Simple life pattern company willow v shaped bodice boho top and dress. flutter sleeves cap sleeves bell sleeves long sleeves ruffle skirt hem curved high low high hem simple skirt jersey knit pdf sewing pattern easy fast beginner cotton lycra spandex bohemian vintage fall winter spring summer tween girls top dress fashion Sew Along

Willow Sew Along Day 1

Hi Guys!!! I’m Stevey Taylor, of S Taylor Threads, and I am thrilled to be back hosting another sew along for Simple Life Pattern Company. This month we are sewing up Willow. When Willow first went into testing I fell in love with the design so I was happy to get a chance to create my own (Fabric: Hawthorne Threads Knit Autumn Woodland by Shop Cabin)! 


First we need to choose which options we’ll be sewing. Willow can be a top or a dress, multiple sleeve lengths (along with a gorgeous bell sleeve eeek), straight, ruffle hem or curved hem. I chose a bell sleeve and curved hem dress. Whatever you decide, print, tape and cut your pattern pieces today! 


Now for fabrics and supplies.

If you did not already know, Hawthorne Threads recently added an amazing 95% cotton 5% spandex knit fabric base for their house designs. I had the opportunity to choose some of the amazing Shop Cabin designs on the new knit for this sew along. I am always concerned when trying out a new type of knit, I have my tried and true brands to use and rarely sway from them! The thickness, recovery, stretch, finish and color vibrancy can vary so much with knits; I hate to spend money on something that won’t work for me! Another peeve of mine with knits is how “curly” they are. If you sew a lot of knits then you know exactly what I’m talking about! When you cut into it and the edges immediately roll up – ugh! So I was pleasantly surprised when I received my Hawthorne Threads knit and it was no only lovely but it STAYED FLAT!!!


If you are shopping your local stores some other brands of knit that I love include Art Gallery Fabrics, Riley Blake Designs and Cloud 9. I prefer to work with 95% cotton 5% spandex because it is a bit more stable and easy to work with than something like a rayon spandex blend. For the purpose of this pattern, it is most important to use a 4-way stretch (i.e., you can stretch it horizontally AND vertically) although some 2-way stretch knits may work, as long as you are sure your stretch goes horizontally when cutting and sewing. 

Now that you know what fabric you’ll need, lets talk supplies. If you ask ten sewers you may get ten different answers about what is most important when learning to sew with knit fabric. This is my opinion and of course there are many others. I sew knits with a walking foot. You certainly do not NEED a walking foot but, especially if you are a beginner, the walking foot will help avoid unnecessary headaches. Check out the video I posted in the Fan Group on how a walking foot works. I also like to use a ball point needle. I know others also like a stretch needle and still others just use a small universal – give them all a try and decide for yourself!


CLEAR ELASTIC, CLEAR ELASTIC, CLEAR ELASTIC! Seriously. Don’t skip the clear elastic. It’s $4.99 at Joanns. It hides from me among all the elastics every single time I shop for it so be sure to look really hard before giving up. It’s also available on amazon. I personally do not like the brand carried at Hobby Lobby, it is thinner and rolls on the sides which sometimes causes it to roll up as I’m serging over it.

Finally, Ironing is very helpful in keeping the knit from curling up on the edges. I have used starch when I am working with finicky knits but with the brands and content I mentioned above you shouldn’t need to use starch. 

Sheesh that was a lot – I promise once you get the hang of sewing with knits you will LOVE not needing closures or button plackets. When you can whip up a gorgeous dress in about an hour you’ll be happy to gave it a try. 

Once you have your pattern pieces and fabrics snap a picture and share it with us in the fan group for a chance to win a free pattern!

See you back here tomorrow for fabric cutting!


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