Tofino flamingo pyjama shorts

Close up of a pink satin bow on the front of the pyjama shorts

That might be the weirdest title I’ve ever written. Tofino Flamingo really ought to be a latin number on Strictly. But this post is actually about a new-to-me pattern for pyjama trousers/pants/shorts – the Sewaholic Tofino pants.

The pattern

Although Sewaholic Patterns seems to be dying a slow death since its founder, Tasia, sold the business a few years back, lots of Sewaholic patterns are worth saving from obscurity. If you’re a pear-shaped person who likes design details you might want to stock up in case they disappear completely at some point.

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The Tofino pyjama bottoms have a bit more to them than the average beginner PJ pants pattern (e.g. Simplicity 2290). There’s a side panel, which enables you to put piping down two side seams, and a functional tie belt. They sit just below the natural waistline, and the pattern includes wide leg full length and shorts options.

The fabric

Can we just admire those flamingos for a moment? Please? The main fabric is a Lady McElroy cotton lawn I bought last year from Doughtys in Hereford and I love the dark navy/pale pink colour combination. Any lightweight woven would work for this pattern (silk, anyone?!) and the pattern envelope says you can also make it up in jersey.

The contrast piping and tie belt are a polyester satin from Barry’s in Birmingham. I don’t much enjoy working with polyester, but I was reluctant to shell out for a silk satin without trying the pattern out on something cheaper first.

Fitting and construction

I attempted tissue fitting this pattern and got so frustrated trying to eliminate all the wrinkles that I gave up part-way through and just sewed it up as far as I’d got. They’re pyjamas, right? The alterations I definitely did make were:

  1. +1″ on the crotch depth
  2. +1/2″ width on each thigh, by adding to the side panel
  3. +1″ in length on the leg

I’d intended to make the full length version, but after these alterations and a bit pf pre-wash shrinkage I didn’t have enough so it had to be the shorts version instead. I’d say the shorts are quite long so you might not want to go the full length on these – check the inside leg measurement against another pair you wear and like.

Construction was fairly easy – not sure why I’ve been put off making my own piping until now (!), although the waistband buttonholes are a little tricky to get lined up since you don’t have a button to put in your buttonhole foot…

The tie belt was a nightmare to turn inside out so you might want to consider another method for sewing this together if you’re using a similar fabric – like topstitching it shut rather than turning it. Or you could easily use a wider opening than the instructions suggest if you can stand the extra hand sewing – it’s going to be hidden in the casing, after all.

If you’re a sewalong kind of person there’s one for this pattern at Did You Make That? but it doesn’t bring much to the party that’s not already in the instructions, so you might not find it especially useful.

Would I make these again?

Yes, totally. They’re versatile and just a notch above the average pyjama bottoms pattern. Plus they’d make a great gift for Mums, sisters, daughters or best friends. You can run them up cheaply in flannel or splash out on silk. Just remember – unlike me – to buy enough fabric!

Now I just need to find a perfect pattern for a top to go with them! Any suggestions?

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