Saturday, November 29, 2014

Simplicity 1317 A Sweatshirt That Works

Occasionally everything comes together just right and I end up with a project that I'm really pleased with.  Simplicity 1317 is one of those projects.  I am thrilled with the way this top turned out.

After being disappointed in the Burda pattern from the last post, I turned my attention to this simple sweatshirt pattern from Simplicity.  It's a raglan sleeve sweatshirt with a neckband, two sleeve options, and an optional hip band.  It was the raglan sleeves that cinched it for me.  I figured they would fit better and be more flattering than the dropped shoulders of the Burda top.

My fabric is this red and black ponte "scroll" from Hancock's.  I love the colors and the pattern, and it has a nice beefy texture which seemed perfect for a dressy sweatshirt.  It was a bit pricey at 19.99/yard, but it was on sale for 40% off and I only needed 1 yard for this project.

The sleeves and neckband are plain black ponte, also from Hancock's.

This pattern is sized XXS through XXL and I didn't really trust the back of the envelope.  If I had gone by my measurements and made a size L, I think I would have been disappointed.  Instead, I measured a favorite RTW sweatshirt and compared it to the pattern tissue.  I decided to go with a Medium and just add a bit at the sides to give myself the extra ease needed to mimic the RTW shirt.  Basically I used the M cutting line as my seam line and added 5/8" extra to the sides.

I also added 1.5" of length at the waist and another 1" to the hem.  That allowed me to keep the deep, 2" hem allowance and have the top still be long enough to look nice and cover the top of my jeans.  I shortened the sleeve by 5/8", not because I really needed to, but to fit the pattern piece on my fabric.  The sleeves turned out just right.

I decided before cutting to eliminate the hem band.  I felt that a plain, straight hem would be comfortable, flattering, and look more polished than a contrast band snugged up around my hips.

The pattern pieces are well drafted and go together very easily.  In fact, I don't think I even looked at the instructions.  The neckline seems wide once you sew the backs, fronts, and sleeves together, but the neckband is cut perfectly- you stretch it to fit the top while you sew and then it snugs up just right to lie perfectly flat.  I added a row of topstitching close to the neckline seam to keep the allowance in place inside.  (This is one of those patterns that changes to a 3/8" seam allowance at the neck- you have to watch out for that.)  I love the finished neckline, too.  It's wide enough to be comfortable and flattering, but you could easily layer another top, even a turtleneck underneath for extra warmth.

There is no waist shaping in this pattern.  The sides are straight and the finished top is boxy.  I like it, especially since that is the relaxed look I was going for, but I think I might like to make this again and experiment with nipping the waist in just a bit.

And I will be making this again.  It's so easy and I like the finished top so much, how could I not?  The Princess wants one, too.  I am already on the lookout for my next fabric combination.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Burda Style 09-2014-114 When Sweatshirts Go Wrong

I finished Burda Style 09-2014-114 a little over a week ago.  I was so excited to make this top- really looking forward to making a "fancy sweatshirt."

It didn't turn out quite like I'd hoped...

This top was pictured in the magazine like so:

Flashdance flashback anyone?

It was also pictured in plaid fleece with light contrast sleeves and hem band:

Both versions look like loose, easy pieces that could easily be paired with jeans or a skirt... or (ahem) leather shorts.  

I made a straight size 44.  I really should have gone down to a 42 at the shoulder, but I figured it wouldn't make a whole lot of difference.  

It turned out huge.  This thing swallows me.  The sleeves are too long, and the neckline is way too wide.  I feel like I'm swimming in this.

Pushing up the sleeves helps, but not a lot.  Nothing can really help the neckline, though.  I planned to layer this over another top, but as it turns out, I don't have a choice.  The neckline literally extends out to my shoulders.

Funny thing is, though, it really looks like it was designed that way:

Size issues aside, this is a very easy, straightforward pattern.  There are only 5 pattern pieces including the wrist and hem bands, which are rectangles with measurements provided.

The front and back are nearly identical- the front neckline is just slightly lower than the back.

I used a printed ponte from for the front and back, and black ponte from Hancock Fabrics for the sleeves and bands.  The print fabric is very light and soft and doesn't have quite as much body as the black fabric.  I think it's almost too light for this project.  A little more body may have helped this over-sized design.

Grrrrrr...  I'm just not happy with this.  Looking at the pictures, I wonder if it's even worth cutting it apart and trying to reduce the top.  I could kick myself for not making a muslin and figuring out that there were problems, but I thought how could a simple sweatshirt go wrong?

The back doesn't look so bad.  Well, except that the sleeves are still too long.

What could possibly make this top look better?

I know, pairing it with a 2014 Corvette Stingray convertible!  Sadly, the car is not mine.  It's just a fun shot of the top "on location."

I still want a fancy sweatshirt and I'm not going to let this pattern defeat me.  I'm going to try again with Simplicity 1317 and a different design:

I already have a red and black textured knit picked out for view C.  I think I will like the raglan sleeves better and the neck band on this pattern looks like it will be more comfortable and flattering.

I will have to think some more about 09-2014-114.  Maybe I will take it apart and re-work it.  We'll see...