Loungewear for All Occasions — Vogue 2019

Loungewear for All Occasions — Vogue 2019 - Marcy Tilton Fabrics
When the Vogue design director suggested the theme ‘Loungewear’ for a pattern design, it stopped me for just a moment until I began to see all the potential for this on-trend category - a theme that can go from sleepwear to everyday casual to refined evening wear - all depending on the fabrics and the intention and attitude of the maker. The simple lines are designed to flatter a wide range of sizes, shapes and ages, and the sewing is easy.

The split neck tunic top is lightly fitted with a soft curve at the neckline that frames the face, and features a center front seam, stitched down facing, side slits, and bust darts to make refining the fit easier. The top easily lends itself to either length and, could be lengthened to mid-calf or full length (in that case I’d add more fullness at the side seams). The style of the top lends itself to color blocking, surface design, or embroidery - or, all of the above!

The pant has a pared-down straight leg and stitched down side seam pockets. I taper the leg a bit by making a tuck to the inside along the side seam hem, stitching the tuck after the hem is sewn in place.

SUGGESTED FABRICS: cotton, quilting cotton, silk/poly charmeuse, silk/poly/viscose crepe du chine, silk broadcloth, rayon crepe, draped rayon challis, cotton flannel, cotton and rayon/viscose knits.

SO many fabrics will work with this pattern that I have created a special fabric collection which includes 400+ suggested fabrics

The Pattern Envelope

For the pattern envelope, on the short tunic/long pant version, I used a Liberty cotton - the perfect fabric for this design. The longer tunic and cropped pant use a Japanese-flavored print in a beefy drapey rayon crepe. Mixing and matching different fabrics will give a different flavor.

Marcy’s Version

It was blazing hot when I developed this design, so I used lightweight fabrics, a Liberty Tana Lawn for the top. I made 2 versions of the pant, one in a dotted viscose knit, the other in a soft black and white gingham cotton. Depending on my mood, I could use these pieces as pajamas or as everyday casual and can mix the pieces with other items in my wardrobe. The pant is ideal for fabrics with drape, from viscose rayon to 4 ply silk to silk velvet.

Sewing Tips

Elastic Waist

This technique results in a smoother and more professional elasticized waist than the standard elastic waist which is inserted into a casing. I learned it from my sister Katherine who used it in her clothing line. Yes, I was nervous about using the serger to sew the elastic, but it is easier than it looks. Once you try it and master this easy method, it will become your default for all elastic waist pants and skirts. The finished result is that the elastic is encased in the fabric in a smooth comfortable finish and the elastic is distributed evenly.

  • I used narrow ⅝” elastic here, but you could use a wider width. Measure a length that fits snugly but not tight around your waist plus 1" for lapped seam. Most elastics stretch a bit when stitched, so allow for that.
  • Lap 1" and stitch all around the edges in an X.
  • Mark the circle of elastic in quarters. I use chalk rather than pins. The quarter markings on the elastic will match with the center front, back and side seams on the garment.
  • Pin the elastic to the garment matching at the quarter markings ONLY, with elastic on top of the wrong side of the fabric.
  • The elastic will be sewn on top, and pins removed as you come to them.
Sewing the elastic on the serger.

  • Lengthen the stitch length.
  • Stitch with the elastic on top, stretching the elastic so it is sewn evenly.
  • Work one quarter at a time, one section at a time, keeping the edges even and being careful not to cut the elastic with the blade. It is OK to trim a bit of the fabric away with the blade.
  • Work all the way around the circle at the waist, going slowly---this takes a bit of practice, but is well worth the learning curve!
Pressing is key

  • First, press flat as sewn, steaming the gathers so they smooth out and loose some of the puffiness.
  • Wrap the elastic to the inside and press so it is firmly wrapped inside the fabric. If your fabric is a knit, you can slightly stretch it for a smooth fit---you want to eliminate as much fullness and excess fabric as possible, and every fabric is different.
  • You can pin to hold things in place. The pressing gets everything positioned for the final stitching.
  • Stitch from the inside of the garment as shown, using a wide zig-zag stitch, stretching as you sew, stitching around the waistline and encasing the elastic in the fabric. If your machine skips stitches, use a stretch needle. I mark the center back with a snippet of ribbon.
  • Back to the ironing board for a final press which will flatten and smooth out the gathers. I put the garment on a tailor ham and use a combo of steam and light pressing - it is amazing how much fullness you can smooth out this way!

Use short (1.75) stitches while sewing around the front neck curves. The short stitches makes it easier to sew a clean even curve. When trimming, trim a fat ⅛” from the stitching line. This makes it easy to press the curve into a smooth, round, even shape. I NEVER make those little pie shaped clips around a curve - it creates a distortion that is impossible to fix.

I’m just getting started with adding versions of this pattern to my wardrobe. Here are a few ideas:

  • Make the pants in black cotton/spandex or viscose/spandex jersey for travel - this kind of pant is my go-to for plane travel. The pant looks like a sophisticated black pant, but feels as comfortable as pj’s.
  • Make the tunic in linen - a favorite print, or ivory or white or pink or black??? More than one?
  • Make the tunic floor length as a caftan - the thing I would wear at home or on the road at the end of the day, or as a swimsuit cover up.
  • Make the tunic in a knit - great in basic black, wonderful in stripes, great in prints and a standout for combining different prints in the same garment.
  • Make a version of the tunic in a combination of different Liberty prints.
  • Make the tunic in cozy cotton flannel to freshen up my winter wardrobe.
BONUS: Vogue 2019 is designed to layer perfectly under V1989 Kimono!

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