Monday, February 05, 2007

Sweatshirt Patterns--Finding a Favorite

Kwiksew book cover: Sweatshirts Unlimited

Last week I started a developing favorite sweatshirt pattern. I had purchased Kwiksew's Sweatshirts Unlimited because I liked their "Beautiful Lingerie" book, and the company Web site's blurb promised:

The Master Pattern included in this book is for a sweatshirt in eight different sizes....The book includes unlimited variations for necklines, hems, sleeve finishes, design changes, decorative finishes and much more. With the help of this book, you can design a sweatshirt for any occasion from sporty to a dressier look.

This sweatshirt book was published in 1989, at the height of the Dreadfully Oversized Women's Wear Epoch, so the photos may distress the fashion-conscious. However, there is a nice size range, from finished chest measurements of 35 inches to 56 inches, and there are many neckline, sleeve, pocket, and bottom-edge variations, as well as a substantial section on "design changes." The design changes include yokes, elaborate fabric inserts, and many surface embellishment techniques. It cost about as much as three regular patterns, and I think it was a good buy.

I handled the oversized styling issue by guessing how much wearing ease I would like. About four inches works well for me for loose-fitting knit clothes; the patterns as written allow eight inches. I copied the pattern in my best size guess, cut up an old sweatshirt (from the same Dreadfully Oversized Epoch) as a first test, and found the fit through the body about right. The shoulders were still too big for my taste, so I took out some of that fullness, and got a good fit in my second trial, using $1.50-a-yard sweatshirt fleece. Now that the fit is worked out, I can have fun experimenting with some of the design variations.

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