I don't know about where you are, but here in the southeast Mother Nature can't seem to make up her mind. It can go from highs in the 50s to highs in the 80s in a matter of days. Even when the temps stay somewhat consistent for the week, I usually have to turn on the heat for my morning commute then the A/C for in the afternoon.
Dusters are the perfect layering piece for the sporadic weather of spring (and fall). The big 4 companies offer several duster patterns, and I'm sure indie patterns as well, but I decided on Simplicity 8059 because of its simple construction and lack of buttons (I hate sewing buttonholes-especially on knits).
I fell in love with this Mandala Print Hacci Sweater Knit as soon as I saw it on the site. I feel larger prints, like this one, work best with simply constructed garments where the scale of the print can shine. Once the fabric arrived I fell in love again as it has a great feel and had snappy stretch. This hacci knit has a tighter weave and slightly heavier weight than others I have seen and I like it.
Simplicity 8059 is a straightforward pattern. The duster sews up fairly quickly as it is 5 pattern pieces (front, back, sleeve, neck facing and front facings) plus interfacing. This hacci knit sewed up beautifully. There was some rolling up on the edges but nothing a few extra pins couldn't take care of. Due to the large scale of the print I did not put any effort into matching up the print at the side seams. I feel it is so busy (in a good way) that the seams don't stand out.
Despite the simplicity of this duster, I did make a few changes. I didn't care for the elastic tab on the back so I omitted it. I chose to add belt loops and a matching belt in lieu of the tie ends as per the pattern. I felt the ties would drive me crazy when I wear the duster open where as I can tie the belt in the back to be out of my way.
To create the belt loops I cut the length of a scrap piece of fabric by 2" and folded each edge to the center and folded again and topstitched it closed. I pinned where I wanted the belt to hit on my waist and then sewed the belt loops to each side seam at the point.
For the belt itself I simply cut a strip of fabric the width of the fabric (58") by 3", this makes a 1" wide belt with 1/2' seam allowance. Next I folded the strip in half lengthwise right sides facing and sewed a 1/4" seam from the center to one end and then again about 1" away from the center point to the opposite end leaving a hole in the center for turning. I then turned the belt right side out and topstitched the 1" hole closed, because I was too lazy to slip stitch it. When I make this duster again I will keep the belt but increased the width to 2" (or a 5" strip).
The fabric is the perfect weight to cut the chill of the A/C in my office. I received several compliments throughout the day, so it's definitely an eye catcher. I am very pleased with the end result and I highly recommend this hacci knit and Simplicity 8059.
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