Our Favourite Indie Loungewear ‘Tops and Bottoms’ sewing patterns : #sewtogetherloungewear

Did you see the #sewtogetherloungewear Challenge post? It contains all the details of this pared back mini-sewing challenge replacing this years’ #sewtogtherforsummer whilst we say home, stay safe and, hopefully, find time to sew. If you’re looking to sew yourself comfy, here’s our loungewear sewing pattern picks – tops and bottoms – just waiting for you to make them your own! Where possible, we’re showcasing the patterns as made by our fellow makers to help give you a feel for how they work in the ‘wild’ 😉

You could also check out the #sewtogetherloungewear hashtag page to see what everyone else has been making!

NB if you’re reading this on your ‘phone, you will get a better viewing experience if you hold it sideways/horizontally!

Here’s our picks, starting with …

Continue reading “Our Favourite Indie Loungewear ‘Tops and Bottoms’ sewing patterns : #sewtogetherloungewear”

Two pairs of Morgan Jeans … and a chat about Raw Denim

Hi! I’ve finally got around to writing this post having been bed-ridden for 9 days straight with the worst flu I’ve ever had – I say flu, but I really don’t know – it was the weirdest case of flu ever! But thankfully I’m back to normal now (‘normal’ being a relative term, obvs!)

Sarah Smith v Raw Denim, Round 1

[*EDIT : this post has been amended retrospectively to take into account, lessons learned since initially writing it!]

I’ve sewn a few pairs of skinny jeans in my time (using the Eleanore stretch pants pattern by Jalie – see here) but I really felt my wardrobe was lacking a relaxed pair; my last RTW ones having finally fallen apart! The Morgan ‘boyfriend’ jeans have a traditional coin pocket and button fly and are suited to a roll-up hem – in other words, exactly what I was looking for. PDF duly purchased!

Have you sewn jeans before? If not, are you intimidated by the idea? I’ve got to say from the off, in terms of actual sewing, making jeans is not difficult. And I found the Morgan instructions to be absolutely faultless; which of course helps – in fact, I find sewing jeans a methodical and therefore joyfully therapeutic process. All that lovely topstitching for example!

I will say, having the right notions and tools for the job really makes a difference though; I found my Hump Jumper / Bulky Seam Aid absolutely came into its own with this project, ensuring that my sewing machine foot navigated bulky seams with ease and ensuring that my topstitching didn’t ‘skip’. A seam guide (the 1/4″ mark is particularly useful) and a fabric marker (I used my Clover Chalk Pen) are also incredibly useful for marking your double topstitching lines so you can sew them equidistant.  You will also need good quality jean topstitching thread (choosing your colour is fun in itself!) I used these rivets and these ‘laurel wreath’ jeans buttons. (If you’re unsure how they’re installed; I use the same method as in my Snap tutorial – no hammer required!)

To my mind, the hardest part of sewing jeans is not the construction; it’s not even, technically speaking, the fitting of the jeans – it’s accounting for the particularity of your chosen raw denim. Raw denim, being 100% cotton, tends to relax substantially throughout the day  – so what fitted perfectly in the morning may be a baggy mess by the evening. Conversely, a pair that has marginal breathing room over breakfast fit beautifully come dinner  – or so I’ve found! Which can make ‘seeing’ what fit adjustments you need to make that bit trickier!

Using fabric scraps leftover from my Panda Pajamas for the pockets and waistband

The weight of your denim is really important then. I would say for this particularly pattern, you don’t want to use anything less than 10 oz. Mine for both pairs – was 9.5 oz – I didn’t think that half ounce would make a real difference but it does feel too lightweight for the cut of these pants  – if I sew this pattern again, and I’m sure I will with further mods, I think I’d be looking for something substantially firmer – between 10 – 11 oz, as these are likely to have less ‘give’.

Let me talk you through my experience – I’ve sewn the Morgans twice now with different adjustments – and I’ve washed and worn both pairs loads

Continue reading “Two pairs of Morgan Jeans … and a chat about Raw Denim”

Sewing Myself Comfy – the Linden Sweatshirt / Hudson Pants loungewear combo!

Hi sewing friends!

