By now I’m sure you’ve heard of the new Bronte pattern by Jennifer Lauren. It’s a super cute 40s inspired knit top that’s great for beginners or those new to sewing with knits. Jennifer asked me to test the pattern for her before it was officially released and I agreed because a.) the pattern is adorable and definitely something I would wear, and b.) I hadn’t sewn with knits in a really long time so I thought I’d give it another try. Coincidentally I also agreed to review some more fabric from Organic Cotton Plus, so I picked a knit fabric that would work well with Bronte.
The fabric is “Kiwi Stripe” – a 58″ interlock knit made in the USA from organic cotton. I think it has the perfect amount of stretch for a pattern like Bronte. I pre-washed the fabric on a normal cycle with cold water and tumble dried it on medium heat. It was really soft when I took it out of the dryer with no pilling or fraying on the edges at all. That really impressed me because I bought a similar fabric from Jo-Ann’s to test the pattern with initially, and that fabric didn’t hold up so well after a wash.
I expected the stripes to be much bigger (I don’t remember seeing any size references listed on the website) but after putting the Bronte top together I’m actually glad they’re so small. I didn’t give any attempt to stripe match whatsoever but they match up pretty darn well anyways.
I was really surprised how easy the construction is on the Bronte top, especially if you’re following Jen’s sew-along. The shape of the shirt looks a bit complicated but it’s really not at all! Jen’s instructions are great and I made the shirt in very little time, especially when compared to all the button-up shirts I’ve been making lately. I made the entire thing from start to finish (including cutting out my fabric) in just one evening.
If you’re new to sewing or using knit fabrics, I really think you’d enjoy making this shirt. It’s a really rewarding type of project because it looks more advanced but it’s really simple to put together and can be made pretty quickly (even when you’re taking your time and trying your hardest not to stretch things out like I was). I also think this pattern has a super flattering silhouette and would look beautiful on all shapes and sizes.
My Bronte top doesn’t look as clean and professional as other versions I’ve seen out there and I’m sure that has everything to do with my inexperience with knit fabrics, along with my lack of patience for them. I have some pulling and bunching around the shoulders and neckline but other than that I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I definitely love the fit! I cut a straight size 8 and made no alterations, but in the future I’d add some more length and hem the sleeves after sewing the side seams. The instructions have you do it before hand and you can see the raw edges at the inside seam.
I do have one confession to make though. After completing this project I remembered why I haven’t sewn with knits in years: …I don’t like to. Plain and simple. I’m not afraid to work with them, in fact I don’t even really have a good excuse as to why I don’t like sewing with stretchy fabrics, I just don’t enjoy the process like I do sewing with wovens. I don’t even like laying the fabric out and cutting it haha! I don’t want to change my needle or fuss with the stitch settings either. I suppose those excuses sound pretty juvenile but I can’t help it. I guess I’m just a wovens kind of gal.
But! With that said, I found this project to be nearly painless for me so that’s saying a lot for both the fabric and the pattern. If I was going to work with a knit fabric again in the future, I would pick one like the organic interlock because I like the amount of stretch and the softness of fiber. I would consider sewing the Bronte top again in the future, because I do like wearing it, and it’s a cute, quick project and I like those.
(Here’s another typical “me being awkward” shot for you. That’s what I do.)
So, if you love knits or want to try sewing with them, yes, I honestly recommend both the Bronte pattern and the Organic Cotton Plus interlock fabric, as well as their organic cotton thread (which I’ve used two separate times now and get great tension with. My Pfaff machine is finicky with certain thread brands but she likes this stuff!). But honestly you guys, you probably wont be seeing another knit project from me in a long, long time. Unless of course we’re talking about knitting, in which case you will see a knit project very soon because I just finished one!
Have you tried sewing the Bronte top yet? Do you love sewing with knits or are you a die-hard wovens fan like me?
*I received the Bronte top pattern, the fabric, and the thread for free in exchange for a review. I did not receive monetary compensation for this post. All views are honest and my own. Law jargon etc etc.