Pattern Review, Sew The Show

Sew the Show: A Little Half-Hearted

I have to admit, I was a little disappointed when I saw the March selection for Sew the Show — Broadway Empire. I had never seen it before but a 1920s-era mobster show just really didn’t sound like my cup of tea either in a show or style. Still, I kept an open mind and gave it a try.

And I was right. I watched a few episodes of the show and just couldn’t get into it. If I’m not loving a show, I generally prefer not to spend what little television and sewing time I have watching it. So instead I moved on to April’s show theme — Friends!

And while the clothes in Boardwalk Empire are beautiful, I had a hard time envisioning anything inspired by them that I would actually wear. Still, I wanted to try.

As Alida pointed out in one of her posts, many of the women in this show spend a great deal of their time in various states of undress. Since summertime pajamas really are a need in my closet, it was a good fit.

Nutmeg knickers by Colette Patterns sewn by Katie @
My Nutmeg knickers and summer PJs. Love that it’s warm enough to sleep in these now!

These are the knickers from the Colette Nutmeg pattern.  They’re short, which is great for sleeping in my opinion, bias cut for nice drape, and with only two patterns pieces, I easily cut them from less than a yard of fabric.  Score!

These are incredibly easy and fast to put together.  Five seams, two hems and a waistline — done and done.  The trickiest part of these knickers is the waistline.  While you easily could just sew an elastic channeling and pull some 3/8″ elastic through it, the pattern is drafted with lingerie elastic.  I actually like this method and I like the finished look of it.  It’s nice having the decorative edge poking up above it and the installation is pretty easy once you get the hang of it.

Nutmeg knickers by Colette Patterns sewn by Katie @
My second pair in chambray. These are stiffer and don’t drape as nicely, but they also don’t wrinkle as much.

I made these in size 6 and the fit is really good.  My only minor gripe is that I’m not sure I love the shape of the leg openings.  Because these are cut on the bias, there’s lots of drape around the legs, which makes the opening hang a little funny.

Also because they are cut on the bias, the pieces stretched out a bit while I was sewing them.  I probably should have finished all but the hems, let them hang for a day or two and then leveled out the hems.  But I didn’t have the patience to do that with something I’ll just wear to bed.  Oh well, live and learn.

Nutmeg knickers by Colette Patterns sewn by Katie @
Side view. It’s hard to see the funny drape of the leg openings in photos, but it’s there!

My two pairs of Nutmeg knickers are made from very different fabrics — the gray is a swiss dot chambray while the navy polka dot is rayon challis.  You can really see how the fabric choice affects this pattern.  The chambray is much more stiff than the rayon and sticks out kind of awkwardly in places.  The rayon has a lovely drape and really works well with the bias cut of the pattern.  Note to self: use rayon or silk for this pattern.

Minor gripes aside, I love having some proper pajama shorts in my drawer and these will undoubtedly get a lot of wear!

Nutmeg knickers by Colette Patterns sewn by Katie @
Nutmeg Knickers. I already wear these every night. Definitely worth the sew!

Pattern: Nutmeg knickers by Colette Patterns

Size: 6

Fabric: Swiss dot chambray from Michael Levine; navy polka dot rayon challis from Stevie Saint Fabrics.

Difficulty: Advanced beginner. 

Techniques required: Sewing a straight seam, French seams (optional), , working with slippery fabrics, attaching lingerie elastic.

Similar patterns:  The shorts from the Carolyn Pajamas are pretty similar.  I’ll probably make them next.

Modifications: None whatsoever. 

Fit:  Really good.  The waist measurement is easy to adjust since it’s elastic and I like the length for pajama shorts.

Pattern Format: I have this pattern in paper, but I had to search a bit for it.   It is out of print and the paper pattern is sold out on the Colette online store, so you’d either have to search for the paper pattern from an Etsy seller or suck it up and buy the PDF. 


  • Quick easy sew.
  • Great for a staple lingerie/sleeping piece.
  • Good drafting and instructions, as I have come to expect from Colette patterns.


  • The bias cut can give the leg openings a funny shape.
  • Beginners may find it challenging to attach the waist elastic.

Overall Grade:  B.  This is a good lounging piece but while I love the short shorts, they’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. 

*No freebies, as usual.

** J took all the photos in this post.  I had to plead with him to do it since he was feeling a little tired and whiny and no one wanted to indulge me in photos yesterday, but he eventually succumbed when I reminded him that I spent my WHOLE day taking care of them.  He did a pretty good job, dontcha think?

0 thoughts on “Sew the Show: A Little Half-Hearted

  1. They look fab and very comfy! J did a great job with the photos! I’ve got a pair of the Carolyn pajama bottoms and really recommend the pattern. They’re a little more fitted than these, but I love the pockets and cuffs. I’ve worn mine as pajamas and as everyday shorts and plan to make more for this summer.

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