A pair of bows on their backs

IMG_8959I know that my girls are probably getting tired of dressing alike. But this pattern was just so cute that I wanted to make it twice! And since I have 2 girls, and both of them love to wear cozy sweatshirts, it seamed perfect to me.

As part of my pattern designer’s group, I got the opportunity to take part in a pattern swap. I love the idea of the swap, because we get someone to interpret our pattern. You must go see what Anne did with my pattern! She totally changed it up. http://www.sofilantjes.com/uncategorized/shirt-turns-dress/. And we also get to try out a fellow designer’s pattern for fun. It is a win-win.IMG_8933I asked to try the Otium pattern by Sofilantjes. It has a bunch of different fun options, like a diagonal pocket or short sleeves, but I really loved the bow in back the best. I might try the other options in the future.

Both girls wanted to wear the super soft sweatshirt fleece, but they picked very different binding and bow options. My older daughter’s bow is actually made of quilting cotton, not knit, as the pattern suggests. The bands are made from a very stretchy rib knit. My younger picked the heavily textured vintage double knit that actually doesn’t have much stretch and is a little scratchy. She said it was scratchy when she first put it on, but then proceeded to wear it for 5 hours without complaints, so I guess it wasn’t too bad. Phew.

IMG_8991 They both had fun taking the photos, surprisingly. Yes, I bribed them with lollipops. They seemed to like taking the photos together, even though I swear not 5 minutes before these photos were taken they were yelling at each other and slamming doors. It was a long weekend…

So now we can discuss an issue that has been plaguing me since I wrote the pattern directions for The Sandpoint Top, that also utilizes neckbands and armbands to finish the edges — different knit fabrics all stretch and recover differently. When applying a neckband or armband, it is best to stretch the band slightly so that it has some tension and does not bend and flop. It should fit snugly and bring the shirt edges in, but not so much that it looks gathered. It is a delicate balance that is made more tricky by different fabric choices.

AIMG_8971My daughter’s 2 neckbands are examples of trial and error. S’s pink band is made of a very stretchy cotton knit with little recovery. I cut the piece as directed, but I should have used my seamstress intuition to ascertain that it wasn’t pulled tight enough. Not the pattern’s fault, it is just the variance in fabric. If I was a beginner I would hope that I would read and heed the advice on the stretch of my knit before forging ahead. I, of course, didn’t even look at that part of the directions. I’m such a rebel!

IMG_8966On D’s shirt, the double knit was so stable that I couldn’t pull it all the way around. Luckily I planned for this and cut my band longer. I wouldn’t normally suggest you made a neck band out of a firm poly double knit like that, but I knew what to expect in this case. It turned out fine but also not perfectly because it didn’t snug up the neckline enough.

The moral of the story– my favorite part of sewing is that I can choose and mix and match fabrics, but it is still a tricky thing. I think both sweatshirts turned out so cute, but if I made them again I might heed the designer and pick more appropriate fabrics. I know, how boring!


To see what all the other designers are doing, here are the tour dates for them all:
unnamedMonday January 19th
Mandy K Designs / Sofilantjes

Tuesday January 20th
GYCT Designs / Stubbornly Crafty / Gray All Day

Wednesday January 21st
Striped Swallow Designs / AimerLae & Finn

Thursday January 22nd
Once Upon A Sewing Machine / The Merry Church Mouse / Filles a Maman / Koda Baby

Friday January 23rd
FABulous Home Sewn / Gracious Threads / Rose & Lee Designs / Muffinhead Patterns


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