Neige Sweatshirt

I hardly have any time to sew these days, because in just two weeks, we’re moving back to Canada. But when the ladies at Deer and Doe asked if I would be interested in reviewing their new pattern, without any hesitation I said “yes”! I love Deer and Doe patterns so much that I couldn’t pass this opportunity to take a break from all the sorting/prepping/packing to sew “Neige”: a boxy cut sweatshirt with a dropped shoulder and a 3-piece statement sleeve, an item which was surprisingly missing from my fall wardrobe (my all-season wardrobe really).

The Fabric

I made version B of Neige which features a cropped length, classic rib cuff and neckline. I chose an organic Hemp Fleece from Harts Fabrics with a smooth jersey face and a soft, brushed fleece on the reverse. This medium weight sweatshirt fleece is composed of 50% Hemp 30% Organic Cotton and 20% Bamboo. As per the instructions, I pre-washed it cold and let it air dry. It was my first time sewing with Hemp Fleece and I found it pleasant and stable to work with. It presses well and, the best part, it is very soft to the touch. 

For the neckline and cuff, I chose a pre-cut Merchant & Mills striped ribbing on Harts’ website. The dark navy colour with metallic white, olive, and grey accents pairs well with the sage colour of the Hemp Fleece. Although it wasn’t an issue for me, I should specify that the Merchant & Mills ribbing is 2 inches wide which is slightly narrower than the finished width of the cuff for Neige.  

The Fit

This is a size 36 and the fit is roomy. I’m on the shorter side (5’2) so even with a tapered cuff, I could have reduced the sleeve length. I decided not to because I like being able to cover a little hand surface during colder months. I didn’t need to adjust the bodice length either. I find this cropped version pairs nicely with my favourite high waisted pants, ie the Megan Nielsen Dawn. 

I should be sewing with knits more often because everytime I do, I enjoy it very much. It doesn’t fray and with the right kind of stitch and ballpoint needle (or stretch needle depending on the fabric), and it’s quick and satisfying. In the instruction booklet for Neige, Deer and Doe provides some tips to sew with knits and as usual, every construction step is clear and easy to follow.

The Neige sweatshirt doesn’t require much fabric: I hardly used 1 yard for my version. And one of the appealing features of this pattern is the 3-piece statement sleeve which allows one to get creative with colour blocking or scrap busting. I really wanted to highlight those design lines despite only using one fabric. That’s why I added some piping. Initially, I thought I would stitch a contrasting elastic but I realized that by simply exposing the brushed fleece side of my main fabric, it would add the slight pizzazz I was looking for. Two tips to add piping to knits: 

  • Be careful not to stretch the fabric when sewing on the curves 
  • Grade the seams to reduce bulk as much as possible. 

Frankly, my seams still look a little thick. Oh well… it definitely emphasizes the design lines!

Overall, I’m happy with how my little sweatshirt turned out. It’s cozy, it’s green, and I’ve been slipping into frequently as I’ve resumed the packing. It’s my turtle shell! I’m looking forward to sewing more of them.

The Details

Note: Along with the pattern, Deer and Doe included a Harts Fabrics gift certificate to compensate for the cost of fabric and notions. Sewing ain’t cheap on time or money, and this is very generous and much appreciated. Though I am aware that many indie companies cannot afford to do this. In any case, in the interest of transparency, the pdf pattern and the fabric were sent to me in exchange for this review, though the compensation didn’t factor in my decision to review a pattern. It never does. I only review patterns I am excited about and see myself wearing. Finally, I should mention that in my experience, Deer and Doe has always been adamant about asking reviewers for their honest opinions (good and bad). So, this is mine.

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