This version of the Mara Lounge dress is one of my favorites! Perfect for new moms or anyone looking for a comfortable, easy-to-wear nightgown or house dress sewing pattern. Find the link to the pattern below; and good news: it’s free!
Hey guys! We’ve been busy over here snuggling with baby Dean (baby number 9) and really enjoying this beautiful newborn stage.
We’ve also been drowning in laundry, dirty dishes, toddler meltdowns and dust bunnies. Adjusting to life with a new baby is no joke and there’s no shame in living in a super cozy nightgown like the Mara Lounge Dress.
I’ve made multiple versions of this free pattern in the past several years and it is hands down one of the best things to have in your drawer during both pregnancy and the first few months after having a baby (and pretty much any other phase of life).
I had some scraps of this double brushed polyester fabric sitting in my stash (I’d made a cute circle dress for one of the twins out of it) and decided to order more! I’m a die hard fan of this DBP and knew that it’d be the perfect thing for sleeping and lounging in once Dean was born. Really, any comfy knit would work great as a fabric choice, as would flowy wovens like linen fabrics, cotton lawn or a rayon fabric (like rayon challis), as long as you don’t mind it not having as much (or any) stretch. You’ll just want to opt for wide fabric so that you can cut out this roomy dress all in one piece.
And if you decide you don’t want to sew one of these, check out the New Mama Gift box I curated just for the postpartum period. After many, many babies, I’ve learned exactly what each new mom needs to take amazing care of herself after birth and it even contains the perfect maternity/postpartum nightgown. Grab one here!
Features of a Perfect House Dress
If you ask me, the keys to making the perfect postpartum house dress are:
*comfy fabric in a loose fit (this one comes in one size, designed with a generous fit for an average woman)
*snap front for breastfeeding access
* longer length (so you don’t worry about flashing anyone as you ungraciously climb on and off the couch)
* short sleeves so you don’t overheat (especially if you have little ones all over you)
* generous front pockets. You might be surprised to know how often I use mine to stash a pacifier, phone or hair tie. Pockets for life!
There are really a variety of options for wearing this super simple and easy-to-sew pattern. While I wear mine while lounging during the postpartum phase, you could make one in a solid color and wear it out of the house as well. In fact, you could create a few street-worthy different looks by adding a belt, scarf, cute shoes or jacket!
This pattern lends itself to lots of customizations as well. You can choose different length options depending on your preference; I personally like a longer midi-length hem (as this pattern calls for) but cutting one closer to the knee would also be really cute and perfect for summer. Knit knee length dresses are one of my hot weather outfit staples. Experiment with different lengths to completely change the look of this dress!
Create other dress versions as well by lengthening the sleeves or leaving off the sleeve pattern piece so that you end up with a dolman cap sleeve. If you want a more streamlined silhouette, you might consider one of the following different tie options: add a spaghetti waist tie by creating a skinny tube of fabric out of the same dress fabric and tying it around the waist. Or you can create inseam ties by cutting your tie in half and sewing it into your side seams, just above the pockets. Either option will give a bit of waist definition, as would simply adding a storebought belt.
The Mara Lounge Dress is as simple a sewing pattern as they come; it contains just 4 basic pattern pieces, with an optional front button or snap placket for those nursing moms. Using a cutesy print like this star knit will lend itself to more of a nightgown vibe, or whip one up in a solid or trendier print for a more modern feel. And while this pattern is appropriate for an advanced beginner skill level, you can uplevel this project a bit with french seams for the sides or using a coverlock machine with knits.
It’s just a great pattern for a beginner house dress!
House dresses are one of the greatest things about staying home with kids or working from home; they give you the comfort of a nightgown with the versatility of a dress. The beauty of this dress is that it’s even easy enough to whip up for a friend. It makes a great gift for any new mom, or someone recovering from surgery.
And if you’re expecting a baby yourself, be sure to read this post about my favorite pajamas for living in during those postpartum months!