children, sewing

Harry Potter Inspired Vanja Sweater (and how to hide your lining seams!)

Disclosure: I received this fabric complimentary in exchange for promotion. This post may include affiliate links that help support my blog.

I’m so excited that my kids are starting to read the Harry Potter books! While I have the series in a combo of paperback and hardcover – and some British, some Australian, and some US editions – we’ve been borrowing the e-audiobooks from the library and listening to them instead.


And of course, one of the best outcomes from getting my kids into HP, is that my daughter picked out this HP inspired fabric from the current pre-order round at MK*Designs!

The vibrancy of this print is just stunning! The panel though was WAY huger than I anticipated and so required some creative thinking (and overcoming nerves) to make it work! (Each one measures 21″X28″).


This print comes as a panel set of 3 – this one, Always, and Harry’s patronus. The yardage is so gorgeous and includes many popular HP symbols and characters. There are a lot of colors in it so it coordinates with many other solids. I went with yellow and purple (both from Simply by Ti), but there are many other colors you can pick from. While the panel set is only available in Cotton Lycra, the yardage is available in Cotton Lycra, Cotton Woven, and French Terry. (Preorder closes January 31, 2020).


For this sweater I used the German pattern, Deine Vanja by Meine Herzenswelt, which I have sewn a couple times in the past (Version 1, Version 2). I think this one is a size 128 with an extra inch or so of length.


To construct the front, I carefully cut the pocket from the panel and added binding to it. I coverstitched the remaining top portion onto a second front that I’d cut from white French Terry (from Simply By Ti) and overlapped the pocket by about 1/2”. (Note, before stitching, I spray basted the print to the lining with Quilt Basting Spray).


One thing I did differently in my construction of this shirt, was treating the lining and outer as a swimsuit — I sewed each seam with all 4 pieces of fabric together, but the two outers and two lining pieces against each other. In sewing it this way, you end up with just 1 seam but all hidden inside the lining. As one of my science professors said, a picture is worth 1000 words, so here’s a diagram:

Hidden Seams
Stack your fabrics and sew one seam, then when you open them up, the seam is hidden inside the layers!

Because I added a French Terry lining to this shirt (there’s fleece in the collar), I could have sized up 1 or 2 sizes I think. It fits her for now though!


I used the included pattern template for the hem band – next time I think I’ll just make the band 90% shorter than the circumference of the lower edge.


Of course I can’t resist busting out my grommets for things like this! I get mine from KAM and use them with the KAM tabletop press.


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