In my newfound postnatal sewing bliss (seriously, it’s been a huge step forward in feeling like myself again), I’ve been sewing completely out of stash. I’ve made a streak of 11 garments (some underthings and selfless sewing, so not all blogged) from fabric I already had on hand — in some cases, for over a decade. Instead of going for an even dozen, I decided to lose my mind and binge on a ton of new fabric.
While there’s some gold in the stash, I didn’t have more than a couple of knit pieces, both of which are not really my style anymore. I am living in knits lately in order to keep up with Baby JuJu. (So much rolling and she is just about ready to crawl!) I could keep sewing wovens and make some great garments, but I want to make the types of pieces I reach for week after week — the types of things that feel comforting when I’m tired and stressed and don’t have energy to want to look good.
I didn’t end up spending a lot since I snagged some great deals, but it was definitely the biggest one-time fabric purchase I’ve ever made. Rather than having some detailed plan, I grabbed mostly fabrics that just caught my attention, which means I ended up with a big stack of prints. The goal is to just have fun sewing it all up, and to go ahead and really sew it all — no sitting on things waiting for the perfect pattern or inspiration. Just sew it up with no regrets, make some questionable choices, make some awesome choices, have fun, and don’t take any of it too seriously.
(Yeah, we’ll see it how goes. Will keep you posted.)
I ordered a couple of hacchi knits to make transitional pieces as we head into spring, and this print just caught my eye. I knew it might turn out to be not-so-great in person, but my what-the-hell buying spree dictated that I order some and find out. I ended up settling on Simplicity 8089, since I’ve been wanting to sew it up for over a year. I love the batwing sleeves and slouchy style! Look at me, being carefree with my fabric! (Picture me pretending to be carefree while actually biting my nails.)
Okay, enough preamble. Here’s the deal: this pattern is hella easy to stitch up. Like, super duper crazy easy. I mean, patterns labeled “easy to sew” should be, but that’s not always the case. There’s a front, a back, a neckband, and a cuff. And that’s it. The sleeves are cut on, so no setting them in, and also no waistband to achieve the look, just a few nicely drafted pattern pieces.
A few quick notes:
*The sleeve cuffs are narrow. I have chicken arms, and they’re tight on me. If you have any doubt, measure the pattern piece ahead of time — it’s an easy check, and totally worth it. I like my sleeves to fit closely and almost always have to narrow sleeves, so I actually loved that it was drafted that way out of the gate.
*The neckline is a bit of an in-between size. It’s not quite big enough to feel intentionally off-the-shoulder, but it’s big enough to expose your bra straps when you’re not paying attention. Not really an issue, just worth nothing.
*Uhh… I don’t actually have any more notes. It fits as expected, and the directions offered no curveballs. Win?
I ended up having a lot of fabric left over. I cleaned up my stash piles a few days earlier, and realized that a lot of my “stash” is just large leftover pieces. You know, big enough to make something but not big enough to make just any old thing. So, I’m on a no-scraps mission! I considered making a more spring-ish top, but settled on a matching pencil skirt.
This was also a Simplicity “Easy to Sew” pattern and — damn!! — they aren’t kidding! This skirt was so ridiculously easy. Again, it should be, but I’m always surprised when pattern companies don’t find ways to make things overly complicated. The front and back share the same pattern piece, so don’t expect any shaping, but that’s what the stretch is for.
I ended up added a lining and attaching the waistband differently than directed, so it could have been even simpler. (I opted to attach the waistband casing so that no seams would show on the inside, in contrast to the directions, which have you just stitch the waistband to the skirt right sides together and call it a day. Good job on keeping it simple, Simplicity, but I don’t want to see those seams!)
I really can’t recommend this skirt enough for beginners. It’s fun to make, the end product is super wearable, fit issues are easy to diagnose and fix, you can finish it quickly, and make it in a ton of different fabrics and lengths and no one would realize it’s the same skirt. No need to make crappy aprons and dodgy t-shirts — make yourself a sexy pencil skirt, and instantly get over any (wildly unnecessary) fear of knits.
So, the final outcome of this fabric is: a totally wearable, if slightly wacky, transitional top (I’ve already worn it twice in less than a week — so easy to throw on); a totally wearable and super comfy skirt (which I have yet to wear); and a secret dress!
I’m not sure if I’ll end up wearing these two together often (or at all), but I like having the option. It’s a good casual weekend lunch look, and again, super comfortable. I also managed to squeeze my first pair of baby leggings out of this cut, but they came out pretty questionable, so no photos, and they probably won’t get more than one or two wears. Fine by me — it was a trial run, and I think I can refine my pants pattern easily after trying these on JuJu.
I didn’t plan on sewing up two super-easy patterns, but I’ve gotta say, it was really fun and satisfying to tear through two hard-to-ruin projects so quickly. Highly recommended as a sewing palette cleanser! I’m still not sure how this print reads (crazy? fugly? cool?), but I’m already following through on my goal of just having a good time with my fabric indulgence.
Welcome to the closet, my Secret Dress of Sweatery Comfort!