PDF Pattern Review : The Rosemary Sweater

by - 13:48

I responded to a testing call put out by a new pattern collective of designers who were asking for baby testers ideally, Petite Stitchery. I put my details down anyway, even though I don't have a baby to test for, and a few days later was delighted to be asked to test for them. As a new company, they had a range of patterns that they wanted testing, and I was given the Rosemary Cropped Sweater.

I must admit, I was a bit dubious about it because it meant sewing with not one layer, but two layers of knit fabric! I was added to the tester group, and went ahead with downloading the pattern in excitement. My little skinny Layla is a bit awkward to test for, she's average height for her age, but is super skinny. So going by the measurement chart (American sizing as the pattern designers are American), that put her in age 2-3 for chest, but Age 4 for height (she had just turned 5 at the time). Sometimes it's hard having a skinny child, you have to adjust every pattern, there is no 'just cutting a size and sewing it'. BUT, the end result is that you get a piece of clothing that fits properly (That is the plan anyway!).

So I mashed the two sizes together initially in the cropped length with three quarter sleeves. I followed the instructions almost to a tee. The only bit I changed up was in the actual construction of the garment. Instead of just sewing the two layers together at the hem edge, and most of the way round the cowl edge, I also sewed the two sleeves together at the cuffs, and turned the whole thing out through the small turning hole left in the cowl seam. It looks a mess, and like it'll never work, but I promise it does!

I then sewed the cowl closed with a topstitch all the way round. I didn't like how this caused the fabric to stretch. I used a zig-zag stitch with my walking foot, but it still pulled the fabric as it fed through the machine. Unfortunately, this caused the edge of the cowl to pucker and pull slightly, which is OK, because you can hide it by turning it under.

This little sweater was certainly cropped. Too cropped in fact. It was supposed to hit at belly button height, but my little skinny minny doesn't follow size charts, and silly me didn't mash the sizes properly. So, her little cropped sweater ended up a little short. But she was smiling and thought it was wonderful! She quickly decided it would become her gymnastics warm-up jumper.

So, after relaying my fit pics, I resolved to make another sweater. This time, I paid more attention to lengthening the pattern pieces, and also made the full length version with contrast bottom panel and long sleeves. Instead of using up fabrics I had, I went out specially to buy more jersey for this test. I went out to one of my local fabric shops, Truro Fabrics. They are not the cheapest, but they do have a huge range of different fabrics, from polycottons right up to silks and designer fabrics like Liberty of London. I found the most vivid navy floral jersey, and totally contrasting pink scandi print jersey.

This second version came together really quickly, after all, I'd already made any mistakes I was likely to come across. I used the same method again to join the two layers, this meant I didn't have to worry about topstitching sleeve cuffs. And this time, instead of topstitching the cowl turning hole closed, I opted to handstitch instead. This leaves a much, much cleaner edge, and doesn't leave the fabric pulling under a walking foot.

This sweater fitted much better, and seemed to go down really well with Layla, who normally refuses to wear anything vaguely warm! She was actually choosing to wear this jumper voluntarily. I took this as a huge compliment, but of course, it's down to the pattern itself, not just my sewing!

Oh, and did I mention that this was fully reversible? Of course, my pink loving girl loves to wear it pink side out!

You can find more sizing details over on my Facebook page. Or why not leave me a comment below.

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  1. OH, I love this! We are so happy to have you test for us! We hope to have you again. Beautiful job! Isn't it the best when they love it as much as you do!!!