Let’s zoom in on what fabrics are suitable for the Zircon Sweater/Dress.The recommended fabric section in the instructions lists sweater fleece, neoprene, fleece and quilted jersey. French terry’s, jacquard and interlock or double knits can also be suitable, but with these you definitely have to check the amount of stretch. My samples have been sewn with fabrics from The Sweet Mercerie, who is generously offering a 15% discount on all her French terry, neoprene and quilted fabrics! Use the code ‘ZIRCON ‘ at the checkout. I’m very excited to offer you this, Yvonne always has a great selection of hard to get fabrics like cool sweater fleece prints. Especially lucky for those in Europe because she’s based in Portugal.
The instructions specify stable knit fabrics with 5% to 20% stretch. Stable means that they don’t have a large amount of drape, like neoprene or ponte. Knit refers to the weaving technique: the fibers are knit as opposed to woven. The stretch percentage alludes to how far you can stretch your fabric on the crossgrain. The amount of stretch is usually listed in online stores, and in a brick and mortar shop you can just stretch the fabric along a ruler. If you take 4″ (10 cm) of fabric and you can stretch it to 4 3/4″ (12 cm) you have 20% stretch. There’s a handy guide in the instructions to check your fabric against. This percentage is quite important when choosing your fabric. A larger amount of stretch will invariably have a too large garment as a result.
The yokes and hem insets are designed to be made in a contrasting fabric. They should be about equal in weight for the best result. I’d recommend to think carefully about your combinations because they really determine the look of the garment. You can make a real statement with a big difference between main and contrast, or you can go subtle with different shades of the same colour. Do you want more happening then go with a print and a solid, or even two prints. The shape of the yokes and insets is quite angular and hard, so if you want to tone that down go with softer colours like the pink one above. Be mindful of combinations like grey and red or blue, it can get very ‘Star Trek’ very quickly. Unless that’s what you want of course, then go for it :).
For those in the US, of course there are good options to be found as well! I hope to offer you a deal like this with every new pattern from now on, and I’ll try to alternate between EU and US based shops. Here’s a list of shops that carry suitable fabrics: