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Gemma and Karen’s beginner project challenge!

Hello everyone,

So for my beginner project, I actually wanted to bring a little more challenge to it…I chose to make the Sointu top by Named Clothing which is described as “a loose fitting T-shirt with a wide sleeve opening panel for a more structured look. It has a rounded v-neck and the belt wraps around twice.” 

The fabric I used is an emerald French terry which is a perfectly structured jersey fabric for a beginner. I love using French terry but this is a slightly smarter top than the jumpers and sweatshirts I normally use it for. 

I made the size 38 which is actually two sizes smaller than I should have been on the measurements chart. I’m so glad I did this though as the size 42 would have swamped me. A little tip is to always make sure to check the finished garment measurements on patterns. 

The cuffs are very easy to attach and can be done with an overlocker if you have one, but is absolutely not necessary if you don’t.

Making the belt loops might be a bit fiddly for some but with the French terry I found them to be absolutely no bother.

I actually attached a facing instead of the binding that the pattern suggests – I think this would be much easier for beginners to sew but you do have to draft it yourself as there are no pattern pieces for this or the binding. To draft a facing, just measure around the neckline and cut this length x 3cm wide. Stitch right sides together, turn it under (trimming seam allowance and notching the seam allowance so it sits nicely) then topstitch all the way round. 

As described, the belt wraps around twice and is made up of two pieces of fabric. I definitely need to play around with how to wrap it! 

I think this is a great pattern for beginners who want a bit more of a challenge. If you use a stable fabric like French terry, I’m sure you won’t have any problems! This is also great if you want a smarter style T-shirt! 

I hope you enjoyed this beginners blog and I will see you again next time!

Gemma (@thedalythread) x


Are you new to sewing jersey or want a quick and satisfying make?  Then look no further than using cotton jersey for the Tilly and the Buttons Coco top!  

Felicity Fabrics set myself and Gemma (@thedalythread) a challenge to sew a make that would be a quick sew but also suitable for beginners.  I love a challenge, so knew straight away the perfect pattern that would fit the brief.

I am going to share with you how this top can be sewn within a very short amount of time. But first let’s talk about the fabric! I have picked out this gorgeous lilac and white stripey cotton jersey which is a classic for a Breton style top. There is also a mint and white stripe colourway available too, but if you wanted a pattern or plain instead, then there are lots of other options to choose from on the Felicity Fabrics website and any would be perfect for this pattern.  

Cotton jersey is a great choice of fabric if you are just learning to sew with knits as it is a nice weight, is stable, sews nicely and washes and wears really well. The great thing about knit fabrics, is that you do not need to finish the raw edges, so if you are someone who doesn’t have an overlocker, you can sew the whole pattern on the sewing machine. You just need to ensure your machine is set up adequately by using a stretch/jersey or ball point needle and setting your stitch to a zig-zag.

The Coco top has only 3 pattern pieces for the classic top – front bodice, back bodice and a sleeve piece and you can get this pattern out of a small amount of fabric. I have made the size 3 and only used 1 metre. I folded the edges of my fabric in for the bodice pieces and left enough room to cut the sleeves out from the centre section on a single layer. Ensure you flip your sleeve pattern piece over when cutting the second sleeve, so you have a right and a left.

If you have an overlocker, you can make this top in a flash and you will only need to use your sewing machine for the topstitching of the neckline, sleeve and bodice hems, plus side vents. As my blades were blunt on my overlocker, I had to sew the top on my sewing machine, but as I like the look of finished seams, I decided to overlock all the raw edges first before doing any sewing. I then just pressed the seams open. 

I omitted the staystitching around the neckline and instead used some seam tape to stabilise that area, to prevent it stretching out. I used a zig-zag stitch throughout at 1.5mm width by 2mm length and then for topstitching I used 2.5mm x 2.5mm as suggested in the pattern instructions.

How long did it take me to make this top??

I decided to time myself cutting out and sewing this top and have also filmed the process on my YouTube channel – Sew Little Time.

Pinning the pattern onto the fabric and then cutting it out took me 15 minutes.  

Sewing the garment from start to finish took me 1 hour and 1 minute! I was aiming for an hour to sew it in and know that if my blades were sharp, it would have probably taken me about 40 minutes instead. However, I’m glad I was able to show an alternative way of sewing the top too.

I love the finished top – Coco never lets me down, a classic staple in my wardrobe and I adore it in this fabric. It pairs nicely with my recent lilac dungarees! I’m really into this colour at the moment, I think it’s perfect for Spring.

I hope I have inspired you to have a go at sewing your own Coco and that you enjoy sewing with Felicity Fabrics beautiful jersey. I have spotted a beach themed jersey that would be perfect for our upcoming summer!

Karen x