Maker Inspo: Jasper Sweaters (Yes, I do need more than one)
The Jasper Sweater from Paprika Patterns has sort of taken over around here. It has several neckline and hood options, an optional front pocket, and multiple lengths. Between us, I think the former Spool & Spindle staff have made every possible combination, in several fabric types. And I'm thinking of making another one as winter approaches!
We love the fit of this sweater, with its curved side panels. We love the clean lines of the princess seams and welt pockets. And we love how cozy it is, with a big pocket in front to keep our hands warm. The pattern is really well written, with especially good instructions for the fiddly pockets.
For my first one, I made a super cozy sweater-length pullover with the cowl neck and the front pocket. The fabric is a brushed sweatshirt fleece that's super soft on the inside but smooth with a tiny bit of sparkle on the outside, made by Katia.
This version of the sweater is symmetrical, but you can give it a bit of asymmetry with an epaulet over the collar, and I made this one from a scrap of vinyl pleather. And I made the cuffs from the same fabric as the main, for simplicity.
The main challenge that I had here was with the front pocket. It may look super clean on the outside, but getting the corners to line up and not leave holes took a few tries. I realized after the first one that the angled cuts for the welt pockets should be a little shorter than I wanted the space to be - maybe this would be obvious to you more experienced sewists, to leave some fabric there for the seam, but it didn't occur to me at first!
My pocket lining fabric is a touch lighter weight than Paprika recommends, it's a bamboo/cotton blend jersey, so it does have a little more stretch than it should. But it doesn't stretch out below the hem, so I'm still happy with it.
And my favourite part is the collar. The pattern worked perfectly every time, setting in the collar piece, even when I doubted that the parts were the same length. I'm not a turtleneck sort of person, and I don't like tight collars around my neck, so this style is lovely and cozy without feeling like it's choking me.
For the second one, I made a lighter weight jersey dress, and this one both looks cool (in that nerdy, cool way) and feels like I'm wearing pyjamas.
Because the fabric is lighter weight, it fits a little looser, but that's good around the hips. It's a great dress length for me, just above the knees. It keeps my legs warm and still gives me space to move my legs while biking!
I'm terrible at remembering to take pictures of myself in my makes, but here's one that shows the length of this dress (bonus: my Genevieve Coat over top!)
I have to admit, sewing knits on a regular machine was daunting at first. I don't have a serger, and I'd always assumed you needed one. But especially with more stable knits like the brushed fleece, my regular machine with ballpoint needles worked great. I got the advantage of stretching the fabric into place, unlike my usual wovens where a slight mis-measurement or mis-cut can cause big issues. It does take a little longer, but the final result is worth it.
For this winter, I'm thinking of going ultra-cozy with a fleece hoodie version. I have a feeling this is going to be a chilly winter, and I'll want to keep my ears warm!