We had the privilege of testing another pattern for Compagnie M. This time she was adapting her Julia sweater for girls into a pattern for teens and women, and we are sure glad she did! The Julia Sweater is a dolman sleeve knit sweater/shirt with lots of different options for the collar and neckline.
There is also a tunnel pocket option. The sleeves are cuffed and the bottom has a waistband, so no hemming! I’ve already made 3 of these (2 of which are for me!) As with most pattern tests, there were a few things that needed worked out; the size of the waistband and how to use fabric with less stretch for the sleeves were two things that got worked out with this pattern test. But Marta encouraged everyone to play around with the pattern a little, and so we did!
We figured out how to add a sheer layer to the front and back panel and construct the tunnel pocket in a different way to reduce bulk with the added layers. This works with both stretch sheer fabrics (the green and white sweater above) and woven sheer fabrics (the blue and grey sweater.) Which opens up a lot of fabric possibilities!
The first Julia sweater we made ended up being for Aria as I had to shorten the sleeves to 1/2 length due to the lack of stretchiness of my fabric. This issue has been solved now!
I love the slimming style of the separate front and back panel.
And pockets of course are not only comfortable, but necessary when you have 7 children and their…stuff!
Here is our tutorial, so you can use sheer fabrics in your Julia sweater too, if you want to!
Picture 1: Cut 1 tunnel pocket piece. Cut 2 front and back pieces, one each of lining and sheer fabric.
Picture 2: Sew pocket to sheer front piece, RST.
Sew all 4 shoulder pieces together.
Picture 3: Pin front sleeves to front lining piece. Sew down both sides from where top of pocket will be to bottom of shirt.
Picture 4: Sew along tops of sleeves.
Your shirt should look like this now.
Pull up sheer layer to reveal top of pocket. Carefully stitch across top of pocket, keeping sheer layer out of way, from side to side. You are stitching the top of the tunnel pocket to the front lining layer. You’ll line up the bottom of the tunnel pocket with the bottom of the front lining layer to keep your pocket straight.
Here is what the back of your front piece will look like after this step.
Picture 5: Snip the seam allowance of the sheer layer only to the seam at the top of the pocket. If you can’t figure out where to snip, try to do the next step without doing this, you will see exactly where to snip!
Picture 6: Line up right sleeve and shirt fronts and back, RST. Sew together, starting at top of pocket in front, up to shoulder, and down to bottom of back. Be sure to have all 3 layers caught in your seam. Repeat with left sleeve.
Continue with directions for the Julia Sweater. You will close the tunnel pocket when you attach the waistband. Be sure to catch all layers across front and back sheer panels.
I did make a few other changes to the second Julia Sweater I made, just for personal preference. I added 1.5 inches to the neckband. I top stitched the neckband with my double needle because I can’t stand a neckband that rolls!
There is one change I will make for the next (yes, next!) Julia Sweater I make. Due to my 6 feet tall height, my arms are rather long, and I added 3 inches to the sleeves. But I made a rookie mistake and added it to the end of each sleeve instead of cutting and spreading the sleeve, which makes the sleeves a little tight. (Dairy goats cause large forearms!) Next time I’ll do it right!
Here you can see the side panels and the tunnel pocket from the side. This sweater is an absolute joy to wear!
Aria is wearing her Julia layered over a white t-shirt. It looks lovely over a navy blue shirt too! That really makes the lace pop out!
You should sew up some Julia Sweaters, too. For yourself and your teen too. You’ll be glad you did! You can get the Julia Sweater from Compagnie M. here.