I picked out this beautiful, cream lurex sweater knit with ideas of an oversized comfy cardigan that I could wear at home throughout my 12-week maternity leave. I couldn’t decide between my go-to cardigan pattern, the Helen’s Closet Blackwood Cardigan, or trying out a new pattern in the form of the True Bias Marlo. So naturally, as I decided between those two… I settled on a two piece lounge set that has nothing to do with cardigans! Classic.
My overarching idea of how I wanted to use this fabric ultimately did not change – I wanted something cozy and comfortable to wear during maternity leave, during which I plan to spend a good deal of time nursing and snuggling the baby while sitting around the house. I know myself well, and I know that at some point during this time I will likely reach a point where I feel a little slobby, not very cute, and begin to approach a “why even bother” attitude towards doing anything that feels like putting myself together. I’m hoping to combat all of that with a few outfits that are simultaneously comfortable and functional for my most frequent activities (sitting, watching tv, and nursing baby) as well as cute and put-together, or at least more so than a t-shirt and old baggy sweatpants.
I reached out to the awesome hive mind of the Instagram Sewing Community for ideas for this fabric – once I knew that I wanted a lounge set, I had no idea what patterns I wanted to use! I’d had my eye on the Patterns for Pirates Cozy Pants since their release last year, but convinced myself that the Mila Beach Pants pattern was similar enough and that I didn’t need to purchase yet another pattern… However, the more I looked at inspiration photos, I felt like the two patterns were different enough to justify a copy of both! I reached out to a couple sewing friends who had sewn both, or at least the Cozy Pants, and I was convinced.
Here, I’ve made the shorts version of the Cozy Pants pattern, using the high waist and drawstring options. They are so cute, and will most definitely be the first of many pairs made with this pattern. I’ve recently purchased some I See Fabric french terry for a lounge set using the full length pants version of this pattern for when the weather begins to cool! I did go ahead and size up from my “normal” size in these shorts – partially to accommodate the fact that this fabric doesn’t have a TON of stretch, partly in anticipation of wanting comfy, looser things that will feel good on my postpartum figure! (PS – I wrote this post while still pregnant, but now that I am postpartum, I will confirm that sizing up was a good choice!)
For the top, I was at a loss – did I want a boxy tee style top, a sweatshirt, or a tank of some sort? I read over so many great suggestions, but nothing quite hit the spot of what I had in mind, until someone pointed out that their favorite item of clothing while nursing had been big, swingy tank top styles. I thought of the Helen’s Closet Luna Tank right away, a free pattern that I hadn’t yet taken advantage of, and downloaded it the next day. It was a great match! Knowing that I didn’t feel great about my post-baby belly last time around, I chose the longer length of the top for a little more coverage.
Now I get to tell you about a silly thing I did while sewing this set. First of all, let me compliment the Helen’s Closet Luna Tank. I LOVE to follow rules and do things by the book. No matter how many times I’ve sewn a pattern, I’ll pull out and follow the instructions because I enjoy that. I GPS myself to work everyday (I’ve worked in this same building for more than 6 years. I swear I can find it on my own, I just like to know my ETA and what kind of traffic I’m up against). That being said, for me to have at a pattern – especially the first time – without looking at the instructions is just wild. But that is exactly what I did here! I couldn’t pull up the instructions on my phone in the moment, and I was too in the zone to go downstairs and pull them up on my computer, so I decided I would just wing it. Shockingly, I don’t believe I made any mistakes, and I am super happy with my cute little top. It came together so quickly, too!
The shorts in and of themselves weren’t difficult, either! I was able to sew them up in one evening of sewing, saving only the hems and drawstring insertion for the next day. I love knits, because they always turn out to be fairly quick projects for me. Even as I work towards a focus on sustainable, slow fashion, the millennial in me still enjoys instant gratification from time to time, and this project totally did that for me. However, as I was cutting and marking my fabric, I realized that my go-to Frixion pen, which is “erased” with heat from the iron, just wasn’t agreeing well with this sweater knit fabric. I traded the gel pen out for my next favorite marking tool, a chalk pen from Madame Sew, and went to town marking the drawstring casing stitch lines along the waistband of the pants. It wasn’t until I completely finished the project that I realized that I now had blue lines that I couldn’t iron away all the way around the waist!!! I tried to spray the lines with water and rub them away, but had no luck. So of course, I panicked. Back to Instagram for advice!
I posted a picture in my stories and asked for some help – how could I remove these blue stripes from my white shorts!? I got a spectrum of ideas – rub with water, use a small plastic brush to dust away excess chalk, throw it in the washing machine with regular detergent, and if all else fails and it wants to be stubborn, add some oxiclean stain gel or spray and wash stain remover and wash again. All easy enough! My chalk had already proven too stubborn for the first water and rub suggestion, and my chalk pen hadn’t come with the suggested little brush, so I decided to just go for the big dogs and throw the shorts in the wash after spraying some spray and wash along the waistband. This did the trick for the most part (thank goodness!) and I’ve got a cute, wearable pair of shorts now. No random blue stripes to be seen!
I finished sewing this set in early August, and with my end of pregnancy baby bump, wasn’t able to try it on at the time so it sat and waited patiently in my sewing room for some postpartum wear! Actually… That’s a little bit of a lie. I could try on both pieces. As I mentioned before, I made the high-waisted option of these shorts, so they looked a little bit ridiculous SUPER low slung under my already dropped, low baby bump. Although I did sew the top in the longer length option, it didn’t quite cover the belly, so I had a big smile of lower belly bump skin visible out between the top and the shorts. I’ll leave you all to imagine that, if you please, but I will spare you the photo evidence!
I’m really happy with the outcome of this, and I certainly am getting PLENTY of wear out of it now that I’ve begun my maternity leave! It is perfect for lounging around the house, and just as I anticipated, I feel a little more “fancy” in this that I would in my old, ratty, easy to grab college sorority tees and dance convention sweatpants. They’ve all seen better days, and this outfit is fresh and light while equally cozy! I’d like to thank those Lurex threads woven throughout the fabric for making me feel a little more sparkly these days!
Thanks for reading my thoughts on this pattern! The fabric used in this post was provided to me by Minerva as a member of their Minerva Makers Team, in exchange for photos of my finished garments posted on their website. The Cozy Pants pattern was purchased by me, and the Luna Tank pattern is a FREE pattern available to Helen’s Closet Newsletter Subscribers. All words and opinions expressed throughout this post are my own, as always. Links provided throughout this post may be affiliate links – if you choose to purchase any products through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This simply helps me justify the costs of my sewing habit and the time it takes to share it with you!! Happy Sewing!
- XX Elizabeth