Happy New Year!
It’s probably a little bit late to be writing that, but this really is my first post of 2018. I have been sewing since we last chatted, but I was feeling that post-holidays blah for a long time. I’m finally coming out of it, though – at least enough to take some pictures of something that’s been getting a lot of wear the last couple of weeks!
It’s another modified Fraser Sweatshirt from Sewaholic. Yes, yes, I know. I swear this won’t become a blog solely devoted to this particular sweatshirt pattern. Maybe. We’ll see. You can see my previous blogged versions here and here. But seriously, this pattern is surprisingly versatile. I’m basically just using View B as a knit top block.
For this version, I sized up to a 16 so that I could actually get the slightly oversized sweatshirt look. I wanted to keep the neckline the same depth as the size 12, so I raised that about 1/2″. I usually have to make a narrow shoulder adjustment, and this pattern is no different. I used the method in Fit for Real People, where you just cut out a wedge in the armscye. I needed to take 1″ off at the top of the shoulder, so I marked a point 1″ in from the edge and drew a curved line down, tapering to nothing about 2/3 of the way to the underarm seam.
Now, I have done a lot of narrow shoulder adjustments, using all kinds of methods. However, I almost always end up with a strangely fitting sleeve and restriction in the movement of my shoulder/arms. I always thought that this was due to a wide upper back, but I still feel it on dresses and tops that have ample room in the back (even those with pleats and gathering). So I went digging in FfRP and found (in the tissue fitting section), an instruction to add height to the sleeve cap when you make the shoulder more narrow. Basically, adding to one side (the sleeve), what you removed from the other (shoulder/armscye).
Following this instruction, I raised the sleeve cap 1″ at the top notch. I then drew a line from this point toward each side of the sleeve, tapering to nothing again at about 2/3 of the way to the underarm seam. I tried to mimic the original shape of the sleeve cap as close as possible, so that (hopefully) the fit would be more or less as the pattern intended. Here are a few pics to explain:
So far, the fit is really great! I fee like I don’t have the weird pulling that I sometimes get after doing a narrow shoulder adjustment. Of course, I can see that there are too many variables here. I can’t be totally sure that the improvement is only due to this one adjustment because I did size up and this is also a knit fabric, which tends to be more forgiving. I’d like to try the same adjustment on a fitted woven top that I’m working on, and maybe even compare the fit with and without the change to the sleeve cap. Maybe on the same muslin? If I do it, I’ll share here, so stay tuned!
I also made a few more changes, just for style. I wanted this to be a high-low tunic (I’ve been eyeing the toaster sweaters and talvikki sweaters everyone’s been making lately), so I eliminated the hem band and lengthened the front by 5″ and the back by 7″. It gives enough butt coverage, and because there’s a slit up the sides, I think it looks a little less frumpy. For a sweatshirt, I mean.
The pattern comes with a long sleeve (view A), but that sleeve is pieced at the top. For my long sleeve, I just extended the elbow length view B sleeves, about 6″, and also omitted the sleeve hem bands. For the hems, I just serged the raw edges, turned them up 3/8″ (closer to 1 1/2″ for the sleeves), and topstitched with a narrow zigzag (aka lightning stitch). I’m slowly re-building my relationship with the lightning stitch. I think it fell apart in the summer of 2014 when I made an entire Bombshell swimsuit (from Closet Case) using only that stitch. It’s great and gives a good amount of stretch while looking much neater than your standard zigzag, but getting the settings right has been tricky for me.
The fabric is a slightly off-white polyester quilted knit (Telio, I believe) that I purchased from fabric.com about 2 years ago. It’s no longer there, but they have several other quilted knits on the site regularly. Now I want an entire winter wardrobe made in quilted fabrics. I actually bought this particular yardage with the intention of making something exactly like this, but always felt like I could never find the right pattern. I’m really happy with how it turned out, so I guess there’s something to be said for holding out on cutting into some fabrics. Sometimes you have to wait for inspiration to strike!
In other news, I’m putting off my jacket project in favor of a coat. Two weekends ago, I went on a road trip to NYC to drop off my cousin. The entire east coast was experiencing a cold snap at the time, and temperatures hovered around 15F (-9C) during the day, with a wind chill of -3F (-19C). Yeah, it was cold. And I didn’t have a proper coat. I wore athletic leggings under my jeans, a t-shirt, long-sleeved button down, wool sweater, and basically another bigger/thicker wool sweater/cardigan. I didn’t die, but it was still miserable. Temperatures have since returned to normal, but I would really like to be prepared for next time.
So I’m just going to suck it up and make a Clare coat (from Closet Case Patterns). I don’t know why I’ve put it off for so long – it’s probably just that the idea of making a winter coat is so daunting. There are so many pieces and it just looks like a ton of work. But really, I make bras and swimsuits all the time, and I’ve made my own JEANS, so it’s likely just a matter of getting myself psyched for it. I feel like I just need to get over the initial hurdle of starting, and it will be smooth sailing from there.
I bought all of the materials for it pretty soon after the pattern was originally released, with the intention of making the shorter version with the big collar and huge snaps. I think I’d like to add an interlining too, but I’m not sure what to use. Any suggestions are appreciated!