I'm sure you've seen cozy sherpa pullovers floating around your Pinterest or Instagram pages for a while now. The throwback style came back a couple of seasons ago, and I have been wanting to make one ever since. My intention was to make one last winter, but I never found the right fabric for the project. Everything felt so synthetic and the wrong side of the fabric always felt too scratchy to be made in to an unlined jacket. I looked at minky fabrics and teddy, but what I really wanted was sherpa. To be quite honest I had no idea you could even get this type of fabric in anything other than 100% polyester, so it was to my great surprise that is was even available in cotton, let alone ORGANIC cotton!
This is by far the softest sherpa I have felt. It is mainly made of organic cotton (80% organic cotton / 20% polyester), and because of this it breathes better than 100% poly, and therefor will actually keep you more comfortable. I pre-washed it on a warm gentle cycle and tumble dried it on low. It is so cozy and has a good amount of fluff to it, and the wrong side of the fabric feels super soft against your skin which was really important to me because I didn't want to line it. It has about 40% stretch along the grain and about 30% crossgrain, which worked perfectly for the Alex Pullover pattern from Jalie that I chose to use, which required a minimum of 10% stretch.
This pattern has some really great details including big rounded welt pockets, a front and back yoke with a half zip, and a big cozy stand up collar. The pattern comes in so many sizes too, from children ages 2 and up to women's sizes up to a 24! I'd love to make a fleece one next, using two different colours for the yoke and the body... oh boy, more projects!
This athleisure pattern is oversized and extra cozy. Based on my full bust measurement, I made a size X, without any fit adjustments, however I did make some style changes to the hem and cuffs. The pattern includes a casing for an elastic drawstring at the hem and just a simple turned hem for the cuffs. I opted to make a bound hem and cuff using some scrap ribbing which I had also used for the welt pockets. I made these slightly smaller than the measurements of the hem and cuffs so that they would pull them in slightly — I made these bindings about 30% shorter than the circumference, but this will be a preference thing I think. I'm really happy with how this turned out!
You can find the fabric is used here, and if you want some more inspiration and ideas you can check out our sherpa Pinterest board here. This was a pattern/fabric match made in floofy sherpa heaven and now I have an extremely cozy, comfortable new coat that I will wear for seasons to come!
If you're nervous about sewing with sherpa, don't worry, you're not alone. I was a bit intimidated by its bulk and pile, but it ended up being great to work with. If you do plan on sewing with sherpa, here are a few tips:
- Use a ballpoint or stretch needle, this will separate the fibres instead of breaking them.
- Lengthen your stitch and dial down your tension, of course every sewing machine will vary, so I recommend doing a few test stitches on a scrap first!
- Use a walking foot to help feed bulky layers through your machine evenly.
- Trim down the pile within your seam allowances in bulky areas.
- Loosen up the presser foot pressure if possible. Again, I recommend testing this out first on your machine.
- Use clips instead of pins to hold bulky layers together as you sew.
- If the pile of the sherpa gets caught in the stitching, use a straight pin to gently pull it out of the seams
- Keep a dust-buster, lint roller or vacuum near by, because there will be lots of fuzzies overtaking your sewing space!
This is the first of many new posts to come here on the Simplifi Blog so If you have any blog ideas, questions or just want to say "Hey!" leave me a comment! I would love to hear from you :) Thanks for stopping by!