Toaster Sweater – Version 2 in French terry and jersey knit

I finally got around to making Toaster Sweater – Version 2 by Sew House Seven. Last year I made Version 1, which has raglan sleeves and a turtleneck. (You can get the pattern here.) I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to sewing Version 2, which Sew House Seven says “features a semi-high-neck that takes its inspiration from funnel and boat necks.” I love boatnecks so this neckline was very appealing to me.

I made my first Version 2 Toaster with some black french terry that I bought on sale at Fabric Outlet last fall. I consider it part of the #makeyourstash sewing challenge that I decided to participate in earlier this year. The #makeyourstash challenge is to use fabric that’s been in your collection for at least six months.

I made my black Toaster Sweater – Version 2 in April, the night before I was to fly to the East Coast to visit family and attend the first annual Meetup Togetherfest. It didn’t take very long to sew. There are just three pattern pieces – front, back and sleeve. The neck has a self-facing – you fold it over and to keep it in place, you stitch in the ditch at the shoulder seams.

Toaster Sweater - Version 2 - Sew House Seven sewing pattern - french terry, 3/4 sleeves - CSews.com

I decided to cut size XL for a loose fit. I made size L when I made Version 1. I have broad shoulders and wanted extra ease in the hips. The only change I made to the pattern was to shorten the sleeves to 3/4 length, a nice length for Bay Area weather.

Here’s how I shortened the sleeve. I sliced it at the shorten/lengthen line and overlapped 8 inches (~20cm) of the pattern and folded the pattern to true the seams, and pinned the excess in place as you can see in the photo below. I used Swedish tracing paper that I got for my birthday to trace the pattern.

Toaster Sweater 2 - Sew House Seven sewing pattern - sleeve shortened

Note: I have long arms so if I shorted it by 8 inches to get a 3/4 length sleeve, then the sleeves on this pattern are unusually long. If you sew this pattern, measure the sleeve length and compare it to your arm measurement. You will likely need to shorten the sleeve.

The neckline is like a small boatneck or maybe you could call it a high boatneck?

Toaster Sweater - Version 2 - Sew House Seven sewing pattern - french terry, 3/4 sleeves - CSews.com

Here’s a back view of the Toaster Sweater – Version 2. I used the zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine to sew this together. I decided not to use the serger because I didn’t want to fiddle with the tension and differential feed. Plus I had to finish packing for my trip.

Toaster Sweater - Version 2 - Sew House Seven sewing pattern - french terry, 3/4 sleeves - CSews.com

Here’s a closer look at the front. You can (sort of) see that the shoulder seams go a little beyond my shoulder point. I knew it would be a little wide but I liked this relaxed look. French terry is so soft. This is so comfy to wear.

Toaster Sweater - Version 2 - Sew House Seven sewing pattern - french terry, 3/4 sleeves - CSews.com

About a month after I made this version I decided to make another Toaster Sweater – Version 2. I had some medium-weight black cotton jersey fabric in my stash but only enough for the body, not the sleeves. So I looked in my stash for another knit and found this lightweight blue rayon fabric, which has a nice drape. Another score for #makeyourstash! I think I got the blue fabric on sale at Fabric Outlet.

Toaster Sweater - Version 2 - Sew House Seven sewing pattern - 3/4 sleeves - CSews.com

For this version, I read the instructions and used what the pattern calls a “double stitch” for the seams – a zig-zag stitch and a straight stitch. I did that for this version. Then I finished the hems using a double needle, which you can’t really see in this photo. The trickiest part of sewing this Toaster Sweater was using the double needle at the corners because you can’t pivot your needle.

Toaster Sweater - Version 2 - Sew House Seven sewing pattern - 3/4 sleeves - CSews.com

Sewing the sleeves was a little tricky because the rayon knit was lightweight. I had to use a ton of pins on the sleeve head. The black cotton knit was more stable. When I attached the sleeves to the body, I put the black knit on the bottom and had set the presser foot pressure to zero. I didn’t need to use a walking foot – having the heavier weight fabric on the bottom worked well and it sewed nicely.

The back hem of this Toaster Sweater – Version 2 is an inch longer than the front, which is a nice detail.

