Drafting Patterns

Back in My Sewing Room

Hard to believe that it’s been two months since my last post. November and December were packed with travel, holidays and family. After four solid weeks of house guests and entertaining, hubby and I escaped to the west coast for a golfing holiday. Palm Springs was the starting point as we worked our way north along the Pacific coast highway.

Pebble Beach was spectacular but neither of our golf games warrant the fees there so we satisfied ourselves with pics from the 18th green.

Pebble Beach
We did play several spectacular courses along the way, including two which had hosted PGA tournaments. Sand everywhere!
golf course
Last year I joined Goodbye Valentino’s Ready-to-Wear Fast and did so again for this year so that meant no buying clothes for the trip. I needed warm, lightweight and breathable golf tops. I had a stash of merino wool knit fabrics; perfect and had the added bonus of being washable.

The pattern is my knit top block from Suzy Furrer’s Craftsy course.

top body block&amp

My obsession with sleeve fitting resulted in this draft, taken mostly from European Cut by Elizabeth Allemong.

sleeve block
Notice the shape of the sleeve cap and the position of the shoulder.
How to add couture touches to a simple zip top: match stripes at the side and armseye seams.
add a zipper guard which covers the zipper teeth at the neck
add a mock turtleneck
striped top
Serged seams were too bulky and anti-couture. I did serge the cut edges with Gutermann Skala 360, a super super fine thread which adds no bulk. My serger was set for a narrow three thread stitch. Seams were sewn ina regular sewing machine using a zig-zag stitch about 0.3 mm wide and 2.3 mm long. This very slight zig-zag adds stretchability to the seam. Press open. The sleeve and bottom hems were serged along the cut edges and hand hemmed.
striped top seams
For chilly California evenings, I was intrigued by the wrap designed by Julie of Jet Set Sewing. Look for the December 29 post. I had some off white sheer wool knit and made two versions of her design.

One short one:

short shrug

And a longer version with an asymmetrical hem. The hem idea came from one of the sweaters Julie photographed in a Paris window.
Front view
Side view:
Side view
Very simple pattern. I made mine 16 inches wide at the neck and 25 inches wide at the bottom. Cut two layers, one front and one back.  The short version is 19 inches long, the long version 29 inches before hem shaping.
Sew the side seams using a narrow zig-zag stitch. I used 5/8 inch seams, pressed open, turned under edges and slipstitched for a totally finished seam on the wrong side.
The knit rolled naturally to the right side along the top and bottom edges. Stretch the knit gently and it will roll. I tacked in place lightly.
Shaping the hem for the longer version. Fold in half with the side seams together. The center front and back will be at the fold lines. I pinned a length of narrow elastic as a guide before cutting. Be sure to flatten out the curve at the center front and back unless you want points.
Hem line
Enjoy. I’m happy to be back.

17 thoughts on “Back in My Sewing Room”

  1. So nice to read about another golfing sewist! Since I’m also in year two of the RTW fast, replacing some golf attire is up near the top of my must-make list this time around. Your striped knit top looks perfect – I will check out the Craftsy class you mentioned. I recently came across an old Kwik Sew pattern with a skort and zip front cardigan that look promising.

  2. So nice to learn of another golfing sewist! I’m also in year two of the RTW fast and replacing some golf attire is near the top of my list this spring. Love your striped merino top and must check out the Craftsy class you mention. An older Kwik Sew pattern I recently came across looks like a possibility for a decent skort and zip front cardigan.

  3. Hi Mary, Wow, I love your version of the wrap, especially the seam finishes and the curved bottom! I’ve gotten a lot of wear out of the two I’m made up, especially when sitting in chilly restaurants. I’m jealous you got to wear yours in Palm Springs! I love that merino top, too. Isn’t that fabric fun to sew and wear?

    1. Love the merino wool. I wish it was easier to find and that the LA srore had a website. I’ve been ordering directly from New Zealand and have more projects planned using it.

  4. Striped sweater gorgeous. Read Julie’s blog but after reading yours I will certainly try it and hope mine turns out as yours–hem was good

  5. So good to have you back. I have so much to learn from you. Sleeve is very interesting, as is how you have upscaled the stripy jersey top. And the snuggly wrap garment is a revelation. I thought it was a kind of cowl/infinity scarf at first but it is something else entirely. And getting Marino from NZ is a great idea. We certainly buy a lot of their wine!

  6. Hi there — I just recently discovered your blog, and I just wanted to say that your work is absolutely impeccable, and it is such a pleasure to read a sewing blog that is dedicated to high end couture techniques. As a sewing geek, I have really enjoyed your detailed posts about making different types of shaped shoulder pads, using silk tulle as an armhole facing and drafting sleeves, among other things. I look forward to reading many more of your posts, and I hope to one day be able to finish my garments to the same level that you do!

  7. I am absolutely with you on the shaped sleeve head. After years of shaped sleeve heads on knit patterns, I tried a pattern with a symmetrical sleeve head recently, and wondered if I was being unnecessarily fussy. Nope. Needs shape. The stripe matching is lovely. 🙂

    1. So sorry for the late response but your comment showed up in my spam folder. Glad you share my views on sleeve caps. I’ve tried patterns without the shaped cap and they look terrible.

  8. Hi There, I just was linked to your blog and saw that you did a Suzy Furrer’s knit bodice sloper. I had a look in the Craftsy course and could not find a course her specializing in knits. Do you think she has stopped the course for knits?

    1. Suzy does the knit sloper at the end of the bodice sloper class. It’s not a separate course on knits only, just a variation of the basic bodice sloper. I’ve drafted many, many sloper scored various sized bodies using her guide and have never gone wrong. I hope you try the course.

    2. Suzy does the knit sloper at the end of the bodice sloper class. It’s not a separate course on knits only, just a variation of the basic bodice sloper. I’ve drafted many, many sloper scored various sized bodies using her guide and have never gone wrong. I hope you try the course.

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