Stashbusting: Loungewear

Sorry for my lack of posts recently.  I had to take a little break from garment sewing to work on bedding, etc. for the nursery, and I don’t plan to post on that until it’s all done.  Which has been a bit delayed because we lost the stability bars for J’s old crib (i.e. the things that actually hold up the mattress).  Yeah, kinda hard to use it without those.  Luckily, I managed to locate them safely in the possession of a friend…long story.

Anyhoo, back to business!

I have previously alluded to the fact that I’m a bit of a fabric hoarder.  Actually, that’s quite possibly the understatement of the year.  I am a HUGE fabric hoarder!  My stash is completely out of control.  I have so much fabric that I actually have run out of room in my sewing room to store it, and I have an enviable about of fabric storage space in my sewing room.  With the full-time lawyer gig and two kids, I don’t always have as much sewing time as I would like.  When the creative urge hits me, but I have no time to sew, I tend to fabric shop.  :/

Something must be done.

Enter the postpartum sewing list.  It includes a decent amount of loungewear.  Since my maternity leave days will largely be spent feeding and caring for a newborn in the comfort (and privacy) of my own home, loungewear seems like a good thing to stock up on.  Another plus — it’s great for stashbusting!

loungewear Collage

In the interest of full disclosure, loungewear for busting my abundant stash never occurred to me until I saw Kelly’s post a couple of months ago over on Cut Cut Sew with her prolific contribution to the 2013 Pyjama Party!  Then Caroline of Sew Caroline announced her personal commitment to Slash the Stash.  I had been working on loungewear anyway, and realized that it was a perfect solution for all the accumulated fabric gathering dust in my sewing room.

Those 3 yards of pink dot Robert Kauffman quilting cotton that now has me wondering why I ever thought I needed so much?  Perfect for a pair of Tofino lounge pants.

Creative Counselor: Pink Tofinos

Pattern: Tofino Pants by Sewaholic Patterns; Fabric: Robert Kauffman quilting cotton

The mint polka-dot bedsheets that I just couldn’t throw out because they’re so soft, and hello!? Mint? Polka dots?  Another pair of Tofinos.

Creative Counselor: Mint Tofinos

Pattern: Tofino Pants by Sewaholic Patterns; Fabric: Old bedsheets, I think from Bed Bath & Beyond.

The 1 yard of 60-inch Rashida Coleman-Hale linen that I picked up on uber-clearance at  Turns out that’s more than enough for a Eucalypt dress, nursing-friendly placket included!

Creative Counselor: Linen Eucalypt Dress

Pattern: Eucalypt Dress by Megan Nielsen; Fabric: Linen by Rashida Coleman-Hale

That’s the beauty of loungewear.  Pajama pants, for example, are a great way to use up a lot of fabric like quilting cotton that might have limited other uses for someone who primarily sews apparel.  But a loungy tank or dress is perfect for those smaller 1-1.5 yard pieces lying around.  And since I plan to wear these primarily in the privacy of my home, I don’t have to be in love with the fabric, so long as it’s comfortable!

I made a decent number of modifications to these patterns to make them work for my particular situation.  Obviously I need all tops and dresses to be nursing-friendly, which meant adding a button or snap placket to the Eucalypt pattern.  A full button/snap placket is easy peasy (and can even be accomplished by refashioning a men’s shirt).  For a partial placket, like on my Eucalypt dress, I used the henley placket tutorial from Melly Sews.  It’s such an easy mod to make!

Creative Counselor: Eucalypt partial snap placket

Partial placket on the Eucalypt, plus flat-felled seams. Easy mod that makes it nursing-friendly!

And while I love the Tofino Pants pattern, in my opinion it is lacking one essential detail: Pockets.  When I’m at home, I don’t want to have to go searching for chap stick or a spare nursing pad should I need one, so pockets are a must.  I also wanted to make sure that the pants were easy to alter since I fully plan to lose my baby weight.  That means I needed side seams on the pants to take in as I (hopefully) shrink.  I accomplished both by eliminating the side panel on the pants and modifying the front and back pieces to include side seams.  This allowed me to modify the front pieces to include pockets using the pocket pieces from the Kelly Skirt, which was really easy to do.  I love easily-adapted patterns!

