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The Bits and Bobs Pocket Top

French Terry is one of those fabrics that has always intrigued me, but that I hadn’t sewn before this year. I reckon it’s going to be a big part of my sewing going forward, though, as this stuff is da bomb! Let me explain why…

The pattern for this boys’s top is from Ottobre Design Magazine, issue 1/2019. It was the cover pattern and when Gabriel saw it he was instantly smitten. I’ve made it a challenge for myself to sew something for each of my three kids from each Ottobre magazine this year, so this was Gabriel’s first choice. He said he liked the racing stripes on the sleeves and the zipped pocket, and wanted the one I made him to look as much like the model picture as possible.

I chose this French Terry in dark grey in the hope that the reverse side might look something like the nubbly fabric on the magazine picture. It didn’t, but fortunately Gabriel was perfectly happy with the smooth side of the fabric, especially when teamed up with this super-cute Striped Tubular Ribbing in light grey. If you’ve never bought a length of tubular ribbing before, you really should give it a go as this stuff is perfect for neckbands and cuffs. It’s not a wide fabric, though. This particular ribbing comes in a 35cm width which makes 70cm when cut open. It’s really stretchy so you could probably get a seamless bodycon boob tube or dress out of it if you’re slim enough!

As Gabriel had his heart set on the checked ribbon on the sleeves, I had to hunt down something similar on eBay and ended up with a grosgrain ribbon with red and white checks. To finish off I found this Plastic Chunky Zip in red. It’s super quality, strong and glides well which is great for Gabriel as I know he’s going to put it to plenty of use!

Tracing out Ottobre patterns isn’t for the faint-hearted as the pattern sheets look like a great big confusing mess with loads of pieces superimposed over each other. And then once you’ve found and traced your pieces you still need to add seam allowance. However, I reckon the whole rigmarole is worth it when you end up with such lovely garments.

This was a pretty straightforward sew, and apart from attaching the pocket and the sleeve ribbons it was done entirely on my overlocker so it was nice and quick too. I liked the way the pocket was attached, as the entire zip is exposed and simply topstitched to the fabric, so it was easy and looks really striking with the full width of the zip tape on show. To make the pocket extra sturdy I fused Knit Interfacing onto both the pocket piece and a strip to the reverse side of the top where the zip is sewn on.

This French Terry behaved itself beautifully while cutting and sewing, and I’d recommend it as an ideal fabric for knit newbies. The ribbing curled a bit after cutting and needed pressing to get it to lie flat, but other than that it was also very easy to sew. I just love the quality of both fabrics and they made for a fun experience sewing them up. Sometimes I really need a nice easy sew like this to boost my sewjo!

I’m absolutely thrilled with how well this sweatshirt came out, and even more excited to see how much Gabriel loves it! He didn’t want to take it off for the first two days after I finished it, which ended up being a bit of a problem as the weather got hot. I suspect he won’t get too much wear out of it over the summer, but it could be useful for summer evenings outside, and will definitely be an important part of his wardrobe over the autumn and winter. It’s a good thing it’s a bit oversized.

That pocket is just perfect for all the random bits and pieces Gabriel likes to carry around with him. On the day I took the photos below he had a couple of toy cars in there. At other times there have been stones and twigs. I’m definitely going to have to remember to check the pocket before I stick this top in the wash!

I’m definitely planning to sew with this French Terry again as it feels wonderful and drapes really beautifully. The quality is excellent and the range of colours seriously impressive. Because it’s a medium weight it would be ideal for most knit tops and dresses, and I definitely want to be snuggling up in some tops made with this fabric when the weather cools down. I can see it working well for summer cardigans and light jackets too, so it’s definitely a year-round fabric.

Happy sewing, everyone!

Anna-Jo x

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All materials for this make were kindly supplied by Minerva in return for an honest blog post. Thank you, Minerva!

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