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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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Thursday, December 20, 2018

Great new free pattern alert: Jalie's Yoko

I have been on tour this last week visiting the new granddaughter, my son and my dear DIL in Berkeley California so my sewing has been put on hold, although I am going back into high gear today.

Before I left on my trip however I was lucky enough to have access to a great new free pattern, the Jalie Yoko, square roll neck sweater. I was able to whip up two versions in a few hours to take with me.

Here is the pattern photo:


Before I get started showing you my versions of this pattern - I made both a top and an extended dress- I want to tell you why I like this pattern so much:

1. It's free. 

Some of the popular Indie designers now offer some truly great free patterns, like the newborn top and pants I made from Patterns4pirates. I really am grateful for these freebies because they give you a chance to check out the drafting/instruction quality of a new line before you buy.

I was happy to see Jalie offer a free pattern for exactly that reason - as you know I am a great Jalie fan but I am aware that not every sewer out there has had the chance to appreciate the Jalie draft. This might give those sewers that chance.

2. It comes in the wonderful Jalie range of pattern sizes. 

Increasingly I am sewing for my extended and extending family. I pretty much get all my digital patterns copy shop printed now I have found a reasonable place that does that for me. It is nice to get all the sizes I need for anyone in the family I want to sew for, for the price of one pattern.

3. It is such a fast and easy sew but also highly fashionable and elegant. 

If you are doing exactly what I am doing this morning and revising your Christmas sewing list down from the hoped for to the actually possible, this pattern may be just what you need. 

Made up in a nice stretch velvet (OK I have just added one more sewing idea to replace the one I eliminated from the list a few minutes ago) this could also be a great last minute Christmas outfit for yourself too. 

In fact as I was shopping the stash last night I cam across a few pieces that I am going to turn into some more Yokos for myself as soon as I get my Christmas sewing done.

4. I love the fit/style. 

Although my middle is getting wider the older I get and the more I keep eating, my basic bone structure is quite small. I have tried to sew some of the new boxy styles recently from other pattern companies but have found they swamped me, or were just too loose in the shoulders and arms to be flattering. 

The Yoko has that nice hip square look in the body but still maintains Jalie's nicely fitting shoulder and neck.

It looks stylish but not sloppy. Does that make any sense?

Now here's my first version, a top in a wool knit blend from Fabricville. 

I didn't have quite all the fabric I wanted so I pieced the front, adding a centre seam, so the pattern runs across on one side and down on the other. Of course I have decided this is now a design feature. 

The roll neck is really cozy and the slightly long sleeves look good I think pushed up. I love this top so much, it is warm and sort of like wearing a blanket wrapped around you which is comforting this time of year, but looks considerably more fashionable than that:




And also, because I like sharing what a calm and relaxed event our photo sessions are, here is an outake of that moment when I said listen give me that camera, why do you take pictures that make me look old? Got to get that camera fixed.



The second version I made was specifically for travelling. I used a bamboo/wool knit I had been hoarding to make something to wear for that incredibly long, uncomfortable, unpredictable process that has now become standard in modern airline travel.

The bamboo component in the fabric meant that it did wrinkle a bit but this was so entirely comfortable and easy to wear I didn't really mind that.

On the way back from California to Nova Scotia yesterday I ended up in fact wearing this dress for 26 hours straight, due that miracle called Air Canada's ability to randomly cancel flights without explanation.

Here's are shots of me just before I headed out last week to the airport (accessorized by a small dog who had seen the suitcase at the door and was a bit clingy). The dress looked pretty much the same when I arrived home.




Construction note: I used fusible knit hem tape on a friends recommendation  before I cover hemmed the dress. I see in these pictures that it added a bit of stiffness to the hem. I have since washed the dress, no surprise there, and I can report that this effect has disappeared
A great pattern, definitely going to be wearing all and future editions until they fall apart.