Carolyn PJ Top + Willamette Shirt Mashup Update

[Willamette Shirt sizes up to 48″ bust, 50″ hip. Carolyn Pajamas Top sizes up to 46″ bust, 48″ hip]

I want to preface this by saying that I made this same mashup exactly 2 years ago in August 2019, and I find that really funny. You can check out that blog post here to see how that attempt went. I actually love that shirt, and it’s still in my closet and gets worn all the time. I made it back in my “sew RTW style” phase, and it didn’t come out quite like my inspiration. Here is my one from 2 years ago, compared to the shirt I just made.

A couple of things that weren’t quite right were the shape and back yoke. The shape ended up being a lot more boxy because I straightened the side seams, and it eliminated all of the shape…which is kind of what I was going for, but I took it too far. The other thing was that when I drafted the back yoke, it came up too high. The good news is that both of these things were super easy fixes, especially since I had kept all of the pattern pieces.

For a very detailed explanation on how I mashed the two patterns, you should definitely check out my other blog post. If you just want the gist of it: I used the front, neckline/collar, and facing of the Willamette Shirt, the bodice pieces and sleeves of the Carolyn PJ Top, my own “drafted” yoke, and then I adjusted the angle of the collar so that it didn’t stick out as much.

This time around I made the yoke pieces 1″ longer so that it went lower. The other thing I did was to make a straight size 12. My measurements put me at a 12 on top, and 14 at the waist and hips, but here is enough ease in the pattern that I didn’t worry about it. Both adjustments did exactly what I hoped they would, and I love how it turned out! It’s seriously so good.

The person who inspired me to try again is Siri Kate, who I follow on Instagram. She made the most amazing Gilbert Top (pattern by Helen’s Closet), and used this exact same lightweight cotton from Blackbird. After seeing hers, I knew I needed the fabric and couldn’t imagine making anything except a shirt like hers.

The Gilbert Top is such a popular pattern, and it’s a more inclusive pattern with sizes that go to up to 58″ bust, 58″ hips. The most frequent feedback that I’ve read from sewists who make the Gilbert Top is that they aren’t a fan of the bust darts, so they usually rotate them out, and the sleeves are very cylindrical so they have to add width at the top. I was fully ready to buy the pattern if I couldn’t get this mashup right, but, luckily, I nailed the mashup. If you buy the pattern, I would definitely recommend doing some research first, and trying the pattern up to similar patterns to make sure it’s not too off from what usually fits well for you.

I loved the details of Siri Kate’s Gilbert Top, so I did the topstitching all along the collar and front plackets, hemmed the sleeves out instead of under, and used some larger buttons. I really wish there were some way I could have made this make “my own”, but hers was just so perfect and she is a style genius.

Let me know if you have any questions, and happy shirt making!

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4 thoughts on “Carolyn PJ Top + Willamette Shirt Mashup Update”

  1. Your comments are easy to follow. I like all the topstitching and the sleeves hemmed out, instead of under. This shirt looks so good on you! Great job!

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