Toaster Sweater - Version 2 - Sew House Seven sewing pattern - 3/4 sleeves - CSews.com

Here’s a back view where you can also see a bit of the high-low hem.

Toaster Sweater - Version 2 - Sew House Seven sewing pattern - 3/4 sleeves - CSews.com

I’m wearing a skirt I hand sewed earlier this year. The skirt pattern is from the book Alabama Studio Sewing + Design by Natalie Chanin (affiliate link here).

I got the skirt fabric at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics, which has a great selection of knits. I originally bought the fabric to make some active wear but decided to make a skirt instead. I think the fabric colors work well together. The blue is the same intensity as this rust red.

I like this pattern so much I cut yet another Toaster Sweater, VErsion 2 with leftover ponte fabric from my fourth Pilvi Coat. I had about one full yard of that bold fabric, which I used to cut the front and back and making it tunic-length. Then I had big scraps that I could use for the sleeves. Stay tuned for my third Toaster Sweater!

Sewing Tip: If you want to experiment and use a lightweight knit fabric, you may want to put a strip of interfacing at the shoulders to give it a little extra reinforcement to prevent it from stretching out. It’s not needed for medium-weight fabrics.

I will be looking through my stash for more knit fabrics and making more Toaster Sweaters – Version 2. Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve made multiple times? For me, it’s been the Pilvi Coat and now it looks like the Toaster Sweater will be a staple top for me.

Me Made May – a wardrobe shift

Hi! If you’re participating in this year’s Me Made May, perhaps you’ve been wearing a handmade outfit everyday. Organized by Zoe of So Zo What do You Know? – she describes Me Made May as “a challenge designed to encourage people who sew/knit/crochet/refashion/upcycle garments for themselves to wear and love them more.” (emphasis hers) You can read more about it on Zoe’s blog here. I’ve participated in Me Made May officially and unofficially from 2013 to 2015.

It was easy to participate in Me Made May when I worked in an office because most of what I made was for work – skirts and dresses. I also coerced co-workers to take photos of what I was wearing. Now that I’m working at home, there are only a few me made garments that I’ve been wearing. I really don’t feel like wearing a nice dress when I’m working at home. But whenever I have any meetings off-site, I usually wear something that I wore when I went to an office.

This year I decided to unofficially participate in Me Made May but not document what I was wearing every day because I’m not wearing me mades everyday. We’re more than halfway through May so I thought it would be a good time to pause and look at what I’ve been wearing so far.

Today I’m wearing my reversible Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater, which I made in February and blogged here. I usually wear it with the red side out. I wear black a lot and red is one of my favorite colors. This is a photo I took when I finished it.

Reversible Toaster Sweater - Sew House Seven sewing pattern

I’ve worn this black skirt numerous times. It’s become my go-to skirt. The pattern is the A-line Block Skirt from the Japanese sewing book Basic Black (affiliate link here, blogged here).  I wore it with the Toaster Sweater when I took these photos for my blog post. The skirt has 16 panels – 8 for the front and 8 for the back. You can’t see the panels in this photo but they are there.

Basic Black A-line Block Skirt - pattern from Basic Black Japanese sewing book - Tuttle Publishing

This skirts goes with many different tops. Here’s the photo I took when it was finished in 2015. The skirt has an invisible zipper on the side.

Basic Black A-line block skirt

I’ve also worn my Pilvi Coat and Mimosa Culottes a few times this month. I made them this year and I really like them both. The Pilvi Coat is from the book Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style (affiliate link here, blogged here).

Pilvi Coat from Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style sewing book - using fabric with ASCII art

I’ve worn my Pilvia Coat with my Mimosa Culottes but I don’t have any photos of me wearing them together so you’ll just have to imagine it. The Mimosa Culottes (blogged here) are by Named Clothing. I made the removable hat ribbon on the hat, too.

Mimosa Culottes - sewing pattern by Named Clothing - high-waisted, wide-legged design - CSews.com

I’ve also worn hats that I’ve made this month – newsboy caps I made from patterns I drafted – and the hat with the removable hat ribbon I made (see my tutorial here).

