Introducing the Radiant Rouched Top: A Fabric Guide
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Introducing the Radiant Rouched Top: A Fabric Guide

asymmetrical fabric gathered leg of mutton mutton chop radiant rouched rouched sleeves top

 

 We have been so excited to introduce the brand new Radiant Rouched Top to you this week!  This is such a fun and unique pattern were lots of versatility and visual punch.  Plus it isn't hard to sew - WIN!

 

Throughout the week we've been taking a look on FB at the different Necklines and Sleeve options, but today I wanted to take some time to really look at the fabric options for this pattern.  We have lots of gorgeous tester images, but it quickly become apparent that different fabrics sew up with different finished looks.  This adds another wonderful layer of versatility to this pattern, but can become a bit confusing if you are really going for a specific look.

While this blog post will not cover every possible fabric out there, we will touch on some of the fabrics that worked best in testing and what some of their commercial contemporaries are to help give you a bit more guidance as you are picking fabric for this pattern.

Let's start with where the pattern instructions start:

 

Main Fabric:

 

 

 Stable light to mid weight Knit Fabrics with 30% or more stretch.

 

 

-Cotton Lycra, ITY,  Jersey, Interlock, Slub knits, stable Ribbed Knit, and Single & Double Brushed Poly will give you the best results.  (The brown cover image is a Cotton Lycra)

 

 

-Rayon Blends will also work, but it is in their nature to grow and not have the best recovery, so the overall fit will be looser and the garment will not hold the drape quite as well. (The purple cover image is a Rayon Blend)

 

Take note of the very first word - Stable.  We're looking for fabrics that keep their shape and when stretched have pretty good recovery.  The more stable and the stronger the recovery of your fabric, the better your finished garment will fit and hold the overall shape and the structural look of all the gathers.

While this pattern needs horizontal stretch, vertical stretch is much less important.  Feel free to play with fabrics with less vertical stretch as you explore your options.

Lets take a  look at some of the fabrics that fit this bill perfectly in testing:

 

Poly Spandex Body and Stretch Lace Sleeves

Miliskin

ITY

Poly Tricot Body, Cotton Tricot Sleeves

Jersey Coupro

Double Brushed Poly

Ribbed Knit

Stretch Crepe

Cotton Lycra

There are other fabrics that also worked well but gave different finished looks.  Thicker Fabrics like brushed Hacci Sweater Knit, Stretch Velvet and Lightweight French Terry were also used by some of my testers.  These fabrics change the look of the gathered details slightly but still give a lovely finish.  Watch that you don't go too thick or the gathers will become very difficult to contract to the right shape and the overall look will get bulky.  It is important to check those fabrics for stability, if they are too heavy or tend to grow as you sew they are not going to work well for this pattern.  It is also very important to read all the instruction notes about stabilizing these thicker fabrics to help hold those gathers in the correct shape.
Then there are the fabrics that work - but you need to be more careful with.  These are your Rayon Spandex blends, Bamboo Spandex Blends, and other fabrics that tend to have slightly less stability and the desire to grow vertically based on their nature and weight.  Versions sewn up in these fabrics are still lovely, but tend to have a slightly looser fit and more downward drape at the front.  It is important to be very careful to stabilize your shoulder and side seam to help hold the weight of the gathers in place. If you are doing the Asymmetrical neckline, you are also going to want to be extra cautious that you do not stretch out the neckline as you attach your binding.

And Lastly...There are the fabrics I DO NOT recommend:
  • Ponte - It is simply too heavy of a fabric for this pattern
  • Waffle Knit - not stable enough and has poor recovery
  • Most Sweater Knits - they simply do not have the stability or recovery to work in this pattern.  
  • Chunky Chenille or Sugar Pop Fabrics - these are simple too thick to handle the amount of gathering in this pattern.
  • Any fabric that is not stable and has poor recovery!  But how do you tell???  Take a swatch of your fabric and stretch it - does it bounce back to its original shape or pretty close? Great, that fabric has good recovery.  Hold up a larger piece of your fabric...is it maintaining its original shape, of can you feel it weighing down and growing longer as you hold it up?  If it maintains it's shape pretty well then it is a stable fabric.
I hope this guide helps you on your journey to making some amazing Radiant Rouched Tops for yourself!!!



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