Spankin’ New Springtime Set (aka Jumping On The Scuba Bandwagon)

Hello, one and all!

I am pleased to inform the general internet population that I, Mads, have completed my first-ever item(s) in a scuba/neoprene knit! That alone probably makes this my trendiest sewing project ever. Shall we?

2-piece scuba set!

2-piece scuba set! Part Inari Crop Tee, part Shadi Knit Skirt

Bam, skin-tight skirt!

Bam, skin-tight skirt!

A shockingly good photo

A shockingly good photo

Peekaboo!!

Peekaboo!!

Isn’t it pretty????? This 2-piece set is brought to you by the Inari Crop Tee and Shadi Knit Skirt, both by Named Clothing. Apart from the same shoulder adjustment I made for my Inari dress, I also lengthened this top to account for my long torso. Well, actually, I cheated by using the pattern nesting to my advantage: the shoulders of the larger size (you get 2 sizes per PDF file with Named; I used the US 0/2 pair) are nested up higher, which means that the line for the hem of the smaller size ends up being lower on the page than that of the larger size. I just started at the top of the shoulders for the size 2 and followed the size 0 lines the rest of the way down. Doing that gave me just enough extra length to cover my midriff, provided I wear a bottom piece that comes up to my natural waist. Huzzah for work-appropriate crop tops!! One caveat: I did not take the 2″ hem allowance the pattern calls for–I did 1″ instead. I also cheated by abandoning the band finish recommended for necklines in stretchy fabrics and just turned and stitched it. (Incidentally, this is why my neckline looks a LOT different than the white knit sample on the Named site.)

Can we talk about the fabric for a minute? It’s SOOOOOOO beautiful. I really don’t think the photos can do it justice. If I could wallpaper a room in my house with this print, I would do it! And to me, the color palette is as quintessentially “SPRING” as it gets: bright magenta pink, deep mint green, a splash of cobalt blue, some white, and plenty of gray. And I was thrilled to realize that I had the perfect shade of obnoxious magenta lipstick to wear for my photos, as one does. 🙂

As mentioned previously, this was my first-ever attempt at using a scuba/neoprene knit. This stuff seems to be everywhere right now–RTW, runway, and the sewing world at-large–and I’ve been wanting to try it. Now that I’ve been there, done that, I can say that I understand the appeal. This length of beautiousness is probably on the lighter side of the scuba spectrum, but it’s definitely still heftier than any jersey I’ve ever met. I had tried to mentally prepare myself for the, er, “unique” tactile experience that I’d read reports of online, but I was still surprised by the feel of this material. It almost feels…melty? Sticky? Gooey? Like, if fabric could simultaneously feel like fabric with top-notes of melted taffy, it would be this stuff. Even Tom was mesmerized by its strange properties, and I had to cut off a small scrap to give to him so that he would stop fondling and petting the pieces I needed to work with for my outfit, lest he create a pull or snag on one of the important bits! (Thanks to the lovely Ms. Red at Sew RED-y, I knew snagging was a risk with this material–thanks, girl!) The fabric was SO easy to cut and sew (even without a serger), but pressing was dodgy due to the synthetic nature of the material; I turned my iron to the “Barely On” temperature setting and gave seams a quick press that way, but mostly I stuck to using the iron unplugged for applying pressure only. I need to do the armhole seams with a little warmth though–they’re still not laying quite right! And despite the strange hand-feel of the fabric, it was not unpleasant to wear (though I reserve the right to alter that opinion if I wear any of this outfit in truly hot weather). Even Mulder likes this fabric:

My face says,

My face says, “I love you, but don’t you dare snag my new outfit!”

Truth time: I don’t totally love this outfit, and I have not worn it yet apart from these photos. BUT, I suppose I do know what bothers me about it: I just am not 100% confident in it because of how body-con the skirt is. 😦 And I think the root of that disappointment lies in my previous experience with the Shadi–yes, I’ve made the pattern before and understand the shape of it, but since I badly mis-cut that first iteration, I assumed (LOL) that a correctly-cut version would not be as revealing or blush-inducing. I was clearly wrong. So now I have this skirt that I love in theory (THAT PRINT THO) but not so much in practice. I knew I was in trouble when I got the waistband done, tried it on, and then never hemmed it. In “The ‘Mads’ House,” that’s a bad sign. Maybe I will feel better once I finish it, or find a magical undergarment of some sort. And, you know, figure out how in the hell to wear the skirt so that I don’t look and feel like I’m a big Mads sausage crammed into a very pretty casing. :-/ Tom tried to make me feel better by pointing out that my skinny jeans actually reveal more, uh, “details” about my lower half than this skirt does, but for some reason I feel so weird and vulgar in the skirt. (Not that tight clothes are inherently vulgar–I absolutely do not think that is true. I just *personally* struggle to feel comfortable in something this tight, for some reason.) Do any of you have suggestions or words of wisdom??

