Following on from my MakeNine and UseNine posts I have been trying to make useful items for my wardrobe, well one of the things that I listed was a bishop sleeved jumper. I have always convinced myself that I am not influenced by fashion trends because tbh I find most of them are just ridiculous but I am finding more and more that clothing or trends I see a lot (on people whos fashion sense I admire) are filtering into what I want to add to my wardrobe and this is no exception. I have seen a lot of big puffy sleeves over the years but have never really liked them, I tend to err on the side of super practical rather than fashionable for my clothes and I have never considered poufy sleeves to be practical but there has been a trend towards smaller more everyday wear poufy sleeves (or at least I have consciously noticed these designs recently).
What I have been liking about these designs is the extra volume in the sleeves allows extra layers to be worn under them in winter and the cuff means that there are no loose bits that end up in the cooking!
So having these kinds of sleeves on my mind I finally caved and bought a pattern the Adrienne Blouse from Friday Pattern Company and made it up in a drapey viscose. It’s a nice pattern and very easy to sew, personally I’m not sure if it will get may more outings as it is not bra friendly for me and in a nice light drapey knit it is going to need a bit of tweaking to give it enough support in the neckband area. Well, two days after I bought that pattern and made it up Seamwork released their February patterns which included the Brit dress which instantly caught my eye, semi-fitted dress with bishop sleeves!
Well, somehow I was all over the pattern release for once and had bought and downloaded the pattern by 16:45 and set it to print instantly (this is one of the things I love about pdf patterns being a somewhat impulsive maker, and I trace paper patterns anyway) and I had a finished top by 19:15*! And I cooked and ate dinner in that time too! I will admit it did help that I already knew what fabric I was going to make it from and I constructed it entirely on the overlocker.
I really love this jumper as it enables me to wear an extra layer (or two) underneath it which has been a godsend during this cold snap. My cashmere jumper from a charity shop has been my almost constant companion under this top… (and is being worn under the blue version in the photo shoot which might add to the ruckling on the back)
I made this first version out of Marl Blue Ponte Knit from Tia Knight (where else!) that I have had in my stash since 2017! Thankfully I had bought two meters of the fabric which is unusual, I never normally purchase more than a meter unless I have an actual project in mind. I have plenty of fabric left just laying out the pieces they don’t fit into the width of the fabric because of the extra width at the bottom of the sleeve.
The only change I made to the pattern, other than reducing the length obviously, was to cut the back on the fold rather than as two pieces. This does reduce some of the shaping in the pattern but made my life more simple. Looking at the back view here I could do with reinstating that back seam to add a bit of a sway back adjustment if I was being picky, or add a bit extra to the hip on the back piece. After making two of these jumpers I realised that I forgot to take the seam allowance off the pattern piece before flipping it so the back neckline it a bit wider than drafted but as always I drafted my own neckband so it was not too much of an issue, but I do find the whole neck opening a little wide.
You can see that this fabric is much lighter weight than the ponte and this really affects the way that it sits on the body, I feel that is is a more casual version but honestly, it can be the dressy version because the sweater knit is a much finer fabric and a more versatile colour. I think that I feel it is more casual because I can actually pull the sleeves up on this version as the cuffs have a bit more give…
The back of this version fits much better although there is some twist in the grain of the fabric which is somewhat annoying, I might have to try and block the twist out of it, we will see if that is possible. I think that the lighter fabric means that it falls better over my hips resulting in less fabric being hitched above my bottom. But this fabric property does mean that the bell in the sleeves is less pronounced. It really goes to show how fabric choice can affect how a garment looks.
Also, I finally have a half decent set up to take photos of my makes without having to wait months for a day with decent weather and a friend to hold the camera. My parents bought me a remote for my Canon camera for Christmas after we spent a while trying to work out how to make one, turns out it is much easier to buy one, who’da thunk it! And last weekend when touring the charity shops in Poole I found a “mini” tripod, admittedly the large one that is at Nikki’s would be more useful for this but the new one is plastic and folds down small enough to fit in my rucksack so will be good for landscapes too. Unfortunately, it only goes up as high as my waist but I have an old steamer trunk in my conservatory which I can rest it on and stand in front of one of the only clear bits of wall I own!
Hopefully, this means that you will see a lot more finished garment posts soon…
*Honest confession it did wait till the next day for a hem…