A charcoal and lime Jasper sweatshirt

For some reason, Paprika Patterns wasn’t entirely on my radar. I remember liking their skirt pattern when it was released, but I was super busy with my own patterns, and somehow I missed the release of their Jasper sweater/dress pattern entirely, until I stumbled upon it on my Twitter timeline, and thought WOW! And then immediately went and bought it.

As luck would have it, shortly after I bought the pattern I was gifted some amaaaaaaazing technical fabric from my friend with activewear industry connections – it’s charcoal jersey on one side, bonded with navy wicking fleece on the reverse. It’s super high quality with nice stretch and a great weight for keeping warm post-workout. I have also seen nothing like it on sale anywhere, sorry!

So I thought it’d be the perfect fabric and pattern combo to be my post-workout cooldown coverup. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I’ve been wearing the same ratty old red jacket after long runs and hard workouts, which I’d bought 10 years ago from a discount chain! Not really a great look when I wear all the crazy, wonderful workout gear underneath, so it was high time I upped my post-workout wardrobe game.

Seen here with my mesh-insertion leggings which I still love, but are too baggy for running in these days. Still great for cycling and casualwear though!

I thought an all-grey sweatshirt would be too boring for me, though, so I added a bunch of accents in lime green wicking jersey – I’d found some deep discounted gym tops in Pennsylvania in January so I bought the biggest I could find to get the most fabric possible, and paid only $5! The hems and bindings were particularly useful for inserting into seams, but for the large colourblocked areas I overlaid the green onto the thicker jersey/fleece first, since the green was considerably thinner.

I made a size 6 (B cup) of the Sweater length and the fit is great – I did narrow the sleeves by about 1.5cm further (and adjusted the cuff to match) but that was the only fit change I made. The length of everything is perfect for me.

The lower back colourblocking wasn’t originally intended – it’s not included in the pattern and only came about because I realised I did “a stupid” and accidentally cut the Back piece along the Lengthen/Shorten Line instead of the Sweater cut line, guh! So instead of cutting a whole new piece, I decided to play with the lower back and make it look intentional instead!

The hood on this pattern has a really cool construction, unlike anything I’ve ever seen before – it’s made up of three pieces, with one wrapping the whole way around the face in an asymmetric way. It really frames the face nicely and is definitely roomy enough to cover your head with a ponytail in place, too.

I covered the middle piece in lime so you can really see the details better, and it’s actually so big it fits over my cycling helmet. Could this pattern be any more Dutch?!

I really like the kangaroo pocket and welt opening on this pattern, too, but I was afraid that some heavier contents might bounce or fall out, so I added a patch pocket inside, with its opening facing upwards, so I can fit my phone into it without worrying about it bouncing around. And instead of the intended cotton jersey lining for one of the pocket pieces, I used the lime wicking jersey on its own, so there’s an extra flash of colour in addition to the lime-covered welts.

I also added a little lime loop to the right side of the the hood attachment seam at the neck to thread my headphones through, so they don’t get lost if I take them out of my ears. Bonus points for already owning lime green headphones that match the sweatshirt, right?? (not to mention my bike helmet!)

Safety note – no, I’m not planning on cycling with my headphones in! I added this feature mostly because I’m planning on wearing it after track workouts this summer, when I’ll need something for cooling down in on the tube ride home.

We went on a bike ride last weekend up to Greenwich and back, where I wore this. It was utterly perfect – it kept me warm in the wind but the sweat just disappeared, plus I had a secure place to stash my phone while I rode. We snapped these photos partway along our route, so you get a nice view of Canary Wharf in the background. James and I are signed up to race our first sportive in May (only three weeks after I run London marathon again!) and I’m not a natural cyclist so we’re getting saddle time in at the weekends where we can squeeze it in!

Apparently Paprika are releasing a pattern update imminently – it’ll address a nesting issue on the pocket piece I alerted them to, but also make the hood a touch smaller, so if you buy it now you’ll get the updated version (or if you bought it already you can apparently download the refreshed version again).

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