Completed: Simplicity 9215

30 Sep

I don’t know exactly how long I’ve had this Simplicity 9215 pattern for, but it has been at least a few years. Maybe even a full decade.

Garfield Top

I originally bought it for the lol factor. I love these old licensed patterns – not necessarily anything hilarious about that – but the cover art is just something else. How cool is that kid with his (handmade)(but properly licensed) Garfield tshirt, matching shorts, and FANNY PACK*? How about those drawings? The cool sk8r boi with kneepads? The coonskin cap (and, bizarrely… wrist guards? Which would make more sense if he was also on wheels). Everything about it delights me to no end. I love it so much.

*It’s a fanny pack, y’all. Stop calling it a ~belt bag~ and get real here.

Garfield Top

Even better – the pattern still had the Garfield iron-on transfer intact. It was just a matter of time before I set about making it myself.

Garfield Top

The pattern actually has you applique the image, using fabric scraps for the main colors and then black thread for all the outlines. I intentionally bought very soft, lightweight knit fabric to sew up the shirt portion, and I was afraid the applique would make it too stiff and it wouldn’t hang right (and while I considered using jersey for my applique pieces, I didn’t want to go through the headache of trying to find the right colors that were also a similar weight). So rather than use fabric, I decided to paint the entire thing directly to the front of my shirt. I did still use the iron-on transfer to get the lines in the right spot – but as this pattern is over 30 years old, it didn’t *completely* transfer so I ended up re-drawing a lot of the lines before starting to paint. After that was done, I spent an afternoon with a small paintbrush and tulip brand fabric paint (this is literally the same brand I bought, and yes it’s from Walmart. Keepin it cheap today, guys!) filling in all the areas with color. After a few coats, I outlined everything with puffy 3D paint (obviously black, not turquoise, but I’m not seeing black on the website for some reason).

Here’s a fun (and also disappointing) fact about modern puffy paint – it’s not actually 3 dimensional! All the beautiful dimension totally flattened as it dried (and before you @ me, I will point out that I grew up during the Puffy Paint Renaissance and yes I know how to apply this shit properly), which is a little surprising considering that they say right on the bottle that it should be 3D. Alas.

Garfield Top

I let my masterpiece dry for a few days before moving onto step 2 (also, hello sparkly cat patch!). Step 2 was sewing it into a shirt, spoiler.

Garfield Top

Garfield Top

Yes, I used the pattern pieces to make the shirt! My copy of the pattern was already cut into a size Small, but after comparing the finished measurements to my own body measurements, I knew that it would fit me just fine. I added about 1/2″ to the side seams for some extra insurance/wiggle room, but ended up removing it when I tried the shirt on. I probably could have swung a little FBA to add more boob room to the front but tbh I’m not that concerned about it.

The fabric is a wonderful organic cotton jersey knit from Blackbird Fabrics (I used a light heathered grey colorway, which I’m not seeing on their website at this time). I was aiming for an “old and loved vintage tshirt” look, which I think this perfectly emcompasses. It was also relatively stable, which meant it was easy to paint on. I used my serger to sew everything together, and coverstitched the hems and sleeve and neck bands.

Garfield Top

The fabric paint instructions have you heat set the paint to keep it bright and intact, but since I was going for a vintage look I chose to skip that step. Look at the difference between the finished Garfield and the one I’m wearing – it faded quite a bit! All of the fading happened in the initial wash – I’ve worn and washed this piece plenty throughout the summer and it really hasn’t faded more than what you see here. And if you can’t tell from the photos – the paint dried to a nice flexible finish, so the image isn’t stiff at all. It feels pretty similar to a screen print.

Garfield Top

Garfield Top

These photos were also taken at Clutch Camera while teaching my second jeans workshop for Josephine’s Dry Goods while I was in Portland OR earlier this year! All weird poses are courtesy of me feeling awkward in front of the camera (I mean, that’s not new – but having an audience is).

We also had a fog machine available, so I’d like to introduce you to my band: LLADYBIRD and the Jeans Queens. Unfortunately I did not have time to make a proper pair of graphic shorts or a fanny pack, sorry.

Garfield Top

Anyway, this was a fun project that gave a nice breath of fresh air to the things I’m used to making. I feel like it focused more on the artistic/creative side of sewing (not that sewing is not creative, but I was literally painting a picture to make this piece), similar to the stuff I was into when I originally started making my own clothes. I used to dress real goofy, which is something I’ve lost over the years (prob because I’m not 16 anymore, who would have guessed?), and it has been fun trying to incorporate a little bit of that back into my sewing practice + wardrobe.

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22 Responses to “Completed: Simplicity 9215”

  1. heather September 30, 2019 at 9:05 am #

    totally love it! fantastic! you rock! 🙂 (& oh yeah, it’s a fanny pack, is there an effort to try to upgrade that thing?)

