French terry, in case you are unsure, is like normal sweatshirt fabric on the right side, with a loop back, a bit like towelling on the back. It's lovely and soft and quite drapey, but thinner than fleecey sweatshirting and as a result, not overly warm - at least the stuff I bought isn't. I struggled to find any in the UK, hence buying from Japan, but I have since discovered that if you search for "loop back", or simply "sweatshirt fabric" you are more likely to have success - if you search for the latter, double check whether it is fleece back or loop back. Perhaps "French Terry" is an American term?
Before cutting out, I did have a bit of a change of mind and briefly considered making both the front and back bodice in the metallic fabric. I put the question out to IG but the overwhelming response was in favour of my initial plan, which was good because I probably would have done that anyway. I couldn't really picture it with a metallic back, and I think I made the right choice. Plus, I know the gold foil will eventually fade/wear away, so this means I can always make another! :) On that subject, I thought I would take care not to wash this too often, to ensure the foil lasts as long as possible. Best laid plans and all that: so far today it has had banana mashed into it and it has been peed on - both after these photos were taken, luckily for you!
I've made the Linden before, but this time I made the following changes:
- Retraced the pattern pieces, this time extending the seam allowance to 1/2". The pattern includes a 1/4" SA which I just found tricky to manage on my last version, particularly as I sewed both that version and this on my sewing machine. Adding the extra SA definitely helped on this one, and where necessary (e.g. on the neck, wrist and hem bands) I just trimmed them back to 1/4" to reduce bulk.
- To counter the gaping on the neckline on my previous version, I pinched out a dart on either side. Each dart was about 3cm in width and about 6cm in length. They could do with some finessing as they are not perfectly aligned, but this has made a vast improvement to the fit on the neck. For future versions, I may take the excess out of the raglan sleeve seam, but I quite like the look of the darts on this version. Plus I've seen similar on RTW so it feels OK to have done it!
- Despite the reduction in the neckline circumference, I didn't reduce the length of the neck band. I used the Maria Denmark Kimono tee instructions to measure a new neckband... which strangely turned out to be larger than the original Linden neckband pattern piece. Hmmmm. So I just used the same Linden pattern piece and it seems to fit perfectly well. Not sure I really understand, so I'm just going with it.
- I used self fabric for the neck, hem and wrist bands. I did cut them out in the same ribbing I used last time (I have a lot leftover), but it just didn't feel right to use them for this version. I vastly prefer the look of the self fabric, particularly at the neck.
- Top stitched both the neckband and the raglan seam allowances with a twin needle.
The make itself was nice and easy, but the fabric was a little tricky. The cut edges curled badly, which made keeping to seam allowances very difficult, particularly when attaching the neck/wrist/hem band, where I had 3 layers, curling in different directions, which I was trying to straighten out while stretching the band to fit the fabric and keeping an eye on the SA. I could have done with a couple of pairs of extra hands to tell the truth. I ended up basting the neck and hem band on first. The neck and wrist bands are quite neat but the hem band is a bit of a mess with very inconsistant seam allowances. By then though, I was sewing tired. Always a bad idea. The fabric also frayed - unusual for a knit - so all seams are overlocked.
But, hem band aside, I am delighted with this sweatshirt. Absolutely love it. I love that it's casual but a bit more special. Even just wearing it as I am in these photos with jeans and converse, it makes me feel a bit more cool. I can wear a long sleeved tee(s) underneath it right now, but it will be wearable right through spring and into summer with just a cami underneath. Be prepared to see this in high rotation throughout Me Made May!
|Hooray for metallic sweatshirts!!!|
|Shoulder dart. Also seam on neck band doesn't *quite* match up!|
Finally, when I asked P to take photos of me outside for this post, he refused. Apparently everyone looks at him when he takes photos of me!! I would have thought they'd probably be looking at me, wondering why I'm having my photo taken, but anyway. So, it was back to me taking "self portraits" in the livingroom. Until, that is, he decided to join in...
Next up: a lesson in why you should always prewash...