Thursday, 11 November 2021

Claire Sweatshirt and The Sleeves-of-Dreams

No, I am not immune to the current big-sleeve trend. I'm digging the many voluminous-sleeved patterns as much as the next home sewer. And today I'm sharing a recent project that uses a pattern that has an interesting twist on the trend. BTW, I received this pattern for free from the designer who hoped that, if I liked it I would post about it. so AD:PR. 


The Claire sweatshirt pattern by Kate's Sewing Patterns is a relatively standard raglan sleeved style with one clever design detail: the balloony lower part of the sleeves.  I love how the this pattern wasn't over-designed, retaining a really wearable, casual shape overall. 

The pattern is graded between EU 34 - 54, which translates to 31" to 47" bust measurements. The pattern consists of A0 and A4/letter sized formats. I got the A0 printed out by Fabric Godmother because it looked like the file might be wider than standard A0 and I know FG's large format printer has a wider option, but I'm not sure it was required in the end. The instructions are pretty clear with photographs showing the construction steps. I actually prefer a different construction method for raglan tops so I kind of disregarded them to be honest. I've seen some criticism about the English translation with a different pattern in this range, and there were some confusing parts in the Claire pattern also. I made a number of suggestions to Ekaterina to improve the English which she has taken on board and implemented. 


To be honest, I can't remember if I bought this fabric with pattern in mind or not, but I know I'd had my eye on it for the best part of a year before making the leap. This grid print organic sweatshirt fleece was bought from Fabric Godmother in the early summer, but I waited until I felt some early autumnal chilly before actually using it. There wasn't a matching colour for the ribbing and I feared some weird visual effects if I used the self for the cuffs, neckband and waistband, so I went with plain white organic cotton ribbing for those. It gives it quite a bold contrast, but I like the overall look. Because the ribbing is quite stretchy, I reduced the length of all the bands and cuffs, particularly the waistband.


I'm pretty damn thrilled with this sweatshirt. My hope was that it would provide a pop of fun into my chilly weather clothing options and it really has done that. The fabric is really soft and snuggly but not bulky (I can easily layer up underneath for extra warmth), and the sleeve shape adds drama and interest without getting in my way at all. I can definitely see myself using this pattern again at some point, probably in a solid colour. 

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