This Fabric feels beautiful; it has a lovely, smooth hand with great stretch and recovery. And check out those cute little sloths swinging from the stripes every now and again!

I knew I wanted to make something I would get a lot of wear out of from this fabric since it made me smile so much. And so I reached for my copy of Tilly’s “Stretch” book, filled with wearable jersey projects.

I have to admit to generally being one of those people who is prone to buying beautiful sewing books and then carefully filing them on my bookcase without actually using many (any?) of the patterns. But, in the case of Tilly’s books, I turn to them time and again for wearable, fun patterns.

I’ve made several Freya tops from this book, and initially planned to make another of the turtle neck tops to add to my growing collection. However, something about the Frankie top caught my eye.

Whilst I’ve only made one of these before, there is something very appealing about the baseball style top. I particularly like the way it’s drafted to swing gently away from the body towards the bottom, being rather forgiving on post Christmas tums!

I was shown a trick a while ago on a course for matching stripes across a side seam and try to use it whenever possible. Basically, you either cut out on a single layer to ensure the stripe remains level across the body or you fold your fabric VERY carefully before cutting on the fold. Then you line up the bottom of the armscye with a distinct point in the pattern, repeating the same point for the front and the back. This works well on the side seams, however matching up on the diagonal raglan seam was rather trickier. I attempted to make sure the notches were also lined up at the same points on both the body and sleeve pieces and, whilst not perfect, I’m pretty pleased with the outcome. Certainly I would never have noticed the mismatch on a shop bought top before I started sewing!

The jersey behaved beautifully when sewing. As ever, I used my normal sewing machine for all the top stitching and to attach the neckband, switching to my overlocker for the other seams. I use a walking foot on my normal machine and you could definitely construct the whole thing without an overlocker; I just prefer the finish with one. The material pressed well, giving a lovely smooth hem without any waviness.

For the neckband, I find it best to attach it using my normal sewing machine to start with. I then repeat the joining seam with my overlocker, press it in place and topstitch back on my normal machine using a stretch stitch. I add a little label to the back neckline to personalise it and catch that in the topstitching so it stays nicely in place. You could use a little bit of ribbon to do the same thing.

The finished top feels great; the smooth finish on this jersey is lovely to wear and I think it looks great with jeans. It’s also a great layering piece, which is so useful at this time of year.