When I was growing up, all those tough old ladies of Northern Minnesota wore tracksuits. Sometimes they were made of nylon, sometimes soft luscious velour; almost always in a shade of pink veering toward maroon. You know why? You can do anything in a tracksuit. Cook, clean, bend, walk fast in sneakers. All the things. Today I stand before you in my cozy, striped tracksuit prepared to revive the gloriousness that is a matching sweatshirt and pants.
Look at this ensemble! I’m so comfortable and warm and stripe-y right now! Those Minnesota mamas were really on to something incredible and I’m all about it right now.
In truth, this cozy striped tracksuit fits into a niche category of loungewear that I’m going to go ahead and call ‘house wear’ because this sweet set is for weekends and evenings when it’s no longer tolerable to wear anything that buttons at the waist. It’s a let it all hang out and look snazzy doing it. Added bonus: the wrap top style creates a little pocket and my cat enjoys sitting there. Did I know I was creating that level of magic? No, I did not. It seems, somehow, very appropriate though. Because of course!!
Let’s dig into the nitty gritty here.
+ The incredible lilac-grey sweatshirt material is from Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics and is an Eco-Hemp Fleece (hemp-bamboo and organic cotton combination). The photo on their website definitely made it look more lilac but the color is a really subtle lilac that has more grey. I love it. It is super soft.
+ The stripes are a 2″ wide elastic from Mood Fabrics. I bought 4 yards of it and used everything but 2″. As you can see up above, I did not hold back. Why not have double stripes at the waist! The options for striped elastic are dazzling. I love this option as well. I had a hard time deciding but I’m very glad I went with this pink/green/navy/brown combination. It’s just so ‘tennis preppy from the 70s”.
+ The Sweatpants are a pattern hack on Wendy Ward’s Monsal Lounge Pants from her book Sewing with Knits. I love my star version made last year but feel like the ankle cuff over-emphasize my hips so I adapted the pattern to have a straight leg. A lesson I learned when I made my Lander Pants, by the way. Wide legs create a straight line from my hips down rather than a bubble of attention around my juicy hip-ness. I also stitched around the pockets to keep them from moving around. I added a ring of elastic as a waistband and cut the elastic in half (it’s so wide!) for pocket trim detail. Thankfully, the elastic is really sturdy so it didn’t unravel too much when I cut it in half. Once it was sewn in place, of course, it didn’t really matter if it unraveled.
+ The sweatshirt is really what we are all here for, though, isn’t it. Yup. It’s a cropped wrap sweatshirt!! This one is really a mash of pattern with a big dose of “let’s see what happens if”. I started by cropping a Halifax Hoodie from Hey June Handmade for the arms and sweatshirt back. To create the front of the sweatshirt I used the Halifax and an upcoming pattern from Halfmoon Atelier. (I promise to add a link to it when it’s released. It’s going to be a classic, it’s a great pattern. I will also be posting my ‘real’ version soon.)
I really massacred the two patterns, though. The pattern from Halfmoon Atelier is an elegant and sexy wrap top with gathers above the breast. I used the front of the Halifax for general shape guidelines and then the line of the Halfmoon Atelier pattern to add the cross-over shape. It took a leap of faith. But, it worked! The arms and waist have an elastic cuff. I wasn’t sure how to add the elastic to the front cross-over but as soon as I saw that sewing it right-sides together with the very edge would give me a pop-up collar I went for it. So much fun!
There you have it. I’m not confident enough in my dance skills to contribute to the amazing #handmadehustle but I was dancing in my driveway for these photos. Because I’m a lady, a lady in a tracksuit. So, this will have to be my handmade hustle substitute (that make you happy Katie? I told you it would be cringe-worthy.)
I’ll just be over here reveling in my striped awesomeness through this cold snap. Maybe I will buy a tin of biscuits to complete my childhood trip down memory lane.
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