Wednesday, June 22, 2016

All the Simplicity 1887s

I present to you ... a whole pile of Simplicity 1887s.  There are a lot of photos, but there are also a lot of garments!  And I guess we can call this pattern a TNT (yay!).  After having sewn four pairs of shorts and two casual skirts in the last three weeks, my summer wardrobe is a lot more functional.  I really only need several more tops and a cardigan or two, and I will have enough.  The trick will be to stop sewing at that point, but I guess I could try to direct the sew-jo to other pursuits, like the quilt I need to finish and the three flower girls' dresses and three ring bearers' outfits I need to make for a November wedding. But I digress.

First up is this skirt, view D of the pattern, sewn up in a linen/rayon blend from Joann's.  After having made the shorts twice, I knew that I'd want to make the size 16 (two sizes down from what Simplicity wants me to do) with an extra 3/8" added to the side seams.


I also knew I'd need to install the elastic correctly.  Recently I saw a photo of a stack of Simplicity 1887 shorts on Instagram and I realized that I had sewn my first two pairs the wrong way.  Turns out that the elastic is supposed to wrap around the hips to the edge of the pockets instead of ending at the side seam.  I was sewing my first pair pretty late in the evening, and the notches and where they wanted me to leave the waistband open didn't make sense to my exhausted brain, so I just did it the way I thought it should be done.  But I was wrong, and Simplicity's way holds the shorts or skirt up a lot better than when I had the elastic only in the back.  I did go back and redo the elastic on my orange linen shorts - yay for shorts that don't fall down!  I found the skirt a little short for 5'8" me, so instead of turning up a 1.25" hem, I cut a self-fabric hem facing and applied it with a 1/4" seam. 


I faced all the waistbands of the garments in this post with some scrap cotton instead of self-fabric.  This linen/rayon is a tiny bit scratchy, and I also thought that the cotton fabric would help the waistband stretch less in the front where there is no elastic. I also interfaced the pocket openings with knit stay tape (because you have to stretch the pocket opening of the pocket, to the pocket opening of the skirt) and made sure to understitch the seams where the pocket is stitched to the skirt.

And the result of installing the elastic as instructed is a skirt that stays up even as the linen stretches out.  I wore it all day (two days in a row, if I'm being honest) and it didn't fall down, not even when I weighed the pockets down with car keys and my iPhone.  It's really a perfect summer skirt for running around with the kids.  So after making it, I went back to Joann's and bought this fabric in three more colors.  It was on sale and I had a coupon, making it $4.50 a yard. I had actually used it twice before and didn't really enjoy working with it.  But this time around I've had no problems and I love a lot of the color options.


I have been reaching for the shorts I made a lot over the last two weeks (very surprising for someone who hasn't worn shorts since junior high school!) so I decided to make a couple more pairs. The navy shorts include the same modifications I made on my orange pair.  In addition to those mods, I lengthened the shorts 1" and hemmed them as instructed by the pattern.  I also sewed down the pleats about 2".  I am not sure how much I like them sewn down; they are kind of giving me a "dorky camp counselor" vibe, so I might take the stitching out.

Somehow the shorts ended up an inch wider than the waistband.  I think they probably stretched out during construction.  I ended up having to put two 1/4" darts into the back to fix the problem and I think it improved the back view.  I considered putting back pockets on this pair but didn't have enough fabric.


Then I made a pair out of this slub linen that I always seem to find in the remnant bin at Joann's.  I am not sure whether it was the fabric or my cutting, but these ended up a little snugger than my other pairs.   I also topstitched the pleats down on this pair.  They are very cool to wear on a humid day, though, and I like how they pair with my green Lisbon cardigan



And last, another skirt.  I remembered to lengthen it 1" this time.  I also stitched the pleats down.  At this point, I had construction down pat and I was able to sew up this skirt in under two hours.


These photos were taken on my way out to dinner with my sisters.  I really love this skirt and know that it is going to get a lot of wear (as with all the garments in this post).  I have one more cut of the linen/rayon blend in a lovely deep peacock blue - I bought it thinking I'd make a skirt with it using this pattern, but I'm going to take a break right now.  I have definitely gotten my money's worth out of this 80-cent pattern!  Time to move on and make some tops.

11 comments:

  1. These look like great wardrobe builders! I love the skirts, in particular...

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    1. Thanks! Definitely wardrobe-builders.

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  2. what Meg said - great wardrobe builders! You kept them simple, using classic fabrics- which means you can wear these for many more years to come. They look great!

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  3. Brilliant wardrobe staples, you're going to get so much use out of these. And the fit looks spot on, bonus points to you for not believing Simplicity!

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    1. Thanks, Rosemary! I'm loving having all these options when I get dressed in the morning.

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  4. Yes!!! Look at you go! I love all of these, but (predictably) the mustard yellow skirt is totally my faaaaaaaavorite! Such a great fabric choice! Pretty, summery, flattering AND YELLOW! Wahoo! Yeah, I think you'll be living in these this summer - better get on some tops and then you'll be set! All of that wedding sewing ... well, it sounds a bit obligatory, so perhaps you should just keep sewing for yourself.

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    1. Thanks, Inder! Yeah - the wedding sewing is for my little brother's wedding. I'm happy to do it but I need to just get started already.

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  5. You've practically made a capsule with all those! So clever, and I love the colors.

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    1. They're almost all I've worn since I made them! Thanks!

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  6. Hooray for finding such a great separates pattern! They all look really good

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Hi! I am so happy you came by. Thanks for your comment!