Whether it be for a few weeks or months or even years I think most sewists have had periods where they get away from sewing. I am just coming out of one of those spells. I’m not sure when the last time I sewed was but it was at least 6 weeks ago maybe more, which I’m pretty sure is the longest stretch I’ve gone without creating something.
In the past I’ve had shorter breaks for various reasons but this time it was a mix of not having enough time (August was very busy), paralysis about what to sew (whip out some last minute summer makes or get a jump on fall), some unhappiness with my current weight and just being overwhelmed with life in general. Thankfully we’ve settled into the back to school routine which has allowed me to get back into my sewing groove, as well as allow time for extra workouts and meal planning. Lastly the temps here in the southern US are still screaming summer regardless of the fact that it’s officially fall and that’s all the green light I needed to knock out some quick summer makes making my answer to “What should I sew?” easier.
Quick projects that don’t require much fitting or my tried and true patterns are my go-tos after a break. Nothing will kill your sewjo more than starting back with a project that fails or takes too much reworking. When I asked for suggestions on Instagram, several sewsisters suggest bags, which was a great idea-no fitting neccessary, but I tend to stick to apparel projects.
Easy knit projects typically provide instant gratification due to the lack of fitting and installing closures. When I saw a striped version of Simplicity 8379 by Amber (jonesybear on IG) in my Insta feed, I knew this was just the project to jump start my sewjo. This dress was a hit a couple of years ago and I grabbed it during a sale but never made it. As an easy-to-sew pattern there are only three pieces (two are just bindings) making it a quick fun project, which is just what I needed.
I’ve had this gray and navy wide stripe jersey for years, it’s either a flat fold piece from Hancock or from a local fabric store that sells remnants. One of my goals has been to shop my stash so I can get it back down to a (somewhat) reasonable amount. I recently donated many yards to Atlanta Sewing Guild for their annual Common Threads and Resale event. This somewhat backfired as I think I left with 12-15 patterns which less than I donated, so I’m calling that a win!
This dress definitely did the trick, I’ve since started a knit top, bodysuit and woven sundress and finished a rare UFO that was in my collection. Also I wore this dress to the Atlanta Belt-line Lantern Parade this past weekend and it was perfect for the very warm weather.
What are your go to projects to jump start your sewing? What’s the longest span you’ve gone without sewing?
Pattern: Simplicity 8379 OOP
Pattern Description: This knit dress has only one main pattern piece making it super easy to sew and perfect for beginners. Sized for everyone—includes cutting lines for sizes XXS to XXL all in one. With easy-to-follow instructions, anyone from beginner to expert can enjoy making a variety of these for the summer. The pull-on dress is sleeveless with a round neckline. Use a knit fabric with a lot of drape to complement the side-draping detail on this dress.
Sizing: XXS-XXL, I sewed a Large
Fabric Used: Gray and navy striped jersey remnant
Does it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope? Yes
Were the instructions easy to follow? Didn’t use them, they should be detailed as this is an easy-to-sew pattern.
Likes: Quick project to get me out of my sewing rut.
Dislikes: I like short, but this is short!
Pattern alterations or any design changes made: none
Would I sew it again? Maybe, this dress is super easy to make and comfy to wear, but it’s not quite my look.
Would I recommend it to others? Yes
Conclusion: Quick and easy to sew dress perfect for casual wear.