Tuesday, 3 February 2015

A hot off the press Jasper Sweater!!

I know I'm not supposed to be buying fabric, but last week Paprika patterns released their second design, and it's the one item of clothing that I wear the most.

Enter the Jasper Sweater.....

Copyright Paprika Patterns - source

Isn't it the cutest ever? A fitted princess seam hoodie with tube pocket? That just ticks all the boxes!

Unfortunately (or fortunately) the release coincided with a crazy early day at work which meant I finished at lunchtime and was able to pop in to Abakhan on the way home.  Rooting through the fabric bins I found 1.85m of thick sweater fabric in blue/teal (my favourite colour, so destiny!) for the grand price of £11.

I cut a size 3 and graded out to a 4 at the waist (my usual type of adjustment), deciding on the sweater with hood version as that'll get the most wear (I do love the cowl and dress as well though!). Not having done princess seams before I wasn't sure which bits to grade so I left the size panels as standard and graded the front and back pieces.  I forgot about the pocket though!

Fortunately I realised before cutting the fabric, so cheated and laid the pocket and front bodice pieces on top of each other to cut around....

Usually I'll add an inch or so to the bodice length as I'm long in body/short in leg, but this is drafted for 5'7'' (I'm only 5'5'') and the quoted finished bodice length seemed fine.

The instructions were really clear with additional photo tutorials on the website for the tricky bits - welt pockets and hood construction. I was paying extra attention for these so it all went swimmingly. I could see where it would be easy to get confused when attaching the hood/cowl to the bodice, there was a lot of fabric!  Seems I wasn't paying attention the whole time though as I sewed the top of the pocket and lining together, but also sewed the front bodice.  However I really like that curved line of stitching across the front so it's staying (and unpicking from thick sweater fabric? Na, too hard....)

I did add some twill tape to the shoulder seams, which I've started doing to my knit projects to stop them stretching out of shape.

Before adding the cuffs I tried it on (as recommended in the instructions!!) and decided to take 1" off the sleeve length.  I think they're spot on now.

I'm still not sure about the seam finishes.  There were a couple of options suggested in the instructions but they involve pressing the seam open.  The problem is the knit stitch on my sewing machine (which is fantastic BTW) means that you can't open the seam.  For the back hood seam I sewed a straight stitch so was able to open the seam and then topstitch the seam allowances down.  But for the neck and front hood/cowl seam I used the knit stitch. In the end I pressed it to one site, and then used the twin needle to topstitch it down. It's not my finest work, but I'm happy enough with it (but not happy enough to take a picture and show you!!).

I'm not sure looking at these photos if the hood is a bit too big? It looks fine on the Paprika patterns shots so maybe mine just needs a wash to soften up a bit.

The only thing I might change on the next one (other than sewing the pocket correctly) is to add a little width on the bottom edge. It's not too small, but there's not a lot of ease so I'll see what it's like paired with jeans.


  1. Looks fantastic! What is grading?!

    1. My measurements don't fit the pattern measurements for one size of the pattern (which isn't unusual), so I need to make the waist bigger by combining two pattern sizes - the grading in this example is the blending of the two pattern sizes. It's probably not the right word to use, 'altering' may be more accurate.

  2. Your sweater fits you perfectly and it looks great on you! The color of the fabric that you used is beautiful--it was definitely worth an off-the-cuff purchase!

    1. Thanks Anelise! I feel I should really branch out a bit more but I'm always drawn towards blues/greens/purples..... :-)