I’ve recently discovered the joys of purchasing fabric online (dangerous!) and made an order last week for a selection of fabric on sale. One of them was this white Jacquard Jersey for the bargain price of EUR 5.70/m. I really liked the texture that the Jacquard weave gives to it and as I’ve recently discovered a love of sewing with jersey, I thought it would make a good purchase, so snapped up 2 metres.
The project I had in mind for this jersey was this Simple Sew Jersey Top pattern. I really liked the shape of it and it’s also something I could never buy in this shape in a shop due to my err … *assets*. I thought I would give it a go and make some basic fitting alterations to accommodate. It also looked like a quick Saturday sew which would cure my weekend need for a completed project.
Just a quick note on this pattern – it was a freebie with Love Sewing Magazine so I didn’t have massively high hopes. However, I do think the “Beginner Level” tag is a bit misleading. The instructions that come with this pattern fit on one side of A4 paper and are more than sparse. In addition to this, the promised online tutorial was nowhere to be found. As a result, I really wouldn’t recommend this to a Beginner – maybe an adventurous beginner? You definitely need to have a few projects under your belt and some knowledge that you can apply to the sparse instructions to complete this successfully.
I traced my pattern using my new Pi-Dy discovery which meant I had the most accurate pattern cutting and marking that I think I’ve probably ever done. I made a couple of adjustments to the pattern to suit my shape – I cut a 16 on the bust, 14 on the waist and 12 on the hips, grading between sizes at the appropriate points. I also cut a 16 on the sleeves as I hate tight sleeves and added about an inch on the length. On reflection now on my finished make I would probably cut a 12 on the waist as well to make it slightly less boxy. The pattern only has 6 pieces so the cutting was pretty quick. I was also pleased when I got to laying out the pattern that I’ve been left with a nice wedge of fabric left over. I’m thinking maybe a circle skirt like my Jersey Denim Skirt or maybe even a pencil skirt?
Once I got to sewing, things came together pretty quickly. Essentially you need to attach the sleeves to the bodice, matching notches, and then sew the side seams – easy peasy!
Then comes the tough stuff, adding the sleeve bands, neck band and waistband, which is where the instructions were really lacking. Just little tips like pressing your bands in half when you’ve folded them would definitely be helpful to a beginner. The most frustrating and mind boggling part is that all of the bands appear to be about half the size of the fabric you are inserting in to them and there is zero mention of gathering, pleats or tucks in the pattern. It turns out that as you sew you need to stretch the band whilst allowing the machine to feed the bottom fabric of the main garment through. As you do this the excess fabric is tucked in to the band – magic! In order to do this without any puckers or little pleats you need to carefully pin each section to take up enough of the excess fabric. I have no idea how a beginner would be expected to know how to do that. All the instructions say are “sew the waistband, neckband and sleeve bands to the garment”. Great huh?
Anyway, rant about lacking instructions over. Here’s the finished garment! I’m super super pleased with it – it’s probably my favourite make of all time! The jersey makes it exceptionally comfy to wear and I love the neckband and sleeves. Amazingly the waistband is a perfect fit for me as well. I guess the positive about the lacking instruction is it proved to me that I have some acquired knowledge which I could apply, so I must be learning something!
And here’s me enjoying a Lillet Cocktail on my friend’s balcony in my new make (a bit of a fuzzy picture but I wanted to include it)! Have you had any super successful makes recently? Or any makes where you went off-piste and just ignored the bad instructions?!