Friday, 24 October 2014's not just for pandas

I mentioned a little while ago in a previous post that's I'd got a hankering for sewing something using bamboo jersey fabric I'd spied recently. Well, of course, that was that and I ended up buying some as I couldn't get it out of my head (there's a song in there somewhere!?).

So, I bought some cream bamboo jersey, which actually contains 96% bamboo, 3% spandex and 1% lycra (but I could have got the last two mixed up so don't quote me on). I already had a pattern selected -

I decided to make view A, a three-quarter length sleeved top. The sleeves look much longer on the illustration on the pattern cover and I have long arms so they were three-quarter length on me. I added 2" to the length of the body and didn't add anything to the sleeve length. Next time I'll add my customary 2" or as much as I can. The fabric was 150cm wide and only 3 pattern pieces were needed. Both the front and back were cut on the fold so there was enough room to have added more length to the sleeves.

The eagle-eyed among you might have recognised the short-sleeved version, view C, which has already made an appearance in a previous post as Green top No.2.

Anyway, I'd say this pattern was easy to follow and very quick to sew up. I started cutting out at 1pm and had finished a very leisurely afternoon's sewing at about 6pm with the completed garment (this included time for tea breaks, cake-eating and chatting).

The bamboo was great to work with, an absolute dream and I'm already thinking of how I can use it again and other colours I can make this pattern up in. I challenged myself to buy and use a ballpoint twin needle, which I bought from the old faithful, John Lewis click and collect service. I'd looked before and couldn't see it in the shop but it was available online. I threaded up my machine after googling how to do this, set the stitch to ordinary straight stitch and on setting 4 (widest stitch length on my machine). Then I gently applied pressure to the foot control, expecting to hear gnarling thread and a complaining machine any second but apart from a few seconds spent adjusting the tension with a scrap of fabric, it worked perfectly and gave a lovely professional result to the sleeve and lower edge hems-

I did have a false start by sewing on the reverse of the hem, top tip here- you have to sew from the right side of the fabric. I also used the twin needle to top stitch around the neckline.

So, what does the finished top look like? Here are some dodgy photos for you.

The top has slight dolman sleeves, which I love but they're still practical enough to be able to put a jumper on without bunching up.

Remember the 2" I added to the length of the body? I ended up cutting 1.5" off the body length when I hemmed it so I won't even bother making any adjustments to the pattern next time I use it. That'll be a first for me!

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