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The French Dart Week | Jumpers

We have more ideas to share today to encourage you to get the most from your French Dart Shift pattern! It’s been so chilly here in the UK for the few weeks (it’s supposed to snow here ANY SECOND according to the weather app) that I’m quite delighted to share with you my love for the FDS as a jumper pattern.

I really like the idea of a pattern being an all rounder, so it could be a key piece in your wardrobe. What I hadn’t expected was just how creative everyone would get with the pattern and suggestions from a couple of Maven Makers led to 2 tutorials – one for a boiled wool French Dart and one for a knit French Dart. The boiled wool version really was just an experiment to see if it would work. And yes it did! It’s been one of my most worn items of clothing and actually does makes the perfect jumper!

When shortening to make a top or jumper I just chop the extra length from the bottom of the pattern. Nothing fancy – just remember to trace off your pattern first to keep your original in tact (or you can reprint a PDF), add a hem allowance and check that the hem line will run together in a nice smooth line when you join the side seams. I like my length to finish at about my hip but I sometimes cut them a bit shorter after making them, I find different fabrics need different proportions and I’ll just try them on before finally hemming them.


A recent make of mine was this sweatshirt in a Khaki green Mind the Maker brushed sweat shirting fabric  which became a French Dart & The Somerset pattern hybrid. Which, I must say, has been lovely and cosy for lockdown wear!

As the fabric was quite thick I decided to make the collar half the depth, so it doesn’t roll over but stands up rather nicely. And I decided at the last moment to topstitch the shoulder seams to hold them flat, again as the fabric was bulky but it makes a nice little detail. Other than that the construction was quite straight forward. I did not tape or stay stitch the armhole as the fabric was quite stable, but I did tape the neckline as usual. I often leave the darts out of the back when I’m making tops with The French Dart pattern, you still get a nice shape but slightly boxier. If you are not sure wether to dart or not, mark them on the back (use something non-permanent to mark them!), make up the body and see how you like the shape without them. That’ll still give you the option of sewing them in if you change your mind.

The sleeve is basically a mash-up of the FDS bishop sleeve (version 3) and The Somerset bishop sleeve. I followed the Somerset Maker instructions to attach the cuff, but found this fabric didn’t really like the shirring elastic method, so I went old school and pulled up gathering stitches. So far, at the time of writing, so good with no cracked stitches during wear.

WARNING | This is how I did the sleeve but it comes with a warning! It was never intended as a tutorial. I was just making a top for me because it’s a bit cold…so this method is best described as ‘quick and dirty’ or as my Dad would say ‘a proper bodge job’. So you follow at your own discretion and perhaps don’t try it on a really expensive fabric the first time.

  • Trace off your French Dart sleeve pattern before you begin to keep original in tact.
  • On both sleeve patterns draw a line straight across at the underarm.
  • Fold the Somerset sleeve along this line, and fold the sleeve head out of the way.
  • Place the Somerset sleeve on top of the French Dart sleeve.
  • Line up both patterns along the underarm line that you drew and centralise at the grain line.
  • Check you are going to be happy with the sleeve length as is, if you want it longer slide Somerset down a bit further. Don’t forget to consider the depth of the cuff.
  • Mark in the hem line of The somerset pattern and a little bit of the side seam. It should be the same (mirrored) either side of the grain line.
  • Move the Somerset pattern out of the way and join the hem to the underarm point for your size with a straight line.
  • You’ll need to use the cuff pattern from the Somerset.
  • Good luck!



Like I said before, this one has been a really good make. All the details of The Boiled Wool French Dart can be found HERE. It was written in 2018 and it’s stood the test of time as I’m actually wearing it right now!


The French dart pattern has been made quite a few times in knit fabrics too. Ponte de Roma has been especially popular as it makes up easily and is quite stable for a knitted fabric while being very easy and cosy to wear. #Secret Pyjamas. Bear in mind the pattern won’t give you a body-con style fit in jersey it’s more about comfort.

This is one I made in a knit that I bought from Anna at Eternal Maker. It is a 100% cotton jersey knit. For this one I cut the collar as the pattern.But first,  I did fold the fabric to ‘mock’ the collar, creating 4 layers, before I cut out to see if I thought it would be too bulky.

The The Knitted French Dart tutorial can be found HERE & The 3/4 length sleeve tutorial can be found HERE.



Have you made a cosy French Dart, either a top or a dress?

We would love to see it! Old or new, share (or re-share!) them with us on Instagram Remember to tag us @MavenPatterns #FrenchDartMaven

and keep your eyes open for our PDF giveaway this week on Instagram!

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The Somerset T-shirt | details

So, here she is…our newest PDF pattern, the Somerset t-shirt!

20-22nd December | This weekend, to celebrate the release of our latest pattern we will be donating 50% of all sales of THE SOMERSET T-SHIRT PDF pattern to in support of their work in providing refuge against domestic violence.

I have a thing for a bateau neck (or slash neck, if you prefer) t-shirt, always have, always will! I find the neckline is a really flattering shape and I have had various incarnations over the years all of which became staples of my daily wear. So, my mission for this pattern was to create an every day, hard-working pattern that would be a useful foundation piece for any capsule wardrobe.

The Somerset is a slim-fitting t-shirt, designed to fit closely fitted through the shoulders and bust area while skimming, rather than clinging to your body, through the hips and waist. As she is a multi-sized pattern in UK sizes 8-20, you blend between the sizes to create your perfect fit. She has been designed for knitted fabrics with approximately 40% stretch (around 5% elastane) but we have included a handy stretch guide in the pattern, to make sure your knit is suitably stretchy. The elastane content (Lycra and spandex are the same thing) will help your t-shirt retain its shape after wear.

And of course, we want you to get multiple uses from your pattern so we have 4 different sleeve options.


STRAIGHT SLEEVES | Opt for the classic 3/4 length or the long sleeve which is perfect as an everyday t-shirt or for layering.

BISHOP SLEEVES | make a statement with the cuffed bishop sleeve, which comes with a choice of a short cuff for a 3/4 length sleeve or use the deep cuff option for a full-length bishop sleeve.

SIZES UK 8-20 | SKILL LEVEL: ADVANCED BEGINNER | designed for knitted fabrics with 40% stretch (approx 5% elastane)

| available as a PDF pattern for instant sewing fun! Paper pattern to follow soon |

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The Somerset T-shirt | new pattern release


We are very excited to announce our gorgeous (and long-awaited) Somerset t-shirt pattern will be released tomorrow!

We would usually celebrate a new pattern release with 20% discount for the weekend. But this time we have decided to do something a little different and instead, we will donate 50% of the sales of each Somerset pattern sold (£4.375 per pattern) over our launch weekend to Refuge to help them continue their amazing work in providing support and refuge for women and children against domestic violence.

Refuge is committed to a world where domestic violence and violence against women and girls is not tolerated and where women and children can live in safety. We aim to empower women and children to rebuild their lives, free from violence and fear. We provide a range of life-saving and life-changing services, and a voice for the voiceless.

As a family-run business, we are very lucky to have been able to empower ourselves to be able to do what we love every day and we would like to contribute to the work of Refuge so they can continue to empower others. If you would like to donate directly to Refuge, just click the button below to go straight to their website.Thank you x