Completed: A Manly Striped Sweater for Landon

19 Dec

Guys, I’m such a mess. It’s December 19th and this is literally the first Christmas present I’ve come up with – I made Landon a sweater!

Men's Sweater made with wool sweater knit from Mood Fabrics

Or, I should say, I SEWED Landon a sweater. Ain’t fuckin’ around with no Sweater curse.

Men's Sweater made with wool sweater knit from Mood Fabrics

Y’all know I don’t do much sewing with men’s clothing… I think I average about one piece per year, so here’s 2013’s edition! I don’t know what the hang-up is, because every time I get started on a new Landon-garment, I realize that I really enjoy the process of men’s sewing because it’s so straightforward. No weird fitting (I mean, there’s fitting, but not like fitting a woman’s body with boobs and a butt), no frills, and lots of exact topstitching and mitered corners and fun things like that. It’s also very safe.

Men's Sweater made with wool sweater knit from Mood Fabrics

We found this navy/pea striped wool knit on Mood Fabrics and Landon immediately pointed out how much he loved it. I’m not surprised- like 3/4 of his closet consists of these colors, or stripes, or this particular cut of shirt. So I’ve basically just created the holy trinity of sweaters for him, I guess.

Men's Sweater made with wool sweater knit from Mood Fabrics

Anyway, I was iffy about the fabric when I ordered it, but a sweater was promised and I’m a girl who keeps her promises (plus, like I said, I didn’t have to knit is, sooo..). The fabric is actually quite lovely in person – it’s a nice, stable knit, sort of like a ponte, so it holds stitches beautifully without getting all weird and wavy. It’s also wool, which means it steams up beautifully and doesn’t get that weird shine that you sometimes get when you stick a hot iron on ponte. I sewed this up on my serger – because it’s fast and durable (and this is a dude sweater, after all) – but this is totally the type of fabric that can handle a standard sewing machine making the seams, so fear not if you’re part of the serger-less population.

Men's Sweater made with wool sweater knit from Mood Fabrics

I’ll be straight with y’all – this was a very last-minute project. My original plan for December was the glorious plaid coat I’m working on, but I’ve had some issues with time management this month (and hand-tailoring takes foreeeever, and no, I don’t care if Peter can make a beautiful coat in a week STOP COMPARING ME TO A LITERAL SEWING MACHINE), so the coat, while still in the works, is not quite ready for her debut. Fortunately, knits sew up pretty fast, so I had this finished in a couple of hours – just in time to take some pictures and send the man off on a week-long business trip.

I did not use a pattern for this (see above: time management), but simply traced off an existing sweater that already fit him. From there, I sewed up the main pieces (front, back, and sleeves), tried it on him, and then added the binding for length. I somehow messed up the length of the sleeves (pretty certain that the original traced-off sweater had too-short sleeves, since these were exactly the same length, gr), but I was able to adjust the ribbing width and they turned out fine. Speaking of the ribbing, I tried to source a good navy but ended up with nothin’, so I just used this navy ponte knit from Mood Fabrics, left over from last month’s dress. The color match is perfect, and the lack of visible ribs actually looks pretty polished. So there’s that!

Men's Sweater made with wool sweater knit from Mood Fabrics

To get the neckline ribbing to lay nice and flat, it needs to be short enough to stretch perfectly within the opening. Even a fraction of an inch too long, and it will wave and flap out. Not a good look! Since I was working pattern-less and didn’t feel like getting my math on, I switched up the sweater construction so the neck ribbing is applied flat. It’s really easy – see my tutorial on the Papercut Patterns blog. I pretty much get perfect results across the board every time when I use this technique, and it doesn’t require any intense maths or measurements. This is what I love about knits!

Men's Sweater made with wool sweater knit from Mood Fabrics

I also topstitched the ribbing at the neck with a twin needle, making sure to have the seam exactly between the two needles. I just like the way it looks!

Men's Sweater made with wool sweater knit from Mood Fabrics

Men's Sweater made with wool sweater knit from Mood Fabrics

Since I had quite a bit of wool knit left over, I made a quick scarf for Landon as well. Super, super quick – just cut two lengths of fabric, sewed them together down the long side, turned the tube right side out and then closed up the open ends with a bit of Stitch Witchery. Landon loves his scarf, and he promises not to wear it with the sweater like I forced him to in these pictures.

Men's Sweater made with wool sweater knit from Mood Fabrics

I don’t know why I thought modeling the scarf in a bush was a great idea, but it sure seemed hilarious at the time.

Men's Sweater made with wool sweater knit from Mood Fabrics

So, I guess the moral of the story is, when in doubt, make a sweater! Or if you’re super short on time, make a scarf! Either way, my knit scrap stash has just made itself incredibly appealing to me…

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37 Responses to “Completed: A Manly Striped Sweater for Landon”

  1. David December 19, 2013 at 9:09 am #

    I really love the sweater and the scarf, the colour combo is very much up my street!

  2. Jessica December 19, 2013 at 9:09 am #

    Well done m’lady!

  3. Aubrey (@Aubreyland325) December 19, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    I LOVE it. Dan would just love love love this.

  4. Kelly December 19, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    It’s perfect!! Well, you’re doing better with christmas gifts than I am… I just received some of that red ponte you recommended to make a Lola for my mom (seriously, that pattern was designed for her!) and I might try to whip a sewn sweater together for my sister. It’s probably faster than trying to shop for something, right?

  5. Angela December 19, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    Looks great! And, once again, reading blogs has been educational – I had never heard of the term “sweater curse”! The term is even in Wikipedia, so apparently I’ve been hiding under a rock for awhile.

