Sunday, August 27, 2017

Oversized Sweatshirts and Knit Pencil Skirts

I feel like my sewing is rather random most of the time. If I have a plan it usually gets overtaken by something else that catches my attention. Or if I buy fabric with the intention for a specific pattern, I would say three out of four times it ends up as something else.

Not this time.....

I had this vision of oversized sweatshirts and hip hugging knit skirts in blush and olive green. Worn with sneakers for a low key everyday look.

And wouldn't you know it! That's what you get today.

It was of course Nosh Fabrics' gorgeous fabrics that got me on track. As soon as these beauties landed in the virtual shopping cart together, my wheels starting spinning.

Above you see their organic Stretch Sweatshirting, color Rose. Paired with matching 1 x 1 ribbing which unfortunately seems to be sold out right now. But see all their gorgeous 1 x 1 ribbing colors HERE.

The skirt is made with their very awesome organic cotton Denim Sweatshirting, color olive.
I've been so curious trying this type of knit and it did not disappoint. It's quite stable and works well for fitted knit garments such as this pencil skirt, dresses or jeggings. But it IS a knit, not a woven with stretch, just wanted to point that out, so plan accordingly.

For the second outfit I used this printed JOUTSEN stretch sweatshirting with matching 2 x 1 rib fabric in olive green plus organic cotton Denim Sweatshirting, color Black.

And yes, those are blue velvet sneakers.!

Now on to the patterns I used.

The oversized sweatshirt of my dreams comes from Big Clothes Small Clothes by Asuka Hamada. A gift from my dear friend and kindred spirit Celina - thank you!

This book is seriously cool. Every style is offered as a fitted and an oversized style. What a fun idea!

As you have probably guessed by now, I sewed one of the oversized patterns for this post, ha.

The sample in the book actually looked quite bad but the pattern looked good to me, so I powered through and cut straight into my Nosh fabric.

The pattern only comes in one size and I changed nothing except adding 5 cm / 2" to the length. An extra length I probably wouldn't have missed if I hadn't done it. I added nothing to the sleeves' length and as you can see they are plenty long. Even long enough to fold and hem (as opposed to adding a rib cuff as the pattern suggests).

Just my personal opinion about sleeve length. Get it right! Especially in oversized styles. I know some people looove too long sleves and that's fine with me, just ignore what I'm saying here. But if you are not one of those people, then put on your garment when it is almost finished, and all you are missing is hemming sleeves and bottom hem (whether we are talking about a top, skirt, dress, pants or whatever). Take a good, long look at yourself in a mirror and try different lengths with pins before committing to a length. It can make ALL the difference in how the final 'fit' and look will be. 

Wait, I'm pretty sure I changed another thing. The bottom ribbing looks quite tight on the sample in the book and I was not dreaming of that balloon effect. So I ignored that pattern piece from the book and simply cut my ribbing in a length I thought would give me the result I wanted. Using the bottom of the sweatshirt as guideline of course. And luckily it did.

So here I am with the sweatshirt of my dreams.

I seriously couldn't believe that would happen right of the bat.
Oversized clothes can be tricky to get fitted right and sometimes requires several tries for just that right balance of oversize-without-drowning look.
Not that day. Wow!

Now let's talk skirts because this is a bit of a funny story.

I was getting ready to draft a very similar type of knit skirt myself for this post when this email ticked in, asking if I wanted to try their new sewing pattern. What are the odds!?

It's the most simple pattern in the world (you are literally getting one graded pattern piece) but that is of course not meant as an offense. Simple also have to be well-drafted and this is just that.
You are getting exactly what you see. A great fitting knit skirt with a wide elastic in the waist (hello, comfortable!) and I'm almost embarrassed to think about how much I already used my black and olive green so far. They have definitely not spent a lot of time hanging in my closet.

You must of course expect some fitting with the first one you make. As with all knit styles, they all slightly change from knit type to knit type. 
I measured to use a size L but I cut a size XL just because the denim sweatshirt is not that stretchy. But I ended up taking that extra off again around my hips but kept the XL size further down. Which I kind of regret now, as I would have loved my skirts to be even more narrow at the bottom. Next ones!

I didn't have to add length to make it below knee length which I'll consider a miracle! The length is also from the XL size.

Just as I was about to cut another sweatshirt in that goose/swan/something with wings?? printed sweatshirting, I got this idea to turn it into a cardigan instead. I can always close the snaps for a sweatshirt look and you know I wear cardigans e.v.e.r.y. day in fall and winter.

And yes, I'm as happy with the result as I look here above, ha.

Okay, back to cool poses, hahaha.

As promised I made a tiny tutorial on how to turn any sweatshirt, or any top cut to fold really, into a cardigan. It's all about math. Very simple math.

I hope you can see the outline of the original pattern under my pattern paper which of course goes to the center front (CF) line. Basically everything to the left of the CF line is the original pattern and everything to the right is what I've added.

