I have finished Capital Chic Patterns White Russian sweatshirt adorned with a lovely lion....grrr.... I am sitting here after a day of decorating by my fire - it truly is autumn and I am officially cold - and this sweatshirt is the perfect antidote to keep me toasty...and stylishly so I would hope.
The patterns are all named after a cocktail which is very cute and cater to the intermediate to advanced sewer. I have mentioned the pattern company before but it is worth taking a look at their site - especially if you need some work wear inspiration or like smart dresses - the Martini dress is divine and if I ever have reason to make something so smart I will jump on it! I chose to make the most relaxed of the patterns. It is a raglan sleeved sweatshirt that can be made in various versions, with self fabric cuffs, neckline and waistband, and I went for the standard long sleeve with a quilted picture of a lion on the front. Super cute. You cant see it so easily on the site as she sews the lion in a grey thread so it blends in but the one I made you can hopefully see better. I stitched the lion in a blue thread - mainly because I imagine I will wear it with blue jeans so it has some small colour reference there. It was also to show off the design a little more. There is also a fox template in the pattern pack and a suggestion to do diamond criss cross quilting and then its up to you and your imagination!!
The fabric I used was a loop backed sweatshirt jersey in marl grey. I didn't want to spend loads on it so bought it from an eBay shop. Its nice and soft inside but I think this pattern could also use a slightly heavier jersey, especially for when it gets colder. Right now luckily my fabric isn't too thin. I wasn't quite sure what I was buying though in all honesty, I still find jersey a little confusing and have to really search around to make sure I am getting the right stuff. I also found it a little difficult to get any other colour than grey, black or blue. Where do you get the good stuff from when you want a little bit of variety? If anyone can tell me it would be much appreciated!
To make the quilted section you draw the picture on to tissue paper and then stitch it on to the front of the sweatshirt with the wadding in place on the reverse - and I used the thinnest wadding I could get hold of. I also put some of the main jersey fabric across the wadding inside as I didn't want it to be exposed and to rub against me when I wear it. I imagine it looks neater like this as well as preserving the wadding a little longer when washing and wearing. Once sewn its a good idea to zig zag the outside of the jersey after trimming the wadding and jersey back.
My main advice here is to make sure the fabric is dead flat and then to tack the hell out of both the fabric and paper design so it wont move. This basically means tack corner to corner, at intervals across and down. This stops it moving too much and in my minimal experience when making quilts this is what you would do when you are putting the backing on and creating the actual quilting stitches. It helped enormously as you have to do a lot of twists and turns whilst sewing this. My second tip is to do it very, very slowly!! I have a setting to choose the speed on my sewing machine so I set it to super slow so I didn't get trigger happy on the foot pedal. Due to this I didn't need to unpick any of it which is a pretty new experience for me!
Once you have finished the quilting you can easily peel away the paper and reveal the lovely pattern. Once trimmed and finished off its a nice, lightly padded section that just lightly pops away from the main sweatshirt front in a sort of 3D effect. Although you cant really see that in this photo!
I sewed the top up with my serger, using my sewing machine just to tack the pieces together, a good tip I found out whilst sewing together the Collette Myrtle dress as it stops the fabric from slipping around. This meant that all the seams matched perfectly...yay!!
I absolutely recommend this pattern. Its an easy one to sew up and its something I will wear regularly. I think I will definitely try it again in another colour, with a thicker and fleecier fabric and try another design, or add a front pocket. The great thing is it's easy to put your own designs on it and it is a great technique to think about using on other patterns. Would you like to sew one of these up or have you already made up your versions? I would love to see them.