I have been trying to give a little more thought to my wardrobe these days. I have a bad habit of accumulating dressy things that I rarely wear and wearing out boring casual items. My new plan is to focus on making easy care & love-to-wear everyday clothes.
Some of the worst offenders in my casual attire are sweatshirts and casual jackets. I grabbed this pattern as soon as it came out because I knew if/when I made it, it would become a staple.
This is a Very Easy Vogue pattern. I was curious to see if it lived up to its billing.
I used a mystery fabric I picked up on a bargain table. It looks like a 100% cotton french terry in solid black. I washed it in warm and machine dried it on medium. So far so good. It looked the same – only a little smaller and with apparently a lot less fluffy fuzz. It is soft, lighter weight than it looks, and surprisingly drapeable.
I’m not convinced that the high-low silhouette will stand the test of time, so I altered the pattern to have a single level bottom. I also added the optional kangaroo pocket. Never pass up the opportunity to add pockets! Adding pockets is one of the great benefits of sewing for yourself.
The unusual neck opening closes with snaps and a single 1 1/2 inch button. This is a great opportunity to use something special as a focal point. Unfortunately, it’s a difficult size to find. Instead I went with a slightly smaller loop and a button I have been wanting to use.
That full lint trap in the dryer was a sign of things to come. Five minutes in, my whole sewing area was covered with black fuzz. I took a second look at the pattern instructions and made sure that all raw edges would be secured inside a seam or an overlock stitch.
The pattern calls for double lines of stitching on most seams. I changed all of these to serged overlock seams. Leaving any raw edges would lead to fraying, decreasing the life of the garment. I’m pretty sure it would also decorate any future load of laundry with tons of black cotton lint specks. Taking a few extra steps here saves a lot of headaches later! I made notes on the pattern instructions so that I don’t have to rethink my modifications later.
There is only a tiny bit of interfacing in this – just on the right side of the placket. To keep it nice and soft, I used this fusible made specifically for knits. It adds some structure, but leaves the fabric soft and stretchy.
Construction was straightforward. For a Vogue pattern, this was very easy. There is no lining, no buttonhole and no fussy fitting. However, I would not recommend it to a complete novice. Some of the recommended fabrics, such as sweater knits, can be tricky to work with. You will need to be proficient enough to work with varying thicknesses, stretchy fabrics, fraying, etc. and make your own changes if needed. I would say it was appropriate for an advanced beginner or intermediate level sewer.
For some reason, the pattern did not specify any edge finish for the inside of the plackets, leaving them raw. This could work with some knits, such as a heavier sweatshirt or fleece. I definitely needed to add in a narrow hem, binding, or overcast edge for my loosely woven terry.
As you can see in the pictures, it comes out as loosely fitting as the illustration. The sleeve length was too long for me, but I kind of like that in a loose pullover. If that gets old, I can always scrunch them up.
If I make this again, I think I might use the nicely centered rectangular placket as a ground for embroidery. Can you imagine this with boho-style redwork or maybe a row of simple repeated shapes in a complementary color? If I embroider, I would omit the button and loop and just do hidden snaps all of the way up.
I do have a way of making things harder than they need to be. If you make this in a more stable material that didn’t need any special care, you could make one up in a couple of hours. Maybe I’ll do that. Maybe I won’t. For now, it’s time to clean up the lint and start something new!