Btw I use THESE rolls of paper for my patterns. I've never seen anyone else recommend this type for patterns so I thought I would. I've used them for at least 6-7 years after desperately searching for something I liked here in the US. It's sturdy and patterns hold up very well but still so thin you can see through it to trace patterns, but definitely not as easy as tissue paper etc, so this might not be for everybody. This recommendation is also not sponsored, just to be clear.

Okay, back to the tutorial. So trace your original front bodice pattern. Then decide on the width of your button placket. Since this is an oversized style, I knew that I wanted my placket width to echo that. Mine here is 3.5 cm / 1.4". Now you don't want your style to change size, therefore you want your plackets to overlap, and buttons to be placed, exactly at CF. So you divide your placket width (here 3.5 cm) with 2, and place each half of the width on each side of CF. Look at column X up there.
Now you need the same amount as your preferred front placket width (here 3.5 cm), to be added, so it can be folded under and become the back side of the placket. See column Y up there. And then you just need to add your preferred seam allowance and you are done.

Yes, it really is that simple!

And now you of course need to cut two pieces of your front bodice instead of the original one cut to fold piece.

Instead of connecting my neckline rib, I sort of fade it out towards the outer edge. If you don't want them to overlap when closed, you have to stop your ribbing at your CF notch.

I used my coverstitch to stitch down the placket, so I didn't fold in my SA. Don't forget to add the ribbing in the neckline before stitching the placket down. AND don't forget to add a strip of fusible interfacing on those plackets to protect your fabric when the snaps go in and to keep the placket straight and crisp looking.

I'm not going to go that much into detail with how I did the hem. You can just have your rib go all the way at the bottom if you don't know how to do this. 'My' way is a bit more fancy but definitely also a bit more complicated and I guess I'll save that tutorial for another good time because I have no photos of this, sorry.

And since I talked about sleeve length earlier in this post, yes these sleeves are shorter. I didn't have enough fabric for the full length of sleeve. Since the print is directional I didn't have as much wiggle room as I did with the rosa sweatshirt fabric. The pattern pieces are huge and at first I couldn't believe that my 1.9 meters were not enough. So I shortened the sleeves, with the plan to just add a sleeve rib. But then I actually ended up loving this length too. It's borderline between too short and 3/4 sleeve and I guess you can call this the most geeky and understated rebelling in the world, haha.

A look from the back.

Okay, I think I'm officially done with everything I wanted to say.

My snaps are, as per usual, from Snap source. Again, they are not sponsored but I really love them. And I love that they are metal. I just think that's give a more classy finish than plastic ones.

You probably already guessed that the fabrics in this post are sponsored by Nosh Fabrics. But I promise you that I'm not exaggerating when I'm gushing about how wonderful they are.

Get your Nosh Fabrics HERE.
Get your Japanese sewing book HERE.
Get your Knit Pencil Skirt HERE.

Thank you!


  1. I am obsessed with the rosy pink/olive combo. So so good. The sweatshirts look perfect with pencil skirts. Very very cool! 💙💙

  2. Sending you a big high five! These are amazing and I love the silhouette on you! Also, that's totally the same type of pattern paper I use, it's the best! XO

  3. Buckle up, Vetements! Here comes Mie with her fabulous oversized look.!

  4. The fabric seems really nice, beautifull colors and pattern. Love the result, thanks!

  5. I would never have considered the olive fabric with birds for myself, but I think I'm sold now. Looks fab on you, I hope it suits me :-)

  6. Oh oh oh... That pink and olive combo is to die for! And you look so amazingly comfy. Don't be surprised if you see a similar look coming from me sometime in the future 😁

  7. The rose/olive combo is so wonderful! You do oversized like nobody else! Everything looks so natural on you. I love the rebel-length sleeves on the green top with t he flying things print :) Am I a rebel at heart after all? haha

  8. I have so many outfits pinned to my Pinterest that look like yours it's astonishing! You are so right about having all these inspiring pins in pinterest and then getting distracted by something else and never getting around to creating the look you want! I do this all the time much to my constant frustration. You've really inspired me in this post though - seeing how perfectly you accomplished the look you were going for all in such luscious fabrics. Lovely match fabric to pattern.

  9. I really love this oversized look. The fabric is gorgeous and in fact I went straight to the website and ordered some immediately.
    You look reminds me a lot of an Australian stylist/fashion label we have here that does the front tuck with oversized clothing. It is very flattering.
    FYI -

  10. Okay, I love love love love love these two looks!!!! (But I think you probably already knew that!) I want both outfits for myself - the color scheme is beautiful, and now you are making me go back and look at those swans again for myself. Also, I love that you include a mini-tutorial. I hope you do a tutorial of that super cool hem one day!!

  11. LOVE!!! You make "Large and oversized" mean "chic and cool." The COLORS! DROOOOOL.

  12. Thanks for the mini tutorial and the thoughts on proportions


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Thank you!