The Sweatshirt That Shouldn’t Have Been a Flop

pink drape sweatshirt

I love the pattern (having drafted it for myself and used it for another sweater that gets tons of wear). I love the fabrics (having made several pairs of leggings from the ridiculous scuba print that I adore). I love the color (me and fuchsia get along real well). I love sweatshirts (I wear a seriously high quotient of sweatshirts). And yet this combo of fuchsia and scuba sweatshirt is a flop. I really tried wearing it for a couple of weeks but I just gave up and sent it to the thrift store.

fuchsia and scuba sweatshirt

It’s funny because I don’t think it looks that bad in the photos – but part of the reason is that I figured out exactly how the sweatshirt needs to sit to look right, and it only does that when I’m carefully posing for a photo. A big part of what was so successful in the first go round was the drape and this bulky sweatshirt fleece has none. It just kinda stands stiff and awkward – unless it’s closed across my chest, but it only does that with some sort of closure (like my crossed arms) and when I tried to add a belt it looked like I was wearing a robe.

zigzag topstitched seams

Another thing that I don’t really like is the visible zig-zag topstitching. I did it to hold the seams open and because I thought it would look cool. But it just doesn’t work for me. I usually love top-stitching and I’m not sure why I think it’s such a flop in this situation. I had kinda thought that with the seams stitched flat the sweatshirt would be reversible, but no, it definitely looked like an inside-sweatshirt when I tried, so that was also a flop.

scuba print sweatshirt lining

I do like the pairing of scuba knit and sweatshirt fleece (although I used up the rest of my scuba scraps and my favorite sweatshirt fleece for this thing!). I doubled the scuba on the back so that it would support the weight of the bottom of the sweatshirt and left it singled on the sleeves for comfort. At least that was a good idea, so there’s one point in the “pro” column (I’ve lost track of points in the “con” column already).

scuba print sweatshirt back

So what did I learn? Don’t use bulky fabrics in something that should be draped (duh). I really did know better, but I got so excited about the idea of it working that I over-rode my own hesitation. Which does occasionally lead to amazing inspiring pieces, but more often just flops, just like this sweatshirt. Silver lining? I can see a few minor fit issues in this bulky fabric that I couldn’t pinpoint in the drapier fabric, so I have a few changes to make to my pattern.

Comments 8

  1. Not quite as bad as you seem to think it is, IMO. I might make the hem an even one and lose the cuffs..m make the sleeves 3/4 length…Maybe even wear it more like a shrug…..Sometimes putting a thing down before tossing…..can free up creative changes…

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      Those are all great ideas. I’m afraid I already took it to the thrift store, but you have a good point that sometimes setting things aside for a while can bring creative thoughts about how to make them better!

  2. I really like the effect of the the top stitching. It looks like triple stitch from the right side.

  3. ah feh! and such snazzy fabric, too. Well, like you say live and learn. And you look fantastic in the pics so that’s always good :)

    I so appreciate it when people post about the ‘flops’ since we all have them. It’s unrealistic to spend much time sewing and not pull some boners, it’s just part of creating new things! I think it’s especially encouraging to people who are just starting out to see that everybody has projects that didn’t turn out how they wanted – and also to see how we all still learn much useful knowledge from those very flops.

    Hope your day goes well – you do look smashing in that hot pink and i really like the lines of that sweater!

  4. Alright, so I REALLY like the visible zigzag topstitching. I may try adding it to something just for fun. The mix of scuba print and cotton-looking sweat fabric, I’m not sure about, but overall it looks kinda scooshjee (<– this is a guess at one of my regularly used made-up words that has no proper spelling) and cozy to wear.

  5. I agree with Laura above. I, too, would have gotten rid of the uneven hem and the cuffs. I love the fabrics and you’ve done a beautiful job sewing. But, I think the problem with it is that there are too many design elements and that the pink fabric is too heavy for the uneven hem, which needs to be more drapey. Just a suggestion!!!

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      1. Oh, I know what you mean. I love cuffs and feel so cozy when I have them. I’ll allow you to leave the cuffs next time….joking! I can’t get over how neat your topstitch and seam finishing is!!!!

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