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Julia Sweater Review with Sheer Fabric Tutorial

Julia Sweater review

Julia Sweater reviewWe 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.

Julia Sweater review by Skirt Fixation

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!

Julia Sweater Review by Skirt Fixation

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!

Julia Sweater, teen size

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!

Julia sweaters by Skirt FixationBoth Aria and I love the dolman sleeves!

Julia Sweater review

I love the slimming style of the separate front and back panel.

julia sweater tunnel pocket

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!

Sheer Fabric for Julia Sweater tutorial

Picture 1: Cut 1 tunnel pocket piece.  Cut 2 front and back pieces, one each of lining and sheer fabric.

Sheer Fabric for Julia Sweater tutorial

Picture 2: Sew pocket to sheer front piece, RST.

Sew all 4 shoulder pieces together.

Sheer Fabric for Julia Sweater tutorial

Picture 3: Pin front sleeves to front lining piece.  Sew down both sides from where top of pocket will be to bottom of shirt.

Sheer Fabric for Julia Sweater tutorial

Picture 4: Sew along tops of sleeves.

Sheer Fabric for Julia Sweater tutorial

Your shirt should look like this now.

Sheer Fabric for Julia Sweater tutorial

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.

Sheer Fabric for Julia Sweater tutorial

Here is what the back of your front piece will look like after this step.

Sheer Fabric for Julia Sweater tutorial

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!

Sheer Fabric for Julia Sweater tutorial

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.

Julia Sweater Review by Skirt Fixation

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!

Sheer Fabric for Julia Sweater tutorial

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!

The Julia Sweater is so slimming!

Here you can see the side panels and the tunnel pocket from the side.  This sweater is an absolute joy to wear!

Sheer Fabric for Julia Sweater tutorial

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!

Julia Sweater review by Skirt Fixation

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.

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Lotta Skirt by Compagnie M.

The Lotta Skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

Lotta Skirt

When we made the Bimaa Sweater we gave a sneak peek of a matching skirt and promised more info later.  If you’ve been following along on the Lotta Skirt tour, you already know about this skirt!  But if you haven’t, we would like to introduce you to one special skirt!  The Lotta Skirt was designed by Marta of Compagnie M.  And like all her patterns, it is very professional and unique.

The Lotta Skirt

One thing we love about Compagnie M. Patterns is how Marta tells you which edges to finish on each piece before you begin sewing.  Surely the same amount of time is spent sewing the pattern, but to us it seems like finishing the edges first makes the actual sewing go so fast!

Embroidered Twill Lotta Skirt

A little more about the Lotta Skirt we made.  We made this for Aria for her birthday, so let her pick out the fabric from our stash.  She chose an embroidered twill fabric that I’d bought several years ago, and saved for some special purpose.  A birthday skirt seemed to fit the bill!  There are also sequins sewed in sparsely throughout the embroidery, and the whole thing makes such a special look.

The Lotta Skirt

We sewed up the largest size in the Lotta girl skirt pattern, but added 5 inches to the length since Aria was 5 inches taller than the average height on the pattern.  I probably also could have made her the smallest women’s size.  Because this skirt has buttonhole elastic, that would have made the skirt last a lot longer!  Oh well, the beauty of a PDF pattern is you just print out the new size and make it all over again…and again.

Contrast Pocket

This is a beautiful skirt and I’d love to try making a maxi version for myself.  The contrast pocket detail makes this skirt really stand out.  If you are wanting to make one of these amazing Lotta Skirts for yourself, here’s the information you’ll need to know:  The girls pattern includes as usual sizes 1 – 10 years old. The women and teens pattern is from size 12yo to size 46.You can find my new patterns for 7 euro IN THE SHOP. You receive a 10% discount with these codes: GIRLS: lotta-girls-10 and WOMEN: lotta-women-teens-10. Both codes are valid till the end of the tour.

The Lotta Skirt sewn by Skirt FixationWith the Lotta Skirt, it won’t be hard to…

Make it beautiful,



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The Mara Blouse

Mara Blouse by Skirt Fixation

During the month of July, we hosted Challenge Create: Fabric Swap Edition.  It was so very much fun and we had so much enjoyment watching all the contestants create things from fabric they swapped and rewarding them for their efforts too!  Even though we weren’t blogging about what we were doing, we weren’t idol!  So during the next few weeks we will be showing you what we sewed.

Mara Blouse by Skirt Fixation

First up is the Mara.  Over at Compagnie-M it’s been so beautiful to watch all the seamstresses create their own versions of the Mara pattern.  Since there’s a sew along we decided to sew up the Mara too.  And since Allegra had just made her very first impulse fabric buy, I wanted to teach her how to sew from a pattern!  Now Allegra has sewn up lots of thing in her life, but never anything from a pattern.  Since we have discovered how wonderful PDF patterns are to sew from, I decided to use one, the Mara, as her pattern sewing debut.  She stuck to the pattern and will tell you all about it tomorrow, so for today, I’m just going to show you the variations I made to make Aria a Mara blouse.

Mara Blouse

I dug in our (very large) fabric stash and found this amazing fabric.  This is the same print I used to make Annie her Josephine blouse (and skirt!)  But this time I wanted to take full advantage of the ombre effect of the fabric.

Mara blouse

Since Aria is a tween the first thing I did was size up the pattern for her (it only goes up to size 10.)  It wasn’t too hard to grade up the pattern, and once I did we were off!  I did have to use every single scrap of the fabric I had, even piecing the shoulders a little!

Back view of Mara blouse

Another change I made to the pattern was to add ribbon ties at the sides so Aria could add some shape to the blouse if she chooses.  This turned out to be one of her favorite parts of the Mara blouse.

Tulip sleeves on Mara blouse

We started out with the plan to make flutter sleeves, but in the end, the fabric we choose to coordinate with the ombre rose fabric was to thick to flutter properly, so we changed them to a tulip sleeve shape with a simple, quick seam at the back of each sleeve.

Mara blouse with white skirt

Aria chose to style this blouse with a white skirt, which accents the Mara blouse beautifully and allows it to be the masterpiece.

Fancy hairdo

Allegra styled Aria’s hair into a fancy do for the photo shoot!


She wove in some wooden beads for a unique effect.  Allegra also chose a location for the photo shoot that she felt was very European, to echo the Mara blouse.

I love how these few simple changes made the Mara blouse work for a tween.  Come back tomorrow to see Allegra’s version of the Mara!  One final look…

Mara Blouse by Skirt Fixation