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Simplicity 8608 Hack in Bubble Satin Crepe

Hello, it's Shauni from The Magnificent Thread, and I'm here to tell you about a real labour of love sort of project, which at times I considered to be a serious test of patience! Luckily now it's finished, I'm seeing this hack of the Simplicity 8608 as more of the former!

I originally chose this Bubble Satin Crepe in the beautiful Ochre colour way, with a Stoff & Stil wrap skirt in mind (here's one I made earlier in leopard print). Somewhere between making that decision and receiving the fabric, I did some window shopping in Anthropologie and suddenly decided I very much 'needed' a super feminine, flouncey dress like the ones they stock - not my usual look - and that's when I plumped for a slightly tweaked version of the Simplicity 8608. (The pattern is stocked by Minerva too - you can find it here)!

I made the Jumpsuit Version (view D) of the pattern last summer and it was pretty successful - big note though, if you make the jumpsuit/romper version it *needs* a zip, which the pattern doesn't account for in the instructions. I really liked the movement of the circular sleeves, and knew they'd be perfect in the Bubble Satin Crepe. For full on flouncy and feminine though, I had to go view A. My measurements align more closely to the 14, but I cut a 12 (same as last time) as the pattern has a lot of ease included. 

The wrap bodice has waterfall-style ruffles on either edge of the wrap bodice, the pattern pieces almost circular in their appearance. If you've ever tried to hem a curved edge, you'll know that it can be quite challenging, and this is where this project really did become a patience tester! I tried narrow-hemming the edges by machine as the pattern instructs, but it looked too messy for my inner perfectionist to accept, so I unpicked and resewed both flounces, painstakingly by hand. Once I'd committed to the hand sewing, I had to follow through by finishing both the circular sleeves by hand and the skirt hem and split seams.

I'm not sure whether it is a truly professional finish or still looks quite handmade, but the outcome is definitely neater than if I'd have stuck to the machine. It felt like a lifetime of sewing to pull it off, so either way, I'll be wearing it with pride.

Once the bodice was finished, I decided a fairly plain skirt was the way to go - the original skirt is short with a flounce, but I thought I needed the length to balance out the fuss of the top. I lengthened the existing pattern pieces pretty extensively and drafted in a little side split detail for a bit of interest.

The skirt and top are joined at the waist and then narrow elastic is sewn into a channel that you make within waist seam allowance. I really like this method of elasticating the waist, and along with the tie belt, it draws everything together nicely for a comfortable, yet polished finish. The only thing to note about the fit is that the wrap is quite gape-y across the chest - something I should have remembered from last time! To maintain my modesty whilst wearing, I've put a few stitches in the middle to hold both sides together.

The Bubble Satin Crepe has a really fluid drape - perfect for ruffles and soft edges - a lovely texture and vibrant colour. It's lightweight, but not too light, and I found it really easy to work with throughout the make, whether machine or hand stitching. It did crease fairly easily during the making process, but it's nothing that a good steam with the iron couldn't quickly sort out. At only £8.99 per metre, it has the appearance of a much more expensive fabric, and using it with this pattern has definitely made for a more 'elevated' look than I imagined, but one I'm really pleased with.

With all the effort put into the finish of the garment, I'm glad that the outcome is something I'll most likely be wearing to a friend's wedding in the summer (and for that matter, any other wedding I'm invited to in the near to mid future, just to make the most of it)! My choice of skirt/length has definitely contributed to it being a lot less 'everyday' and a bit more 'wedding', but this fabric is made for it - I could definitely see and would recommend bridesmaids dresses being made out of it, especially as there are so many great colours to chose from!

Thanks for reading! You can keep up with my adventures in sewing over on my blog.

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