Hi Everyone!

Hope you all had a lovely time over the Winter Holidays!

Ever since The Earth Science Collection from Named Patterns came out, I fell in love with the Gemma Sweater and Dress Pattern. Therefore, I chose this pattern for my first make of the year for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network.

To make my sweater, I used back and red polyester and spandex stretch Neoprene Fabric, along with 2 cm wide elastic, some eyelets and some red cord, for the drawstring (note that in the picture is white, I later found that I also had red in my stash, which fits more with the sweater). To construct it I used both my sewing machine and my overlocker, which made the process super fast.

I chose to make the sweater version as I already have way to many dresses I do not wear often. I also liked the idea of making a feature of the front panels. This pattern is perfect for colour blocking. You can mix your panels in many different ways. I also wanted to make my collar red, just because I could. The actual pattern shows the collar in the same colour as the main body. However, one doesn’t have to follow the pattern exactly.

In choosing the size to cut, I took into consideration the finished garment measurements, not the actual sizing. This is because my bust measurement always puts me into a higher size, and if I make it in that size, end up with a garment that’s too big for me. So, I sized down from size 40 to size 38. I did not change the length of the sleeve as I prefer the longer sleeves.

The Sewing Pattern instructions are very detailed, they start by giving a lot of basic information about body and garment measurement, materials and supplies needed, some general instructions and techniques as well as cutting layouts, before going into details of how to construct your sweater or dress. I particularly found the diagrams that accompany the written instructions quite useful.

Because the Neoprene is quite thick and bouncy, after constructing the collar, I have basted both layers in place before attaching them to the neckline. I do this to all the knit necklines I put in because if I don’t I end up missing a layer, usually the one on the right side which does not look good.

I’ve learnt the hard way that a little extra prep before attaching the collars/neckbands goes save me a lot of time, from having to unpick and start again.

I found the construction a bit unusual. This is because you make part of the front attach it to the back piece, add the sleeve. Then you construct the rest of the front attach the other sleeve and the put them together. Once I made it, I realised, it’s done this way to get perfect corners. I should have at this stage baste the layers before putting them though the overlocker. I ended up with a little mismatch. Luckily due to the bouncy fabric it is not very obvious.

For the hems I used, the lightning bolt stitch on my sewing machine. This was the only stitch that worked with my fabric. Black thread barely shows in the pictures. It created a little channel.

I was quite chuffed, when I realised I have some red-cord in my stash to used as drawstring. The white was a bit too much contrast for it. For the openings I used eyelets, however, you can make buttonholes if you do not have a kit for eyelets.

As I mentioned before, the fabric is quite thick and stitching creates a little channel, therefore I decided to stitch my label on a piece of scrap fabric before I overlocked the side seams

This is also my first proper Named pattern I’ve made. I am not counting the cardigan I made in February of 2017 because that came in only 4 sizes. I am very pleased with my new sweater. I’ll be wearing it a lot this winter.

Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Gemma Sweater by Named (View A)

Fabric: Neoprene (1.6 m black and 0.5m red)

Notions: 2 eyelets, red cord 1.6m

Sewing time: about 3 hours including tracing the pattern pieces

Modifications: none

Fit: Good

Difficulty: medium, only because of the front

Watch out for: pay attention to the instructions as the construction of this garment is a bit different than of other garments

Make Again?: Definitely. I will probably make the dress version at some point as well.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. And please do share your makes on Istagram/Twitter by tagging @MinervaCrafts or using the hashtag #MinervaMakes. I’d love to see what you create.


Sewing Adventures in the Attick