So I think we established in my post last week that I love the new Martini Dress pattern from Capital Chic Patterns right?! Well I was lucky enough to test a second pattern from Sally's brand new collection and out of the two I just can't pick a favourite! After the line drawing for Martini caught my eye the White Russian Sweatshirt was the next pattern that grabbed my attention. Here in the UK it can be chilly for large parts of the year and I often find myself struggling to put together a stylish, flattering yet warm outfit day after day in the winter. But here was Sally looking chic as ever in a sweatshirt! I just had to give it a try.
It was such a quick an enjoyable make, those raglan sleeves make it super speedy! For me it was one of those when you just feel content sitting at your machine and seeing it all come together. I was having such a great time that I was already dreaming up multiple different versions whilst still sewing!
I cut a size 2 and think it's turned out just slightly larger than intended as I'm still working on my overlocker confidence and tend to use too small of a seam allowance in fear of trimming off too much! I still feel less swamped in this than I have done in any other sweatshirt I've tried on in the past and really like the more relaxed fit when worn with skinny jeans and a statement necklace. I'll definitely be going slimmer next time though as I absolutely love how Sally has paired her versions with skirts for the promo shots. I'd never have even considered wearing a sweatshirt out for a night on the town but can really see myself doing so with this slimmer more feminine style.
I do think next time I'll take an inch or two off both the length of the body and the sleeves as I think this would help create a more flattering fit on my short body! If you need a reference point length wise I'm about 5ft 3" and am quite short waisted.
I made this up using a sweater knit from Classic Textiles on Goldhawk Road. As it was a pattern test I wanted to make up a plain version to begin with so was looking for a fabric with a bit of interest to it. This knit has a slight marl to it which shows up best in the close ups below. I used exactly the 1.5m recommended by the pattern, with just scraps to spare and I think it was £6 or £7 a metre. Classic Textiles have a great range of sweat shirting in different colours and textures all around that price range so I really recommend a visit if you're looking for a good selection to choose from.
I'm still not hugely confident working with knits and am very slowly getting used to how different knits can produce a totally different result with the same pattern. This was a nice stable knit to work with and I'm pretty happy with the results overall. I think the neckband could sit a little flatter so I'd stretch it out a little more as I attach it if using a similar fabric again. But I am really pleased with my cuffs!
If you are a beginner I will suggest that it would be useful to have previous experience of handling and sewing with knits as (given that all the Capital Chic patterns are aimed at intermediate to advanced sewists) there are no extra tips when it comes to stitch types and needles e.t.c. I sewed the whole garment up on my overlocker and didn't even add any topstitching as I liked the clean look.
Can you spot my mistake? Yep, should have checked that cutting layout before I ploughed on in with the scissors! I must have been having a funny five minutes as I neglected to notice that the band for the hem needed to be cut out twice on the fold and I ended up without a long enough scrap left to do this. I had to cut it in two and add a seam at the centre back but I don't think it's that noticeable and at least I can't see it when it's on!
One of the things I like about this pattern is that I think it's a perfect straightforward make for beginners with a little experience but as it is such a fantastic blank canvas for embellishment and personalisation a more advanced seamstress could give themselves a good challenge in what they choose to do. I am dying to add some heavy beadwork to the neckline of this version and am also really tempted to try a version in a very loosely woven knit to wear layered and oversized. My absolute favourite element of the pattern is the inclusion of instructions as to how to quilt your sweatshirt, including templates for lion and fox designs! I've never tried any form of quilting so will definitely be trying this out at some point. I also love the black geometric embossed knit Sally used for one of her samples which looks as if it is pre-quilted.
|Sally in her faux-quilted White Russian sample|
If looking at my blank canvas of a sweatshirt has got you inspired to make your own and get creative with the personalisation then I have good news for you! Sally has very generously agreed to give away a copy of the White Russian Sweatshirt PDF pattern to one of my readers. If you would like to be in with a chance of winning let me know in the comments below. The giveaway is of course open internationally and will close at midnight GMT on Saturday 12th July. I'll randomly select a winner on Sunday and the pattern will be delivered to your inbox so make sure you either include your email address in the comments or that it is easily accessible from your profile. Good luck everyone, I'm off to look at decorated sweatshirts on Pinterest!