Coral Sweater & Dress: Recommended Fabric
To make the Coral as designed, you need three different fabrics: sweatshirt fleece, ribbing, and cotton jersey. And because it is meant to be color blocked, you need sweatshirt fabric in three different colors. There are quite a few options for variations though which makes this such a fun pattern!
The Coral is designed for heavier weight knit fabrics with minimal stretch (10-20%). It goes by different names: sweatshirt fleece or brushed sweater knit. Don’t confuse it with sweater knit though, which is a loosely knit more suitable for cardigans and slouchy sweaters. The best option is the kind with a knit right side and a soft, brushed back side. These make for the most comfortable sweaters and have the right amount of body and drape. Scroll down for some color blocking examples in sweatshirt fleece.
You can choose two to three colors or add a pattern in the mix. I would say that for patterned fabric, keep the pattern small so the seam lines stand out better. For the same reason, a random pattern works better than stripes or another horizontal pattern, which will clash with the curved design lines.
Another suitable kind is a French Terry, that is knit on the right side, and looped on the wrong side. They usually have a bit more stretch and drape and the Coral is already loose fitting, so size down if it has more than 20% stretch.
A third option is fabrics with a similar drape and stretch percentage as sweatshirt knits, such as quilted jerseys, often called textured knits. These are a really fun option if you want to add some interest to your sweater or dress but more colors. Make sure it’s still a knit or jersey though, and not a woven.
The hembands and cuffs are drafted with ribbing in mind, which is quite stretchy. Ribbing can give the garment a more sporty look, and could be used to add another color to your scheme or just to echo one you’re already using.
These are some options for your ribbing: a fine tubular rib knit from Minerva Crafts, cuff ribbing in all sorts of fun colors and stripes also from Minerva, and a 3×3 course rib from Ma Petite Mercerie.
If you want to use a sweatshirt fabric for your hembands and cuffs instead (maybe because you like the look, or maybe you can’t find the right color ribbing), you can. Because sweatshirt fabric is not as stretchy, you need to size up approximately 2 whole sizes for the hembands and the cuff. For the neckband, we’ve provided two pattern pieces, so all you need to do is choose the right pattern piece: 10 – rib or 11 – sweat.
A cotton jersey is recommended for the pocket lining. It helps to reduce bulk around seams. It should be cotton because bamboo or rayon jersey has too much stretch and drape for this purpose and will make your pocket sag. It might peek out slightly so choose a complementary color. This could easily be made out of a remnant since you only need a piece of 12″ (30 cm) max. Note that it might be visible from the outside occasionally, so you’d still want to pick a complementary color.
For the color blocking, there are many fun options. You can go with three different colors for the dress, or only choose a different color for the Top part A. For the cuffs and hem bands you can choose a ribbing with fabric A or C, or go with a different color altogether. If you only want to keep the design lines, you could choose one fabric for the sweater or dress and accentuate the horizontal seams with flat bias piping.
Three plain fabrics, one patterned fabric on top, or even three patterns, the possibilities are endless!