Sunday, August 30, 2009

Self Drafted -- Grey Sweatshirt with Holes

In general, I don't care for light grey on me (it can wash me out and emphasize my grey hairs), but this fabric spoke to me.  It is full of lovely distressed "holes" so I bought it and snarfed it away.  (In fact, another 6 yards are slated to be curtains in my teenager's bedroom.  :) )  When I saw a beautiful sage green sweatshirt in a boutique, it gave me ideas.  My top is quite different, but it was inspired by the $180 boutique sweatshirt.

I drafted a very simple pattern.  I started with Marcy Tilton's top (Vogue 8582) because I had just used it and I knew it fit me well.  (I highly recommend this pattern!)  I copied off the neck and shoulder lines and marked the width of the top.  I extended the shoulder line to the length of a long sleeve, measured the finished length I wanted, and connected the lines with a gentle curve.  Voila, a dolman pattern I knew would fit me.

You can see the dolman line here:

Because of a trick I learned years ago, I was able to draft a single pattern piece.  The only difference between the front and back was the neck curve, so I drew both on the pattern, cut the paper pattern on both lines, but didn't completely cut through the front neckline at CF.  I left a little "hinge", reinforced with tape, so I can cut both front and back by moving that little piece up or down on the fabric.

This top features:
  • The Reverse Binding for Single Knits (posted earlier today) at the neckline.
  • A similar technique at CF.  I cut a 1" S/A at CF and sewed the fabric, wrong sides together, letting the fabric curl at CF.  Later I decided 1" was too much and I trimmed it down a bit.  Probably 5/8" S/A is be best.  (This worked because I cut the top with the selvedge along the hem of the top -- 90 degrees off from the usual grainline.  So the knit runs vertically rather than horizontally.)
  • A floating pocket.
  • A back that is a few inches longer than the front.   (Still deciding if I like this.)
Floating pocket:

That's it.  I just love this sweatshirt and plan to make up several more in different fabrics - it's very quick to sew,  comfortable to wear, and flattering on my challenging shape (which I fondly refer to as "potato on toothpicks").  My only challenge came from using raw edge techniques with this particular fabric.  I think this fabric is what we used to call (years ago) a French Terry.  The right side is the usual interlock fabric, but the wrong side is a knit terry with little white loops.  While the raw edge of the grey (interlock) is well behaved, the terry side drops bits of white string and ravels badly.  I tried a couple techniques to tame it (like Fray Check), but in the end, I sewed down my little rolled "tubes."  I suspect that, over time, the terry side would stop dropping lint and behave, but I didn't want to take that chance.

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