This post has been a long time underway. See the thing is I got the idea for this in the very end of spring/beginning of summer and where I live there is no chance of any sweater wearing during summer. So I have been petting my fabric and patiently keeping an eye on the temperatures and when it was time to make my September post for Sew Japan with Mie I went for it.

So what is this idea I'm babbling about? The idea was to make the same pattern in a striped cotton voile and a chunky cotton sweater knit (sold out but bought in THIS shop on Amazon). Then add ruffles to the sleeves and bottom hem of the voile version, so when wearing them together, the ruffles would stick out under the sweater's sleeves and bottom hem. I had no idea if it would work but I'm so happy that it did!

Here is the book and pattern that I used. So as you can see, it's a cropped and wide style, where the back piece wraps around the body and becomes visible from the front. It's a very simple style and the sleeve openings are simply an opening in the 'side' seams - which are not quite at the side but you know what I mean, right! It obviously screams for color blocking and that was the first version I made but have never blogged.

I added a knit rib in the neck opening and at the bottom hem but otherwise followed the pattern completely. I also put my coverstitch to good use. I used my sewing machine to sew the 'side' seam together up to the notch that indicates where the sleeve opening starts. Then I split the seam (with my iron) and then I stitched the whole seam and sleeve opening in one go (the shoulder seam was already sewed at this point). Starting at the bottom hem on the blue and white striped fabric, all the way up and around the sleeve opening and ending at the bottom hem on the grey fabric. I hope that makes sense?! You can of course do the same with a twin needle but then I would recommend that you serge the seams separately before you sew them together and then stitch. It's exactly the same method but the coverstitch just eliminates the serger.

Of course I should have predicted that the sweater version would be slightly bigger than the voile version. Duh, so obvious haha and yet I just made them exactly the same size. So the sleeve ruffles are not sticking out as much as I wanted but honestly that is just a detail. And the only reason I would even consider it 'a problem' is because it is different from the picture I had in my head. Don't worry, I will get over it, ha. I already am! I did secure the sweater shoulder seams from stretching further. Normally you would use clear elastic but I didn't have any of that in the house when I was sewing, so I just took a super narrow ribbon and stitched it to the overlocked shoulder seam (hidden underneath). That works too.

It was my first time working with chunky sweater knit by the yard and I think it behaved pretty well. I was very careful when I handled the neckline and made sure to finish it asap so it didn't stretch too much. I used a variety of techniques for the hemming. The bottom I just folded and coverstitched. To the sleeves I added a narrow cuff, folded and sewed on like a rib. And I think I could have used the same technique in the neckline but I didn't...I can't remember why?! Instead I cut a long strip, sewed it on RTR, folded it around the seam allowance and again used my coverstich to stitch from the front and catching the strips' seam allowance on the back. Again you can use a twin needle here but then serge one side of the strip first that will be visible on the inside.

I remembered to also take some photos of the voile top without the sweater. Of course I did a little play with the stripes. I cut the front piece with horizontal stripes and the back piece with vertical stripes. The ruffles are just long folded and then gathered strips. If you look carefully you can see I didn't spend enough time on the math of this because the ruffle sewed to the front bottom hem is more gathered than the one to the back hem. I like it best on the back hem so if I were to make another one (which is very likely) then I should use that gathering ratio....if only I could remember what radio I used, ha. I'll have to remeasure the back hem plus full length of the ruffle and figure it out!

I added the ruffles to the sleeves the easy way. I already mentioned that the sleeve opening is part of the 'side' seam, so instead of closing up the ruffles to a circle, I finished each short end of the ruffle, sewed it on the sleeve opening after the shoulder seam was sewn but before the 'side' seam was sewn. So if you look carefully, you will see that the ruffle is not connected under the arm. That worked really well.

The neck opening is finished with an interfaced facing. Those pattern pieces even come with the pattern.

I really love the mix of textures in this outfit.

And now I'm just over here waiting for sweater weather. Gah! The weather keeps teasing us with a couple of cooler days and as soon as I have frantically put on my jeans and started winking to my scarfs and saying "see you soon", it warms up again and yesterday it was shorts weather again, wah. But we are getting there and I have worn the voile top with my new Inari Crop Top which will be blogged soon on my own blog Sewing Like Mad.

You know how I always talk about how hard it is for me to choose the featured photo from our link party, right! But this month was fairly easy. And NOT because the other lovely link ups were not that amazing, definitely not, but because seriously look at those round sunglasses, red hair, lovely beach location and not to forget gorgeous shirred dress made with Nani Iro double gauze. This is just perfection in a photo. Thank you Craftstorming and all you other amazing ladies for linking up!


We love to see what you make so please tag your Japanese makes with #sewjapan and #projectsewit on social media and don't forget to link them up to our new link party that opened with this post.