From Elsa to Crystal

Christmas has been over for a while and the Christmas presents have all been unwrapped, so time to show them here!
Like every year, I make a large part of my Christmas presents myself.
My most productive months of the year, when I actually finish crafts, are usually November and December. This year I kept track: in 2022 I made a total of 37 items, of which I actually finished 23 in November and December. That’s over 60%!

So I do have some “tadaah” posts to write for the blog! Today I want to show you the second sweater I made for my oldest godchild!

As I said in my previous post, my goddaughter had asked me if there was anything I could do with the scraps of the two fabrics above. I showed earlier what I made from the peacock fabric, but now it’s the turn of the Elsa fabric.

I call this fabric the Elsa fabric not only because I once made an Elsa dress from it, but also because of its color. It is an aqua blue jersey full of silver sparkles. When I bought it for the Elsa dress I thought it fit so perfectly that I bought way too much of it. As a result, a large piece of the surplus has been hiding away in my fabric stash for years.

If I have a very clear idea of what a certain fabric will turn into, I always find it very difficult to start seeing it as anything else than that first idea.
I don’t usually easily see a final project in a fabric. I still think this is one of the hardest things about sewing: deciding that a fabric will work well on a project.
So for me this aqua blue sparkly fabric has always been an Elsa dress and turning it into something else was going to be a challenge.
Now that I had decided to use the leftovers to make something for my goddaughter again, but this time something wearable in real life and not just at a fancy dress party, I kind of hit a wall. I knew I had a lot of options, as I had plenty of fabric left over to go either way, but I couldn’t for the life of me see anything in the fabric other than the Elsa dress.

Salvation literally arrived in my mailbox, in the form of the newsletter from The Simple Life Pattern Company.
In that particular newsletter they announced their newest pattern: the Crystal turtleneck sweater with dolman sleeves. A pattern made for knit fabrics, the flowy the better, to get a beautiful drape on the neckline.
This really seemed like the ideal pattern for the fabric.
Even the name felt like a sign that it was meant to be: Crystal!

The sweater was mainly made in the sewing class, like most of my sewing these days.
The pattern was very easy to follow and the difficulty was mainly in the way the fabric lived as it was sewn. Pinning was almost impossible, but luckily I once bought one of those mini clothespins that are mainly used for fabrics that cannot be pinned (such as leather), but which also worked perfectly for this extremely stretchy jersey!

The most difficult parts of the whole project were on the one hand the fact that after sewing with the fabric itself I was completely covered in silver glitter, and on the other hand deciding how to solve the problem of the cuff and hem.
The first problem wasn’t really much of a problem, but it did make me happy that I made this project in sewing class and not at home, lol.
The second problem required some creativity.

Normally, the hipband and sleeve cuffs require a fabric that has a little more firmness to it, and I knew that even if I folded this Elsa-fabric in half, it would still be very flimsy.
In other projects, this is solved by combining with a specific cuff fabric, but I didn’t like that option here, since it was going to near impossible to find an exact colour match and I didn’t want to resort to a contrasting colour.

Eventually I solved my problem by using elastic inside the cuff and hem bands.
I used wide elastic, left overs from skirts I had still lying around, which I sewed to one side of the bands to keep them in place at the bottom of each band/cuff, to provide extra structure and firmness. It took some fidling to get it right, but eventually the result exceeded my expectations!

And tadaa! Here’s the final result: the Crystal-slash-Elsa sweater

I’m again super happy with the result and am also very pleased that I found another purpose for some of the leftovers and scraps that I’ve never wanted to just throw away!