Creative Counselor: Tofino pants details

These pants turned out great — I love having pockets!

Creative Counselor: Tofino pants details

Pocket details

And since my belly just keeps growing to enormous proportions, I’m afraid I can’t post any photos of me modeling these garments just now.  These finished-garment pics will have to do for the moment, and I promise to post some pictures of my loungewear in action in a few weeks, cute baby (and tired eyes) included.  I will do my best to take a shower and put on some makeup first, but no promises there. 🙂

**These are my first Tofino Pants and Eucalypt Dresses, so I will do full pattern reviews on them.  Just not here.  That would be a really long post!


15 thoughts on “Stashbusting: Loungewear

    1. Katie Post author

      It’s always been a huge hole in mine too. I’ve always lounged in ratty old yoga pants and tanks! I’m still hoping to make a couple more pieces if I have the time.

  1. Kelly

    These all look so great!! I love the pockets, they look so professional and I wish I would have thought to add pockets to my PJ pants. I need to make some loungy tops…I have all these nice pants but I am still wearing my ratty old tank tops with them, ha. I can’t believe you only have a few weeks left, that is so exciting!!

    1. Katie Post author

      Thanks! I adore pockets and pretty much add them to everything now 🙂 I desperately need tanks too! I got the Maria Denmark *Just* a Tank pattern a couple of weeks ago and I’m still hoping to whip up a few before baby arrives — with a nursing mod of course 🙂

    1. Katie Post author

      Thank you! I am due on Sept. 12, so 4 weeks from now. But based on my last doctor appointment, my fingers are crossed for an earlier delivery 🙂

    1. Katie Post author

      Thanks! I always liked these fabrics too, but find anymore that quilting cotton rarely works for the patterns I want to make. This was the perfect solution! Pajama pants aren’t exactly exciting, but they are useful, and I will probably make a few more pairs since I actually have several more 3-yard cuts of quilting cotton!

  2. Ellen

    I was wondering how the Tofino pants fit pre-delivery? I want to make a pair for my son’s teacher, but am unsure how they would fit on/around a pregnant belly. Would you recommend sizing up around the middle?

    1. Katie Post author

      I don’t think sizing up around the middle would be necessary. For pre-delivery, I would choose the size based on hip measurement and make the size that corresponds with that measurement. The waist is actually quite big (about the same size as the hips) and is cinched in with elastic and the ties. For pre-delivery, the waist would have to sit under the belly, and that measurement shouldn’t be too much off from the hip measurement. They’d be pretty comfortable that way, actually, and then they’d have plenty of wear post-delivery too. If you wanted them to sit on or above the belly, you would need to include a maternity panel (tutorials can be found here: and here: and here: But I don’t think it’s really necessary and would definitely limit their wearability after baby is born.

      Making them in a knit fabric would also help them serve that dual purpose of both pre- and post-delivery. They would be uber comfy, and the extra stretch from the knit would allow them to fit easily around a growing belly, but still have lots of usefulness after. Hmmm, I think I might make myself a pair or two from my prodigious knit stash!

      That’s so sweet that you plan to make some for your son’s teacher — I’m sure she’ll love them!

  3. Tanya

    Love the idea of the placket on the Eucalypt tank to make it nursing-friendly. How long did you make the placket? Did it work as well as you envisioned? (I’m due with baby #2 in a couple of weeks, so I’m trying to plan my post-partum wardrobe. 🙂 thanks!

    1. Katie Post author

      Congratulations on #2! It is quite an adventure 🙂

      I think I made the placket 8″ finished. The placket worked just fine, but I found that I didn’t wear my Eucalypt that much because the fabric was too stiff. I felt like I was wearing a sack. It’s good if I’m staying at home and don’t mind feeling sloppy, but if I had to go back, I’d use a fabric with more drape like rayon or voile rather than this linen.

  4. Louise Richardson

    They look really lovely, the tofino pants. Ive just slaved away making a pair, and i really wish it had pockets, but i love the side panels too much to get rid of them! It looks like youve also stitching along the top of the waistband too, where it folds, is that right? its looks really professional its gotta be said!


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