Thursday, August 30, 2018

Toaster sweater

My next make is a sweatshirt that didn't even use my coverstitch at all. Joann's had another pattern sale (because they always have a pattern sale) and I stumbled upon Simplicity 8529, a licensed version of the Toaster Sweater by Sew House Seven. I've seen many lovely makes of this funnel neck sweater pattern but being a cheapass I've never taken the plunge to buy the indie versions. And when I found this Simplicity for $1.99 with a drop shoulder, which is one of my favorite sleeve styles right now, well it was a no-brainer.

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I debated which size to trace but ultimately went with the XS even though my measurements put me at a size S because many reviews said the sizing was generous. I chose View B, the cropped funnel neck with a hem band. There is also a tunic length with side slits and a crew neck in both the cropped and long versions, meaning that the pattern is versatile and a really good value for the money. The crew neck is so basic I could see it as a great template for hacking other designs, similar to what I was hoping the Mandy or Hemlock would be for me. You could do colorblocking, add ruffles, do a short sleeve, even convert it to an open front cardigan. The pattern is designed for sweater knits but I think you could use any t-shirt fabric, allowing for differences in stretch.

But back to the Toaster I actually made. I chose a navy cotton/poly sweatshirt fleece from Joann's that I bought last year and used to make my husband a pair of Hudson pants. I tend to choose leftover/old stash fabric for my first make of a pattern in case anything goes awry so that I won't be too upset if I end up throwing it in the trash. I did check my fabric against the stretch gauge, as I knew that the sweatshirt fleece was not very stretchy but by pulling it quite hard I was able to get the right amount of stretch.

I like the way the funnel neck was designed although in the sweatshirt fleece the seams were pretty bulky in places. I sewed the entire thing on my serger. Because all the edges are finished with bands you don't need to use a coverstitch. I tried out the "Ham Hot method" on the waistband and cuffs but I actually didn't like it because my serger shifted the seams and the edges don't make a straight line.

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Construction was easy and quick with no issues to write home about, until I went to try it on. The funnel neck on this design is fairly narrow and it literally got stuck on my head. Like, as in I was wandering around my bedroom for awhile with my shirt half-on my body and my arms frantically trying to pull the neck either on or off my head. Let's just say that I am very happy that my husband was not at home because I don't think he would let me forget about this incident for quite awhile. My poor dogs didn't know what was happening either and they were both frightened that their Mom kept uttering muffled swear words and tugging on her head like a crazy person. Finally I was able to get the sweater off my head and I pulled and pulled on the neck for several minutes. When I tried it on after vigorous pulling it went over my head fairly easily. So that stretch gauge test should have been a warning but I ignored it.

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At any rate the sweater fits now, but if you are using a stable knit that does not have a lot of stretch I highly recommend going with your regular size. If I were using a sweater knit or t-shirt fabric the XS would have been perfectly fine. I actually like the way the sweater fits when it's on my body, just not the struggle putting it on and taking it off. Despite my issues I am really happy with this sweatshirt. I have a big need in my wardrobe for cozy lounging around the house garments that are a bit more stylish than wearing PJs or old clothes, which I tend to do out of laziness. This sweatshirt checks that box perfectly. I can definitely see this pattern becoming a TNT for me, but I will need to sew it up a few more times with success before I file it away as such.

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