Trying New Sweatshirt Patterns!

From left to right: Cashmerette Tobin(ish), Closet Core Mile End Sweatshirt, Helen’s Closet Jackson.

As promised, here’s a comparison of the new Closet Core Pattern Mile End Sweatshirt and the new Helen’s Closet Jackson Pullover, with a sneaky little Cashmerette thrown in too. Sewing these over the last month has been a pleasure – my favourite kind of easy knit sewing and cosy cheerful fabric to boot!

(Disclaimer: I have pattern tested for all three companies. I pattern tested the Cashmerette Tobin years ago, was sent the HC Jackson for free with no requirement to make or share, and bought the CCP sweatshirt myself. All opinions are my own, which you know if you’ve been here before!)

Up first, the Helen’s Closet Jackson.

Jackson is a gender-inclusive design for a classic sweatshirt. It has slightly dropped shoulders and is finished with fabric/ribbing bands at neck, cuff and hem. I sewed a size 22 according to the size chart recommendations, and the fit is great. This top feels like a hug – no drafts coming in anywhere, and enough volume to feel cozy and unconfined.

I made two versions of this pattern, which is a sneaky hint that it’s my favourite! Both fabrics are a tight, slightly stiff cotton French terry. You can find the floral here and the dots here. I used ribbing on the floral and the same French Terry in a coordinating print for the dots. Both worked well.

Looking at the photos I can see that I could probably shorten the shirt at least an inch, since it bags out over the band… but honestly, it’s comfy, and I love that I can raise my arms without pulling up the hem.

Next up, the second pattern I sewed, while I was waiting for the delayed release of the Mile End Sweatshirt!

This is an unreleased tester version of the Cashmerette Tobin, which I previously sewed here without mentioning the pattern! The final version had darts added, and from the side photo you can see why. I probably should have sewn the darted version, but I was feeling like keeping it casual. (Isn’t it nice to see pattern companies who take the testing process seriously and make changes based on the process?)

This is that same French Terry fabric, in a now-sold-out print that coordinates with the dots. I love the colours in this print: mustard, denim, mint, terra cotta and pale pink. I could very happily wear a wardrobe in this palette!

This pattern is an interesting comparison to the others because it is one step less casual. It has shoulder seams that sit at the shoulder, and I finished the sleeves and hem by turning and stitching. I have previously used a facing at the neckline too, but I always love how a stripe looks in a folded band so that’s what I did. If you favour a trim look witht he feel of a sweatshirt, then I think this pattern would be the winner for you.

And finally, though the pattern release was delayed by Canadian Customs for several weeks, here is the Closet Core Mile End Sweatshirt!

This is modern take on a sweatshirt, with a slightly cropped length, side seams that angle forward, and a bubble-shaped sleeve. I was planning to use my dotted French Terry for this pattern, but as I prepared the pattern I got worried that the stuff fabric just wouldn’t work. I used a rayon/poly blend French Terry instead, and now that I’m done… I’m thinking that a classic thick sweatshirt fabric might have handled the volume better?

I sewed a size 20 in the d-cup range, according the the size chart. As you can see, the shoulder are more dropped than the Helen’s Closet pattern, and the sleeves have a lot of volume. I chose the drapey fabric specifically because I though it would balance how oversized the pattern is, but in the end all the detail in the sleeves is lost in folds of fabric. There is a curved seam along the top of the sleeve, and two darts on the front inner elbow.

See the darts? I took a bunch of pictures trying to show them, and then as I was editing I couldn’t figure out why I had so many arm-up shots and nearly deleted them all! That’s how invisible the drafting details are in the this print and fabric.

Ignore that vertical seam at centre back – I lost track or what should be cut on the fold! The yoke is part of the design though.

You’ve probably figured out that this is my least favourite of the four shirts. It’s partly the fabric, partly the cropped and drafty length, and partly the proportions overall. On the other hand, Closet Core has released many patterns before that I wasn’t sure about at first, and two years later I caught up to the trends, so never say never. If I made it again I would size down and add some length.

