Monday, September 12, 2011

and it shall be a pyjama top

I should be lighting the fire. Or sorting the five loads of washing I've done today. Or checking what that odd scratching noise is coming from the chooks' nesting box. Or cooking tea for my small people, who I will have to drag off to our community childcare centre's AGM tonight. (I am Chair. Can you see the neon 'sucker' sign on my forehead?)
Instead, I will blog about a raglan-sleeve top I sewed for Jasper.

It's fine, but it's not great. I think a lot has to do with my fabric choices.
I used this pattern, which seems to be very well-spoken of around blogland.
yay, they do a size 8 - 14 version!
My cyber-friend Inder has whipped up a bunch of  lovely versions for her little boy.
I really like the fit - not too boxy, and I do like a raglan sleeve.

However I think I should have made the neck band a bit smaller, to pull the neckline in a bit more.

Also, the red (very bright!) is a lovely soft double knit, while the sleeves and neckband are a rib knit. They're both really beautiful quality Hilco fabrics and a delight to sew with. But they have different textures and I think the rib is a bit too stiff for the parts I chose to use it for.
On the eternal thread question, I used a polyester thread and a zigzag stitch. The construction calls for stitching wrong sides together then topstitching the seam allowance down on the outside for a raw edge look that I think should be fairly sturdy. Fingers crossed that these seams hold.
The hems at sleeves and bottom are completely unfinished which is a bonus since that's where my stitching tends to do most of its stretching and snapping.
(Am now simultaneously cooking, lighting fire, blogging and patting self on back for multitasking, which will go pear shaped any minute.)
I will try this pattern again, and I might even just pull out the overlocker and sew it the 'regular' way I would knits. And I'll match the fabric types better. And tighten up that neckline. Then I think I'll be onto a good thing that might see wear beyond the house.
Jasper was excited about the prospect of a new pyjama top though. Trouble is I might have to make some matching pants now.

- Jane x


  1. Interesting! For Joe's size, I actually think the neckband is a trifle small, and I add a half inch regularly, to compensate for not-as-stretchy fabrics.

    What I think: A smooth, stretchy, lycra/cotton is best for the neckline on this top. What you use for the other pieces is not as important, but for the neck, you want great stretch, and excellent recovery.

    Have you washed this shirt yet? That neck might have been stretched a bit in the sewing and recover somewhat with a wash. Mine look better after a wash.

    I love the colors, and of course, STRIPES! :-)

  2. Yeah it's weird, the rib knit seems to have great recovery except not so much after the ribs are stitched down and I guess flattened out a bit. However, Jasper was keen for me to fix this top so he asked me to do a new, smaller neckline! (Yes sir!) And once I cut and attached a new neckband probably about 5cm shorter (this is the size 10), it looks much better. With the original band I found I hardly had to stretch it at all to fit the neckline, whereas I feel like you need to stretch it by about 1/3 to get a nice shape. But I don't think the rib knit has any lycra and like you say I'm sure a bit of lycra would make a difference. I suppose maybe because the neckband is comparatively wide compared to other tops, the type of fabric will make more of a difference?

  3. Yay! I'm glad it worked out. :-)

    It makes sense to me. When you stretch the edge of the fabric while sewing, you're also easing the body onto the neck, if you think about it (no gathering is required). So that creates a slight curve back onto the neck, and the neckband will lie flat against the body and won't stand up straight. Does that make any sense? Dur. Anyway, the length of the neckband is definitely key.

    I have used a bunch of diff't fabrics for the shirts I've made Joe, and they are all wearable. I just like the ones with the smooth, stretchy, cotton lycra best, because bounces back after you stretch it. So it goes over Joe's big ol' noggin without getting too stretched out.

  4. I love your intro to this post, blogging is one of my favorite ways to procrastinate! The fabric combo is really cute, I've been wanting to try this pattern, good to have heads up on the neckline.

  5. That's funny, because with my kiddo the neckline ended up being a big on the small size and I had a hell of a time getting it over her giant melon head!
    And I think that the fabric combo looks amazing...I love the colors and the stripes!


Hey, I would really love to know what you think. Go on!

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