|Pattern Description: |
From the magazine: A simple wrap-around jacket with extra long narrow sleeves is sewn from rib knit. The jacket is cut in two pieces that are joined at the center back. The top and bottom edges are finished with hems, and the sleeves are stitched in place last. The jacket can be worn in various ways: you can wrap it over your shoulders like a scarf or around your waist to the back. There are more pictures in their blog.
European sizing, 34-52. Sizing seems accurate.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, although I used a sweater knit not a rib knit so it lays differently.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes they were. Terse as usual, but sensible.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Likes: well, nearly everything, except the bit about the top stitching down the back. And I tend to do my cuffs differently than they do. More on that in modifications, below.
Dislikes: I shouldn't have topstitched down the back as they suggested. It causes the material to ripple, and wasn't necessary in a sweater knit. It might have been fine in a rib knit, but I'd be wary and test it on a scrap, first.
An acrylic sweater knit from stash. This has been aging a long time. In fact, it was originally destined for an Ottobre children's sweater pattern, but then I realized I didn't have the equipment needed to deal with this particular type of fabric (cover stitch machine and serger). My circumstances changed eventually but I had forgotten about this piece of fabric until I took one look at the magazine cover and it popped back into my mind. It's not what's recommended for this pattern, and admittedly this sweater knit does not have the stretch or drape that rib knit would, but it's lightweight for a sweater knit and seems to have worked quite well.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
One true change is that I do not ever hem sleeves before I sew up the armpit seam, except on doll clothes. I prefer to sew the hem up after sewing the armpit seam so I don't have to deal with the end of a seam showing. That said, they weren't kidding when they called this garment narrow sleeved and many people would feel more comfortable doing as the directions suggest and hemming before sewing up the armpit seam.
One other thing I'd like to mention was the difficulty of attaching clear elastic to the hem edge of a sweater knit. It was not fun, and I'm very glad I did a bunch of testing on scrap before committing to doing the real thing. In fact, I was mid-hissy despite working on scraps when Mr. Yak walked in. He asked me what was wrong and I told him my tale of woe. Then he said, "I remember you saying that when fabric ripples or puckers you should use stabilizer. Don't you have stabilizer?" My jaw dropped. I think I said, 'I love you,' and I reached for the water-soluble stabilizer. This along with an elastic foot allowed me to apply the elastic. Never have I loved my elastic foot and my husband so much, simultaneously.
And yes, I would say that the elastic is necessary. In fact, like the other reviewer, I added elastic to the cuff edge, too.
Oh, and another necessary thing? Hand basting the bottom hem. It was tedious because that is one long hemline, but I know that this was absolutely necessary - my sweater knit hem did not want to stay in place no matter how many pins I used. I'm very glad I took the time to hand baste.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes I would sew this again, although I probably won't because it's a rather dramatic piece and I'm not sure my wardrobe could justify two of them. That said, another one in black rib knit might be kind of useful.
To potential sewists: test out elastic application and top stitching on scraps. And I did this nearly entirely on my serger and coverstitch machines, if you don't have those, your results may not be as nice since this is all about stretch and drape. (Only the elastic was basted on with my conventional sewing machine.)
My faith in Ottobre sizing is restored! (I had a bad experience with a skirt pattern out of the same issue.) This is a lovely piece, the construction is unusual and it is very fun to wear. I'm not sure if the sweater knit will stay in place on my shoulders so well, but I intend to use a brooch on the top most side to secure it.
I love this sweater!