Refashioned Pillowcase Lakeside PJ’s

These two fairly large pillowcases have been sitting in my stash for ages. I always thought I could turn them into some cute PJ’s. The Lakesides were the perfect fit!

I found this set of vintage pillowcases with the most adorable little blue whales on them at a Goodwill back when we lived in New York! (hello….. over FIVE years ago!!) I was immediately drawn to the cute whale motif and the pop of red so I scooped them right up. My first thought was to make something for my goddaughter – who was probably around three at the time. I ended up making her a cute and simple gathered sack dress that I think she was able to grow into and wear as a top!

The little sack dress only used about half of one pillowcase (they were a pretty decent size). So I had one and a half pillowcases left that I saved thinking I’d make myself some pjs one day. The cotton is super soft and worn in and I just love those sweet little whales! You can even see the faded crease of the pillowcase fold that I used for the center front above.

The Grainline Studio Lakeside Pajama set was the perfect fit for this project. It seemed like the pattern didn’t use a ton of fabric, so I was hoping I could squeak out this project in what little material I had to work with. I also knew I wanted to incorporate the whales in some way, and I felt the top of this set would give me a good opportunity to do so.

I decided to use the whale motif on the back, cutting the back opening in a straight wedge rather than a curve like the pattern calls for to get the most use out of the border. When cutting, I simply lined the bottom edge of the pattern up with the bottom of the pillowcase border, so I had to do no hemming on the back!

I cut a straight size 0. I definitely could have sized up in the bottoms for a more comfortable fit. But I was limited on materials so I decided to go for a snugger fit (that makes it a design choice…right?)

I had a tiny bit extra of the whale border so I of course had to turn it into a pocket. I originally was planning on putting it on the front of the top since I wasn’t going to have the whales on the hem in the front, but something about the proportion wasn’t right. Then I got the idea to add it to the back of the shorts and I just LOVE the way it came out.

I chose red piping to incorporate the pop of red in the hearts of the whale print as well as the original tiny piped edge of the border throughout the garment. I think it adds a lot of fun vintage flare, especially in the shorts. And I love the contrast from the blue.

I get a lot of satisfaction wearing these around the house, especially with my me-made upcycled denim slippers! Theres something about having PJ’s that really makes you feel like you have your shit together.

Watch it live:


Pattern:    Lakeside Pajamas – Grainline Studio

Fabric: Vintage Pillowcases from stash

Notions: Red bias tape from stash

Difficulty: Easy

Adjustments: Adjusted shape of back split to incorporate border print.

Finishes: Serged side seams on top, bias finished edges, hems and short side seams.

Time: Sew it again? Yes! This is a super comfy set. Will definitely size up in the shorts next time.

Using refashioned pillowcases that were ALSO from my stash… PLUS using almost every bit of the fabric AND bias tape from my stash?! That’s a super win for

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Amy Nicole Studio
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