Long-term readers may well have noticed that I took something of a break from sewing / blogging over the summer (welcome to all of you that continued to sign up over summer, thank you!) There was no onerous reason for taking a break, other than I wanted to dedicate my summer wholly to my family. And it was glorious! I also learnt how to knit socks and finally found the time to write a book of family recipes for the kids. That said, whilst I wasn’t actively sewing, I was planning upcoming makes like crazy…creating a spreadsheet and a Look Book and stocking up on fabric and supplies. It also gave me a good opportunity to really consider how I want to take this blog forward since it’s grown beyond anything I imagined at the start. (I’ll talk about that more in a minute!)

So, once the kids went back to school, my sewing space got a dust off and sewing began again in earnest!  I’ve been pattern testing this last week but thought I’d come back to the blog with my first makes.

Coffee, I need coffee!

As always, my new season sewing has begun with the basics; this for me means loungewear / sleepwear. If I don’t have to leave the house, I don’t get dressed; it’s that simple! What I wanted then was sleepwear I’d be happy to lounge around the house in (and by ‘lounge around the house’ what I really mean is running after the kids and doing seemingly never ending housework!) And I don’t know about you, but I always find after taking a sewing break that I want to come back to something that I know wont be too taxing to sew but will produce something I’ll get lots of wear out of. PJs is always the answer!

I decided on the Linden Sweatshirt / Hudson Pants combo which I’ve seen so many great versions of on my Instagram feed. I’ve sewn the Linden a few times (see here) but the Hudsons, though long in my stash, were a ‘new-to-me’ pattern.

I do like to match my coffee mug to my outfits!

I first sewed them up in some deep-stash purple fabric; so deep did I pull out this fabric that I have no idea where it came from! The grey was from a trip to Joanns a few years ago, I think. If I can’t remember parting with cash then, to my mind, these count as a ‘free’ make!  They come together in no time; I was wearing them on the second day. Both patterns are very simple to sew. Whilst, so far, I’ve made mine as sleepwear, they could easily be made as a ‘tracksuit’ in technical fabric or indeed as everyday separates.  I certainly see more Hudson pants for-leaving-the-house-in (shudder!) factoring their way into my future sewing plans.

Calculating Neckband Length

As I say, I’ve made the Linden before and was aware to go down a couple of sizes. As for the neckband length, I posted to my Instagram feed the method I use to ensure that the neckband is the right size. This is something I draft separately each time I make the Linden or, indeed, any knit top, to take into account the stretch percentage of the fabrics I’m using to ensure a good fit. Rather than repeat myself, here’s that post if you missed it :

Wakey Wakey, rise and shine!

These then were a ‘test’ make, if you like (not so much to test to see if I liked the combo, but to test whether I could still sew after the break, haha!) Whilst they’re fine, I wanted something better for my second, so I used this fab and very appropriate, constellation fabric in a midnight blue (gifted to me by Minerva). It’s a lovely soft fabric and ideal for this make but please note that it is printed onto a white base fabric. It comfortably stretches approximately 35% – if you stretch it beyond its comfortable limit it will ‘white-out’, which was not an issue here. I paired it with a comfy cotton grey marl fabric and used the 50mm/2” elastic for the waistband. I made my own drawstring in matching fabric. (There’s a full post over on the Minerva site here if you fancy a more detailed write up / look-see).

So yes, I can highly recommend both patterns (so long as you take into account the oversized drafting of the Linden). Being from independent designers both patterns are at the pricier end of the bracket (but I do love to champion independents!) However both, I feel, are workhorse patterns that you can get a lot of use from. They’re available in paper format (see here and here) and more economically in PDF format (see here and here).

Finally, coffee! (told you I like to match my mug to my PJs!) and … pull your pants up woman!

I’ve completed a few makes waiting their turn on this ‘ere blog – a pair of Morgan Jeans from Closet Case files (I’ve worn them so often an urgent second pair is underway as we speak!), a dodgy top and a finalised version of the pattern test I’ve been involved in which is pinned for release, hopefully, at the end of the month.

Until then, I hope you’re summer was also great and your needle is threaded too!

Disclaimer : I was gifted the navy fabric as part of my allowance as a Minerva Blogger but all other notions and supplies were purchased by me. All opinions expressed are my honest and considered opinion. Some of the links given are Affiliate links – if you choose to purchase via an Affiliate link, you will not be charged any extra however I may receive a small commission x).

If you like to get your sewing inspo via Facebook, I have a new page here – my Bloglovin’ account is here . You can also follow for more regular chat via my Instagram feed here. Sarah xx

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