ton of fitting issues.

  • Cynthia Nguyen

    I just recently found your blog and read this post! Stunning pjs! This is quite new for me to see and it’s refreshing! I’m hoping maybe someday you’ll make some satin ones with the short and top version! Let me know because they’re ridiculously cute! x 🙂


    • Satin! I really should. Such a cute Sunday morning outfit when you’re just going to watch movies and be lazy all day.

  • Oh this pattern looks great! I made a pair of pyjama bottoms recently and lamented over how much I would love a pattern which has bottoms and a top, with a lovely collar just like this, with all the variations! And here is it! Thanks for creating one! Straight onto my to-buy list it goes!

  • Carolyn

    These look beautiful Heather! I love how you modernized a classic design while still maintaining the feel of the original look. I’m always so impressed with how perfectly your pants fit as well – I hope to get there one day! Also, I know I’m not the original Carolyn, but it’s pretty cool to see a pattern with my name on it! 🙂

    • Thanks Carolyn! I think these pants are pretty easy to fit because they have around 2.5-3″ inches of ease and gather at the waist. I didn’t want people obsessively fitting comfy lounge pants 😉

  • sallieforrer

    Holy crap dude. Way to knock it out of the park AGAIN! I love how your patterns turn me into a total convert – I’ve never been much of a pajama wearing gal, but these things are next level. The fit of the pants, and all the elegant details of the tops… These are seriously more than just something to sleep in. They’re an OUTFIT. Just everything you do is done with such a whopping dollop of style. I’m super excited to make myself up a pair. I’ve got my eye on that shorts set for the impending doom that is our summers.

    • Let us wear matching pajama outfits, please.

  • Mimi

    Long time listener, first time caller. These are soooo gorgeous! So gorgeous that I’m on during my lunch break buying notions for the set that I plan to make immediately. Perhaps you’re planning on discussing this on the blog, but what kind of elastic did you use and which do you recommend? Thanks for being the badass glamazon that you are. 🙂

    • Thanks Mimi! Just regular old poly elastic is fine. I’m going to do a little post on waistband finishes since there are some fun ways you can make that a little fancier.

  • Debera Massahos

    I grabbed this pattern IMMEDIATELY. You read my mind, plus my husband has been been giving my jammies the stink eye for months. If I look half as hot in mine as you look in yours, I predict less sleep in my future. And the short-sleeved version of the top will make a super cute camp shirt. And I’m thinking the shorts will be a summer staple, under the covers as well as around town. Maybe a lightweight denim or chambray version is in my future. I can’t wait for the weekend so I can hide out in my chick cave and get lost in the possibilities!

    • Bwa hahaaha! I bet that chick cave smells a lot better than his man cave. And whatever I can do to help you get less sleep 😉

  • I love these and you are gorgeous! XOXO

  • Forrest Anderson

    I am so excited about this!!!!!! I’ve been wanting this exact pattern forever but I’m way to lazy to try to draft it myself. Plus your patterns are WAY better than I could ever draft myself. You’re the best! YAY!!!!!!!

    • Thanks Forrest. It was indeed a pain in the butt to draft, so I’m happy to help 😉

  • When we talk about cake or frosting sewing, a nice pair of pajamas doesn’t really come to mind UNTIL you remember that pair you had that made you feel swell. And here they are! I had the best time testing these! They are super cute and super comfy, and a great place to use that super soft stuff you’ve had in your stash. I’m thinking double gauze for the third pair. I can hardly wait to see what the other folks have come up with.

    Leopard spike heels! Don’t mess with Heather Lou!

    • Hahaha. The only time I ever pull my vintage Manolos out of tissue wrapped storage!

  • Chicmamainedh

    I am going nuts for the short sleeved/ shorts version. I want to whip it up in chambray to wear as actual clothes this summer!

  • Sunni Standing

    Wow. Seriously Heather. Wow. I am completely blown away. When you emailed me earlier this week, I tell you, I was like, “oh good. Another pj pattern.” I have NEVER wanted pjs so bad in my life. These are GORGEOUS! Truly, I cannot believe how you have really made the crap pj sewing patterns just roll over in their sad little graves (as it seems all pj patterns go for me). Wow.

    • Angela

      I totally agree Sunni! I have a couple PJ’s patterns from the Big 4 – they will never be touched now that I have this gem. BTW Sunni, I sure wish I could get to your classes! However… convincing my husband to let me fly to another state for a sewing class might be a bit much… LOL!

  • YAAAAAS! Sassy PJs. Sign me up!

  • Katherine

    This are adorable, and love how you styled the green ones with heels! I really can’t wait to see what the bottoms will look like as pants. I hope you post them soon.

  • Robyn Borley

    Congratulations – another awesome pattern. I’m in love with the green pair!

  • I must say I was a tiny bit disappointed it was a pj pattern when I got the email, mostly because I have no self-respect and home clothes are inevitably old and ratty and awful, but on closer look this is a damn good pajama pattern. So flattering! The cut of those pants is really incredible, and the way the top goes with them is fantastic! Brilliant job!

  • Congratulates on the new pattern release. I gotta say these pjs look great on you. OMG, your hair. LOVE IT!!!

  • Cara Banera

    EHRMAGHERDDDDD!!!! I need a set of these summertime jammies in my life! Plus the button-up top works perfect for nighttime breastfeeding! Yahoo!

    Also, I totally intend to follow suit and pair my jammies with a set of stilettos for around the house 😉

  • First off, you are a total babe! Second, this pattern is gorgeous!

  • Chrissy Jordan

    YESSSS! I have been waiting for something like this for everrrr. I was seriously about to cut up my VS to make a pattern, but now I don’t have to thanks to you. Gonna be some awesome matching PJ’s in our Christmas photos this year. 😉

  • Pam

    I just found you through Oona’s blog, and have to say I love your stuff! And being built like a small boy I’m glad for the smaller size so I can make these without having to try and do my own resizing – that tends to be a bit hit and miss.

  • Becki

    I love this pattern and am in the process of constructing the shorts set. I have some sewing know-how from long, long ago but I must admit that some of the instructions are unclear to me. I’ve had to read, re-read, look at the pictures, read again. I made it through the shorts with success but remain stymied about the breast pocket (with piping)! It just isn’t making sense to me 🙁 I am posting this not to complain but rather with the intent of letting you know that further clarity would be helpful for novices such as myself.