Sewing and textiles with Ann
A birthday present!
I bought the new Gather Detail Sweatshirt pattern with some birthday present money. I have the Essential Collection book (previous birthday present…) and have made one or two things from it, but i have never bought a Maker’s Atelier pattern before, as they strike me as a bit expensive. But i was given some money which was close to the cost of the pattern, so as soon as i entered the Sewing for Pleasure show at the NEC last Saturday, i made a b-line for Frances’ stand. And there she was, all on her own and available for what turned out to be, quite a lengthy chat.
I suppose that i quite like tops that are a little bit interesting. This is a hoodie with a slight difference. I examined pretty much every seam on the sample at the Show, and concluded that it would be quite straightforward to make, with the excpetion, as Frances pointed out, of the sleeve gathers. I dont mind sewing with elastic; in fact, i quite like it, but not in this case. Gosh, it was difficult! But i got there.
The elastic is quite wide, and quite strong, and critically, sewing machine arms are generally wider than delicate ladies’ wrists! It was quite a battle to keep the fabric moving beneath the sewing machine foot. I do recommend the method described in the instructions; a method i have never seen before, but it serves, as best it can, to keep the elastic out of the way of the machine foot, facilitating slightly greater access to sew. In fact, i sewed the outer line of stitching, the one that encases the elastic, on top of the machine i.e. i did not wrap it round the arm, but sewed the bottom of the sleeve. I should have taken a picture shouldnt i? But i was so busy fighting to find the easiest way of doing it…….
I’m also going to praise the fabric layout; wastage being a popular topic of conversation these days. There is wastage, and single layer layouts always put me off because they dont fit onto the table, and i have to crawl around on the floor (which i am too old to do nowadays). But i got the front, back and hood out of part folded 150cm fabric, and only had to cut the sleeves twice. I could do all of that on the table. Hurray! And there isnt a lot of fabric left over. This wouldnt have worked if i had needed to pattern match. I’d have needed more fabric.
The fabric is cotton jersey, also purchased at Sewing for Pleasure. It strikes me that jersey comes in two types; the kind that comes out of the washing machine dry (artificial fibres) and the type that takes ages to dry (cotton). So this is cotton!
The sweatshirt has proved to be easy to wear, and easy to wash. Although i think i will add small toggles to the ends of the ties to make sure that the ribbon i have used doesn’t disappear back into the hood casing. I had to shorten the sleeves by 11cm. That’s a lot. I usually only shorten sleeves by about 5 – 6 cm. This has always puzzled me because i don’t seem to have particularly short arms. Check this, because you dont want strong elastic and gathering flapping around your hands, especially if you are washing up!
So, if i add the cost of the pattern to the cost of the fabric, and notions, my sweatshirt has cost about £50. OK. It’s unique and slightly different, and the sleeves fit well, but that’s quite a lot of money. So guess what, i will have to make another to spread the cost of the pattern!