For lots of years I’ve had more of a minimalist attitude toward those items that get only a couple uses in a year. When space is limited, why keep a Christmas sweater in my closet only to be pulled out once or twice in December? For me, it’s mostly been a space issue. We don’t have a ton of space to spare so I try not to be frivolous with it. And I by no means want to amass piles of holiday wear and décor but I have wanted to be bit more festive. It might have to do with my kids getting older or me being more nostalgic. Or maybe it’s because ugly Christmas sweaters are a Thing that is here to stay and I’m ready to embrace it! Whatever the case may be, I like the idea of having some festive clothes in my stash.
Of course, I wasn’t actually planning on making that a reality this year. I’ve been terribly lazy about getting my holiday sewing done, so the last thing I needed was to add another project to my list. But luck was on my side because I found the perfect fabric to make a fun, festive skirt AND because I made the most basic version of the Mave skirt which all it entails is a whopping three seams!
My mom and dad came to visit for Thanksgiving and while they were here we took a trip down to the Mesa area. My mom’s business is quilting so she likes to visit new fabric stores whenever she’s visiting a place. We happened to be only two miles away from the Tempe SAS Fabrics so we decided to give it a browse.
I have been to the other SAS Fabrics-the Superstore- located in Phoenix and the shops are very similar but a little different too. For those who haven’t been, SAS Fabrics is a big warehouse fabric and notion shop. They sell tons of different types of fabric-everything from quilting to special occasion to minky to spandex knits-as well as all sorts of notions and haberdashery. Prices are either fair or total steals. Some of the fabric, like special occasion fabric and some quilting cottons, are on bolts but the majority of the fabric is off the bolt, folded and piled on a table. Everything is sorted so you have knits on one table (and by table I’m talking like a table that runs the length of the aisle-it’s huge), and bottom weights on another table and rayons on another. But within that table there’s absolutely no rhyme or reason to the mayhem, just mounds of fabric paying no mind to weight or color or anything like that. These fabrics that are piled up, though, only cost 3 or 4 dollars per yard. It feels a lot like thrifting. There’s a really awesome steal in there somewhere but the attitude definitely needs to lean more towards skimming than reading, if you know what I mean, unless you have a few hours to kill.
Having been to the Phoenix superstore location and now the Tempe one (there is also one on Indian School Rd that I’ve never been to), I think I personally like the Tempe one better. The Phoenix location is a LOT bigger (like probably at least four times bigger) so it does have that going for it. But the Tempe location still had plenty to look at, the location is much more convenient to get to, and the workers were a lot more friendly and helpful. And this might be pointing toward my Utah-born naivety but the Phoenix location is sketch. That’s my personal opinion. I’ll take the Tempe location.
Anyhow, back to the skirt! I reasonably selected a couple of fabrics to buy and then after they got cut out, I greedily went back around the store to see what other fabric needed consuming! Ha! But that’s when I spotted this! It’s a micro pleated stretch, the fiber content of which I’m entirely unsure of but would guess it has at least some polyester (maybe all?). It’s a champagne color and I thought it would be perfect for a holiday skirt. Because the fabric is folded and already in smaller quantities, I’m always worried you’re not allowed to cut to size (you are!) so for this I just took the whole length which ended up being a generous two yards. It was only $2.99/yard too so not a bad deal at all! I only used a small portion of the cut to make this and have plenty left over. In fact, I almost went straight back to the cutting table to make a circle skirt for something with a little more umph! but I decided that could wait til next year (I also spied a wrap dress of a nearly identical fabric so if I decide to take on the challenge of the stretch pleat I might try something like that instead).
As I tend to be very good at doing, I was performing mental acrobatics trying to figure out how to draft the skirt and get my hands on a matching colored elastic to hand stitch on when I realized the Mave pattern would fit quite nicely here. No mental acrobatics required. And truly, all it consisted of was cutting out three pattern pieces, sewing three seams, inserting an elastic and then closing up that insertion point. I didn’t even have to hem it! Even there, still stuck in the spirit of complicating things more than necessary, I was planning on serging a rolled hem and if Joann had been having a sale on thread, I probably would’ve gone that route without thinking twice. But luckily thread prices were high enough to make me pause and that’s when I realized the fabric wasn’t going to be fraying so a raw hem it was!
I’m really happy with my holiday skirt! I had intentions of making my top too but I couldn’t find any fabric I was happy with locally and it was too late to order. So my top is ready to wear but I love it too and won’t be relegating it to holiday-only wear. I might make a top next year.
I already had a chance to wear this outfit and it was really fun to be wearing something festive and seasonally appropriate!
Pattern: the Mave Skirt from True Bias
Alterations: none (midi view, no ruffles)
Fabric: micro pleated stretch (likely polyester or poly blend)
Cost: fabric $6; elastic $4.50