I am sure that I am not the only one that is feeling the need for more ‘comfort’ clothing during Lockdown. I have to admit that I have been drawn towards my elasticated waistbands (pietra shorts, culottes) and no waist-banded items of clothing (peppermint jumpsuit) and feeling much better for the relaxed dress code.
April’s Sew My Style options were the Nova Sweatshirt from Sinclair Patterns and the Redwood Vest by 4 out of 5 Patterns. It was the first time I’d really wanted to make one of the patterns so far this year, although I made my much-worn Quincy dress as part of the same series in 2019. As a member of Sew My Style I receive discounts from the relevant patterns and am entered into a prize draw any time I make the relevant item. This month’s prize is a £100 token to Minerva Crafts, and oh-my-goodness, that would suit me down to a t!
Following on from needing comfort clothes, and knowing that a jumper had been on my list for ages, I decided to make the Nova Sweatshirt. Sinclair Patterns is a new to me pattern company and there’s quite a few nice basics in their range. I purchased Nova with my discount and discovered (to my delight) that Sinclair Patterns has a Tall, Petite and Regular size range. Instantly, I downloaded the tall version of the jumper, pretty chuffed that that was an option. However, when I came to print it out, I checked the finished length against my body and realised, again, that I don’t really need extra length in the body of clothing – just in the sleeves and the legs.
With that in mind, I went back to the website and downloaded the regular size of the jumper, and chose the style I wanted to make: normal neckline and bottom band (not drawstring), with a kangaroo pocket. I often wish, on surveys etc., that I had pockets in my top: this is the answer.
Fortunately, I checked what I was printing before pressing the button, and managed to print only the pages I needed. Now, in all honesty, I have never seen a labelling of the pages quite like Sinclair Patterns have done: on the print schematic, they number the pages incredibly strangely, making it extremely difficult to work out what you actually need to print for your size and options. I think this could have been simplified rather a lot, both to save paper and our time. With a bit of effort, I managed to print my personalised pattern out in 33 pages, rather than 40. Only 7 pages saving, but I printed the sleeves from the Tall pattern, and all the other options from the Regular pattern, which undoubtedly doubled up on some pages. It’s a lot of printing for a simple sweatshirt, but never mind, it is what it is. Happily, Sinclair Patterns use the same method of piecing together the pdf print-offs as Greenstyle Creations, which I really appreciate. It saves so much time and effort.
I have a wee pile of jersey fabric in my stash, including this gorgeous cherry-red loopback sweatshirting that I bought several years ago. It’s been sat there awaiting the perfect moment and I decided that this was it. For the cuffs, neckline and bottom band I chose a heavy cotton jersey that I’d dyed a while ago – it was originally bright green, believe it or not. It’s not ribbing, but I didn’t want to place a fabric order right at this moment in time.
When I pulled out both fabrics it looked like I had plenty, but once the pattern pieces were laid out on the sweatshirt fabric I discovered that 1 metre of 1.5 metre wide fabric doesn’t easily fit all the pieces on. By conducting some delicate manoeuvring and cutting the sleeve pieces out on a single layer, amazingly I managed to cut it out without any problems! It’s amazing what a bit of fabric tetris will do. In case this is useful to hear, I cut the size 10, with the longer sleeves, and had to cut one sleeve upside down – so this amount of fabric is not suitable for a directional print or a fabric that obviously has a right way and wrong way.
Putting the jumper together was so easy. My kangaroo pocket has a wee bit of a wobbly top edge but I don’t mind, and if I ever decide I do I’ll be able to fix it. A couple of things to note: most of the pattern markings are unnecessary. The ones that you need to worry about are those that mark the front of the sleeves, the pocket placement markings and the ones around the bottom band and neckline. And another tip is that if you press the back raglan seams towards the back piece (rather than the sleeve as the instructions would have you do), it makes it much easier to create a nice meeting with the front raglan seam at the underarm – pressing them all towards the sleeve creates an unnecessary hump. Another thing is that there’s no lengthen / shorten lines on the pattern pieces. I suppose this is as tall and petite options are available, but something to be aware of.
Paying attention to the above, the top came together beautifully. I overlocked most of it together, using my lovely rainbow overlocking thread on the loopers to make it as joyful on the inside as possible it is possible to be. There was only a wee bit of maroon thread leftover from my Ness, so that was put to good use here around the pocket and topstitching the neckline.
Unfortunately, I broke both twin needles I had while topstitching the neckline, and didn’t manage to get it finished. There’s a gap of about two inches, but luckily it’s on the back shoulder. If I should happen to win that voucher for Minerva Crafts, I know what I’ll be buying 😉
The instructions were fine and easy to follow: they have a level of detail suitable for a beginner to understand. I normally prefer instructions with drawings rather than photos, but it’s such a simple jumper that it doesn’t really matter in this instance. And although I feel like I am saying this a lot at the moment, I really love the finished article. The colours are just gorgeous, and the jersey is perfect. The Nova Raglan pattern is really great. I must admit that I couldn’t see that the sleeves were going to be long enough, but once that gloriously long cuff was added they are absolutely perfect. The body is absolutely just right for me as well. Perfectly fitting straight out the envelope, what more could we ask for?!
Overall, I am really, really chuffed with this item. It’s a real wardrobe workhorse and the various different options (hood, cowl neck, plain neck; kangaroo pocket, breast pocket; bottom band, drawstring bottom) means that the pattern covers almost all bases for a raglan jumper. It’ll be very handy indeed.