I thought I’d sneak in another little TNT post for the Sewcialists TNT month. I’ve been doing a lot of sewing of late but, because I’m very short on time at the moment but still want new winter things, it’s all been about the tried and tested patterns, which is less exciting to blog about.
I’ve made three jumpers over the last couple of weeks which fit beautifully into this category. Unsurprisingly, these are all from patterns which have already featured quite heavily in this month’s theme (check out the #sewcialiststnt tag on Instagram if you’d like some inspiration from the patterns others have loved enough to make multiple times)
First up is another make from my purchases at the Great British Sewing Bee Live. I’ve seen this starry fabric all over this season, even on one of the samples in Love Sewing magazine, but I bought mine from Fabrics Galore. It’s a light grey base with dark grey sparkly stars printed on, and the inside is fleece backed so it’s incredibly snuggly and warm.
I only bought 1m of this for myself so decided that my best bet was the Astoria sweatshirt from Seamwork. If you’re a subscriber, you can use your credits to download this pattern; alternatively it can be purchased as a one off. Personally this pattern pretty much justifies my subscription all by itself; I absolutely love it.
I’ve made the pattern for myself as is and also for my Mum (a version I really need to recreate for me, as I love the sequinned front). However, it does make up as a waist length garment. This was absolutely perfect when I was wearing business casual wear to work but now I dress down, I prefer a slightly longer length.
The solution? I placed the front and back pattern pieces on the fold as prescribed, used my quilting ruler to cut the bottom line 2″ down from the one marked and then freehanded between the armhole and the line I’d cut. I don’t think I’d have been so confident on a pattern I hadn’t tried before, but this one is so familiar I just got on with it!
The result is a great length for wearing with jeans, being warm but still looking relatively smart. It’s getting a lot of wear!
Next up are a pair of Grainline Linden sweatshirts. There’s a reason this pattern is a classic; it just works so well! I can have one of these made up, including cutting out, in well under two hours and know it’s going to fit perfectly. I now cut a version that’s graded between a 6 and an 8 and it’s just how I like the fit on a casual sweat.
The first one is made up in this cat print fleece backed sweatshirting; again, I’ve seen it all over but I think I got mine from Sewisfaction.
And this one is a lesson in not being TOO confident; I got a bit blasé when cutting it out and didn’t notice a slight cut from another pattern piece hitting the top of my front bodice.
In fact, I didn’t notice it until I’d got the whole thing made up and was topstitching the neckband. So I’m now relying on the non-fraying qualities of jersey to prevent this stretching out into a massive hole; wish me luck!
The final version is extra special, because it’s made in Atelier Brunete sweatshirting. Yes, THAT sweatshirting. It’s been online everywhere, it seems to sell out in seconds and now I’ve handled it, yes, it really is that good. This gold flecked black was another of my Great British Sewing Bee Live purchases, this time from Guthrie & Ghani. Unusually, I bought the recommended length from the packet; I just didn’t want to run out and ruin it all when I’d splashed out on expensive fabric.
It turns out that I needn’t have bought the full 1.7m, but I’m sure one of my girls will benefit from the offcuts. They won’t appreciate it properly, but it’s better than throwing it away!
The really nice bit on this is the topstitching. Thanks to video help from Rach Wain, I have managed to get my sewing machine working relatively well with a twin needle for the very first time. Rach’s explanatory post is here; check it out if you too have been swearing at your Janome for too long.
I am also going to mention that after I posted my twin needle woes to Instagram (one of my most popular posts ever!), Janome got in touch and offered to send me detailed support by email. Clearly that support was not forthcoming; thanks for nothing, Janome UK.
Anyway, having got it working, I went a bit mad on this and topstitched the shoulder seams, the waistband and the neckband with the twin needle. I left the sleeve cuffs as I find it just too bulky, but since I did all the other construction on my overlocker, the insides were already very neat. I wouldn’t want you to look too closely at the back of the twin needle stitching, but the front looks awesome!
And so, without ever once referring to the instructions, I have three new snuggly jumpers. I’m utterly thrilled with them all! And I may have snaggled a little more of that glorious Atelier Brunette fabric for an upcoming Minerva Make; life is good!
What are your tried and tested patterns? Do you find you have more of them for winter or summer?
Pattern: Seamwork Astoria / Grainline Studios Linden
My measurements: bust 35″: waist 31″: hip 41″
Size cut: M / 6 grading to 8 on hips
Adjustments made: lengthened bodice by 2″ / none
Fabric: Star print sweatshirting from Fabrics Galore
Cat print fleece back sweatshirting from Sewisfaction
Atelier Brunette Dazzle Night French terry from Guthrie & Ghani
Future adjustments: Nope
Make again: Inevitably!