I just love the new Ella Cami Set, a new pattern for a gorgeous ruffled cami top and matching pants set by Designer Stitch. Seriously, they are designed for pyjamas but I just love wearing these and suspect that they will make it into day wear!

The Ella Cami Set features the Cami top and coordinating pants for a very glamorous loungewear set. The pattern comes in sizes US2-22.

The Cami Top

The Ella Cami is such an elegant design – and not too complicated either! There are no darts, or other fiddly things to fit, its just such a simple and classic design.

The design features shoestring straps – and its a great way to learn to do them, if you haven’t tried them before. However, shoestring straps aren’t really very bra friendly, for pyjamas I don’t mind, but to wear in public – which I intend to do – I need a bit more coverage! So…I made it happen, and I’ve prepared a short little tutorial for you, in case you want to try this at home.

Widening the Straps – a quick how-to

Step One

I had previously sewn up a toile of this design and adjusted the length of my pattern piece to fit me, I do recommend doing this, as it will not be a quick and easy job to adjust the straps once they are finished. So…starting with the pattern piece for the straps, I cut out four (4) in my main fabric whilst adding a 1cm seam allowance all the way around.

When cut out, it looks like this:

Now, as I mentioned above, I had previously adjusted the pattern piece so that it fits me perfectly, the pattern piece includes seam allowances for the spaghetti style strap, and also includes the seam allowance to attach the straps to the bodice – but I still need to add an additional 1cm there for this modification, the reason why will become clear later on.

Step Two

Stitch the strap pieces together with right sides facing each other, resulting in two (2) straps. In the picture below, I have graded the seam allowances on the lower strap, this is to help avoid the ‘line’ that can be visible on the right side, this is caused by the edge of the seam allowance underneath. I was always taught to do this, but it doesn’t seem to get mentioned very much anymore, I think it is important to do it here, as the straps are small and the bulk of the seam allowance would be quite visible in this case.

Step Three

Turn the straps right side out, press, and I top-stitched – although that is totally optional.

Step Four

Baste the straps in position to the bodice – I find that basting helps it to stay in position better than just pinning – and then, following the instructions in the pattern, continue to pin the facing to the bodice with the straps sandwiched in between. I found this easiest with the bodice inside out and the straps crossing to the other side with only the facings in-between.

Now, this part is important – when sewing the facing to the bodice, sew up to the
edge of the strap and then pivot 90 degrees (with the needle down through the fabric, lift the presser foot and turn the fabric) and stitch across the strap, then pivot again and continue to sew along the upper edge of the bodice. Repeat this process for all four points where the straps join the bodice.

Hopefully the photo below demonstrates what I’ve tried to explain:

Notice that the stitching is not as far towards the point as the basting stitch? That is why we needed the extra seam allowance – otherwise our straps will be too short.

Step Five

Continue to follow the pattern instructions and turn everything right side out and admire your creation!

…and that’s it, easy!

The Set

The Ella Cami Set is a ‘set’, which means that it comes with matching pants. The pants are a very relaxed fit, with an elastic waistband – and pockets!

I just love those in-seam pockets.

The pants can be any length you want, the pattern is marked with shorts length and full length.

Willow Kimono

And, because its winter here, and the Cami is sleeveless, a cover-up to keep off the winter chill might be required, I used the Willow Kimono pattern to make a coordinating set.

I used the curved hem option, which is such a relaxed and casual style.

A Quick Note on the Fabric

I used three different fabrics, I wanted my set to be coordinated, but not too matchy. So these are all rayons from Spotlight, the colours all blend in together, and the patterns are all different, but for me it works anyway. I washed and tumble-dried them all before sewing, I suspect that you are not meant to tumble-dry rayon, but it made them so soft and comfortable to wear. The fabric for the kimono does have a crinkly texture, which I ironed out, so I’m probably going to regret that as it will crinkly back up again next time I wash it, and I will have to iron it each time it gets washed. I ironed it because I think the pattern looks better that way. Spotlight gets criticised a fair bit for the quality of their fabrics, but I have been a big fan of their rayons in recent times, the colours and designs are really nice, and I’ve found that the quality is just fine.

Where to Buy?

So, where can you get the Ella Cami Set? The Ella Cami Set is available for purchase from the Designer Stitch website, but make sure to visit the Designer Stitch Pattern Support Facebook Group first for an exclusive discount!

I hope you liked reading about my new pyjamas.

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