The lovely folks at Girl Charlee got in touch a while ago and asked me if I’d be interested in having a play with some of their gorgeous knits. Absoflippinlutely I would! One of the fabrics they sent me (they are a generous bunch, but more on that later!) was this delicious Hacci knit. (If anyone knows the correct pronunciation let me know. “Hachi or Hacki” ?? What say you??)
It’s times like this that I wish you guys could reach into the screen and pick this fabric up. Soft and drapey is an understatement. SOOOO soft….SOOO drapey….
So as you may have gathered from the title this is a very boxy top. Made up in a different fabric (ie heavier and less drapey) it would look much more voluminous. But the great thing about this one is it drapes to the body and doesn’t look like there’s huge amounts of fabric adding bulk to your frame. Only when I raise my arms is it obvious just how wide this top is….(and I don’t tend to walk around in a permanent “yay!” position. So we’re good!)
Approx 56″ around to give you an idea. (I’m a 38″ bust so that’s a full 18″ of ease). It’s so simple to draft your own pattern for this. It’s literally a couple of squares for the body and a trapezium shape for the sleeves. Here’s what I did…
I took some measurements of the body, neckline and sleeves. Things like the neckline width, sleeve length and circumference at either end. Body length and width. Shoulder slope, how far the armhole extended out from the main body etc.
Then I took those measurements and went about drafting a simple template pattern. I established from the RTW top that the body (front and back) was essentially 2 squares measuring 28″ x 28″ ….identical bar the neckline depth, so I only really needed to draft one pattern piece for the body and cut 2 of those from my fabric.
Before we proceed it’s worth noting…this is “maverick” drafting. It’s not technically perfect as I haven’t added seam allowances the “right” way or anything of that nature; and purists out there…I apologise, lol! I am not a qualified pattern cutter. I work things out as I go and what I share here tends to be what works for me first as opposed to “technically perfect”. But it does yield a wearable top because the size and boxy nature are very forgiving of such things! And it’s a top I love and is in use as soon as it comes out of the laundry. So if that’s the measure of a successful outcome, then this totally works for me. If you get easily “offended” by technically “incorrect” stuff…click away now! If you want a really quick easy bit of drafting that yields a comfortable drapey top….read on!
Patterns are drafted in quarters as we know. So I started with a rectangle that was 14″ wide and 28″ long…
- Measure down 1.5″ to 2.5″ (or your preferred neckline depth) from the top left hand corner of your rectangle. Mark a point.
- Measure across 3.5″ to 5″ (or your preferred neckline width divided by 2) from the top left hand corner of your rectangle. Mark a point.
- Join with a curve ensuring a 90 degree angle where the curve meets the centre front and shoulder point.
You have your neckline!
This style has and extended/drop shoulder line and a curved under arm seam.
- From the top right hand corner of your rectangle, extend a dotted line out by 3″
- Square down from there another dotted line of 3″”
- Join that to your neckline curve to get your shoulder line
- Square down approx 7″ (your preferred armhole depth) from the end of your shoulder line to get your armhole opening
- Join that to your side seam with a smooth gradual curve at least 3″ down the side seam
You have your armhole and shoulder!
It’s a matter of preference here it terms of length and “snugness” around the arm. But essentially it’s a trapezium! The measurements shown are what I used for this top. You might prefer a longer or more/less fitted sleeve. Jut change the measurements to suit:
- Draw a vertical line the length you want for your sleeve; incorporating a bit extra for hemming etc
- Your sleeve head measurement must match that of the armhole. Draw a horizontal line of that width, across the base of ( and centred on) your vertical line.
- Your cuff measurement will vary depending on the length of your sleeve. The longer the sleeve the narrower the cuff. Draw a horizontal line of that width, across the top of ( and centred on) your vertical line.
- Join either side with a diagonal line
You have your sleeve!
- Body – Cut 2 on the fold
- Sleeve – Cut 2
- Sew the shoulder seams RS together
- Sleeves are put in flat. Attach the sleeves RS together then flip and press out (see below)
- Fold in half RS together and sew the sleeve, under arm and side seams in one go
- Finish hem, sleeves (I just turned once and hemmed) and neckline (here’s what I did) as you wish.
Now I LOVE this fabric. But it’s the very things I love about this fabric that make it a little tricky to work with. For instance, it is soooo drapey (actually “springy” and “boingy” would be suitable terms too I think!) that when you hang it off an ironing board to press the hem it drapes/stretches out (all the way to the floor in my case!) Which doesn’t make for even hemming. I resolved this by popping a stool underneath to “support” the fabric. Steam a seam to stabilise the hem for turning and sewing. I spray starched my pattern pieces around the edges after cutting to minimise curling. When it comes to cutting, the fabric stretches out as the scissor blades pass underneath it then “springs” back as soon as it is cut. I found cutting a couple of mm away from my pattern paper compensated adequately for this. Apart from that, work relatively quickly, use the right needles and tension settings and you’re good. But SWATCH first and handle gently 🙂
Now I mentioned that the folks at Girl Charlee are a generous lot! They are offering you the chance to win 2m of the fabric of your choice from their selection. To be in with a chance of winning, follow them on Instagram and Facebook. Then leave a comment here stating what fabric you would choose and any suggestions for what knits you would love to see them stocking in the future. Simples. Giveaway closes at midnight GMT on 9th October and the winner will be selected at random.