Some time ago I decided I wanted to make some sports-wear inspired clothing. Not actually for sport but just because I like the style and the details on this kind of clothing. It is also very easy to wash and wear and does not need ironing which is always a bonus. I saw a lovely sports dress, not sure what type of activity it was intended for on a local University sports website. I cannot copy it here in case of copy-write etc. It was really just a very long vest dress but with colour blocking, piping etc and in performance type fabric.
It inspired me because of firstly I love active wear but also because of the details. You can add piping, colour blocking or just do it all plain. I have lots of synthetic 4-way stretch material in my stash. Some of it is actually very high quality high performance type material but mostly it is just average bog-standard synthetics such as polyester some with and some without spandex. Anyway I have lots of colours I would not usually wear such as coral and white due to getting a bit carried away on ebay on several occasions. Normally,I tend to go for darker and richer colours. When it comes to sports clothing however I will happily wear coral and white with no worries. Or even fluourescents. Since I am not the most experienced sewist around I need first to try a few designs out before committing to anything too difficult. I decided the best way to use the colours of fabric I have is to colour block them so for example mix coral with black. Since I am not a great designer the easiest way to do this seems to me to find a decent raglan sleeved pattern and see how it looks.
The first pattern I tried was Its always autumn's free Tshirt pattern in a large. You can get it here:
As I have previously blogged in a different post I find sizing is somewhat varied. I can be a XS or even a XL depending on the brand. I am a Burda size 36-38 so around a 10-12 UK size in tops. Although on the high street I have bought a UK sized 6 and a UK sized 16 so who knows what I really am.
For version 1, I used some of my coral fabric which was sold to me as coral flair. I am unsure what flair is but its a kind of stretchy textured fabric. I mixed this with some black 4 way stretch polyester type fabric. I did not read the itsalwaysautumn.com tutorial to go with this top before making it which was possibly a mistake. I just set to and overlocked all seems although I forgot the sleeve edge, twin needle hemmed the sleeve edge before sewing up the side seams since previously I have found tight fitting sleeves do not go over my machine once the sides seams have been sewn, and turned the neck edge over, overlocked it and twin needle stitched it. That was a mistake. I should have put a ribbed edge on it. The sleeves are three quarter but the tutorial does tell you how to lengthen them. Well as I said I didn't read it but just went ahead and sewed. It worked well considering I did not do the neck properly - may go back and redo that later. I also think a sleeve edge with ribbing would be better. I cut my sleeves without putting the pattern on a fold so ended up with a seam down the arm which would look good if I was to add piping. As you can see it fits more like a sweatshirt than an exercise T shirt but then thats was it looks like on itsalwaysautumn.com so thats really good.
I am actually after something tighter but I may make this again with addition of the piping down the raglan bits and either down the sleeve seams or I will put the pattern on a fold to eliminate the sleeve seams. I also measured it against an existing sweat top I have (from New Look sized 8 ) which also has three quarter sleeves and its almost an exact copy size-wise.
Really my main issue is not the pattern, although it is looser than I hoped, for but the fabric. I wore it to work and as any regular readers will know I work in a lab where you do not have to be smart. Jeans and T shirts go. It was comfortable but the sleeves are a bit tight round the edge - they are 3/4 so its not the wrist but the calf on our leg. No idea what it is on the arm. Forearm to me is kind of the entire lower bit of limb.Well theres a thought!
And it is not the pattern style but the coral flair! Now this fabric is just kind of old lady blousish. The kind of old-lady-top fabric you get in tops found on a market or out of a supermarket. Thats the only way I can describe it. My next top I decide to make was made in ribbed fabric. Its a fine rib with cream sleeves and khaki body with a ribbed neck edge and longer sleeves like itsalwaysautumn did herself..
Anyway I am going to try a different pattern out for my next post. I am very happy with this pattern from itsalwaysautumn.com and can only recommend this if you are after a free raglan sleeved top pattern.
I really have to sort out my sports type of patterns because I have so much of this kind of fabric in my stash and I love to wear these kind of clothes.
TO BE CONTINUED........
Thanks for reading