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Sewing An 80s Inspired Skirt Set: Simplicity 9755 and McCall's 8389

This week I am sharing my last look from my recent summer vacation. A summer skirt set. I remember being in my teens in the 90s, and loving the denim skirts with the lower portion of it made out of a lightweight fabric or fun cotton print fabric. Do you guys remember those skirts? They were very popular in the 80s and 90s .When I was thirteen my mom bought one of these skirts for me, and the excitement I felt can not be explained. I was overjoyed.

Fast forward 27 years later, and McCalls designed a new pattern M8389. It was a blast from the past, and I knew that I had to make it. The skirt I loved so much in my teen years became my inspiration. Now, let’s get into the details on how I brought this skirt to life shall we?

Fabric Used

For my top and the top portion of the skirt, I used a 7oz Stretch Denim Fabric from Jo-Ann. This fabric has a width of 58 inches, and contains 75% Cotton and 23% Polyester. It has a slight crosswise stretch, but no stretch lengthwise. For the bottom portion of the skirt, I used a viscose crepe I had in my stash from my last trip to Mood Fabrics in New York earlier this year. Unfortunately I do not have a link for this fabric.

Sewing Tip

1. As with most fabrics, especially woven, wash your fabric first. Most fabrics from natural fibers shrink when you wash them, so washing it before you cut into it is best. If you cut it before washing, then you may have to deal with a garment that does not fit.

2. Use a denim needle. Depending on the thickness of the denim, use a stitch length between 3.0 mm and 4.0 mm.

3. Since this is a stretch denim, you can use a stretch stitch still while sewing.

4. For the viscose crepe fabric, because it is lightweight, so you will want to sew with a finer needle. A size 70/10 or 65/9.

5. The viscose crepe can be a little on the slippery side, so I do not cut on the fold. If a garment requires cutting on the fold for a lightweight slippery fabric, here's a tip.

A) Use a piece of large scale drafting paper or craft paper, fold it in half, cut the pattern piece onto that folded paper, and use that to cut the full pattern piece onto your fabric without the need to fold the fabric in half.

Pattern Used/ Size Cut

For the top I used Simplicity 9755 view A. I love this top because I am a fan of the button front crop tops. It has straps and princess seams, and I felt that it would be a great addition to the the skirt set I had in mind as I was planning out this outfit. There was some grading done on this top to get it to fit properly. My bust size is a 38, and my waist is 31" wide. I cut a size 16 from the upper bust area to about 2 below my under bust, and I cut a size 14 from the under bust down. I also cut the strap at a size 12. Just because you need to cut one size for your bodice does not mean you should cut that same size when cutting your shoulder strap. Make sure to measure your shoulder length for your strap piece to ensure you are cutting the right length.

For the skirt I used McCall's 8389 view C. I cut a size 14. However, I did adjust the length by cutting away about 2 inches. I am 5'3" and most patterns are drafted for 5'7" heights, therefore, I usually go into a pattern knowing I will have to adjust the length at least 2 to 3 inches. This pattern comes in two lengths with yoke and pocket options. I like that, because it allows the sewing hackers out there more options on how to get creative with the design of this skirt.

There is quite a bit of topstitching involved in the construction of both the top and the denim portion of the skirt. I suggest purchasing a topstitching foot or a blind hem foot if you do not have one. Topstitching will be seen on the exterior of the garment, so you want to have nice, clean, and straight topstitching lines. I used my blind hem foot for my topstitching. Don't let the name of the foot throw you off, it has other purposes. I put my sewing machine on stitch three, and moved my needle over until the topstitching line was where the pattern instruction suggested or you desire it to be.

Final Thoughts

I believe that these two patterns helped me to bring to life the look I imagined. I loved creating this look, and it has inspired me to sew more full looks like this. While wearing this outfit, this 40 year old mom of two felt like a teenager again. For me, that means I accomplished what I set out to do. Create an outfit that is beautiful, fun, and youthful. These two patterns are on my list of favorites. I definitely plan to sew the pants from Simplicity 9755, and sew more views of McCall's 8389. I had a few hiccups with this pattern when it came to sizing. However, no pattern is perfect. You will have to make adjustments somewhere. Our bodies a were created differently, and though you may be the same size as someone else, it does not mean a garment will fit you both the same way.

Please enjoy the photos below. As per usual, they were taken by my husband. He is not a professional, but he does a great job.

Thank you all for taking the time to read my blog, I truly appreciate it. I hope that this blog was informative and that you learned something that will help you in your next sewing project. Comment below and let me know your thoughts or questions. Also, please make sure to subscribe to my blog for monthly newsletters and alerts when new blog posts go live.


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