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Made by a Fabricista: Polartec Palooza

Howdy, you lovely Fabric Mart folks!


First things first:  Happy happy birthday to my hubby, who is having a significant birthday today.  :D  He's not the subject of this post, but you will see his lower legs and feet later.  ;)

Now, let me tell you a story a little story about this Polartec Power Dry.  I'd seen so many wonderful technical fabrics around throughout the internet and was so curious:  power dry, power stretch, power wool, there were so many!  When I happened upon this lovely Ocean Teal Polartec Power Dry I knew it was time for me to finally try one of these magical fabrics.  Unfortunately this is sold out now, but the closest you can find would be these Polartec activewear fabrics.

Shopping online can be a little difficult, because you never know exactly what you'll get, but I was very pleased to receive this beefy yet drapey and sleek, super stretchy and totally opaque fabric.  This was a fabric driven project, where I just knew wanted to use this particular textile, but:  for what?

What ended up being a two (plus a bonus, making it three) patterns from my favorite indie pattern company:  Jalie.  Here's what I came up with using Jalie 2448, Jalie 2920 and Jalie Yoko (3896).

The first I started on was the Stretch Socks:  Jalie 2448.


The pattern comes with a huge number of sizes, so I whipped some up for everyone in the family:  for the almost 2 year old Peaches, 4 1/2 year old Cheeks and my husband.  They're technically labeled "ladies stretch socks" so have limitations to the biggest of ladies shoe sizes, but I made my husband a U.S. size 11 (which is roughly equivalent to a men's size 9 1/2).  They worked great for him, and he reports he'd love some more in a more neutral color (black).


The pattern directions are quite simple, you cannot use a serger because you have to very accurately sew up to the point on the side of the heel, but I feel like this pattern falls under the "easy to learn, difficult to master" category.  Even with my IDT (built in walking foot) my sewing machine stretched the fabric out immensely.
 

The pattern references a seam allowance, but really the sock edges are abutted to one another.  If you look closely at the diagrams you'll see a wide zig zag that zigs on the fabric and zags off of it is in order.  I would 100% recommend watching their instructional video (also, their videos are so great in general; I've made a few of their garments following the video alone) for this pattern to get detailed information on the appropriate width and length zig zag.

I'd also recommend for sure taking any stitching breaks with your needle down in the zig, or you may end up with some pretty funky looking seams, once you tug them open.  In this photo you see the craziness of not stopping at the zig on the left, the "nice" seam I got is in the middle, and the right shows it on my hubby's leg.


I will admit, I sewed THREE pairs of these before I figured this all out (AKA watched the video); the first were sewn with a zig zag completely on the fabric.  They are passable, but definitely not as comfortable as they could be.  I will probably remake the pair for myself, but the kids will grow out of theirs in about 2 seconds so I won't bother remaking theirs (except maybe in bigger sizes with the appropriate methods as they grow).


The second pattern is Jalie 2920:  a legging pattern that includes a skirt and stirrup options.


This pattern is pretty much perfection.  It goes together so easily and fits like a dream.  I see so, so many more of these in my future.  I ended up adding 2" to the length of these and think they're perfect for cooler temps on my 30" inseam; as designed they're more of an ankle length.


I had a little trouble with the fabric stretching out (again) when finishing the stirrup on Peaches' pair, but that seems to be the nature of this very stretchy Power Dry.  She's a bit smaller than the smallest size (F) still by an inch or two around.  I figured there was enough negative ease in these for them to work in general, but I shortened them by 1", which was still not quite enough.  That's OK, they'll fit in a few months!



Once I got done with all of that I thought...but what could we wear with these?  JALIE YOKO!  Make it sew!


Did I mention that Yoko is freeeeeeee?  F R E E is always a fantastic word in my book.


I've been meaning to sew up this pattern since it came out, and wasn't willing to use a fabric I loved because I wasn't sure how the silhouette would look on me.  I chose a sweater knit from my stash; I used the back side because the brushed front had some unfortunate pilling in the wash.  Sometimes it pays to get creative!  You can find similar kinds of sweater knits here (The haccis and this one would be the best bets).



Verdict?  Love.  And I don't even like wearing turtlenecks; I haven't owned one in over a decade.  But this top, sewn up in a soft sweater knit?  Yes!


Yoko is the dead simple solution to introducing beginners to sewing with knits.  Literally some rectangles with a couple of trapezoids.  It's both on trend and easy as pie (getting hungry from these food idioms).  And free.  Score!


Also, it looks pretty dang good with these leggings.


Until next time, all!

Jess

Comments

  1. Her tiny feet in those stirrups! <3

    I love the matching socks! And I must check out the legging pattern.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have been sewing socks for ages with the Pepper Tree sock pattern. I use small zigzag stitches and trim the seam extra off after stitching. No buying winter socks for me now. Polar fleece type fabric makes them warm and cozy. Thank-you for the fun post.
    Gail

    ReplyDelete

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