Saturday, March 17, 2018

Finlayson Sweaters

A couple of years ago I bought a handful of patterns from Thread Theory in their Black Friday sale. When my brother-in-law's birthday came around last November, I decided to make the Finlayson Sweater for him. I had bought a mystery color palette sweater knit box from Sincerely Rylee about a month before, and it had a lovely thick, soft, charcoal rib knit that I immediately decided was perfect to make something for myself. However, once I decided on the Finlayson for my brother-in-law, that particular sweater knit had to be used for it! So I sacrificed it, and after some hours of working at it, managed to get the pattern pieces all to fit!

  I've only worked with unpleasantly difficult hacci fabric before, and not a sweater knit like this one, so I was a little concerned that it would be a beast to sew, but I didn't have any issues with it! It pressed much more nicely than I'd expected it to as well, even though I'm pretty sure it's mostly polyester.

  I used a solid black knit for the hood lining, and didn't add the twill tape at the back neckline, because I thought I didn't have any, and didn't want to take a trip to the store for it. I also left off the decorative facing. The hood edge is supposed to roll to the inside more, but since the knit I used for the lining had more stretch than the sweater knit, rolling it more made the hood lining baggy, so I just did a thin edge.

  The pattern seemed pretty decent, although not perfect. I added just a little bit of length to the sleeves and hem for my taller-than-average brother-in-law by using a smaller seam allowance- I didn't have enough fabric to lengthen them otherwise, although I probably could have fit the pieces on my fabric more easily if I'd reduced all of the seam allowances to 1/4", then lengthened the sleeves and body slightly.

  The way the neckline was sewn leaves a gap to either side of the center at the front crossover. I'm not sure if that's intentional, or if the markings are wrong, but I ended up going back in and sewing past the markings.

  I felt like the cuffs were too narrow for the sleeves.... there is a secondary piece included for cuffs in fabrics with little to no stretch, by my fabric had a nice amount of stretch (about 45%) so I used the regular ones. The sleeves are wide enough that I think narrowing them would be the best option, instead of using the wider cuffs.

   I used the kangaroo pocket for this one... it sewed up nicely!

  I haven't sewn a lot of sweaters as gifts prior to this, but I love the idea- it's like a wearable hug!

  And I got to see this one on my brother-in-law, so I know that it fit well, and looks significantly better worn than in flat photos.

  I liked that charcoal one so much that when my brother's birthday came along a few days later, I knew I'd have to make one for him too. For my brother's version, I left off the kangaroo pocket, and sewed the shawl collar. I used a thinner green sweater knit, also from a Sincerely Rylee mystery sweater box. I had a larger piece of this fabric, so it wasn't such a puzzle to lay out!

  I sewed the same size, and lengthened the sleeves and hem the same amount. For this one, I added the twill tape and decorative facing, and I definitely prefer the finished look when those are included! I didn't want two lines of stitching at the outside from sewing the twill tape, so I sewed the first line to the seam allowances only, then folded it down and sewed the lower edge through all of the layers.

  I added a tag to the facing... next time I'd move that up just a bit!

  I had the same issue with the un-sewn portions at the base of the neckline on this one, and it was a lot more noticeable in this fabric. Once again, I went back in and sewed farther.

  I thought the shawl collar looked a little too narrow once I started sewing, so starting from about three inches from the end I reduced my seam allowance to 1/4", then tapered back at the other end of the neckline. I like the slightly wider collar... it's more proportionate to this size.

  I used the wider cuffs for this one, but again, I think narrowing the sleeves might have been a better option.

  I was very careful not to stretch the knit out at all when sewing the facing down, but I ended up actually wishing I had pulled it slightly, since the facing is woven, and the knit drapes down over it a little bit when it isn't laid flat.

  Once again, this one fit nicely!

  And my brother seemed quite happy with it, even though I didn't get it to him until February!

Thanks for stopping by,


  1. Both sweaters look awesome! I've always had issues with sweater knits but I feel I should keep trying. I'm bound to find one that's easier to work with, right?

    1. Thank you! I've had some sweater knits before these that were majorly difficult to work with- I actually ended up throwing away my attempt at a sweater for Booper with one of those, it was so bad. So there are definitely good ones and bad ones!

  2. Daaaaang, girl!!! Nice work!!! They look super cozy, too.

    1. Aww, thank you!! That grey one feels wonderful- I hope I can find more of that fabric someday because I still need a sweater from it!