Hello there! I'm ready to get started on the sewalongs for both versions and sleeve variations of the Cosmos Sweatshirt but first I want to talk about fabrics and fit. I've got some tips and fabric suggestions as well as photos of just some of the tester garments towards the end of the post.
Here are some photos that inspired the design of the Cosmos Sweatshirt.
This is a super easy make so many experienced sewist won't feel the need to use a tutorial to sew the Cosmos up HOWEVER, I believe this post is super important because the key to success with this style is understanding what knits work best. I have had a lot of experience with knitwear as I was a patternmaker and then a designer for Jantzen swimwear for many years. Fitting swimwear was particularly difficult sometimes because each fabric varied so much in the amount it stretched and sometimes even the same fabric from a new bolt would vary in stretch and greatly affect our fitting process. I honestly thought that knit clothing wouldn't be as much of an issue because it doesn't usually have to fit as tight as swimwear however, after seeing all of the pattern tester versions in different fabrics, I realize that I was so wrong. Some knit fabrics are drapey and some stiff, some thick and some thin, some stretchy and some not much stretch at all and most of all some have good recovery and some don't have any recovery (recovery meaning how much the fabric returns to its original length and shape after stretching). All of these knit fabric properties can create much different results in your garment - any knit garment.
In any case, for the Cosmos Sweatshirt you will need knit fabric with at least 20% stretch. I recommend sweatshirt fleece (with stretch) and French terry (with stretch) but other knits can work too. Note that some sweatshirt fleeces and French terry fabrics don't have any stretch or very little. If you are ordering online, look under the fabric details to see if the stretch percentages are given. If not, look to see if there is lycra content. If there is, you know there is enough stretch, if no lycra (or elastane) there may still be built in stretch in the way the fabric is knit however, you may want to email or call the seller to inquire and maybe they can do a stretch test for you. You need some stretch to get the funnel neck (version #1) over your head and to get the neckband (version #2) to stretch to fit the opening.
The Cosmos Sweatshirt fit garments were sewn using Bamboo/organic French terry with lycra as well as organic French terry without lycra. The key to both of these fabrics is that they have decent stretch recovery (not too much and not too little). That doesn't mean you can't use other knit fabrics but just be aware that they may result in a slightly different looking garment. Anything with great stretch recovery such as ponte or scuba may result in a high and tight neckband and anything with really poor recovery - meaning it stays stretched out after stretching will result in a really large and loose neckline. These properties can also affect the fit of the bottom band and whether it wings, stays stretched out or drapes nicely. For these reasons, I often advise that you baste neckbands and bottom bands on before securing so that you can unpick the stitches and easily adjust them if needed. If you find that you have already started your garment using fabric without enough stretch, you can use a secondary fabric for the neckband and cuffs on version #2 and sleeve B.
Here are some links to some fabrics that could work.
Bamboo/ organic cotton French terry from Nature's Fabrics - try not to get anything under 300 gsm or it will be more like a t-shirt weight.
Organic cotton sweatshirt fleece from Blackbird Fabrics - 20% horizontal stretch.
Organic cotton slub knit from Isee Fabric - lighter weight and not as good of recovery but was used for the striped version in the sample photos. A little more heavy t-shirt like.
The Cosmos Sweatshirt is meant to be oversized so don't overthink the fit too much. I always advise customers to look at finished garment measurements to choose their size but remember that this design was intended to have a lot of ease.
Supplies and sundries that you need are thread and a ballpoint sewing machine needle. However, a twin needle for hemming Sleeve A is optional but nice to have as well as 1/4" knit fusible tape for the funnel neck of version #1. If you choose to use the knit fusible tape, I highly recommend Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 as seen below (be sure to get the LITE version).
And now for some inspirational photos of just some of the pattern testers garments. I don't require that the people testing for me post or submit photos for me to use outside of fitting between the tester group however, many do take photos in the end for me to share. Please be aware that some fitting adjustments were made after the test such as the sleeves were lengthened, the funnel grade was adjusted, the bottom band height was shortened and the back width was adjusted.
Katie @kak513 in her second tester Cosmos Sweatshirt version #2, Sleeve B in a sweater knit.
Katie @kak513 in her first tester Cosmos Sweatshirt version #2, Sleeve A in a ponte knit. Notice how the neckband is smaller and stands away more than her other version.
Lynn in version #1, sleeve A in a polyester knit.
Geri @geri_in_stitches in version #1, sleeve A (before sleeves were lengthened) in a ponte from Minerva.com .
Rebecca @creechcreates in version #1, sleeve A (before sleeves were lengthened) in a 10 oz rayon lycra stretch fleece.
Nadine @schoenenadine in version #1, sleeve A.
Margaret @sewphie1 in version #1, sleeve B.
Bernice and Margaret are neighbors and they often test together for us. Bernice @sewbee73 in version #1, Sleeve B.
Bernice in a second sweatshirt of version #1, sleeve B.
Ellen in version #2, sleeve B.
Amy @joyfish01 in version #1, sleeve A in a rib knit.
Jennifer @greyjma in version #1, sleeve B in a heavy interlock fabric.
Jennifer's Cosmos back view.
Rachel @oakbluedesigns in version #1, sleeve A in bamboo French terry from Nature's Fabrics. Rachel is also wearing the Elemental Pencil Skirt (free pattern). Rachel helped proof-read the final pattern too.
Helen @vintageshabbyoneofakind in a fun zebra print knit - version #1, sleeve A.
That's it for now. Join me tomorrow Wednesday for the actual sewalongs.