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Colour Block Retro Sweater Tutorial

Recently I brought some cool Retro Tapes print Cotton Knit from OTY Fabrics NZ. I had dreamed up a design for the fabric once it arrived. I intended to do adult versions of this but wanted to test the theory works first so I decided to use the FREE Brindille and Twig Hoodie in size 5-6 years as a test. I think this theory will work no matter what pattern you use as long as its a basic non

shaped raglan or set sleeved sweater pattern. You could add a hood if you wanted to but I chose to omit the hood and add a simple ribbed band to the neckline. I chose the B&T Hoodie because its easy and was already printed out sitting around, its a good basic pattern that most of us can find and sew easily. So without further waffle lets get on with how I did the Colour Block Hack.

What You Will Need:

  • A basic sweater or hoodie pattern (I used the Raglan B&T Hoodie in size 5-6 years. Its available up to size 14 years too HERE)

  • Tracing Paper, Pen and Sellotape if required

  • Clear Ruler

  • Paper weights

  • Fabric ( French Terry, Sweatshirting, or Cotton Spandex - the fabric needed depends on the pattern you use to create your colour block - I recommend OTY Fabrics lush FT)

  • Overlocker or Standard Sewing Machine

  • Pins or Wonder Clips

  • Thread

  • Iron

Lets Get Started:

  • Trace out your Front, Back and Sleeves patterns and set aside

  • First grab your fabric you are going to use for Colour Blocking, this could be your contrast fabric for the centre panels, if it has a set 'striped' design you will need to measure the amount you want the central panel to be. In my example the Retro Tapes were approximately 10cm wide for 2 strips of tapes to comfortably show on my top. Each Tape strip was about 5cm wide. So I intended to cut my panels 12cm wide from the Retro Tapes Fabric. You could variate this depending on what size you are sewing for yourself and what fabric you are using as a contrast.

Ruler measuring fabric print
Measure print to figure out width of panel

  • Take your Front pattern piece and measure from the top of the Shoulder/Neck about the centre of your pattern piece. Measure down as far as you want the centre panel to start. I chose 15cm to start with then decided it was just a little too low and revised it to 14cm down on my size 5-6 years top. There is no 'Rule' on where you start your colour block panel, its personal preference. Make a few marks across the front of your Pattern Piece and join to draw a line from the front fold to the side seam.

  • Measure down from this first line depending on how wide you want your colour block panel to be. I chose 10cm as that was the average width of two strips of the Retro Tapes. Mark another line across at that measurement.

Measure down from neckline/shoulder and draw two lines to create your panel

  • Grab your Back Pattern Piece and overlay the Front Pattern piece so you can join up the armhole corner and necklines mark the same lines on your Back Pattern Piece tracing the lines from your Front.

  • You now have 2 pattern pieces with colour block strips marked out.

Repeat panel markings on the Back Pattern Piece

  • Grab your sleeves pattern piece and fold in half to join the inner sleeves seam. Crease the fold so it can be seen easily. Open back out your pattern piece and smooth. Mark the centre line with your pen. Measure out from this centre line to create your Centre sleeve panel markings. My tapes were 5cm wide so I placed the ruler at 2.5cm on the drawn sleeve centre line and marked a mark each side 2.5cm wide from the centre line. I continued to do that until I had made two lines each side of the centre line. This gave me a 5cm wide centre strip.

Create Centre Front Line and then measure out from that line