One of my very vague sewing aims for this year is to try to sew some good basic wardrobe staples in addition to all the pretty dresses (because, let's face it, I'm always going to love sewing the pretty dresses and there's no point pretending otherwise!), which is why the Jennifer Lauren Enid sweater went to the top of my 'to sew' list as soon as it was released late last year. After all, a fitted cropped sweater is just what a lover of full skirts needs to keep her cosy at this time of year!
The pattern is designed to be used with sweatshirt fabric, and I'd spotted some that I really loved but wanted to make a test version first to be sure that the fit was OK and to get used to sweatshirt fabric as I'd never sewn with it before. I picked the navy sweatshirting up for £5 a metre at Fabricland in Bristol, and as it wasn't super expensive and is more practical than pretty, I knew I wouldn't be heartbroken if this version didn't turn out completely right. Luckily for me, my wearable muslin has turned out to be very wearable indeed!
Based on my measurements, I made a straight size 14 without any adjustments, reasoning that the fit should be OK because it's the same size that I've just for my three versions of the Bronte top (1, 2, 3) and they all fit me nicely. The only thing I wasn't sure about was the length, and that was the main reason behind making the test version. The finished length in the instructions matched my shoulder to waist measurement so I decided to make Enid up according to the pattern. The length of my finished version seemed pretty much spot on when I tried it on, and it is essentially fine, but having now worn it a bit I would prefer it just a teeny bit longer so I'll add an inch or so to the length of my next version - it's not surprising that I need to do that because adding length to tops/bodices is a standard adjustment for me.
Enid was a really nice project to sew up. The PDF was easy to tape together - I really like the way Jen arranges her PDFs so that the individual pattern pieces print on separate groups of pages - it makes taping together so much easier. And once I got down to the sewing, the instructions were very thorough and perfectly clear, making the whole process pretty straightforward. The only slightly fiddly bit was attaching the ribbing at the neckline (on that note, I got the ribbing from myfabrics - it's really nice and they have a great range of colours, although I'd trust the pictures on the website more than the written colour descriptions. Mine was labelled purple, which it's definitely not, but it is exactly the same colour as the picture online). I did have to unpick and re-stitch the point of the V once, entirely due to my less than perfect stitching, but other than that I didn't have any problems at all - everything came together easily.
The sweatshirt fabric was also fairly easy to handle and sewed up nicely. The only exception being the fact that my brain temporarily went on holiday and forgot to change my iron temperature between pressing the ribbing (which could take a higher temperature) on its own and pressing once it was attached to the neckline. It was a stupid mistake, and it has left a bit of a shiny mark right on the front of the neckline, but thankfully for me it's only visible in certain lights and my Mum and sister only noticed it when I pointed it out to them, so it's not going to stop me wearing this version of Enid. I'll just have to remind myself to stop pointing out the imperfections to people! I'm not the only one that does that am I?!
All in all, I'm really glad I made this test version of the Enid pattern first. There are a couple of teeny little self-inflicted and fitting imperfections which I'll sort out next time, but they definitely won't stop me wearing this version.
As Enid is quite fitted and cropped, it looks great with full skirts/dresses and is flattering, but at the same time the sweatshirt fabric makes it so comfy and cosy (nice to be able to take outdoor blog photos at this time of year without ending up shivering!), so it's the best of both worlds. I'm now looking forward to sewing Enid number 2! Have you sewn an Enid yet? Or do you have any other good sweatshirt patterns to recommend?