Monday, September 22, 2014

Navy Blue Quilted White Russian Sweatshirt

Fabric: Indigo Blue Cotton Jersey Sweatshirt Fleece Knit Fabric - Girl Charlee
Pattern: White Russian - Capital Chic Patterns  

So now that I'm very into sewing up my fall wardrobe, it's back to being 80 this week, and while I'm loving the warmer weather it's so frustrating to not be able to wear any of my recent makes. I whipped this sweatshirt up this weekend and am now wanting to wear it everyday, it's truly such a ready to wear item, I can't even take it. Usually I try to avoid cutting out my fabric and sewing on the same day to not get into an angry impatient sewing mood. But there were only 4 main pieces not counting hem, collar, and neck band and it looked like a pretty straightforward pattern. Since I've been more focused on 'quality makes' this has been one of the quickest things I've sewn up. I cut the fabric out in the morning and quilted the front section, took a coffee break (shameless plug: did you guys notice my new social media icons on the right sidebar?) , and then got back to it and was done in about two hours. Such a nice easy sew it was honestly very satisfying. 

Ok, let's talk about my favorite part: the quilting! The pattern called for pre-quilted sweatshirt fabric if you could find it or you could quilt your own. They didn't have any pre-quilted fabric on the Girl Charlee site when I was shopping around and I figured it'd be more fun to quilt a custom design anyways. I decided to just stick to a basic diamond pattern, but i feel like it lives up to the namesake of the pattern company and makes it feel less "sweatshirty" and more chic. To get the thickness needed for the quilting to show up I used cotton batting that I had picked up at JoAnn's and layed out my design with chalk. I cut two front pieces out so that I wouldn't have to have the batting showing on the inside. The batting and the extra layer of fabric do make it a little bulky, but there is still a lot of shape and ease. I almost feel like it looks like one of those fencer uniforms. Enguarde! A part of me almost wishes I had sewn the quilting in contrasting fabric to get more of a pop.

I feel like I look slightly like a chicken with my arm like that

I did run across a little problem when attaching the bias piece to the neck band. Even though this fabric is a knit fabric it didn't have a lot of stretch, and even with a lot of trying I couldn't get the neck band to stretch enough to not have wrinkles around the neck seam. I didn't really want to cut out a new piece, so I added a pleat to the top back  (which is what you can kind of see in the above right picture) and then re-sewed down the neck binding and it fit perfectly. Next time if my fabric doesn't have stretch I'll remember to cut that piece a little bit bigger, interestingly I didn't have a problem with my bottom hem or cuff pieces. There weren't any instructions included for how to finish the seams. I ended up doing my usual zig-zag stitch followed by some grading down to reduce bulk, but I'm sure most people with sergers just finish them that way. 

I already have two more variations of this in mind which I will hopefully get to share with you all soon. What do you think, are you a fan of the fancy sweatshirt?

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