Here is my journey with a pattern which is a favourite for so many people. It turned out well, but not without a few issues.
So, I liked the look of the slight funnel neck, and the fact that it is cut all in one piece. I liked the look of the relaxed body shape, and the way the hem is finished. The instructions also looked very straightforward, and I had a lovely soft, dark grey, fleeced back jersey in my stash, which I bought from 1st For Fabrics in North Tyneside.
Nothing could go wrong! Could it??
Well, I was warned by a very reliable source, that the fit across the shoulders was a bit snug, so I chose to cut the XL, but just to be on the safe side, according to my measurements, and to take account of the fact that the fabric doesn’t have as much stretch as suggested, it needed a LEEETLE bit more room. So I moved the bodice about an inch away from the fold line before cutting. I also added some length – to come to hipline.
I found the neckline more fiddly than expected, because the fold line on the pattern is curved, and after stitching the sides, I struggled to fold down properly. Because the self facing didn’t lie flat, I also decided to topstitch it down – something else I read that someone had done. I wasn’t entirely happy with it as this stage, but I soldiered on and finished the sides.
When I tried it on, I found that actually, I had added too much across the shoulder width, and that in turn made the neck very wide, not lying nicely at all.
So, I decided to convert the neckline to a turtle neck. The Toaster#1 has a funnel neck, but the raglan sleeves makes it tricky to hack onto the #2, so I looked for a funnel/turtle neckline from one of my patterns with dropped shoulder seams, and I chose the Southbank sweater by Nina Lee.
It meant unpicking all of the neckline – the topstitching and most of the shoulder seams. Then I laid the Southbank pattern over the armholes and cut a new neckline.
Here I made my biggest mistake – I cut the front neckline out of the back piece!!!! DOH! So I ended up with two front necklines. With no choice but to carry on, I cut the neckband and added it. It worked really well! It would have been perfect if I hadn’t made that mistake. You can only see it if you look closely, but the back neck is too low, and I know it is.
Nevertheless, It feels comfortable and is just what I wanted. It was at this point that I realised that I had actially cut the sleeves too short for my taste. So, more unpicking – the sleeve hems this time, and then I added back what I had cut off as cuffs.
So here is my Toaster#2/Southbank. I’m not sure if I will make this again, but I do like the body shape. If I do, I will redraft the shoulders to add the width needed and also the neckline to add the neckband.
Because this fabric doesn’t have the amount of stretch suggested by the pattern, I should have made the neckband a lttle wider, as it is tight to put on and take off. That’s another thing to take into account for another version.
Despite all of that, it’s still a nice cosy sweater for in or out of the house – lockdown or not.
It’s the first item completed from my Makenine, and I got to use my Christmas gifts too! It’s the first time I’ve used a walking foot, would you believe! And I sewed in one of my new labels from The Pink Coat Club.