I’ve started making myself go for a run every day. It’s part of the RoderRoadRunners challenge, which means there’s a WhatsApp group on my phone with hundreds of messages every day from all the other nutters who are forcing themselves out every day, regardless of weather. The motivation is great and it’s definitely helping me cope with an increasingly tough time of things.
What’s this got to do with sewing? Well, apart from the fact that it was a sewing friend who introduced me to the group, this morning, I ran in the snow. I actually can’t believe that I did that: I don’t do fitness, I’ve never run in my life before this year, so to find me trekking up to school in running gear and running in the snow after drop off instead of heading home at speed is quite the turn around.
I was, however, dripping wet and absolutely frozen when I got back. This is the point where, post hot shower, you need a lovely warm sweatshirt to snuggle into.
Luckily, I have recently added two new sweatshirts to me (already quite extensive) collection, so I was spoilt for choice.
Both sweatshirts are from newly released patterns; both pattern companies are favourites of mine; both have feature sleeves. But in other respects, they are quite different to each other.
The first one I made was the Deer & Doe Neige sweatshirt. This comes in two different lengths and with two different necklines. I chose to make the more cropped version with cuffed sleeves and a normal neckband. I cut my usual size (40, grading to 42 at the waist) and didn’t make any other adjustments.
The sleeves on this sweater are made up of three separate pattern pieces. The main body of the sweatshirt has a dropped shoulder, and then you sew the three additional pieces together to make a voluminous sleeve. I chose to use a poly (?) sweatshirting I’ve had in the stash for ages because it had a reasonable amount of body so I was confident it would show the sleeve shaping off well.
For anyone used to knits, the sleeves are the only bit of this one that you’d need to read the instructions for. Which is good, as Deer and Doe instructions are notoriously brief. Absolutely fine if you’ve made similar things before, but probably not the best for the absolute beginner as there is little to no handholding. However, they are clear and succinct and I find the diagrams really easy to follow, so it’s not a problem for me.
I mostly sewed this up on my overlocker and, because the fabric had very little stretch, I used ready made cuffs and plain ribbing for the neckband. This was definitely the right call! The neckline is actually really wide, probably because the other view has a funnel neck, and actually that’s my only niggle with the pattern. I find that neckline a little too wide and, if I make it again, I’d be tempted to redraw the neck opening and make the neckband smaller, just for extra snuggliness. (My computer is telling me that snuggliness is not a word, but I’m sticking with it!)
Other than that, I really like this style. It isn’t too short so long as you’re wearing reasonably high rise jeans, but since there are so many of those around these days that isn’t an issue.
The other sweatshirt I made was from the latest Tilly and the Buttons pattern (I know, no one is surprised that I made a Tilly pattern!) The Billie is either a sweatshirt or a sweater dress and has 2 different sleeve options.
Obviously I went for the more dramatic sleeve! This is a set in sleeve but with lots of gathers top and bottom to give loads of volume. For this one, I chose a brushed back french terry from my stash, which came from Stoff & Stil quite some time since. It proved to be absolutely the perfect choice, as it’s super cosy to wear whilst the print makes it a little different. I again cut my usual size (4 on top grading to a 5 at the waist and hips)
In contrast to the Deer and Doe, Tilly’s instructions are far more verbose and hold your hand if you’re new to jersey sewing. She uses pictures to illustrate instead of diagrams so you can see on a real example what things look like.
Again, the sleeves were really the only part where I read the instructions at all. Setting those sleeves in really just comes down to lots of gathering stitches which you then pull together to fit the fabric to the armscye and pin as if your life depends on it.
I HATE gathering. I really, really do not enjoy the process at all. However, I absolutely LOVE the finished sleeves, so I think this is probably the sort of pain I’ll be putting myself through again. I already have two lots of sweatshirting lined up to make more tops, and this pattern will be used for at least one of them.
Whilst I admit to owning a lot of sweatshirts already, I think both these patterns were worthy additions to my collection. Particularly since I’m definitely not going to be heading back to the office in the near future as my employer is now talking about summer 2021 at the earliest, it’s great to have a variety of warm yet nice looking tops whilst working from home. I seem to spend many, many hours on video calls these days, and both of these have elicited compliments so I’m happy!
What’s your go to sweatshirt pattern? Have you tried either of these?
Fabric poly sweatshirting / brushed back french terry (both from stash)
Bust : 36″
Waist : 32″
Hips : 42″
Size cut 40 – 42 / 4-5
Adjustments made just the grading mentioned above
Future adjustments? I will probably make the neckline on the Deer and Doe smaller as it feels quite wide
Make again? Absolutely!