The newest pattern from Love Notions is the Arlington sweater, and it’s a super cute pattern with many options and it’s super easy to sew. Perfect for cooler weather and you can make tops and dresses. In this post, you will see my 4 versions made with different options and knit fabrics.
Features of the Arlington Sweater
The Arlington sweater has three neckline options:
- Turtle neck: It’s a longer piece folded once at the neckline
- Mock turtle neck: It’s a shorter piece, stands up on its own
- Cowl neck: This is a rather large pattern piece cut twice. It’s shorter in the back and longer in the front.
If a closer fitting turtleneck or mock neckline is uncomfortable for you, then the cowl neckline will be ok. It sits lower on the neck and it’s loose.
The length of the top hits the mid hip. There’s a shorter cut line on the pattern to add a hem band to. There is a lower cut line is the shirt length that is hemmed normally. The dress reaches the knee.
All the 5 sleeve options have separate pattern pieces:
- Bishop sleeves: regular sleeve cap, wider at hem and gathered into a cuff
- Long Puff sleeve: gathered sleeve cap
- Short Puff sleeve: gathered sleeve cap and hem gathered into a cuff
- Regular sleeve
- Elbow length sleeve
Mix and match all these options and the possibilities are endless!
Best fabrics for the Arlington Sweater
The Arlington sweater is designed for knit fabric only. The minimal stretch required is 40% horizontally and vertically. In the graphic above, you can see several fabric types that are suitable but as you can see, the mock neck option needs a fabric that is a little more structured so it does not “flop”. The cowl neck will look nicer with a drapier knit fabric.
I chose stretch suede for two of my version and the mock neck and cowl neckline options worked perfectly. These have a nap, so cutting all the pieces in the same direction is very important..
My dress is made with a sweater knit fabric. I also made a top with ITY, but I changed the neckline to have a simple neckband. I would not recommend ITY for the original Arlington design.
Chose your base size using your high bust measurement. If the difference between your high bust and full bust is 4″ or more, then the full bust option will give you a better fit. You can blend on the side seams if you have different sizes for your waist and hips. Consider that the full bust option results in 2″ extra ease on the waist and hips, compared to the regular bust option.
I chose to make size XL with the regular bust option. In the diagram below, you can see that I added 1″ of length above the bust point. This accomplishes two goals: lowering the bust point to meet mine and also adding length so that the waist notch is at my waist. There is a lower shorten and lengthen line lower at the hips of the dress. I added 2″ there to have the dress be above my knees. The sleeves also have length added.
I add length because at 5ft8″, I am taller than the 5ft5″ Love Notions patterns are drafted for.
- The seam allowance is 3/8″
- The hem allowance is 1″
- You can sew the whole garment directly on the serger, alternatively, you can use a shallow zig zag on your regular sewing machine.
- I think stabilizing the shoulder seams is very important. This can be done with clear elastic in the seam allowance, with a ribbon, or by fusing a strip of woven interfacing on the back shoulder seams. This is important so the shoulder seam does not stretch out over time, especially considering the weight the gathers of the puff sleeve.
- My preference is to sew the sleeves on the round to keep the sleeve seam dominant and independent from the side seam.
- A twin needle will work very well for the hems.
The video on my YouTube channel
In my video, you can see a full pattern review and all my garments on in motion along with my Up close and Sew Personal segment you will see practical sewing content:
- Mock turtleneck
- Cowl neckline
- Simple neckband option (hack)
- Short puff sleeves
- Stabilizing the shoulder seams
Mock turtle neck, hem band with elbow-length sleeves
This stretch suede is very interesting, and it has small flower cut outs throughout. This is an early version made during the pattern test process. It is sewn on the serger. I have paired my Arlington top with one of my Ravinia skirts, also from Love Notions. You can see a video about it HERE.
You can see a closer look. I love the texture and look of the fabric.
Cowl neckline, hem band with regular long sleeves
This is a stretch suede in navy and it’s also a very special texture and look. I have paired my Arlington top with one of my many Sybil Illusion skirts, also from Love Notions. This is a scuba pencil skirt. See the video about it HERE.
Sneaky summer Arligton top
I live in Brazil and am in full blown spring right now and it’s very very hot. I wanted to make an Arlington top that would be suitable right now. I chose a light ITY knit and substituted the cowl neckline piece for a simple neckband. I added the short puff sleeve and it’s turned into a very pretty and special top. I’ve paired it with my stretch denim Glissando skirt. You can see more about my skirt HERE.
Summay of the neckband
- Use the cowl neckline cut line on the front and back pieces.
- Draw the seam allowances for the shoulders and neckline both front and back.
- Measure with a flexible tape the neckline circumference – at the seam line- and discounting the seam allowance of the shoulders.
- Take this total neckline circumference and multiply by 0.80 or 0.85 depending on the stretch of the fabric and add 1/2″ for seam allowance.
- My example with size XL: neckline measures 28″ X 0.85 = 23.8″ I rounded it down to 23 1/2 + 1/2″ (SA) = 24″
- My neckband is 2″ tall by 24″ and it fits my neckline perfectly. See more details in my video, including how to sew it.
- Check out my comprehensive & FREE MASTER CLASS on neckbands and bindings HERE for more examples and details. You can add a neckband to any top.
Polka dot dress
I couldn’t help but pull this cute sweater knit from my fabric collection to make a dress version! even though I will have to wait until May in 2022 to wear it 🙂 It’s so cozy and comfortable. I love simple dresses like this. The cowl gives it the special feature.
This is a really fun pattern and great value for all the options and how wearable all these styles are for our regular life. You can make so many different Arlington sweaters and they will all be different.
DISCLAIMER: I don’t have a fabric sponsor. I produce sewing content independently from pattern brands and share my unique way of sewing with you, with my own investment of time and resources. I don’t necessarily follow instructions rigidly. My opinions are honest, especially around fit and sewing techniques.
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