    • LLADYBIRD September 30, 2019 at 12:00 pm #

      lol I don’t even know, but people are trying to bring it back by calling it a belt bag and I’m just like… no. ha!

  2. tialys September 30, 2019 at 9:22 am #

    Great photos – it’s rare to find a plain wall anywhere at home isn’t it so you made good use of it while you were there. I think you’re missing a trick not making the wrist bands though 😂
    It’s a bum bag – ‘fanny’ meaning something else if you’re a Brit, which I am and quite a common girl’s name in France, where I live. I was tickled pink – though not literally – when I found out my gynaecologist is called Fanny. I’m easily amused.

    • LLADYBIRD September 30, 2019 at 12:00 pm #

      Haha well we call it Fanny Pack where I live, and we don’t have the same connotations to fanny as y’all do over here. That is really funny about your gyno, tho!

  3. LinB September 30, 2019 at 11:56 am #

    To keep those fabric paints from fading, you have to iron them. Heat sets the paint. Use a pressing cloth, and no steam. Heat might be necessary to activate the puffy paint, too. (I never used puffy paint, so can’t speak to that.)

    Heck, even latex house paint can be heat set for use as a fabric design material.

    Thus endeth the lesson.

    • LLADYBIRD September 30, 2019 at 12:03 pm #

      Yes, I am aware of that. I chose not to heat set the paint so that it would fade for a more vintage look. You do not need to heat set puffy paint whatsoever, just wait 72 hours before washing it. I’ve painted TONS of fabrics/clothing in the past (pre-blog days) so I know the drill haha

      • LinB October 1, 2019 at 10:05 am #

        Must be a generational thing, lol. I cannot stand the look and feel of puffy paints.

        “Puffy” evokes the response in me that “moist” does in many people. Not my favorite sensation.

        Still, I will defend to the death your right to use and wear puffy paint. And puffy pants, if you so choose. And, if I have to, puffy coats.

  4. Deborah September 30, 2019 at 12:40 pm #

    Great idea, here. Have collected a few of these transfer patterns over the years. The big four do not seem to do them as in the 1980s when my kids were kids. Think I have a grandkid or three that would love to paint a T.

    • LLADYBIRD October 1, 2019 at 8:45 am #

      I’m guessing there is probably an issue getting the license, like the same reason why Vogue doesn’t do so many cool designer patterns anymore (the designers won’t license them!). Such a shame, because I think these sorts of patterns are super rad!

  5. DatPixieGirl September 30, 2019 at 1:23 pm #

    YES. “Belt Bag” = Fanny Pack. They cannot escape it. We know the truth.

  6. Carole Carr September 30, 2019 at 1:27 pm #

    Love this post! Who wouldn’t want to rock a new/old Garfield shirt? I’m in if you want to start promoting a fanny pack resurgence. Do you have any Garfield fabric sitting around, because a fanny pack out of that would really cement your look.

    • LLADYBIRD October 1, 2019 at 8:46 am #

      LOL if I did, I would totally make a fanny pack out of it! I’m not gonna lie – I want one for running and doing yard word. Maybe someday that might trickle into a fashion look for me, I won’t pretend like I’m immune to it. But it will ALWAYS be called a fanny pack in my mind. Not a belt bag!

  7. Stephanie September 30, 2019 at 5:51 pm #

    We call it a bum bag here in Australia cause to us the fanny is the other side of a girl.

    • LLADYBIRD October 1, 2019 at 8:46 am #

      Yeah, we have different words for that here lmfao

  8. carlalissa October 1, 2019 at 7:57 am #

    You are missing your fanny pack to be picture perfect 😉

    • LLADYBIRD October 1, 2019 at 8:46 am #

      I know! Now I really want to make one haha

  9. Abbey October 1, 2019 at 4:19 pm #

    Oh Lauren I love this whole post! Garfield is everything! Tbh, at first glance I thought tge Garfield patch was a sew on like sequin cat until I read through the post. You did an amazing job with the fabric paint my friend. And yayyyy for the Jeans Queens! That pic is 🔥🔥🔥🔥

  10. Lauren Durr October 1, 2019 at 8:23 pm #

    Love the cut of the tee, perfect for the vintage look.I have a vintage tee transfer I want to use but so afraid it won’t survive. I think it’s something that says party time, now I wonder what I did with it.

  11. shannon October 1, 2019 at 10:45 pm #

    Awesome. Love your style and spirit.

  12. Aleksandra October 4, 2019 at 10:51 am #

    You are an absolute legend. Also, I am hella impressed with how nice and neat your puffy paint lines are. I did many a puffy paint shirt in my sorority days and I never excelled at squeezing just the right amount/not touching it before it was dry. Truly you are skilled.

  13. Hailey Umber October 6, 2019 at 2:43 pm #

    Love it, love it, love it! I looked the pattern up on eBay and saw it came with a Garfield label, and now I want it just for the label!

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