Next month Owen and I are finally going on holiday to one of our dream destinations and also one of the most beautiful places in Australia, Tasmania! Obviously my closet doesn’t offer much for cooler climates – the lowest temperature here might go as low as 15°C in a very ‘cold’ winter night so I don’t own many sweaters, long pants or jackets. Needless to say, I had to fill the gap in and sew something warm for this upcoming trip.
I’m already working on my Rigel Bomber, participating at the #rigelbomberjanuary craze, but I’m at a stall as I’m waiting for my ribbing and zipper to arrive from US. I love this pattern and can’t wait to share the finish product with you. In the meantime, instead of twiddling my thumbs, I’ve purchased some gorgeous knits from Miss Matatabi, on Etsy, with the idea of making a few sweatshirts to wear while traveling. I wanted something easy and relaxed and I was torn between Grainline Studio Linden, Capital Chic White Russian and Papercut Undercover Hood. The latter won the battle as it offers the hood and kangaroo pocket variation which I’m a sucker for.
I’ve started with the simplest version, the plain sweatshirt, mainly because I had just 1.5m of this lovely navy floral quilted jersey. It is on the heavy weight side – where the flowers are, the material feels even thicker – so I’ve decided to use some matching navy ribbing for the neckline and bands to reduce the bulk at the seams.
This fabric is made up of a thin layer of batting sandwiched between two other layers, the one on the right side being the navy jersey, the one on the wrong side a polyester something. Everything is quilted together following a floral motif and the space in between the flowers is filled with dense crossing lines – that’s why in some spots the fabric is thicker than in others.
It has been nice sewing with this pre-quilted knit: it was easy to cut and sew, the edges didn’t roll at all and when handling two or more layers together, none of them were shifting around. This fabric was also extremely hard to photograph in this rainy weather, so pardon moi the heavy modified pics, the funny colors and my ultra-white ghostly face.
For this Undercover, I’ve cut a size XS even if my bust measurement is closer to an S, but I found the pattern already has plenty of ease and didn’t want a too loose and boxy garment. I love how this sweatshirt fits me and it feels very comfy too, with enough room for more layers underneath. Perfect for the quickly changing climate we are sure to find in Tassie.
The pattern went together super easily and quickly, even if the instructions are essential and straight forward. For example, I love when a pattern gives you directions in order to achieve a more professional result, such as towards which way you should press the seams and other little tricks like top-stitching to help the seam allowances laying flat. The Undercover Hood doesn’t include this sort of helping hints – which I guess are very useful for beginners – but apart from that, the instructions are very well written.
I had some material left so I thought I could make a matching skirt to wear with (or without) my new jumper. I really wanted to try the Colette Mabel, but then I remembered I had a very similar pattern already, in Gertie’s new book, Gertie Sews Vintage Casual. I’ve shortened the skirt pattern by 10cm and created a three panels front in order to fit all the pieces in my little scrap of fabric. Also, for the same reason, I had to cut the central front panel against the grain – the stretch this way is minimal but I think it’s gonna be all right. Size wise I’ve cut a 6 for the waist, going down to a 2 for the hips and no other adjustments were needed. Good stuff.
The unaltered pattern is basically just one piece, cut on the fold, for both front and back and it would have taken even less time to sew it up if I didn’t add the side panels. It is a really quick and easy make, perfect for exercising sewing with knits and to use up all this cut offs laying around in every stash.
I really enjoyed sewing this outfit in just one afternoon. Sometimes all you need to feel happy is a few simple but satisfying projects to whip up in little time. At the end of the day, what I wear the most is this sort of garments – clean lines and plain colors easy to mix and match and also to accessorize with cute and sometimes more extravagant jewelry or shoes. Wardrobe staples, that is, and I need more of them!
Can’t wait for February to come so I can wear all the things I’m making at the moment. More Undercover Hoods (or hood-less) and knit pencil skirts to come, that’s for sure!