Upcycle Ruffle Pajama Sets From Plain Pajama Bottoms


Blog Contents:

  • Communist Poland (random topic right?)

  • My Sewing Spree

  • "No-Pass-GO"

  • Lingerie

  • PJ Intervention

  • My T.E.D. Talk

  • The Before

  • The Upcycle

  • The After Photos

  • Next Upcycle

  • Links


Communist Poland

When I was 16 years old, I made my first Pajama set. We had just returned from a visit to family in Poland. At that time in 1987, it was still Communist Poland. I probably don't need to tell you that the dollar had A LOT of buying power. And certain items were plentiful to purchase, while others--mainly food and electronics, not readily available--but nothing like the early Martial Law 80's when there was absolutely nothing.

me, 16 years old visiting family in Poland...

my brother practicing his photography back then with a USSR made camera...

...but enough of the history lesson--albeit interesting and my blog allows me to revisit this history when I can !

What was in good supply were fabrics! And I loved sewing, even back then. In fact, it was my activity since I was not inclined towards school sports nor had any musical proclivities. My parents bought a bunch of it for me.

me, 19 years old, in Cracow, Poland, bus stop

I studied for 2 years at the Jagiellonian University just right after the Berlin Wall came down in 1990

...can you tell which girl is me?

My Sewing Spree

Returning from that summer trip, I threw myself into my sewing and created so many things. Three dresses, 4 skirts, a jacket, and one PJ set.

Unfortunately, I don't remember exactly the impetus behind the creation of those PJS. But knowing my penchant for anything Vintage, even back then, and for romantic styled clothing, I probably saw something historic and emulated.

One thing I remember for sure, I used eye and hooks to close the front PJ top. I also recall the sewing process was so painstakingly arduous, I never attempted another pair until now, 33 years later. And because my sewing skills weren't as honed as they are now, I never slept in them because I never wanted to wear them out! With all these warm-hug memories coming to me now, I do recall feelings of pride of accomplishing a complicated sewing project--I never used patterns!

Can you believe I have a picture??

ME, 16 Years Old!...in our backyard in San Francisco...wearing my first set of PJs sewn by me!


As a kiddo, I might have owned 3 sets of PJs at a given stretch of time throughout my childhood.

They were worn for several nights--a 'NO-PASS-GO' with my now 'wear once and launder' mentality (After all, we sleep in PJs for 8 hours on average--oy! and the tossing and turning, and all those skin flakes---ok, no talking about this anymore).

However, in defense of wearing PJs several nights in a row, we did bathe at night before bed--it's a Polish European cultural thing bathing before bed. I haven't stopped bathing at night. I have had friends think it's 'gross' that I don't shower in the morning, but I think it's 'gross' to sleep in your crisp, clean bed linens in one of your most cherished places after a long, sweaty day.

Tomatos, Tomatahs, right?

And just want to clarify, there are times I will wear PJs for a few nights in a row, like when we go on holiday and I can only bring a small suitcase.

Lingerie-- thought that would get your attention ; )

So what do I sleep in?

Worn-out t-shirts. Old leggings. Old cotton sports shorts. Or whatever seems comfortable or cozy or threadbare. Isn't this what everyone else wears???

Um, no lingerie...even though I think lingerie is so pretty--just never seems very inviting to sleep in-- anyways, isn't meant to be taken off??

And then comes that need to toss a few items like the 2 pairs of Old Navy PJ bottoms I purchased before babies, worn during pregnancy, and tossed out 18 years later in Cabo San Lucas on vacation with friends when the threadbare shorts embarrassingly ripped in the bum.

thankfully this picture is super grainy,

and out of focused,

since it's truly how I look this morning as I type this...

oh the granny that I am!

PJ Intervention

My Pjs, embarrassing according to my husband and 2 teen daughters, have not gone unnoticed. And the recent Cabo San Lucas trip was the family tipping point catalyzing my 'PJ intervention'.

My daughters have bou