So there we have it! Three styles of sweatshirt, from fitted to boxy. If you are considering these patterns, remember that I’m 5’2″, and didn’t adjust the length on any of the patterns. My current measurements are 46″, 41″, 52″. Personally what I’ve realised is that my key criteria for a sweatshirt is: “Will it let drafts up my stomach?” I mentioned that to my husband, who wears hoodies daily, and he said he has never considered that… so if you run warm like him, your choices might be different than mine! Which would would you choose for yourself?

21 thoughts on “Trying New Sweatshirt Patterns!

  1. Thank you for this FUN post. OK – I’m totally on Team Tobin. You know I’m not a sweatshirt person (I don’t know that I’ve ever worn one!) so I feel the fitted lines of the Tobin are the most within my comfort zone, while still encouraging me to try something new. I also think it’s got the nicest back neck shaping and the slightly lower neckline (just slightly) makes it more applicable to other kinds of fabric. I have to be honest, I’m still not feeling the Mile End. I don’t actually like any of the shaping (just a personal choice thing). Because it’s fitted nowhere, it’s amorphous.


    1. Yeah, I admit that I’ve worn the heck out of the other ones and never worn the Mile End beyond photos! As Jamie said when he saw it, “Well, that looks… comfy!” 😛 Damming it with faint praise indeed.


  2. These are all cute and I love your fabric choices. As a teenager in the 80s, I wore the blouson styles the first time round, so my personal choice is the Tobin – i like its slightly more classic style. And I hear you on the no-draughts criterion!


  3. Thanks for yet another comprehensive review Gillian! I’m thinking of sewing myself the Mile End soon – and will now probably size down and maybe add some length!


    1. I’ll be looking forward to seeing your version! I can totally picture it on your girls too, which makes it a handy pattern for you.


  4. I like the Tobin the best but there is something intriguing about the Mile end.
    I’m thinking Tobin neck and armscye and Mile end everything else….
    Maybe colorblocked to use up leftovers?


  5. I have to say that I am disappointed that you didn’t like the Mile End so much. I had hopes of that one, but I think I agree that a stiffish fabric would be best. Almost a scuba? Mmm.. That said, your standard of no draft is clearly essential for a sweatshirt. What would be the point of a sweatshirt not warm enough? But thanks for the warning, because i am not only taller than you, my freakishly long torso would leave me all too well ventilated.


    1. I usually love CCP patterns and drafting, so when I heard they were doing sweats I assumed I’d love it. I hope you make a version that you love!


  6. I love the fashion details on the Mile End but I just don’t want a cropped sweatshirt. I like the Jackson and the Tobin


  7. Adding a vote for Tobin (partly because I made it myself and like the fit). I *love* the fabric with the dots!
    I’m not a big fan of dropped shoulders on myself so the Tobin ticks several boxes for me personally.


  8. It took me a little while to start reaching for my tester version of the Mile End. I usually wear it with my high-waisted Noice Jeans. (Funny thing is that it took me a few wears to get used to the high waist on those, but now I love it—those are jeans that I can actually wear when I have PMS cramps.)


  9. They’re al so cute! I’ve made a couple Jackson tees, but not the pullover yet. The tummy updraft is real. In theory I love a cropped sweatshirt, but I don’t reach for them in the winter for exactly that reason.


  10. What a useful comparison! I didn’t realize the CC one had so many little details. If I must wear a sweater I would lean to the more fitted, too. But I haven’t voluntarily worn a pullover sweatshirt since high school. The kids are all about them these days though.


  11. Thank you so much for using our fabrics! We really hope you love them and find them as cozy as your new beautiful sweatshirts look! You are an amazing seamstress 😮! We will do a blog post about your post soon and put it in our newsletter. Love your creations!


  12. Thank you!! I love them all. I just sewed the Hosta tee by Fancy Tiger. I did it to practice my serging skills. Did you use a server for your tees? I find the cuff and neck bands impossible to serve. And the bottom band is ok on the serger, just not sure how to start and stop without messing it up. Thanks for great sewing tips, pictures and reviews.


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