Monday, April 4, 2022

Josephine and the Weekender

back of a pink sweatshirt

If you're new to sewing or if you sew but fear knits becuase of the need for stretchiness, 5outof4 patterns (affiliate link) are fantastic and will completely take away your hesitation to sew knits.  They were the first knit patterns I used to build my athletic wear wardrobe and I've never stopped!  The tutorials are extremely detailed and have a lot of pictures and there are usually videos available too.  They are also some of the most versatile patterns I've seen, with so many options for sleeve lengths, collars, pockets, etc. that you can make the same pattern several times and no one would know it was the same pattern.

Some of your toughest decisions might be choosing from their vast assortment  for men, women and kids and THEN trying to decide which version to make first!  And I swear something about their options get the brain going and suddenly you'll find yourself saying "hey, maybe I can add those pockets to these pants and then I'll add that sleeve length to that top" and you'll be hooked.

I’m not a big sweatshirt or hoodie person.  I have a few and I wear them but not often.  I’ve made the Weekender pattern by 5outof4 patterns (affiliate link) twice  and like it but one is a Christmas one and the other pilled so I tossed it.  

Recently I bought some hemp and bamboo remnants that were in a natural color.  I got a wild idea to
dye some of it and make a hoodie.  The Weekender was pretty much what I was looking for and I needed to make something for my ambassador make for April.  AND I was itching to dye this fabric.
So this all came together in my head. 
pink sweatshirt

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have taken part in my poll asking if I should dye it pink, red or a blend of the two.  The response was use the pink with a splash of red.  I was looking for that faded “Nantucket red” or soft pink of a well worn sweatshirt.

After reading the instructions and suggestions for quantities of dye and how to dye in the washing machine for even application, I decided to give it a whirl.  The fabric weighed enough that it said 2-3 bottles should be good.  I had two bottles, one pink and one red.  So guess what I did.

pink cuff of a sweatshirt
Yeah, not exactly a soft pink or well worn red 😂  I  was sure it would wash out and fade right away but after two washes, this bubble gum pink is ruling the day.  It's fine and I hope that it will eventually fade to a lighter pink but I don't think it will ever get to what I was picturing in my head.  And I'm not going to go through the dying process again.

I originally planned to have a hood on this top and I've made them before, so it should have been a breeze.  This fabric is much thicker than I realized, so as I started to topstitching the hood edge, I realized everything was too thick and short and things were not lining up.  The other fabrics I've used have had more stretch and were thinner.  This fabric is a sturdy sweatshirt fabric that has a little bit of give but is no way forgiving or flexible enough to fudge anything.  I quickly realized a hood would not work in this fabric unless I cut one much larger and things were feeling like that would quickly get out of hand.

pink crossed neck of a sweatshirt
I knew I had seen a collar somewhere that wasn't a cowl but also wasn't a crew neck.  A crew neck on
this and in this color would not work for me, I don't think.   A cowl in this fabric would sit on me like a cone on your dog after a visit to the vet so I knew that wouldn't work.   After asking around in my ambassador group, I was led to the Josephine and high crossover neckline is exaclty what I wanted.  I cut it out but it was still too high in the back, at first.  I trimmed it by about an inch from the back toward the front but I didn't cut into the original curve that allows for the crossover because I didn't want to that too be too short.

front view pink sweatshirt
The nice thing about 5outof4 patterns (affiliate link) is that a lot of the knit patterns will work nicely with each other.  Take a little of this from here, a little of that from there, and without a lot of calcultions, things will line up.  For me, this collar from the Josephine fit exactly around the neckline of the Weekender.  This could be because I had stretched out the neckline a little while trying to work out the hood, so I'm not certain, but you could manipulate it to make it work.

I'm not the biggest fan of cuffs and these are a lot deeper than I usually like.  The cuffs are actually not from a 5outof4 pattern.  I took the cuff from something else.  And because this fabric is sturdy, they scream CUFFS every time I look down.  I also trimmed the length of the sleeve a little more than I should have so the edge of the cuff is exactly at my wrist.  I like a little length in my sleeves, especially when I reach my hands forward.  I wore this for a day and everything settled nicely, so it's fine, but I definitely would not have cut off this much of the sleeve and would have made the cuff a little less.

dropped shoulder of a sweatshirt, topstitched
Because of the dropped shoulder, I topstitched around the shoulders.  I'm a fan of topstitching on sweatshirts- I've had some nice sweatshirts that had a lot of topstitching details and I feel like they were better quality.  When I have a dropped shoulder, it doesn't feel as constricting, so I feel like I can topstitch and not pop stiches when I get it on and off.  

This top is meant to be casual and it's a sweatshirt, so I didn't do much for alterations.  I did take it up a little at the waist, because 5outof4  patterns (affiliate link) are always very long in the waist for me, but I'm not worried that it might bag at my swayback or be kind of boxy in the bodice.  Because, it's a sweatshirt.

I put a waistband at the bottom and found the calculations in the Weekender chart to be a little loose, so I went a little bit shorter.  There's no recovery from this stretch in this, but it works fine to get it off and on.  And because I'm a topstitching fool, I also topstitched along the band.  I used a double needle for all of the topstitching so there is some nice give.

I have not sewn anything else from the Josephine so I can't attest to much about that pattern, but I can say that the Weekender is very easy to put together.  It's a really quick sew unless you get fancy and do a lace up placket and even that isn't hard because there are amazing instructions, as you can always expect with 5outof4 patterns!  (affiliate link)