I have ventured into menswear!! Inspired by the super stylish Thread Theory Designs I made my first foray into sewing for somebody else! This ties in with a very exciting development in my sewing adventures – I am now the proud owner of an overlocker!! Woot!
It is officially my Christmas present from my lovely hubby but of course I had to check it to make sure it all worked and then there was no point putting it all back in the box etc. etc. so it’s up and running now …. and I LOVE IT! I had never used an overlocker before and knew that I would need a bit of guidance and I found the perfect class on Craftsy – Beginner Serging with Amy Alan. I managed to sign up while it was on sale but even at full price I would really recommend this if you want to get started with a new overlocker – I had no idea they were so versatile and I can’t wait to get into decorative stitches etc.
To do basic serging was a lot easier than I anticipated, the machine was all threaded up and with a few hints and tips from Amy I was off. If you’ve never used one you just won’t believe the thrill when you see those pro-grade trimmed seams whizz out the back – if you’re already a convert you’ll know just what I’m talking about 🙂
So – back to the menswear. I decided to make the Finlayson Sweater for my husband Paul. It is a pretty straightforward design. In fact the neck and collar are very similar to this Jalie top I made for myself a while back. I made the hoodless, pocketless version of Finlayson – my man has simple sartorial tastes.
I made a test version first, before I had my overlocker, out of a beautifully soft bamboo jersey from Plush Addict. It’s a lovely fabric but I think it’s a little thin for this pattern – it would be better suited to making t-shirts, it is also quite prone to creasing as you can see. However it was fine for a prototype.
I made the extra large for my hunk of a man 🙂 and it fit pretty well out of the packet – except for the arms. The arms were really long and baggy around the wrists.
I think I should take posing tips from him – what do you think?
So after reviewing this version I decided i would make another better version for Paul’s birthday and use it as my first garment made on the new machine. I had two coordinating pieces of lovely soft jersey in my stash from The Village Haberdashery They are the only online UK fabric store I have found that does coordinating jersey – it’s a little expensive but the organic cotton interlock is perfect for a sweatshirt.
I wanted this to be a surprise and so spent last week sewing it with bits of girly fabric ready to throw over whenever I needed to pretend I was doing something else! As an extra touch I found this lovely ribbon at our local market craft stall which is ideal for making into labels:
Look at those seams, LOOK AT THOSE SEAMS … It’s so exciting! 🙂
So version two was a whole lot better, I finished it and wrapped it up ready for his birthday. When he opened the parcel he uttered those magical words every sewist wants to hear ‘did you make this or buy it?’ Huzzah! 🙂
The only downside to this happy little story concerns, once again, the sleeves.
Firstly … how can they possibly be longer than the first ones? I have no idea how this happened! I chopped about 2 inches off the pattern and I tapered them in by about an inch from the elbow. I did … I promise! I also decided it would look good to have contrast vertical stripes for the cuffs … it didn’t. Oh well! So, although I don’t have any of either fabric left I am just going to chop the sleeves to the right length and hem them. Other than that I am really chuffed with the result.
I would highly recommend the pattern – it’s really nicely put together and the instructions are extremely good and detailed (for both regular sewing machine and serger) It’s a really modern looking garment and the optional decorative neckline facing is a really nice touch. (that’s the bit I sewed my label into)
Want a sneaky peek at my teeny tiny sewing ‘studio’ (it’s actually the hole under the stairs) …
cosy hey? So until next time …. happy sewing 🙂