So, I wanted a sweater and had some leftover fabrics from my sweatpants (here) but I didn’t want something I already had and wanted something easy to make. Sounds like a tall order, don’t you think? Well, this is when I put my pattern cutting skills to good use. Most of the time, sewing the sleeve takes most of the time, so if I eliminated that process, what could I get away with?
Bat wing sleeves!
Before you cringe at the thought, keeping the ‘wing’ bit small actually makes the design quite slimming. I wanted a more ‘roomy’ armhole but kept the curve under the armhole small and tight as I didn’t want a throw back to the 80s. I had always wanted to experiment with different patterns so what better time than now. After all, we learn something from our experimentation whether it is a success or a failure.
To draft the pattern, all I did was trace out the front block, extend the shoulder line and place the centre line of the sleeve on the extended shoulder line. Then it was a matter of putting in the curve under the armhole and mirroring the back to the front pattern (with changes to the neckline).
Pretty straightforward! However, the pattern turned out too big for the leftover fabric I had to chop a bit of the sleeve off. As I had to sew a zip to get into the neck opening, I drew a zig-zag line from where the zip ended to the curve of the armhole.
This zig-zag line also enabled me to have a seam on the shoulder for the zip but also to merge the front and back of the sleeve pattern (at the centre line) to omit the seam line. The neckline was finished with bias binding to prevent the material from stretching and with the zip, I realised that it has suddenly become a trademark of mine as I have done it on a lot of my garments.
The hem on the body and sleeve was finished off with ribbing that I cut to approximately 16 cm high (folded into half) and the length was whatever the measurement was for the sleeve hem/body hem minus 20%. This allows the hem to gather onto the ribbing. The whole process took me about 3 hours from pattern to the construction and the results is actually very pleasing on the eye.
The sweater looks a bit baggy but when I wore it, the fit was just right. Being a first ‘toile’ I was quite impressed with how the bat wing looks. However, if I were to remake this sweater again, I would have like to use a white fabric for the sleeves as I think the black and white contrast would look graphically good.
But until then, this is one look I would wear to the gym!