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Agnes Jersey Top by Jo Baker

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The Fabric Fox Creatives is our way of collaborating and sharing the work of talented, crafty writers. Every few weeks we will share a guest blog from someone who has made something using our range of fabrics. Jo Baker runs her own sewing workshops from her home in Chelmsford, and she sewed a Tilly and The Buttons pattern using one of Cotton and Steel's new jersey knits.

A few weeks ago, the lovely people at The Fabric Fox, Kirsty and Lee, sent me 1.5m of their beautiful new Cotton and Steel jersey. Kirsty is developing her dressmaking skills – but hasn’t yet sewn with jersey and was keen to get my views on their new product. Cotton and Steel are well known for their amazing designs and use of colour – and the jersey didn’t disappoint. The colours ‘pop’ beautifully and as soon as I opened the parcel – it was straight into the washing machine so that I could get sewing. For those of you new to dressmaking – it’s always a good idea to wash your fabric before you sew with it. Fabrics always shrink a little upon first washing, and you don’t want to spend hours lovingly making a garment to fit you only to pop it into the wash the first time and it becomes too small.

Jo Baker Arrows Periwinkle Agnes TopJo Baker Arrows Periwinkle Agnes Top

I decided upon the Agnes top by Tilly and the Buttons. I love Tilly’s patterns and the Agnes is a tried and tested pattern for me. I have made several versions, including a dress hack. I cut a size 6 (Tilly’s sizing is different to the High Street – but I am usually a size 14 for comparison). It is important to check your measurements against the pattern guide to get the right fit.

I cut the fabric out using my rotary cutter on the self-healing mat – but it would be fine to use the traditional method of pinning and scissors. This jersey cuts like butter – and doesn’t wriggle or slide around like some jerseys. It was prone to curling up at the edges and to combat this – I pinned the selvedges and the top and bottom of the fabric together. Once I cut all of the pieces out – I gave them a good press and this worked well on keeping the edges flat.

Jo Baker Arrows Periwinkle Agnes TopJo Baker Arrows Periwinkle Agnes TopJo Baker Arrows Periwinkle Agnes Top

I didn’t need to use a jersey needle – and sewed up using my regular sewing machine and a zig zag stitch. The jersey was very well behaved and easy to sew with. It has a good amount of stretch but also feels quite stable for a jersey knit. I especially love the cute messages on the selvedge – and used one of them as a label in the back neck (see picture below ‘life’s too short to make boring clothes!’)

Jo Baker Arrows Periwinkle Agnes Top

I am very happy with the finished article – the fit is true and there is just the right amount of cling without it showing every lump and bump! I went for the standard neck with long sleeves and I think this is going to be a regular in my wardrobe over the next few months as it’s nice and warm.

I also have about some fabric left over – so am going to make a pair of Just Hatched Baby Leggings (Made by Rae free pattern) to try out how the jersey works for them. Will post pics when they’re done. I might use a contrast ribbing for the cuffs – and the beauty of this fabric is that there are lots of colours you could chose to pick out as a contrast.

Jo Baker Arrows Periwinkle Agnes TopJo Baker Arrows Periwinkle Agnes TopJo Baker Arrows Periwinkle Agnes Top

Happy New Year everyone – here’s to lots of sewing in 2018!

Jo xx

If you live in the Essex area and want to learn how to sew you can book a sewing class on Jo's website. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram for updates on her classes and the clothes she has been making!

Find out more about Jo in our fun Q&A we do with all of our Fabric Fox Creatives.

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