This sewing project is special for two reasons. It was my first finished project after a 10 year hiatus and it was a special Christmas present for my love.
Before considering what pattern to use, I made a plan. The design had to be comfortable, work-appropriate, warm, and casual with the option of dressing it up. A shawl collar sweater was an easy decision. It’s as comfortable as a sweatshirt but it’s more fitted and has a bit more style.
INSPIRATION: Click on each photo for details.
I perused patternreview.com for ideas. It didn’t take me long to decide on the Finlayson Sweater by Thread Theory. It received outstanding reviews and there is a helpful sew-along on the Thread Theory website.
I purchased the pdf version because I was pressed for time but I DO NOT like taping all those pieces together so I took it to my local Fed Ex store and paid an additional $14 to print it. If I had time, I would have simply ordered the tissue pattern.
Although I really wanted blue or cranberry, this comfy gray french terry fabric from Mood was perfect with the coordinating rib knit for the collar and cuffs (it may be sold out from time to time but they seem to restock this one regularly). One of the things I love about creating my own garments is that I can make exactly what I want. But if I can’t find the fabric or trimmings I had in mind, I simply adjust. In the meantime, I’ll keep my eye out for blue or red fabric that would be appropriate for my next Finlayson.
Keeping this project a secret was important to me. My man is easy to please but buying presents for him is so difficult! When he wasn’t around, I measured a well-fitting sweater from his closet and used those measurements to select the pattern size. Initially, I adjusted the sleeve length and bicep width. After Christmas morning, he tried it on and I ended up taking the sleeves back off in order to shorten the shoulder length and take in the side seams. Next time, I’ll lengthen the front and back just a little.
This picture makes my heart happy. To my surprise, my husband whisked me away to NYC just a few days after our gift exchange. He escorted me all over the garment district – from Mood to Paron and all the shops in between! It was a dream come true for a girl who once considered a fashion career in NYC. Best husband ever award!