crafts · finished objects · Sewing

Simplicity 1881: ready for drinks on the forward deck


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!