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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Fast asleep in mermaid pajamas

(A play on the title of this book, which I hear is very funny.)

If you shut your eyes and are a lucky one, you may see at times a shapeless pool of lovely pale colours suspended in the darkness; then if you squeeze your eyes tighter, the pool begins to take shape, and the colours become so vivid that with another squeeze they must go on fire. But just before they go on fire you see the lagoon. This is the nearest you ever get to it on the mainland, just one heavenly moment; if there could be two moments you might see the surf and hear the mermaids singing.

–from Peter Pan

(I know I said I didn’t like it, but there were a few passages I did take pleasure in, and this was one of them.)

I also have a thing for mermaids. It’s my favorite Flight of the Conchords song; the fanged mermaids in Petty Magic were inspired by two creepy wooden sculptures I found in a curio cabinet in Ecuador; and when I saw this fabric from Heather Ross, I had to have it.


(Unfortunately, it’s now out of print. You can probably find it on Etsy or eBay, but of course the prices have gotten rather cheeky.) I decided on pajama bottoms (using McCall’s 5248), because the idea of mermaid pajamas amuses me greatly. See?


(NERD ALERT:) I used french seams for the first time, which was very exciting. That’s when you sew the seams on the right side (i.e., wrong sides facing), then turn it inside out and encase the first seam in the second seam. No fraying! What a revelation!


The thing about using a big print is that you’re never (you meaning me, who to date has only basic sewing experience) going to be able to match up the pieces, so I didn’t even try. (Actually, I figured I had two options: 1, try to match up the pieces and drive myself batty, or 2, just get on with it and enjoy my new anti-perfectionist PJ bottoms ASAP. The other thing I realized, belatedly, is that you can make pajama pants out of only two pieces, like so. Oh well, I’ll just have to try it that way next time.)


I wore these for the first time last night and, probably not coincidentally, had some lovely lovely dreams, none of which I can recall, although I’m pretty sure I composed the best novel I’ll ever write, which was lost, of course, as soon as I woke up.

(Nope, I’m not going to edit that.)

And a couple more mermaidy goodies: Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon (pre-order!), and her interview (just posted today) with Alice Hoffman, which includes advice to aspiring mermaids.  HAH!  Love it.

3 Comments to Fast asleep in mermaid pajamas

  1. January 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Fast Asleep in Frog Pajamas *is* a very funny book; you should check it out.
    Awesome jammies, awesome photos!

  2. cal's Gravatar cal
    January 27, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    YAY for French seams and mermaids!

  3. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    January 27, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t realize you liked Flight of the Conchords!
    P.S. I love that picture of you sitting on the bed in your new PJs!

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.