Maternity Sweater and Notes on Sewing with Fleece

  So after making this gorgeous top and this awesome wrap top, what do I want to do?  Put a sweater over them.  I’m freezing!

  Now, if my pregnancy with G is any indication, come January I’m going to feel like I have a blast furnace in my guts and will be running around in tank tops, but, for now, I figure a toasty warm sweater that actually covers my stomach is going to be a godsend.

  Yes, yes, I know, that’s the exact same yellow I made the wrap top out of, except in fleece.  I complained about my last maternity wardrobe being all bright red and purple and now this one is all grey and yellow…but I actually WEAR grey and yellow!
  To make this sweater, I used the exact same pattern from Megan Nielsen as I did for the top I added the “leather” details to.  After doing the alterations on that top and making the wrap top, it was pretty clear that I should be a size XS.  So for the sweater I hopped up two sizes and made a Medium to give myself room for the bulkier fabric and clothing underneath.
  If you decide to use this method to turn a favorite shirt pattern into a sweater pattern, be warned, it is going to require some alterations on your part.  The body and sleeves were actually just about perfect…the problem was the armholes.  If you think about it, as people get bigger, their shoulders typically get wider.  The pattern does the same thing, so I wound up with armhole seams sitting down off my shoulders, onto my arm.  Not pretty.  To fix it, I put the sweater on inside out and pinched the excess fabric together, pinned it and stitched it.  Not a perfect solution (ideally you’d morph together two pattern pieces for a better fit), but it worked fairly well.
  I also changed the neckline on the top a touch.  The original has a fairly deep scoop neckline, both front and back, which is really pretty, but wasn’t about to keep me warm, and was going to be really hard to find tops to wear under.  I kept the place that the shoulder seams met the same by notching my fabric as I was cutting and then just cut shallower scoops with the pieces still folded in half to create my new neck.
  A note on sewing fleece:
  Ohhhh fleece is a nightmare to try and make look anything but horrendously frumpy.  I’m pretty happy with how this turned out, and I had no delusions when I started it that it was going to be something I’d look like a baby-mama bombshell in, but if you’re just starting out working with fleece, know that it is going to up the frump factor massively.
  First of all, fleece does not drape.  Don’t even try it for something that is supposed to have delicate folds or pleats.  Fleece is chunky, and whatever you make out of it will look chunky.
  Secondly, fleece does not stretch terribly well.  It is a knit of sorts, and it does stretch, but not well.  Don’t try to create a form fitting piece thinking it will up the vamp factor.  You just wind up looking like a sausage in a sports bra (believe me, I speak from experience).
  Finally, to get an even sort of polished looking end piece, top stitch your seams.  All of them.  Doing this makes your seams lay flat instead of being puffy, ugly messes, but it’s a pain.  Especially for sleeves.  Do it anyhow.  It makes the difference between a cute lay-about-the-house-in-yoga-pants piece and a “well, I’m never wearing THAT monstrosity” piece.
  Good luck!  And if you have any questions about working with fleece or altering a pattern to use it for something it’s completely unintended for, as always, leave me a comment or send me an email!
  New here?  Click through and see some of the other things I’ve done!  You can find my other sewing projects here.
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