Tuesday, 10 February 2015

White Russian Sweatshirt - Jane style

It's been COLD in London recently. So cold in fact that three layers often aren't enough to stop me whingeing.  So when I saw that Emmie was selling off some sweater knit from her stash, I snapped it up. The intention was to make another Bonnie sweater, but lengthen the body a little to keep out the chill. I obviously wasn't paying attention to the description (fleecy insides, tubular knit) because when it arrived I realised it was actually a sweatshirt knit - which as we all know is a very different beast.

Sweater knits for the Bonnie pattern need to have 40-50% stretch which, even yanking it as far as I could, I was never going to achieve with a sweatshirt knit. Sweatshirt knits are far more stable and bulky, with surprisingly little stretch. All was not lost however, I liked the colour - a deep, forest green - and the fleecy, warm insides of the fabric were very tantalising. I would make a sweatshirt instead. I've never made a sweatshirt before and don't own any patterns, so after perusing what was on offer I settled on the White Russian sweatshirt by Capital Chic Patterns. The pattern is designed specifically for sweatshirt fabric which was exactly what I wanted - no faffing around trying to guesstimate stretch percentages. The pattern also comes with suggestions to use pre-quilted jersey fabric or customise with an appliquéd initial (very, very unlikely) or one of the animal head templates included (never in a million years!).




I chose my size(s) according to the finished measurements, cutting a 12 at the top and a 10 for the bottom half and the sleeves. From cutting out, the top took me just 1.5 hours to sew together. Half of that time was spent sewing up the basic raglan-sleeved sweatshirt, the rest was spent sewing the neckline, cuffs and hem bands which were a bit more fiddly. Capital Chic patterns are written with intermediate sewers in mind and this is reflected in the instructions. They're clear and to the point, bang, bang, bang, with no unnecessary flannel, which I quite liked. There's no mention of pressing anything in the version I made, the assumption being that you should already know to press seams and pieces for a professional finish. Unless you're me that is….it was only after trying to attach a cuff that curled in all directions that I realised a bit of pressing wouldn't go amiss!

First version - not really me

Showing boxiness whilst doing a monkey impression 
The finished waist measurement is the same as the finished hip measurement, which results in quite a boxy fit. This relaxed fit might work for some people - just not me and my obsession with a nipped in waist. I could have worn it as it was, but knew I'd feel frumpy in it, so I made a few changes:

Shortened sleeves (what's new?)
Shortened body 
Sorted out boxy fit
Removed cuffs and waistband (I just didn't like them)

I  fiddled with the first version and ended up totally ruining it in the process (I chopped the cuffs and waistband off which resulted in the sleeves and body being way too short, whoops!) I had plenty of fabric though, so cut a second version. This time I omitted the cuffs and waistband, just adding half an inch to the original body to allow for a hem. I also tapered in the side seams quite significantly to create a definite waist.  

The sleeves are the correct length when they're not twisted! 
The result may not be to everybody's taste and it certainly moves away from the original sweatshirt look of the pattern. It works much better for me though, and the changes I made will ensure I actually wear it. More importantly, it's soooo cosy and warm! Next up, shirt making. Woo hoo! x



35 comments:

  1. I love the new shape of teh sweater! It looks so much more feminine now but with the warmth from the fabric!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer! Yes, I like it much better now and it's definitely warm! x

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  2. Love it! And the colour is great on you!

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    1. Thank you! A bit of a departure for me but I like the colour too! x

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  3. I love the modifications you made and I have to say that I've done exactly the same. I hate when my waist disappears under a boxy garment. I can only say that you've improved the design.

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    1. Aw thanks so much! I don't like it at all when the waist disappears - I'm short too so it does me no favours whatsoever! x

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  4. The second version looks lovely on you

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  5. You're not the only one who needs a nipped in waist! Love how you've modified this to suit your figure perfectly. The colour's great on you too :-)

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    1. Aw thanks! Glad to know I'm not the only one who nips the waist in at every opportunity! x

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  6. Very, very nice. Sweatshirt fleece is kind of hard to find in the States. I may have to find some and try that pattern!

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    1. It's nice to work with and has the added bonus of being lovely and warm, you should try and track some down. And thank you! x

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  7. What an amazing difference, your 'tweaked' version is really lovely on you. I must try a bit of pattern adjustment, it can make such a difference. You feel much better when you're wearing a garment that's more 'you'!

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    1. I think so too, you're much more likely to wear it as well! x

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  8. Very nice, though I have to admit I liked version 1 too. Glad you found a way to make it feel more you.

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  9. I think it looks good. Version 1 was nice, but version 2 got rid of the bust wrinkles and makes you look taller/slimmer. I love that green!

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    1. Thank you! I like the green too. x

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  10. Yep, just had exactly the same thing happen when I made a sweatshirt recently! I think this was a great save, though.

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    1. Ah, glad it's not just me then! I just about pulled it off I think! x

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  11. Gorgeous fabric, and I really like your improvements - great save. Looks as though it will be fabulously warm.

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    1. Thank you and yes, it's VERY warm! x

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  12. That is a gorgeous shade of green and especially nice on you. The second version does look more classy!

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    1. Thanks, it's a bit of a departure so I'm surprised how much I like the colour! x

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  13. I like your version much better and the colour looks fantastic on you.

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    1. Thank you - I think I might make a few more things in this colour! x

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  14. Am really liking your version Jane - looks so stylish! x

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    1. Oh thank you Pam, I always love being told I look stylish! x

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  15. Very nice Jane! You'll be cosy in this for months to come. Green is a lovely colour for you as well!

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    1. Thank you for designing such a stylish pattern Sally! x

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  16. Yes, I like this version much better too! Boxy just doesn't suit me and I prefer the lack of bands, too. Smart and versatile! Jen

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    1. Boxy doesn't do me ANY favours so I'm glad I fixed the shape! x

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  17. I like the second version, better fit!

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  18. I like it without the cuffs, after all a sweat shirt is what it is lol! without the cuffs & band you could actually dress it up with sarf maybe? I'm going to have to start giving my patterns a second chance lol!

    Helen

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  19. It's comforting to know that even more experienced sewists have to re-do sometimes!

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