Hi Everybody! I took a bit of an unintentional blog break because I’m having a hard time getting photographs of my recently made garments. Winter is so tough– it’s either super cold, or too bright, or the lighting in my house is terrible, etc. Recently we had a fairly decent, not totally freezing day and I was able to get some pictures of my Geodesic Sweatshirt. I made this right at the end of December and it is absolutely one of the coolest things I made in 2016.
This is the second time I’ve made this pattern from Blueprints for Sewing. The first one I made was the sample for the Indiesew shop. I knew after I finished that one that I really wanted to make one for myself. I dragged my feet on it, though, because I was sure that it would be difficult to grade between sizes. I knew there were instructions in the pattern for grading but I hadn’t really looked at them since I made a straight size for Indiesew. When I finally decided it was time to make one for myself I realized that grading wasn’t such a big deal after all. (Spoiler alert: it is a bit of a big deal if you do it incorrectly and have to unpick a bunch of seams.)
The front and back body are made up entirely from triangles and half triangles. I think the details sort of got lost in my modeled photos, but these I posted to Instagram show off the triangles better.
I used some very lightweight french terry that I’ve had in my stash forever. It turned out to be really off grain so I had to be very careful to keep the fabric straight when I was cutting out all of the triangles. My bust measurement is 36″ and my hips are about 42″ so I should have made a size E/F graded to G/H. I accidentally cut a size C/D for the triangles and didn’t realize it until it was far too late to turn back. Thankfully there is enough ease in the pattern, and my fabric had enough stretch, that it fits exactly how I wanted.
The process for grading is really simple. Once you figure out how much width you want to add at the hips, in my case 2″, you adjust one of the sides of the half triangle piece that hits the side seam of the sweatshirt. That becomes your new side triangle for the second row. Then you take that adjusted piece, adjust it again and that becomes your new side triangle piece for the bottom row. I made the mistake of using my original piece for the bottom row, instead of the adjusted piece, so I essentially graded out in the middle and right back to the original width at the hips. I realized something was wrong when I tried it on before attaching the bottom bands and there wasn’t any ease in the hips. When I went back to the instructions I figured out my mistake. Then came the internal battle about what to do. Do I leave it as is and take the chance that I never reach for it in my closet because the fit isn’t right? Do I unpick these 4 triangles, recut, and fix it?
I had to tell myself that I’ve never regretted putting in the work to make something fit the way I want it to. I set about unpicking and I’m so glad that I did that. The fit in the hips is just how I wanted it and it only added about an hour to the construction process.
I found the sleeves to be a little bit shorter than I wanted. I made the cuff bands quite a bit wider than the original piece so that the sleeves ended up 1.25″ longer. I struggled a little bit with getting the neckband the right length. I was glad I basted it on the first time because it was too long and the neck was gaping. It took me 3 tries to get it right, which was probably due to my fabric being sort of awful. It doesn’t have great recovery and gets stretched out pretty easily.
I am completely in love with this sweatshirt once I got the fit all worked out. The front pockets are such a fun detail– I love how they are constructed on top of the other triangles. The construction is really pretty fun. I used my regular machine with my walking foot to keep all of the points lined up nicely. If you make this and have a walking foot attachment for your machine I’d absolutely recommend using it.
I’ve worn this so much since I finished it. It’s super comfortable and such a unique design. I really want to find a nice cream colored french terry to make another one while it’s still cold. I’m crossing my fingers this thin fabric doesn’t disintegrate from frequent wearings before I get another one made. I’m sure I’ll be making the cropped version to wear with skirts, too.
Thanks for reading! Be back soon with one more 2016 make that’s waiting for its turn on the blog.