Sunday, February 25, 2018

Loungewear for me.

 Hi everyone! Ugh, how much do I hate posing for photos? AWKWARD, right? But I'm sucking it up for the sake of y'all and posterity.

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm trying to sew down my stash. And a lot of my stash was bought to sew things for myself, so sewing down my stash is going to require me to do quite a lot of selfish sewing! The timing for this is good, since Me Made May is coming up and I have had to donate or throw out some very worn out me-mades. It's good to think I've been sewing for myself long enough that some items no longer fit my style, fit well, or have been worn to shreads! It's hard to let my sewn items go, but I'm telling myself it's a good thing overall!

One giant gap in my wardrobe was comfortable pajamas/loungewear/workout wear. And one giant pile in my stash is flannel and random knits. So I whipped up a sweatshirt and a pajama pants, both from Butterick patterns.

Let's start with the sweatshirt, I picked up Butterick BP305 on discount the last time I went to JoAnn's. I liked the interesting cut of the sweatshirt/sweater dress, and the pants looked intriguing as well.
I don't know why this says B6388 on the corner? Mine says BP305.

For my first take on this pattern, I used some second-hand cream french terry I picked up very cheap at the Depot and have tons of. It's nice and stable, with a good amount of stretch, but doesn't hang super well - I consider this a wearable muslin. Although I love that dress, I wanted house/weekend/exercise wear so I went with the sweatshirt.

The cut of this sweatshirt is very fun, with a cute triangular side panel, very dropped shoulders, a shawl collar, and a cute u-shaped inset in the back.

Based on my measurements and the finished measurements, I went with a size medium, but there is plenty of ease. If I make this again in a nondrapey fabric, I might size down to size small.

I read about this pattern on Pattern Review and based on some reviews that noted that the collar can be too soft without interfacing, I added some lightweight knit interfacing to the collar pieces. The result was a collar that is a smidge too stiff for my tastes! It stands up a bit more than I think it's supposed to. Next time I will interface only half the piece, up to the fold line, at most. Interfacing can probably be skipped entirely for more stable knits.

Whether it's the color, the size, or the shape, I'm not sure this is the most flattering garment on a top-heavy figure like mine, but it's super cozy and nice to wear. I am hopeful that it would be a little more flattering in a drapier knit. In the meantime, it's perfect for tooling around in the garden or walking around Lake Merritt. I would absolutely try this pattern again, and in fact I have my eye out for the perfect fabric (but I haven't bought any yet - yay me!).

Next up, flannel pajama pants! These are the Lisette B6296 pajamas, which I've been meaning to make since the pattern came out. I generally sleep in t-shirts and pj pants, so I wasn't particularly interested in making a whole ensemble and stuck with the pants. 

If I recall correctly, I made a size 10, grading out to a 12 at the waist. I needn't have graded, however. These have PLENTY of ease. I am debating whether I would go down a size if I made them again or at least slim out the legs, which are quite wide in my opinion.

The pants have a cute little back yoke for shape, a separate waistband, and really generous pockets. They reach to mid-thigh! The extraordinary depth might be because of another issue, though. This pattern is insanely long. The finished side length (as disclosed on the pattern) is 42 inches. I am 5'4" and have a normal length torso but shorter legs. I used the lengthen/shorten line to shorten the pants about six inches! Don't forget about the cuffs as you're factoring in your length, btw. 

This flannel is a really nice quilter's flannel that I picked up years ago and have forgotten the provenance of. I want to say it's similar to a Denise Schmidt print? But I couldn't find it online. It's nice and heavy and easy to work with, and it  has held up well to repeated washes.

I added some dark green piping to the pockets and the cuffs just to add a little bit of definition and because I love me some piping! With the piping on the cuffs, I had to change up the sewing instructions a little bit. The instructions have you sew the cuff to the bottom of the pants and finish the seam allowances, so there's a raw seam inside. I sewed the piping side on first and then folded down the seam allowance on the inside and stitched in the ditch, for a cleaner finish.

