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I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Monday, February 12, 2018

Sewing basics in the campground: Jalie's Marie-Claude pullover

I am behind in my pattern reviews since I have been caught up happily sewing on the picnic table in the state park outside of Austin Texas. I am surrounded by quiet and trees, a few deer and this afternoon a coyote passed by. Not to worry I always have seam ripper handy.

I have been making a few knit tops and the first one, because I am low on basics, is a quick version of Jalie's Marie-Claude raglan pullover.

I have a lot to say about this pattern and about using/fitting Jalie patterns in general.

Here we go.

But before I start let's have a look at my top made in the turtle neck version. Note being a grandmother I wouldn't wear this with leggings alone normally but it does help you see the top.

Now I know black shirts aren't too useful as far as seeing the details, but hopefully you can see how this top fits. I am tall and my husband's good cooking has collected around my middle, but I a fairly small boned. Loose garments, of the sort I have been playing around with lately, can really be too big around my shoulders - Jalie always gives me a good fit.

I admire the quality of the draft.

As an example of that here is the pattern piece for the turtle neck, the short sides are seamed together at the back neck. Notice how curved this piece is, to fit the round neckline and compare it to the straight up rectangle we see in most turtle neck collar pieces. 

How can you not end up with a better fit around the neck with a collar like this?

That said Jalies have become my sort of TNT staples and I don't have one size I use. 

I find that I can play around with the ease by tracing out a size larger or smaller depending on the fabric and on look I want. 

For instance I have three different sizes of Jalie's pull-on pant I use (this is one of my favourite patterns because it has a loose leg shape but is trim in the hips and waist - not always usual for pull on pants, definitely not a clown pant look). 

I cut out a smaller size when I make these pants in a knit, one size up when I have a fairly structured woven, like a cotton/linen, and one size up that I use to make looser summer pants in a washed linen or a soft cotton.

I feel the same way about this top.

This version, in this fabric a fairly firm poly knit I got at a designer's left over sale with a lot of bounce back when it is stretched. As a result it is quite fitted with a snug neck, sort of what I would call a base layer to wear under sweaters or cardigans.

To get a more of a pullover look in a sweater knit I will probably trace one size up, for looser sleeves and collar for instance.

In the meantime a fast and easy sew and a good basic I will use for years I think.


SewRuthie said...

Lovely. I like Jalie but find the sleeves very tight. They are also difficult to get and expensive here in the UK so I only have a few.

Debbie said...

Barbara, do you have your serger on the road with you? I just bought my first serger on the weekend and I'm anxious to make something up in a knit.

Julie Culshaw said...

Very interesting collar indeed. Thanks for the recommendation of Jalie for the basics, I will have to check them out. Have lots of their patterns but haven't tried all that many.

Julie Culshaw said...

Forgot to mention that my Texas daughter is visiting Austin right now but I guess she won't be near the state park. It would be very funny if she ran into you or saw you sewing on a picnic table. This is the daughter who took up sewing exactly one year ago and has since made over 50 garments, including 4 bras and 4 or 5 pairs of jeans. Who knew it would take her 30 years to be interested?

Barbara said...

Yes Ruthie Jalie sleeves can be tight on many folks. Many women straighten out the long sleeves, essentially removing the taper, to deal with this.

And yes Debbie I am traveling with my serger, although not my coverhem - you are really going to enjoy serging knits - it’s a game changer.

MaryEllen said...

I’ve not tried a Jalie - but now it’s on my radar - thanks . I’ve loved the pictures of you sewing outside . Such a peaceful way to sew

Anonymous said...

I just finished my first Jalie pattern and It was this very one. I am over the moon with the fit and the comfort. Love that collar and it was such a quick sew. Two thumbs up. I am so please I could almost stand up and show it off at the meeting tonight.

You have answered my questions about moving up a size for a beefier knit. Thank you. I perhaps have a little bit of excess fabric in the under arm area and I am wondering if it is my sloping shoulder problem. I am thinking that it is not worth thinking about.

Off to make another Marie Claude.
Donna E

Also going to investigate that pattern for pants.

The Have-More Daughter said...

When I became interested in sewing for myself again, I looked high and low for reviews like you are writing. I did not find any. So glad you are sharing your experiences with such detailed specific explanations of how a pattern fits and how the pieces are drafted. You are breaking a sound barrier!

Maria Oliver said...

Textured knits for winter are a fav of mine too.

Vancouver Barbara said...

What a great fabric. Love the texture and design. The top looks great on you and thanks for showing the pattern piece for the collar.

What's this stuff about being a grandmother and wearing tights? Lady, you've got the gams – why not show them off. Age or status has nothing to do with it. PLUS tights are comfortable and look great under a skirt should you feel the need to wear one.