Wednesday, 14 March 2018

I AM Patterns Zebre Sweatshirt Review

The belated cold snap in the UK has lead me to wear my various me-made sweatshirts on heavy rotation. I have multiple Linden tops and I'm always on the lookout for another reliable sweatshirt pattern so when I saw a few versions of I AM Patterns Zebre sweatshirt popping up on Instagram, I thought I'd give it a go. It has flared bell style sleeves that end with a long shaped cuff. One shoulder is finished with a placket opening and snaps.

I bought the PDF, two-in-one Zebre with a full sleeve at the cuff and Lion which has a puff shoulder. The body shape is the same, it's just the sleeve shape that varies.  I made a test garment first (pics are on my IG @verykerryberry) using the Lion pattern but reducing the puff to a standard shoulder using other jersey tops to sketch the curve. The text version was size 38 which matched my body measurements but came out at quite a generous fit, although still very wearable; it has been already been worn a lot!
The Zebre version uses quite a lot of fabric as the sleeve pieces are wide. I used the most wonderful, drapey french terry from Eternal Maker.  It's produced by Lady McElroy and has around 20% stretch so enough for bands and ease and is a lighter weight than many sweatshirt fabrics, so perfect for the extra fullness at the cuff. I cut a size 36 with no size alterations. For reference,  I'm just over 32" bust and 36" hip, 5' 5" height.

The pattern came with English and French instructions.  The English instructions include imperial measurements and the seam allowance is 3/16"- easier understood as either a scant 1/4" or 5mm. This is for an overlock sewn version, I adjusted my seam width to fit so no trimming was needed as I overlocked the seams. If you wish to use a sewing machine throughout, the instructions suggest that the seam allowances are increased when you cut out/trace the pattern. Otherwise, construction is straightforward and pretty basic. Hems are finished with bands. My only addition was to add stabilising tape on the sewn shoulder and fusible interfacing on the placket shoulder. The placket construction is very easy, just folded over fabric- no separate pieces are added. I'm really happy with the finished top, it works well with long skirts and the sleeve finish adds a little extra drama and style to a warm, cosy sweatshirt. It is a quick make, I could stitch one up in two or three of hours and I am not a fast sewer! Definitely one to repeat.  If you prefer a paper pattern version, Alice is selling this style at Backstitch.


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