All in all, these may not be the most exciting things I've ever sewn, but they have seen a lot of wear, especially as my Victorian house gets quite chilly in the winter and we have to layer up! And although I don't sew all that often with Big 4 patterns, these were both easy and fun sews with interesting design lines - a good reminder that Big 4 patterns are a tremendous resource for the intermediate sewist. But, I do need to remember to size down, because they are notoriously big (on ease). 

Do you sew your own lounge wear? What patterns do you recommend/what are your TNTs?

I am still catching up so I have lots more projects coming to the blog soon!


  1. They are both very well-made pieces of loungewear. I like the seam detail on the back. Flattery isn't so important for loungewear, I think (my husband probably thinks differently, ha ha), but I think if the neckline were lower, you might feel differently about it. I'm forever lowering necklines for my bust!

    I made pj pants recently and they are nowhere near as cute as these. I love the details of the back yoke and piped pockets, and that pretty green fabric.

    1. I really liked the shape on the back and at least in this stable knit, it was pretty easy to execute on the serger and coverstitch!

      Dang, you are totally right about the neckline. I am now imagining this in a drapier knit with a scoop neckline instead of the higher neckline ... That could be very batwing and lovely with that side panel ... it's just a little sad because that neckline was one of the things that drew me to the pattern in the first place!

  2. Really nice loungewear! Congrats on sewing for yourself: that's a thing I really never do anymore. Is there a name for that type of lapped collar? I thought I remembered my mother calling it a "Cambridge neckline," but Google did not support that theory, so apparently it was a false neckline-naming memory. Anyway, I really like it.

    1. I hear you, Medrle! My problem is that I buy a lot of fabric and patterns to sew things for myself, but the obstacle of fitting often means I end up sewing more for my kids. Result: ridiculous exploding stash! Loungewear is a great thing to sew for yourself, though, because if you are like me, you will get a ton of wear out of it, and you won't care so much if every piece is fitted to a tee and super flattering.

      I was calling it a shawl collar? I dunno!!! Cambridge neckline sounds SO POSH!

  3. Very nice 'evening clothes'. You got such a nice shoulder fit on that jumper.

    1. Hudson pants and Plantain tee are my go to comfy clothes

    2. Thank you Nicole! I think in a more drapey sweater-knit or similar fabric, the shoulder on this top would look really nice. I plan to try it! I do think I chose the right size, it's just that the fabric is a tad stiff. It's very practical though.

      I made one pair of Hudson pants and I have worn them to freaking shreds. I was thinking I wanted to try that pattern again. Plantain tee is a long time fave as well. You make yourself such stylish but practical clothing - I aspire to be more like Nicole!

  4. I really like the top! To my eye, the one thing that might be less than flattering is the shoulder placement. Personally, I think dropped shoulders aren't terribly flattering on most people (but they're fun, and it's fine for things to be more fun than flattering). The pants are darling. I love that print.

    1. I hear what you're saying, Evelyn, especially in combination with my large bust and high neckline, the dropped shoulder creates a pretty bulky effect on top. It's a design that probably suits me better with a lower neckline. But like you said, sometimes it's fun to do something different and who cares. It was the dropped shoulder and fun inset in the back that drew me to this pattern. I am still hopeful that in a drapier material, it might be a tad more flattering, but in the end, this pattern is destined to be casual wear (it's def'ly too casual for my job) so maybe I don't care! Thanks, I really love the printed flannel as well. I wish I remembered what it was/where I got it! But that's sewing through the stash for you! Theory: If I can't remember where I got it or how much I paid for it, it's essentially free, right? LOL.

  5. These are both so cute! I rarely ever sew Big 4 patterns, mostly because I just don’t really know what size to make because of the excess ease issue. I should really jump in and try to figure it out because there are a lot of really cute patterns available! I love the lines on that sweatshirt/dress. I think it looks really good on you! The pajama pants are so fun— I love the green fabric! The back yoke is a great detail.


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