Plushy

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Inspiration in the middle.

Long ago I bought  (as I often did in those days*) a 70s pattern, Simplicity 8272. It was a pattern for a bunnyhug** with skirt and pants option, and the cover featured a gorgeous, muted blue velour version, styled with boots—effortless and chic and totally comfy. Yes, I did just use “chic” and “velour” in the same sentence… that probably means that there is something wrong with me.

Anyway, when this extra-stretchy luxe velour showed up at my Fabricland this past fall, I commenced petting it immediately. It has a thick, dense pile, lots of stretch, and gorgeous weight, and is super-duper soft. And came in the perfect shade of muted blue. It would be perfect for Simplicity 8272.
Except.
1) It’s freakin’ expensive,
2) it’s super stretchy, and the 70s pattern is designed for “wovens and stable knits.” No lycra required.
Both problems seemed to be solved by deciding to make it a store project using contemporary patterns to get something with the same feel.
For the skirt, I picked Burda 7143, figuring I would use one of the McCall’s in-print patterns that I had (McCall’s XXXX and XXXX were the main contenders, though neither was quite right.)
DSC08413OK, so I’m gonna say right off, this is a weird pattern. It’s simple, or at least it should be. It’s designed for wovens with a stretchy knit waistband—using the stretchy velour for the skirt part didn’t seem to be a problem. It’s not a full circle skirt, though it’s close. Here’s where the weirdness kicks in: the pattern piece is meant to be cut on the fold (or rather, mirrored) twice—but the fold/mirror line is not the grain line (nor is it a simple 45 degrees to it or anything else that would make sense).
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Weird layout.

This broke my sewing brain into eighty million little pieces, and I spent way more time staring at the pattern layout (which in Burda envelope patterns is printed right on a corner of the tissue) than I should have to for a pattern clearly labeled “easy.” My GUESS is that this has something to do with a) the size of the pattern piece, and b) how they want the print to fall if you’re using something like a plaid, as in the envelope  picture.

I ignored it and cut four pieces, on grain, not on fold. I think I ran the nap of the velour up, for that “extra rich” look.
Once I had decided what I was doing, it was ridiculously quick to whip up. The “waistband” piece, as drafted, is REALLY tall—I shortened it a bit since my fabric was super thick and I didn’t want to fold it over. I also added elastic to the inside of the sides to keep it nicely scrunched up. I like a bunchy, scrunchy waistband on a knit skirt, to sit right in the hollow at my hips.
But, having completed the skirt and being quite, quite happy with it, I realized that the bunnyhug** I had been envisioning wasn’t quite right. It would end right where the skirt waistband bunched, and I just wasn’t digging it. Although I think a matching, very cropped version would be adorbs at some point.
Anyway, I jumped ship and made a Nettie for the top.
DSC08412OK, so despite several attempts and quite a few successful crop-top versions, I haven’t actually had a Nettie that I was willing to wear out of the house yet. Mainly due to fabric that was either not stretchy enough or not thick enough—finding the two in combination seems to be tricky. And this fabric is both in spades—win! I also made sure to take the time to do the snap crotch; I always want to skip that step and just have it done!!!! but really I won’t actually wear the result if it doesn’t have the snaps. Note to self. Anyway, I made the one alteration that I ACTUALLY need with this pattern (shortening the armscye a teeny bit), and the result is basically perfect (although because I insist on both low back and low front it does tend to spread a bit and expose my bra straps. Meh.
I am really, really happy with how this turned out. It’s warm and comfy and PJ-like and still stylish and I actually like wearing the matching pieces together for a “dress” effect.
I definitely need a black Nettie…
*A habit I am trying to curtail lately purely for space reasons, plus I don’t find myself at the thrift store on a weekly basis anymore…
**Hoodie
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12 Comments

Filed under Sewing

12 responses to “Plushy

  1. You’ve shown this skirt before, and it didn’t make sense until you uttered the word ‘plaid’ and then oh yes, the layout makes weird sense. As the angled cuts are angled the same way to the grain, so in a parallel universe a regular plaid will line up. Furthermore, I have just spent the last thirty minutes drawing this out to prove it (erniekdesigns.blogspot.com/2016/01/plaidly-insane.html)
    God I love plaid.

    • At Christmas I was sewing a kilt for my uncle and my aunt was raving about how much she likes sewing with plaids (I should perhaps have let her do it. 😉 ) how they work so well with her brain. And I had to shake my head because somehow I always seem to miss the boat with them… the math just doesn’t quite add up. I think I’m getting better, though. 😉

      • Evil confession time: I BOUGHT my son a kilt this summer. I just didn’t have the time to shop for fabric, and he had enough changes he wanted on it, I might as well have made it. Except for that permapleated thing, that prepleated thing was cool.
        The sporran was fun, though.

  2. Els van Alfen-Koome

    Hi, the fabric might have been expensive to buy but the result is gorgeous!
    Beautiful colour! I can imagine your idea to make the same set in black.

  3. Beautiful top and skirt! That fabric is worth every penny

  4. I love anything velvety, great outfit. And this sounds like every experience I have with Burda. I keep going back because I love the style of their patterns, but there is always something in either the layout or instructions that throws me for a loop. I almost always make a little “fix” to make it work better.

  5. I sure hope velvet is coming back into style. I looooovvveeee it. And I love the swishy, plushy goodness that you’ve got going on here. 🙂

  6. lenelein

    That looks like grown up track pants – equally comfortable but a lot more stylish!

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