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A Christmas Jalie 3245 Tee

Hello there! I’m excited to share a special project with you today. This project is one that I’ve been wanting to make for awhile now.

I’ve found that I’ve had a gap in my holiday wardrobe for a Christmas themed garment that is in-between categories.  I’ve needed something that to wear at casual Christmas parties that is not super fancy but also not super casual. My thought to fill this gap was to make a velvet, raglan sleeved top.

I found this lovely classy Velvet Velour Fabric at Minerva and jumped at the chance to work with it! This project only uses 0.5m of the Velvet Velour. The smaller quantity of this fancier fabric makes the project even more economical.

I’m pairing the red velvet with a lighter, marl grey Cotton Jersey Fabric for a fun contrast.

I’ve not yet worked with a velvet/velour fabric, so I’ve been excited to jump in.  A fun feature of this velvet is that it’s a 2-way stretch fabric. I usually see velvets as non-stretch, woven fabrics so this stretch option makes a fun pairing for tees (or dresses).

The pattern that I paired with this project is Jalie 3245. The pattern offers a fun, feminine cut raglan sleeve tee or tunic.

Pattern options:  

1) Raglan top with curved hem, half sleeve and bound neckline.

2) Raglan tunic with curved hem, half sleeve, patch pockets and bound neckline.

3) Racerback top with curve hem, bound neckline and armholes.

4) Racerback tunic with curved hem, patch pockets and bound necline and arm holes

Sizing: 12M to 50” (127cm) Bust

I chose to make Option 1 with a few modifications (from the options above).

Seam allowance: The pattern calls for ¼” (or 6mm).

I have a unique story with this post to share. I made three muslins with this project. I’m sharing this detail with humor as I didn’t really need to make three muslins. I have not yet worked with a Jalie pattern for myself yet, so a part of the muslin process for me was learning their sizing for my body.  

I share this detail as an encouragement to the newer sewers out there that have struggled to have stamina for making muslins.  It does take some endurance to stick with changing the fit of the pattern a few times, until muslin fits your body. Once I hit the third muslin I was super happy with the fit.  It made all the difference in the world for me to know I’ll love wearing the final top for years to come.

One interesting detail to note with the pattern is that the lower portion of the pattern is one common piece that is reused for the top and bottom portions of the top.  The back and front top pieces are small and interchanged as you cut out the front and back of the pattern.

This pattern required tracing paper to both trace out your size and trace out the pattern pieces (to fit together for cutting out the fabric).

Materials;

- Jalie Sewing Pattern 3245

- 0.5mt Carlotta John Kaldor Velvet Velour Fabric

- 1mt Cotton Spandex Jersey Fabric

- Flexible Ruler (to draft the neckline)

- Tracing Paper

- Sewing Thread

Muslin #1: (Size) Sleeve: S Upper: S Lower: S/T/U

For the first muslin I used a rayon knit for the body fabric and a cotton lycra for the sleeves.  I assembled the neckband incorrectly (per the recommended assembly in the pattern). The neckline in the top is quite open, which offer a fun feminine detail.  After making this muslin I started thinking about self-drafting the neckline (instead of following the intended neckline in the pattern). I wasn’t quite happy with the armholes in this sizing, they seemed a bit low with this iteration.

If you’d like to create the neckline as intended in the pattern, I found the following post to share more information about the construction method.

Muslin #2: (Size) Sleeve: S Upper: S Lower: S/T/U

For the second muslin I used a cotton/lycra knit for the body and sleeves.

For the neckband, I share details in this post for how I approach self-draft a neckband in a knit top (reference the Neckline section).  I wasn’t quite happy with the length of neckband with this version (but I’ll share more about what I changed to fix this issue in the next section).  I felt this version was still a bit tighter then I would like, and the underarm area still seemed a bit big.

Muslin #3: (Size) Sleeve: T Upper: T Lower: T/U/V (with the length extended to CC-DD-EE-FF)

For this muslin I drafted a 10% neckline as well (but I forgot to take out the seam allowance in the neckline length for both this muslin and the previous one).  

Going up a size in the sleeves and top/bottom portions fixed the previous issue of the underarm area being too big.  I found that I really liked the extra ease in this muslin (by going up a size for the top and bottom pieces with this version).  Fitting ease is a personal preference of course, if you like a garment to be intentionally more fitted or if you like a more relaxed look (with the garment not as figure hugging).   

Final Pattern Modifications:

- Extend the length of the sleeves by 9” (22.9cm).  I decided that I will be wearing this tee mostly during the Christmas/winter season and a longer sleeved tee will get more wear (for me).

For the modifications to the sleeve length I referenced a second raglan sleeved pattern that I had in my stash (that I have previously made and I was happy with the sleeve length).  If you would like to extend the sleeve length as well and don’t own a reference pattern in your stash, you can try adding a new sleeve length and sleeve taper on a muslin. You can experiment with a sleeve length and cuff circumference that you’re happy with.

Self-draft the neckband and remove the seam allowance ends from the neckband.  I used a 90% approach with this top (multiplying the actual length of the neckline by 0.9 and subtracting off 0.5 for the seam allowance, ¼” plus ¼” seam allowances on each end of the neckband).  The neckband needs to be smaller than the neckline (to prevent the neck opening from gaping). In some cases, with some fabrics, a 75% neckband is more appropriate (so you can also play around with your muslin for which percentage you like for your own fabric).  I made the neckband 2” wide and divided neckband number by 2 (to cut out the neckband on the fold).

I’m very happy with the final garment.  The tee is so cozy with the velvet sleeves while also being a little more dressy then a regular raglan sleeved tee.  I love that I can wear this top with a pair of jeans for a classier, comfortable holiday look (at a party that is more casual).

A coverstitch machine is not required for this project, but I enjoy using the one that I have.  I chose to color match the red fabric for the sleeve hems and continue with this contrasting red color in the bottom hem.

The velvet/velour really sparkles in the sunlight.  The fabric is quite dreamy, I’m really happy with it.

I love that I can also bump up the “Christmas factor” by wearing this green, handknit cabled shawl together with the top.  Wearing my handmade items together is so special to me!

I wish you all a very happy time with your own Christmas/Holiday sewing adventures!

Rachel @oakbluedesigns

www.oakbluedesigns.com

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