Thursday, May 26, 2016

Pattern review: Blueprints for Sewing - Geodesic top

We've had our eye on Boston, US-based pattern company Blueprints for Sewing for a little while now. We've admired the designer wearing her newest pattern the Geodesic top, on Instagram for 'Me Made May'. Then when our weather took a turn for the wintry, we were pushed over the edge into action!
The Geodesic is inspired by the architectural form of a Geodesic Dome, and you can find out more about it on the Blueprints for Sewing website here.
 The pattern is only available as a PDF at the moment, but may be in print by the end of the year. However it's not an arduous cut & paste affair, with only 20 pattern pages.

I made up Version 1 in our NZ French Terry in Oatmeal. (Please excuse the self-photography, done in the interests of producing a timely post!)
 On front and back the triangular pattern pieces come together in a neat central point, and if you are using a fabric with obvious grain or pattern, this adds to the pieced effect. It's a bit like quilting, actually!
The top is very fabric-efficient, with the mid-size ranges taking just 1.1m of a 160cm wide fabric. NB: my fabric had no apparent shrinkage and I just squeezed out all my pieces, following the clear layout in the instructions. If you suspect you may have shrinkage or would like a little extra 'just in case', I'd recommend you buy an extra 10 - 20cm.

I wavered over the size to cut... the pattern is designed for a B-cup (I'm a D) but it's meant to be a relaxed fit. So although there is a clever Full Bust Adjustment explained in the instructions, I thought I'd just go up a size and have a slightly oversized look, which I hoped would not swamp me because of its cropped length.
I'm really delighted with the result, but it has ended up a bit roomier than I expected. Mind you now I look at the sizing again I really did make a full size too big, sigh, I think I just live in fear of restrictive clothing!

If I made it again (and that's highly likely), I would go down at least one size (possibly two?) and make the full bust adjustment. I would like a narrower fit in the body and sleeves, but if I omitted the FBA it would definitely ride up at the front, as this larger one already does just a little.
One particular note on the fitting is that the hem band does not really pull the bottom of the garment in at all, unlike the neckband and sleeve bands which are stretched to fit. If I'd made a more fitted size this would probably not matter but in this oversized version, it makes the bottom a bit 'swingy' looking. In a perfect world I'd spend a bunch of time unpicking this hem band, shortening it and reatttaching it. In reality? Yeah nah, I'll just wear it and love it as is!

As with all knit garments, the choice of fabric will have a lot of impact on the final fit. My French Terry is quite stable lengthways, but has a reasonable amount of stretch across the width. As it's 100% cotton with no elastane, it has no immediate springy recovery. You can see the result of this in my finished garment measurements compared to those stated on the pattern: almost spot on for length (19.5"/20") and a bit larger for width (49"/45"). So when I make this again I'll certainly weigh the fabric factor against my sizing decision.
 My construction was done entirely on the overlocker. There are clear directions given for using a regular machine, which would work just as well.
Seam allowances are only 1/4 inch, which is not unusual for a knit pattern, but requires some care, especially with all the points coming together. I found this little corner, below, that had escaped stitching at one of the underarms. Rather than messing about further with the overlocker, I just used a zigzag on my regular machine, to take in a bit more of the seam at that point and ensure everything was secured.

The French Terry, by the way, is just delicious... even the name 'Oatmeal' makes me feel all snuggly.

PATTERN: Geodesic by Blueprints for Sewing
FABRIC: NZ 100% cotton French Terry in Oatmeal, 1.1m (I'd recommend a bit extra for shrinkage or cutting mishaps!)
SIZE: G/H, no alterations
COMMENTS: Highly recommended! An ingenious, fun-to-sew pattern for a super-comfy top with great visual interest. The instructions are top-notch, and even include valuable basic information on sewing with knits. I'd even recommend this to a beginner. It's important to follow the construction method carefully, including the pressing of seams, because this helps the joins come together accurately.
SPECIAL NOTES: Consider fit of hem band, and fabric requirements, as previously noted.

The Geodesic would be fabulous in any of our French Terries, or our Japanese Wool Blend Knits.

- Jane & Fiona xx


  1. Great top Jane - am very keen to try some of their patterns

    1. Thanks Justine - I was really impressed by the instructions for this top and I have been wearing it almost non-stop, highly recommended!


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