Me Made Loungewear
Posted on Friday the 18th October 2019 by Sew Sarah Smith
It’s great to back to the Minerva Blogger Network! I took some time out from sewing over the summer to take a long hard look at my wardrobe over the summer, spending time planning sewing projects to cover what my closet seriously lacked. I threw away and gifted a lot of stuff; things that we’re starting to look tired or just didn’t feel ‘me’ anymore and, I’ll be honest, at the end of that exercise my closet was starting to look rather sparse.
I decided to start with the basics – this for me means loungewear / sleepwear since I spend an inordinate amount of time in both! I wanted pyjamas then, something to sleep in that I could also lounge around in. I’ve seen many a Hudson Pants / Linden Sweatshirt combo popping up in my Instagram feed and since both patterns were in my stash, I decided now was the time! Happily, not only do these patterns pair to make perfect PJ’s but you could also sew them in technical fabric to make a tracksuit or, indeed, as everyday separates – they really are workhorse patterns.
Purging my wardrobe and creating a spreadsheet to plan my future sewing projects meant that I had the time to really consider the fabrics for my makes. I wanted the fabric for these to be cotton and to wash and wear really well; these are going to get a lot of wear after all!
I decided on this jersey which features, very appropriately, the constellation of the night sky in a beautiful midnight blue. The fabric is very soft and stretches approximately 35%. The Hudsons require approximately 40% but I was confident (having made a test version in deep stash fabric) that this would be fine. The fabric is printed and the wrong side is white – meaning that the fabric will ‘white-out’ if stretched beyond its limits. Keep within them though and it's perfect. True to my intentions, these have been washed and worn a few times now and, happily, it still looks really good!
I paired it with some plain grey marl fabric. You could, of course, use ribbing but I knew this fabric had plenty of stretch and I didn’t want to use separate ribbing for neck and cuffs, as I wanted perfectly matching arms too. It’s incredibly soft. Both would be great for babywear and I do feel like an oversized kid in mine which is just what I wanted!
Both the Hudson Pants and the Linden Sweatshirt are also very easy to sew; both being beginner-friendly. If you’re looking for an introduction to sewing with knits that will also produce a garment combo you’ll get a load of wear out of, you really can’t go wrong with this pairing!
I’ve made the Linden twice before and was well aware of its massively oversized drafting but the Hudson pants were a new make for me. Both sewed up in next to no time. With the Linden, I’d strongly advise looking at the finished measurements of the pattern to determine which size to sew. I went down two sizes to produce a still slightly oversized pyjama top. (If I was to sew this in a ‘leaving the house’ fabric, I would consider sizing down yet again).
I again dismissed the sizing of the neckband offered with the Linden pattern and drafted my own (you can read more about how to do that here) but essentially it is important to consider the length of your neckline against the stretch value of your fabric to determine the correct length of your neckband. This is easy to do and it feels quite liberating to know that you’ll end up with a perfect fitting neckband.
As for the Hudson Pants, I chose my size according to my hip measurement (since the waist is elasticated) and measured the calf to make sure that my fabric wouldn’t be overstretched there (my calves are on the ‘athletic’ side!). The 2” wide elastic required for the waistband makes it very comfortable to wear. You are instructed in the pattern to topstitch the elastic down within the waistband casing itself. However, I chose not to do this, primarily because my weight fluctuates a fair bit and I wanted the option to adjust the waistband later if needed. The elastic I used does not roll easily so I knew it wouldn’t pose a problem.
You can use cording / tape for the drawstring, however, I wanted mine to match the pyjamas perfectly so I made my own using a leftover strip of the main fabric – interfacing it lightly through the middle so it wouldn’t stretch out.
The only other thing I did not specified in the pattern instructions was to add a strip of ‘stay tape’ to the pocket detail so the pocket wouldn’t stretch out through wear.
I overlocked all my seams although the pattern instructs you to simply press many of them open. The gusset is low hung enough for it not to be a problem to serge here so that’s what I did for neater insides. Not at all necessary if you haven’t got an overlocker as knit fabric doesn’t fray.
You are instructed to sew two waistband buttonholes to feed the drawstring through (interfacing the back of the knit fabric to stabilise it). This worked out fine but I would be tempted to use eyelets next time, for a more professional finish.
And there we have it - comfy PJs perfect for lounging around in on a lazy Sunday – or on any day of the week in my book! I’ve even got enough fabric left over to make my young daughter a matching pair; so she informs me anyway! I might just be selfish I sew myself a short-sleeved Linden to pair with the bottoms for warmer nights instead!
Until next time, thanks for reading and thank you to Minerva for gifting me the fab Constellation with which to make these!