Thursday 10 March 2016

Breton Sweatshirt

Ok, so I've figured out another way to insert some Breton vibes into my wardrobe: as a kind of sweatshirt. I've used up my official photographer's goodwill, so whilst that replenishes, you'll have to see this garment on the stand. Goodness, I hope the goodwill is sufficiently restored before #mmmay16!  


I want to talk about the fabric before the pattern in this post because that is where this project started. Back in August, I helped out at the Fabric Godmother's first open day. Josie was incredibly generous and let me pick a couple of lovely pieces of fabric as a 'thank you' for my time. When I got home I kept thinking about this awesome paint-effect stripy french terry knit and was kicking myself for not having picked it at the time. I mentioned it whilst chatting with someone on twitter, and a short while later, two metres arrived in the post!!! Josie is the sweetest lady, let it be said! 

I haven't owned any french terry fabric before and was interested to inspect it at close quarters. From the right side, it looks like sweatshirt fabric, but the wrong side is loopy rather than fleecy and overall this stuff is a fair bit thinner than sweatshirt fabric tends to be. It's actually quite drapey, which is why I picked some sturdy woven fabric to face the neckline and hem line, as I doubt a self-facing would hold it's shape at all well.

The facing fabric was a scrap of curtaining left over from my nautical knot dress. I also used the same stuff to make a sample of the Sew Over It Tulip skirt when I used to work for them, which can be seen here. That skirt appeared in one of the sewing magazines a while back in case this nautical fabric is looking familiar and you can't figure out why!


This garment is my third that has been based in some way on the vintage pattern pictured below. I'm still firmly in love with my 1960's Breton top so I imagine this won't be the last time I try and recreate a little of that magic by turning to this pattern. This time I decided to monkey around with the hem, probably inspired by something I'd seen via Pinterest. I eye-balled the curved hem shape and made the corresponding facing pattern piece. 

Because the french terry is so drapey, I probably should have omitted the bust darts (which I promise is more inline with my bust on my actual body; my stand is unrealistically pert!) but I wanted to get cracking so blazed ahead without doing so. I added a little patch pocket to break up the stripes a bit from the same fabric as the facings. The jury is still out on whether the fabrics go together, but I like that they both have a hand-painted effect to them. 


Until you see this modelled during #mmmay16, you'll have to trust me when I tell you that this is a pretty good looking garment when worn. It is definitely more casual than the 1960's Breton version, which holds its shape very well, but that's fine as playgroup/ground-suitable wardrobe fodder is always welcome round these parts. Currently I have no cardigans that are suitable for layering over the top of this, so I'll have to wait until it is a lot warmer to bust it out properly. 

I'm not, however, entirely convinced yet that the hem facing is a win. It feels slightly more constricting round my hips than it would if I'd just hemmed it, and I'm a little concerned that the drapey french terry might sag a little around the topstitching that secures the hem facing in place. If that ends up happening, I'll probably rethink the curved hem and re-hem it straight after unpicking the facing. 


Fabric: £0 (it was a gift from Fabric Godmother and sadly, although unsurprisingly, it's no longer on their website so I can't even tell you how much it would cost. The last time I was there though, there was a tiny bit left on a roll, so if you're interested it might be worth contacting them)
Lining fabric: £0 (a scrap of a charity-shopped curtain that my mum gave me)
Pattern: £0 (well, I probably bought it on eBay yonks ago but I've long since forgotten about its source so am considering it free!) 
Total: £0 (arguably)


Lesley said...

Loving your painterly stripes Zo, tres chic. I wonder if the hem facing is a problem ease wise could you possibly raise the hip curve further or just open up the side seam and possibly insert some more of your gorgeous nautical fabric to create extra ease? A knit interfacing on your painterly stripes might have been a bonus?

jessica said...

I love the two fabrics together - they're unexpected but fun. And I love that you've gotten some great mileage out of this pattern ... with garments that look so different but all "you," no less! I wonder what might happen if you tried using a bias band (woven) on the hem instead of a facing (which I presume is cut on the grain)? Provide a little more movement but still the mobility. And perhaps reduced the width of the band by 1/2 or 1/3?

R said...

I think the two fabrics work well together. Can you bribe your photographer in advance of MMM?( pretty sure mine would work for chocolate for instance).

Rin (@SewinLove) said...

Wow, can't wait to see it modelled during #MMM16! I really like the curved hem, I think it gives the 60's pattern a nice modern twist, so I hope you don't end up having to re-hem it straight.

Mother of Reinvention said...

Another fab top and you would never have guessed that it came from that pattern. How wonderful. I love the fabric, the stripes are really cool and look very arty and chic. Oh Lord,MMM16 is almost upon us. Where is the year going to? I better get my skates on. Looking forward to seeing your lovely top then. Xx

Unknown said...

This fabric was so popular at the first open day everyone seemed to be going for it. Not surprising really as this top is lovely. I really like the effect of the shaped hem. Adds a lot of interest.

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