A monthly box of sewing goodies, delivered to your door

Laura’s Reef Set

In June Laura received the Mini Box and paired her cotton double gauze with a plain twill crepe to make the Megan Nielsen Reef Pyjamas.

Maybe I’m becoming predictable… but yes, I chose another Megan Nielsen pattern!

I think that sleepwear are those undervalued items that we tend not to make for ourselves, but probably spend the most time in. But what could be more perfect than lounging around until lunchtime (and beyond!) on a Sunday morning, whilst still looking chic?

I’d had my eye on the Reef set for a long time, so when it was finally released in the Curve sizing range, I bought it pretty much immediately.

The set comprises of a cute camisole top that has a cross-over yoke and is cut on the bias (the pattern is placed on a 45° angle). By cutting at this angle, the ‘warp’ and ‘weft’ threads give the fabric more of an elastic stretch; it floats over your body making it super comfortable to wear. Plus, the darts (on the Curve version only) give a flattering fit.

There are two variations of the shorts that basically adjusts the rise and has an add-on piece that adds length and a curved hem. I went for the mid-rise version and the curved hem option.

The mid-rise version also has good-size pockets (perfect for your phone and a few biscuits!), which as sewists is obviously a huge must-have! I don’t know why more pyjamas don’t have pockets. I suppose that you could add the pockets to the low-rise version, but you may need to shorten the bag as the top edge sits in the waistband seam.

As I had the mini-box this month, I had 1 metre of this lovely double-gauze. It was a perfect match with this cornflower blue twill crepe that had been languishing in my stash for nearly 2 years, just waiting for the perfect project.

Thanks to the cut lines of the pattern, it makes colour blocking elements really straightforward. I chose to do the back yoke and shorts hem in the double gauze, as well as the corresponding facings.

With bias-cut garments, it is important to make sure that you lay your pattern piece correctly. With plain fabrics it can be a bit harder as you don’t have reference points that you might have in a pattern. But take the extra time to make sure it’s right – it’s worth it!

Also make sure during the making process, that you handle them as little as possible to avoid stretching it before you have sewn them together.

As with all Megan Nielsen patterns, the instructions are excellent. Very clear and concise with good illustrations.

There are several areas that you do have to be very accurate with your sewing – mainly the yoke and the pockets. I had to fudge sewing the facing where the yoke straps meet the front as I kept catching it, and then because it was only ¼” seam allowance, the edge kept fraying when I unpicked it. I would recommend that you baste it first with a long stitch length that can be easily unpicked if need be.

Other than that, the rest of the make was wonderfully straightforward and very enjoyable.

I did cheat a bit on the hem of the top! The pattern says to do a narrow-rolled hem, but these are the absolute bane of my life. I just can’t get the rolled hem feet to work at all, and I really didn’t have the patience to do it manually. So, I used the rolled hem function on my overlocker instead. It does leave a visible edge, but I got a pretty close thread match so it’s more or less unnoticeable; and it more importantly saved my sanity!

As soon as I tried them on, I didn’t want to take them off. They are so comfortable. The only thing I found was that even though I made the mid-rise version (supposed to sit just below the natural waist), the rise was just a little too long for me. I will probably reduce maybe a 2-3cm next time.

I can’t wait to make my next pair!