So what’s the word out there: have any of you sewn with a scuba/neoprene knit before? On a related note, I have some of this fabric left–what should I make with it?? It’s probably enough for a top or a skirt, but I can’t decide!

I will leave you now with two “action shots” of my new outfit, plus my supply list at the bottom. Thanks for tuning in!

Oh, you know, just jumping off of stuff, NBD...

Oh, you know, just jumping off of stuff, NBD…

Spinning in circles

Spinning in circles

Scuba 2-Piece supplies:

  • 2 yards of scuba knit from Gorgeous Fabrics
  • Inari Tee Dress and Shadi Knit Skirt patterns from Named Clothing
  • Guttermann all-purpose polyester thread in grey
  • 80/12 jersey needle
  • 1″ elastic for skirt waist
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19 thoughts on “Spankin’ New Springtime Set (aka Jumping On The Scuba Bandwagon)

  1. THAT FABRIC THO. I am officially obsessed with that gorgeous print! I might have to twin it up with you and order some for myself (sorry, not sorry).

    This outfit is super adorable and totally work appropriate. I feel you on the “this is kinda tight and I feel awkward in public” thing, but you really can’t tell from these photos because the print is so busy. I say try it out and see if anyone notices – maybe amongst friends first?

    It’s also cool that you made this as separates so you can mix and match and get even more wear out of these beautiful pieces.

    OK, I’ll put my tongue back in my mouth and stop drooling over the awesomness of this outfit… and thanks for the shout-out! I’m slightly bummed because my purse rubbed some picks into my scuba spring dress already. Oh, well, it’s worth the awesome print and ease of sewing! SCUBA FOREVS.

    • Aww, thank you! And yes, PLEASE twin up with me–this fabric is fab and you should have some! Plus I think it would look amazing on you!! (And you really should get it after what your naughty purse did to your other scuba dress…you know, to ease your pain and suffering! ;-))
      That’s a really good idea about trying the skirt out someplace less formal than work. I will do that and see how I feel. (Well, as soon as I hem it!)

  2. The fabric is so pretty, it doesn’t read as scuba in the photos. Although I think it looks great, you are the one who needs to be comfortable wearing it. It is so feminine and isn’t scuba meant to be a little body con?

    • Thank you! The print really is incredible in person! And you are quite right that scuba is really good for body-con dresses and such. I think I assumed that the skirt pattern itself would be a little less vacuum-sealed once I corrected the cutting error I made on the first version, which is my fault entirely. I will take the skirt for a test-drive and see how I feel!

    • Thank you very much! Now I just need to take the outfit for a spin–maybe after a drink or two I’ll stop feeling so awkward in it! 😀 And the fabric really is one of the most beautiful prints I’ve ever seen, and super vivid in person.

  3. You look hot in this outfit!! The print is gorgeous and the top fits you wonderfully. Sure, the skirt might be tight, but, in my opinion, tight clothes are fine as long as paired with something more ‘appropriate’. i.e. I like the look of the loose top and tight skirt. Can you unpick it and expand the width into the seam allowances?

    I have a few cuts of scuba…I just honestly don’t know what to make with them! I’m not sure if I should treat it like a woven or knit or what! So I’m sure it’s just gonna sit in my stash until it’s out of style…and then maybe in 15 years it will cycle back to popularity!

    • Aww, you’re too sweet–thank you! I have enough SA to unpick, but this fabric does NOT like do-overs!! (Learned that the hard way when one of my sleeves got caught under the feed dogs and I sewed a tuck into it…) I think you’re right, and this skirt will be okay if I don’t wear a too-tight or too-short top with it; nevermind that that’s the entire reason I picked the top pattern I did for this set, I still second-guessed myself, LOL!

      You should use that scuba!! The only real advice I have is to avoid anything where you need it to hold a firm pleat or require a lot of fluidity. Treat it like a heavy doubleknit and you’ll be golden!

  4. The fabric is so amazing, you must take this dress out on the road! The outfit is really cute and scuba is pretty comfortable even when snug I think. The top would be cute with jeans too……

    • Thank you so much! I have a half-day scheduled this Friday, so I think that is a good day to road test this outfit. =) And I agree that the top needs to be paired with some pants eventually–just not during work hours, haha!

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