These garments are the main me made things I’ve worn during Me Made May. Clearly, I need more casual clothes to wear at home. I am working on the Flint Pants by Megan Nielsen. I made a mock-up and I need to fix the waistband. It gapes at the top so I need to make a curved version waistband, an issue sewing blogger Sew Busy Lizzy had when she made her Flint pants. I need more casual pants and skirts.

Me Made May is a good time to take stock of your wardrobe and see what’s missing, what you wear most often and adjust your sewing plans for the rest of the year.

Are you participating in Me Made May? What have you learned about your wardrobe?

Me Made May - Toaster Sweater (Sew House Seven sewing pattern), Mimosa Culottes (Named Clothing sewing pattern) - CSews.com

Pattern review – Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater

Hi! I reviewed the Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater on Pattern Review.  (I’m @csews on PR.) I also blogged about making a reversible Toaster Sweater on my blog and as a guest blogger for Britex Fabrics here.

Reversible Toaster Sweater - Sew House Seven sewing pattern

Here’s my pattern review of the Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater…

Sew House 7 Toaster Sweater sewing pattern

Pattern Description: High-necked sweater with two versions. I made version 1, which is described as “a closer fitting, semi-cropped sweatshirt/sweater. It works best when sewn in thick, stiff knits with some body to keep the neck standing upright. It features raglan sleeves, a wide waistband, a loose turtleneck, long cuffs and falls between the high and low hip. It’s great in a standard sweatshirt fleece (with stretch) however, it’s also extremely handsome in a sweater knit to dress it up a bit.”

Pattern Sizing: XS – XXL

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It was easy to sew and the raglan sleeves fit my broad shoulders.The pattern was relatively easy to make into a reversible version, with a few adjustments.

Fabric Used: Reversible ponte knit – red on one side, black on the other. It was medium-weight stable knit with a very nice drape. You can get the fabric at Britex Fabrics here.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I cut size L but added 1/2 inch width to the bottom band and to hip area of front body piece. I made this into a reversible version, which meant making changes to the neck-band and bottom band, which are cut on the fold. Instead of cutting them on the fold, I folded the pattern pieces in half and cut two of each. I wanted those pattern pieces to be less wide than the original so I didn’t add a 5/8″ seam allowance. Also with this fabric, the neck-band would have flopped down if it was the original height. If you are using a knit with drape, you might want to add some interfacing to the neck-band if you don’t want it to flop down.

For the cuffs, also cut on the fold, I folded the pattern piece in half and added a 5/8″ seam allowance to side with the fold and cut two pieces for each cuff (4 pieces).

When I sewed it together, I hid the seam allowances by either folding one side over and topstitching or hand stitching. For more details on making a reversible version, see my blog post here.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I would sew it again and yes, I would recommend it. Next I want to make Version 2.

Conclusion: I made a test version in fleece and cut a size XL around the shoulders and hips but it had too much ease in the seams near my bust and it was too roomy in the waist. I also made that test version 2 inches longer, thinking that might look better with a lower hem. But it didn’t look good. It was too roomy in the bust and the added length wasn’t flattering. The pattern was designed to hit you on the high hip, which is more flattering than the length I attempted. I recommend cutting Version 1 at the length it was designed. Version 2 is the one that will look good at a longer length.

For this red/black version I just cut size L and added a little more ease in the hip area and it fit perfectly. My hips are about 43 inches.

If you sew a reversible version, buy extra fabric – at least a 1/2 yard so you’ll have enough for the extra pieces you’ll need to cut. It takes a bit longer to make a reversible version because you’re adding extra steps. I used my sewing machine to make mine. I didn’t use a serger because I needed to hide my seam allowances. See my blog post for more photos and construction details.

If you’re making a regular version, you can easily sew it up in an afternoon, especially if you use a serger.

Pattern review - Toaster Sweater - Sew House Seven sewing pattern

Making a reversible Toaster Sweater

Hi, I wrote a guest blog post for Britex Fabrics about making a pattern reversible using a double-sided ponte knit fabric. This is an expanded version of that post with a few more photos. I made a reversible Toaster Sweater, version 1. In my Britex post, the photos of the completed top weren’t very good because it was a cloudy day. Later that week, I took more photos at a different location (in front of this brick wall) – and the sun came out for a couple of hours.

