Reaching new heights

Since the last blog post I’ve managed to finish sewing my Ascent Fleece, and I’m happy to report that the second half of the construction was much more straightforward. Most of the complicated steps do occur very early on in the construction order. Sadly I can’t model it yet, because there is no way that it will fit over my bump, but I’m really glad to have it finished ready for wearing all winter!

Like many shirts, one of the trickiest or most intimidating parts of this was the collar. The instructions suggest using lots of wash away wonder tape to keep everything aligned while putting in the neckline zip and finishing the collar. This was definitely good advice, especially with the fleece as it can’t really be thoroughly pressed into position.

The tape helped to hold the seam allowances securely while stitching, and I think the finished collar looks pretty neat, even on the inside where I have caught down the bottom edge while stitching in the ditch from the front.

I chose to stitch my sleeves to the bodice flat, before closing the side seams, rather than do as the instructions suggest and add them in the round. I’ve always found that sewing the whole sleeve and body side seam in one go is simpler. I did baste all the intersections between the contrast stripe and the main navy body to make sure that they still aligned really well once I attached them on the overlocker, and I think it did make a big difference to the level of accuracy.

My twin needle did not like stitching over all the seamlines at the hem in particular, so I have needed to redo a few sections. I’m still glad I chose to use the twin needle though over a stretch or zigzag stitch because I think in an athletic garment it probably does look more professional.

Matt would say that one of the markers of success on a project like this one is that it looks like something you could buy, meaning that there is nothing about it which screams ‘handmade’ by being less than professionally finished. For me, that seems like a compliment, especially as this performs better than anything I have seen in shops, with the nursing zips adding a lot of functionality.

I will be tempted to make another nursing version, and I would also consider using it to make basic fleeces in the future too. Without being able to try it on yet it is difficult to know if there are fitting tweaks that I could do with making in subsequent versions, but I am provisionally happy with how it has all turned out!


4 thoughts on “Reaching new heights

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