Lounge Set in Brushstrokes

My new lounge set came together last week. I feel like a Hundertwasser painting.

Or perhaps a tropical soldier?

But this head to toe print is only going inside the house! I wanted to photograph these a week ago but the weather has been downright gloomy and dark for days. (I’m not complaining, though! We’ve needed the rain terribly.)

I went ahead with my idea to design one based on a New Look pattern, giving me an excuse to further tweak my t-shirt pattern beyond recognition. This version at Behind the Seams first drew my attention to the New Look pattern, probably because the fabric was in a similarly swishy print. I liked how she used bands for the sleeves and an exposed facing for the neckline rather than bindings so I did the same.

I also copied the idea to make a flat hip band rather than New Look’s ruched/gathered look. It would be very easy to change to a ruched band if I were to make this again. I originally cut the band to be two inches narrower than my total hip measurement. That was a wild guess–I know nothing about negative ease guidelines–so I basted it together for a test and then took out another three inches.

The original pattern is pretty cheap but I like a challenge now and then, and this was pretty easy to draft. I’ve been playing a lot with Burda Style’s Lydia pattern over the last year and a half, and at one point came up with a dolman-sleeved top that I love and wear quite a bit. You can see here how I used the dolman top as the basis for the PJ top:

I also have a skin-tight bodice block I drafted in Illustrator way back when, but never got around to using. I finally figured out that I could simply use it as a ruler of sorts–to see where my waist, bust and other important lines are and get an idea of the ease in a pattern. (I have a paper version too.)

I really love how this turned out, and in a next (and there will be a next!) version I’ll refine the sleeve shaping. As it is, the underarm curve is just a bit too sharp and the sleeves a little narrower than I’d planned.

The pants were a very simple drawstring-waist pattern from Burda November 2009 (#131). Although they recommended silky wovens, I decided to risk it as a jersey pattern–good enough for bedtime!

The drawstrings are attached to elastic, a detail I’ve seen in other patterns (like my watercolor dress), which I love. It allows the comfort of elastic to hold things up, with the ability to tighten or loosen with the drawstrings.

Most of all I just love how this fabric feels. It’s a lovely cotton lycra that I bought specifically for PJs and has a nice weight with the bonus of a soft flannel-like texture on the wrong side. Perfect for staying cozy!

(Oh yeah, I hemmed these to my perfect inseam, but underestimated the jersey’s desire to lengthen. This seems to happen to me on every knit garment. Must plan on this more.)

Sweet dreams, all!

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