Reversible Toaster Sweater - Sew House Seven sewing pattern

For a long time, I’ve been intrigued with the idea of making something reversible. I got the opportunity when I picked this wonderful reversible ponte knit fabric at Britex Fabrics. This stable knit has a really nice weight and drape. This lovely deep red is heathered and the black on the reverse is a warm black, probably because of the red. Sometimes it seems dark brown and other times it seems black.

I decided to make a reversible Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater. Version 1 of this pattern has raglan sleeves, a neck band, cuffs and a band at the bottom.

Sew House 7 Toaster Sweater sewing pattern

I chose this pattern because it’s pretty simple and the bands make it easy to convert to reversible pieces, and I didn’t have to worry about how to finish the hems as you’ll see in my construction details. To keep it simple, I decided I wanted to make one side all red and the other side all black. The cuffs are rather wide and I didn’t know if I would like them color blocked – for example, making the cuffs black and everything else red. Plus I liked the idea of having a secret other side.

I made size large. I made a test garment using fleece but I made size XL thinking that would help accommodate my wide shoulders and hips. But there was too much each around the bust. It fit better just making a straight size L but adding a 1/2 inch (1.27 cm) to the hip area.

When you cut your pattern pieces, you need to think about the following:

  • Finishing seams so they look good on both sides
  • Adjustments to pattern pieces, such as adding seam allowances to pieces cut on the fold
  • There is no “wrong” side but you need to know where each side goes or you will sew the wrong pieces together.
  • Sequence of construction – when to sew which piece, the order may need to be different from the pattern instructions so you can make the pieces reversible

Sewing and Finishing seams

I used a zig zag stitch on my sewing machine instead of a serger because I wanted to cover my raw seam allowances. Then I had to consider how I would finish the seams on the “wrong” side.

I decided to trim one side…

… and made a variation on a felled seam by folding it over the shorter side and sewing it down.

But instead of cutting one seam allowance exactly in half, I cut the other side close to the seam because ponte knit is a little thick and I’d rather sew through three layers instead of four. (To make a flat felled seam, you trim one side of the seam allowance in half and then you fold the other side over the shorter side and sew it down.)

Here’s what one finished seam of the raglan sleeve looks like on the red side. I don’t have a coverstitch machine so I just used a shallow zig zag.

… and on the black side – with the raw edge tucked under. I think it looks pretty good.

Making Pattern Pieces Reversible

For the Toaster Sweater, the pattern pieces for the neck band, bottom band and cuffs all fold in half. If you’ve sewn a T-shirt neck band to a collar, you fold the neck band in half and stitch the raw edge to the neck.  (Check out this excellent Threads video on sewing a neckline binding for knits.) Before you follow the Toaster Sweater instructions for the neck, bottom band and cuffs, you need to add a step because you’ll be sewing two pattern pieces instead of one.

To make the neck or bottom bands reversible, I folded the pattern piece in half lengthwise and then cut two pieces on the fold instead of one. For these pieces, I didn’t add seam allowances because I wanted those pieces to be slightly narrower. It you want to follow the exact dimensions of the pattern, add a 5/8 inch seam allowance.

Here’s the neck band. The actual pattern piece is 7.5 inches (19 cm) tall and 10.5 inches (26.5 cm) wide. Instead of cutting one wide piece on the fold. I folded the pattern piece in half lengthwise and then cut two pieces instead of one. I sewed the pieces together lengthwise so one side was black and the other side was red. Press seam so the red and black sides perfectly align. Then follow the instructions for sewing the neck band – except for Step 4, I only attached ONE raw edge of the neck band to the body (see cuff photo further down). I also top stitched the edge.

Cut two neckband pieces - Toaster Sweater - Sew House Seven sewing pattern

You need to leave one side free so you can hide the seam allowance. I sewed the red side first, leaving the black side open.

Seam allowances on the cuffs and bands are thick where all the seams meet because the reversible Toaster Sweater has an extra layer of fabric there. So you need to trim those seam allowances. Here’s a trimmed neck band.

Here’s the neck band with the red side sewn to the body. The black side with the raw seam allowances has been folded and pinned it in place. I was in a bit of a hurry to finish it so I didn’t baste, I just pinned the black side, then I pinned the red side and removed the pins from the black side. I tried to stitch in the ditch from the red side but it was hard to stay in the ditch because of the seam allowances. Go slow!

