Adventures in stretch
Somewhat unintentionally, I’ve made 2 sportswear projects in a row! I’m not very sporty but I do like being active and I like trying different kinds of exercise. I recently did some online yoga videos and found I was really enjoying it, so I wanted to make something loose and stretchy to wear while on the mat.
I ordered this slub jersey and this aztec stretch lace from the Cali Fabrics site with a slightly different plan for what I wanted to make. I’d made that rookie mistake we all make at some point and picked the 2 aqua colours without properly comparing the shade and when it arrived I realised the stretch lace is a lighter, slightly more minty aqua colour. Thankfully the colours work perfectly together and are really light and fresh.
I had originally planned on using the stretch lace as the entire back but I changed my mind when it arrived. It’s got a 2 way stretch only and is very lightweight. I’ve never used anything like it before so it was really fun to design something around the fabric! The slub jersey is a really lovely weight and texture and has sewn up so nicely. At first it looked like it might be a little bit sheer but actually its weighty enough to keep me decent!
Because I wanted to use both fabrics in my yoga top, I went through a few different designs in my head before I settled on a slouchy neck tshirt with long sleeves. I thumbed through the sewing mags I’d picked up in mainland Europe in the last few months and found this sporty slouch top in the Autumn/Winter 2016 edition of Ottobre. I traced the pattern pieces off and added some extra width to the pieces as my measurements were larger than the chart. As I wanted to add lace to the sleeves and to the back as a faux yoke, I hacked the pattern to allow for this, but in hindsight I think I took a little bit too much length off the body – it’s a tad eighties for me! I was able to remove the excess but I intentionally left it oversized across the shoulders to allow a full range of movement when working out.
As jersey can curl when it’s cut, I used spray starch on the slub jersey to help keep the fabric flat as it went through my overlocker. The slub jersey actually took this brilliantly and it was a total breeze time put together. I was a bit apprehensive about the lace going through the overlocker but it’s a surprisingly strong fabric given the 2 way stretch.
I assembled the whole thing on my overlocker using grey thread – I have some grey leggings that I will pair this with so wanted to tie the garments together. I also chose not to hem the top – I wanted the raw edges to softly curl up. Thankfully jersey doesn’t fray so if I change my mind at a later date I can just use a twin needle on it!
Overall I’ll really happy with how this turned out. I’m an inexperienced jersey stitcher so I learn each time I sew with it. I’m definitely keen to get some more slub jersey for a few basic tees and vests but I’m definitely keen to try a more traditional stretch lace!