Sewing course 2023 (04)

I’ve just had my last session of the sewing course I enrolled in at the start of this academic year. I actually made this jumper at home, but within the aims I set myself for this sewing course: I wanted to try making a few different kinds of garments and especially learn more about drafting my own patterns.

I had the idea for this jumper based on this knit fabric I bought some time last year. It’s black and kind of smooth on one side whereas the other side has a texture and shows a kind of grey/moss thread. I didn’t have that much of this material, but I hoped I could get one jumper out of it. Here are ideas for the jumper:

I used the loose-fitting bodice pattern I drafted for myself as a guide for cutting out the pieces for this jumper: I didn’t create a special pattern for the jumper, I just cut around the bodice pattern piece, by eye, making it larger to allow for making some decorative seams as shown in the illustrations (which will take about 2 cm out of the material) and for a looser fit.

I realised I didn’t have enough fabric to cut out sleeves in one piece so these are each made of two pieces, by necessity. I had bought ribbed tubing material for cuffs for the jacket I started early on in the sewing course (and I have yet to finish!), so I took some of that to create 8 cm long cuffs to ensure the sleeves for the jumper would be long enough. I could have chosen to not make a cuff on the sleeve but then I think the wide openings would get in the way of me doing things or roll or fall back towards the elbow, which I don’t like.

This is one of my first times sewing knitted material, so that was interesting. I used denim thread for the seams using a stretch stitch setting it to 2 mm width for the seams. I finished the inside seams with two goes of zigzagging. The neckline and the hem are left unfinished/raw. To prevent the material from stretching out there, I stitched in a ‘band’ of T-shirt fabric on the inside as reinforcement (I used what is called ‘T-shirt yarn’ for this, which I unwound/flattened, and using a 5 mm wide stretch stitch to attach it).

Here is the result, my first jumper:

I thought it would take less time to make the jumper than it actually did, in part because the stitch I chose takes a lot longer than a regular straight stitch (as a stretch stitch kind of back up on itself a little before going forward again). But in the end I think I am a time optimist and forget how much time I spend on a sewing project because I always lose track of time :).

This project wasn’t too difficult, so this is quite a good project for a beginner as long as you have stretch stitches on your machine.

During the final sewing class, I took advantage of the industrial serger and some beautiful black mesh that was available in the fabrics stash. I free-hand cut out pieces for a mini skirt, maxi skirt, and a simple top. I think the skirts turned out really well, but the top may not fit as nicely dependent on who wears it. I was pressed for time, so the top was made in a rush. With more time, I think I’d have shaped the front of the top by adding some chest darts/making the front out of three pieces instead of just one. All three garments have exposed seams.

All three, and other items I made, are available in my ebay shop.

By Alex

I have been crafting since early childhood and currently do mostly sewing and illustration. 'Almalauha' is the project I started to showcase my sewing/fashion hobby, at least that was the plan. But because I like a million different arts/crafts things, I'm just going to share most of the creative things I do on this blog.

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