Shoulder pads??

I am not quite old enough to have worn shoulder pads the last time around. To me, they remind me of my mom's old 80s blouses or the polyester shirts we'd turn our noses up at in thrift stores. Shoulder pads were the first thing I'd rip out of vintage finds, and it actually took me years to learn to put them IN blazers to give shape to a garment. 

So imagine my surprise to see them popping up in garments and sewing patterns all over. And I'm even more surprised to say I gave them a TRY. I can't say they worked out in every instance, but it's fun to experiment with something out of my comfort zone.

Pattern: Grasser Knit Jumper 810
Fabric: 2 yds knit
Cost: $12

First up is the Grasser jumper. This is a new-to-me pattern company from Russia and what drew me to it was a wide selection of really interesting patterns. This jumper in particular had such a different construction and shape that I was really excited to give it a try. 

The instructions are complete and include some pictures, but the translation is a bit off and the sleeve construction involved some trial and error on my part. But in the end, it all came together mostly as designed. The shoulders are supported with "roll fabric;" I used some light quilt batting to give it the extra shape. 

I did make some updates to the pattern before cutting it out. One, it's cut from a stable jersey rather than a thicker sweater material, so my version has less structure than the pattern. Because of this, the sleeves collapse a little rather than holding their shape, but I don't mind. And while I kept the sleeves the same, I updated the main body by eliminating the princess seams and changing the neckline to a regular crew neck. I got this idea from a few people on Instagram who had done the same and I find it works well on this less-structured version. Sometimes putting too many seams in jersey is just asking for wonky seams. 

It is admittedly not the easiest shirt to wear. It doesn't fit easily under sweaters, and is a bit of a new shape for me. But I actually like it more than I thought I would and have been wearing it a good bit. 

Next up is the MadeIt Patterns Eight Tee. This is part of their No Frills line, which is the same style and fit as their regular patterns but without detailed, step-by-step instructions. I found the information to be more than adequate, with full sizing information, technical drawings, fabric recommendations, and one page of instructions with a few illustrations for the more involved steps. 

Pattern: MadeIt Patterns Eight Tee
Fabric: 1 yd jersey
Cost: free - remnant

This top and the Just Patterns Claudia Tee have been really popular on Instagram this past month. I chose the MadeIt version because I liked the shoulder/sleeve construction - it folds under to create the shoulder line in a really unique way.  The top can be made with or without shoulder pads and, despite the name of this post, I chose to make it without. Even without the pads, it gives an exaggerated shoulder line for the same look. 

While the original shirt has a very boxy construction, I wanted something with a more exaggerated shape - wide shoulders and a nipped-in waist. To do this, I cut the shirt off at the waistline and added a narrower band. I then pleated the top into the band at the side seams. I also experimented with adding a waist tie. Mijke from SewItCurly did a similar alteration, but by sewing the shoulder "pleats" together rather than adding a hemband. 

I'm not yet sure how I feel about this top. It's definitely interesting, but I'm not sure I like the silhouette on me. Perhaps the original silhouette would have been better, but with my small shoulders I do feel like I'm swimming in it a bit. 

Either way both of these tops were really fun to experiment with and I'm glad I tried a new trend.  I've also been playing with wide-leg pants, another trend I've seen popping up, but I'm NOT ready for the return of low-rise jeans. 

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