Here’s here’s the finished neck – red side…

Neck detail - reversible Toaster Sweater, version 1 - Sew House Seven sewing pattern

… and black side.

Neck detail - reversible Toaster Sweater, version 1 - Sew House Seven sewing pattern

To make the cuffs, you cut two pattern pieces instead of one because you are no longer cutting it on fold. Then you need to add a seam allowance where the fold is before you cut the piece. You’ll sew the two pieces together and turn them right-side out before you attach them.

For example, here’s the cuff. The pencil is pointing to the side where the fold would be. Rather than cutting one pattern piece on the fold, I cut two pieces, adding a seam allowance to the fold side.

TIP: When you sew the two pieces of double-sided fabric together, pay extra attention which sides faces the other. It can get confusing!

Sew the two pieces together at your new seam allowance. Press and then follow the pattern instructions for sewing the cuffs. Here’s the cuff pinned to the sleeve. The red side is facing the sleeve.

Toaster Sweater, version 1 cuff

BUT instead of attaching both raw cuff edges to the sleeve, you need to sew just one side and leave the other side free. Stitch the cuff.

Pin cuff to sleeve, leave one side of cuff free - Toaster Sweater, version 1 cuff

I top stitched the edge.

Cuff top stitched - reversible Toaster Sweater, version 1 - Sew House Seven sewing pattern

Then I folded the remaining raw edge to hide the seam the seam allowance and hand stitched the cuff in place because there wasn’t enough room to use my sewing machine to topstitch it in place. The cuff was a little too deep to reach.

Cuff sewn - Toaster Sweater, version 1 - Sew House Seven sewing pattern

Here’s a close-up of the cuff edge. You can see it’s black on one side and red on the other. The seam where the two colors join is where the cuff is folded if you are making a regular Toaster Sweater.

For the neck band and the bottom band, I didn’t add seam allowance because I wanted them to be thinner.

Construction

The pattern instructions have you attach the front to the back at the underarms and side seams and sew on long seam. But I decided to sew the sleeve seam at the underarm first so I would have enough room to finish the seam on the black side of the fabric. Because the side seam is left open, you have more room to maneuver.

Finishing the sleeve seams on the black side was a little tricky. However, a raglan sleeve is a bit roomy at the top, so you can actually pin and sew about 3/4 of the sleeve seam before you run out of room because the sleeve fabric gets all bunched up.

Then you cut your threads, turn the sleeve around, pick up where you left off and sew down to the wrist.

For the cuffs, neck and bottom band, I pinned one side of the piece, same colors facing each other, to the body and stitched it in place. The other side is open so you can hide the raw edges.

Here’s the bottom band before folding the black side and stitching in place over the seam allowance.

For the bottom band, I decided to topstitch instead of stitching in the ditch. I folded the raw edge so the fold lined up exactly with the 5/8 seam. Then I stitched 1/4 inch from the folded edge – similar to the other topstitching.

Materials

  • 2.5 yards (2.29 meters) of reversible ponte knit fabric (I used an extra half yard because of the extra pattern pieces I cut to make it reversible)
  • 70/10 Schmetz jersey needle
  • Guttmacher thread – 596
  • Walking foot (helps ensure both sides of the fabric are evenly sewn)

And here are a few more photos of the finished reversible Toaster Sweater! I’m wearing the skirt I made from the Japanese sewing book Basic Black, which I blogged about here.

Reversible Toaster Sweater - Sew House Seven sewing pattern

And here’s the black side.

Reversible Toaster Sweater - Sew House Seven sewing pattern

And here are photos of the back…

Reversible Toaster Sweater - Sew House Seven sewing pattern

Reversible Toaster Sweater - Sew House Seven sewing pattern

And in case you don’t believe that it’s really reversible, see the red side?

Reversible Toaster Sweater - Sew House Seven sewing pattern

And see, nothing up my sleeve but red.

Reversible Toaster Sweater - Sew House Seven sewing pattern

It’s like wearing a secret – a two-in-one top! Have you ever made anything reversible?

A reversible Toaster Sweater made with double-sided ponte knit fabric - Sew House Seven sewing pattern