Pattern: Simplicity 1881, view A
Fabric: Cotton/lycra jersey from fashion fabrics club (long since sold out)
Notions: Bias hem binding tape
My husband was out of town all weekend at a Scrabble tournament. As any of you with spouses know, a weekend alone can be a great time to hibernate and churn out some clothes in your private sweatshop (literally – my attic is hot!) Before I knew it, I was finishing this up last night when he got home at midnight.
I bought this fabric a year or two ago. Initially I was pretty excited by it, as it was a great deal (the same fabric was at Emma onesock for $18 a yard, and I paid considerably less!) But then I was like “Self, what am I going to do with this crazy fabric? I like colors, but I don’t want to look crazy!) So I put it away in a bin and forgot about it until this year. I’m seeing a lot of these big bold prints right now, so I thought why now? I love a print maxi!
This is a new pattern – I haven’t seen any reviews yet. I was attracted to the view with the mullet hem (long in back, short in front) but it wouldn’t work here as my fabric is white on the wrong side. I almost made the high neckline, as I’ve always avoided halters. I have always had a bony back and shoulders, and I don’t love exposing that part of me. But I’ve been working out, and now I have actual muscle tone there (well, and I’m still bony, but that’s ok) so I decided to go for it and take a risk!
The pattern is pretty straightforward, but I do have a few notes. The biggest is on the way the elastic is attached. As I mentioned yesterday, it uses a bias hem tape to create a double casing for the elastic – pretty heavy duty!
Even with the elastic, I found that I needed to take the sides in a bit (keep in mind that I lost the elastic guide, so mine may have been too long.) I cut a 6, which is smaller than I would usually cut, and then took it in more. This is mostly a result of my desire to make the top secure – I wanted it to fit tightly! I find that knits in general need to be cut small – the size guide doesn’t always take into account the stretch, and of course every knit is different (mine is pretty stretchy.)
I did not line the midriff. I just cut an extra out of the fashion fabric and treated it as a sew in interfacing. I don’t care how the inside looks enough to mess with three layers there!
Here is the back with the extra width taken out:
I am 5’8″ tall and the length is perfect for me without a hem (I don’t hem maxis, so long as they are hanging nicely.) The cup size of the bodice is fine for my B cup, but would need adjusting for any larger size. The straps could be longer – I would like a little of the tails to cover the big open space in the back.
I’m very pleased over all. I can’t really review any of the other instructions because I didn’t use them (though I will say – a zipper? Not needed. I didn’t use one.) I have no earthly clue where I’m going to wear this thing, but if anyone invites me to a tropical luau I am set!