    Are you joining in Goodbye Valentino’s RTW fast for 2014?

    • LLADYBIRD December 20, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

      I am, but not officially – I haven’t bought RTW since… I don’t remember. It’s been years, excluding the jeans I bought in January. I feel like those don’t count, though, since they’re handmade here locally… just not by me :) ha!

  6. Michelle December 19, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    Ha. I knit Michael two sweaters while he was still my “boyfriend”, and he didn’t go anywhere. Sweater curse smeater curse. :-D

  7. nycbookwriter December 19, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    I <3 it too. I made a plaid, flannel Negroni . . . and someone wants us in matching flannels so I'm making another one (and myself another Archer) this weekend.

    I really like that sweater!

  8. rosiewednesday December 19, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    This is fantastic! It makes me want to make a lady one for myself!

    • LLADYBIRD December 20, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

      Truth, if it didn’t fit him I was planning on keeping it for me! Haha!

  9. craftylittlebugger December 19, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    The Sweater Curse made me laugh! I hadn’t heard of it before. My boyfriend keeps pestering me to knit him a sweater, maybe I should take the hint…

  10. tialys December 19, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    There might be something in the sweater curse. The only time I have ever knit a sweater for a bloke the relationship did end shortly afterward but it was me that ended it – does that count?

    • LLADYBIRD December 20, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

      I think it does! Damn sweater curse!

  11. HouseOFpinheiro (@HouseOFpinheiro) December 19, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    Great work… I sewn a cardigan to Dan but didn’t fit him… So far he never gone anything g decent. I stole his pjs and now I messed his cardigan .. Maybe I should make something like this. Xx

  12. Anonymous December 19, 2013 at 11:49 am #

    I’m not looking at the beautiful sweater, I’m looking at your boyfriend he is seriously HOT! :-)

  13. Joanne December 19, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    Landon, I salute you for your superb ‘I don’t give a fuck’ face in these pictures. You are just like Ryan Gosling in Drive. Hey girl, want me to model that adorable sweater you just sewed for me? Sure. So cute.

  14. Mary Elizabeth December 19, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    I’m planning on making my boy creature (he’s not technically my boyfriend yet…) some pants for Christmas. He was interested in paying me to make him some custom pants and I found the perfect material for hat he wants on sale super cheap, so I went ahead and bought it and was like, “surprise- you’re getting pants for Christmas(ish)”. I doubt they will actually be made before Christmas.

    • LLADYBIRD December 20, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

      The promise is good enough! I bought Landon stuff to make him two shirts and it took me months to do the first and almost a year to complete the second one. You can’t rush handmade, right? :)

  15. Micki December 19, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    That’s really a cool sweater. My son was just looking for sweaters like it. Why didn’t I think of sewing up one?! Like you, I have a mental block when it comes to sewing nen’s garment. I just don’t think about it. Weird but true. I’m going to borrow/steal your idea about sewing scarves as a last-minute gift! Today is my cookie making day, and tomorrow will be scarf sewing day. Haha. Thank you, as always, for the inspiration.

  16. gingermakes December 19, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    I love this– I think it’s uber cute! The colors are fantastic and it looks so nice on Landon! I SO hear you on the Christmas gift situation– I haven’t made anything (one knitted hat that’s still pompom-less! Argh!). I think I will be panic-buying gifts (either that or handing out rain checks on Christmas, ugh) since I’m working late today, working all day tomorrow, then packing tomorrow night before my 13-hour drive back to the midwest tomorrow. AHHHHHH! Good luck with your sewing!!!!!

    • LLADYBIRD December 20, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

      Woof! I just gave up – I don’t think anyone is getting gifts from me this Christmas, just a bunch of IOUs haha!

  17. tillybuttons December 19, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    Gorgeous! A man in stripes is always a good thing. Good on you for making this when you’re so busy. My handmade Christmas plans have gone out of the window this year, apart from the limoncello which has become a new tradition so I can’t get out of it. xx

    • LLADYBIRD December 20, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

      Now you’ve got me all jealous about the limoncello. No fair!

  18. Rach December 19, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    Wow, this is a super cool sweater! Well done for pulling it together before Christmas. My mission for 2014 is to make my boyfriend something.

  19. sewcookgardenrepeat December 19, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    Wow, makes me want to get my man sewing on!

  20. carolinascallins December 19, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

    Well done! He looks great in his sweater, too :) Your video is just in time, too – I’m getting ready to try something similar, so thanks!!!

    Enjoy your holidays!!!

  21. Neeno - Sew Me Love December 19, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

    That sweater looks sweet!! Lucky Landon!

  22. Megan R December 19, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

    Awesome sweater! What a lucky guy. Whenever I offer to sew something for my guy, he literally says “But I can get it in the store cheaper. Don’t waste your time.” That’s not the point!!! Maybe I’ll just make him something in secret and say “too bad for you! Ha!”

    Also, I was not aware of the sweater curse. That shit’s important for when my knitting skills get good enough to attempt a sweater.

  23. rachael {imagine gnats} December 20, 2013 at 7:22 am #

    love love love! and yes, i did fall victim to the sweater curse once myself. sad story… lol

  24. Catherine from Canada December 20, 2013 at 8:53 am #

    Love the sweater – knew my hubby would love it to so I went to the Mood Fabrics site to look into ordering the fabric (and some other things once I was there…).

    But, what the h-e-double-hockey-sticks?

    Shipping to Canada for 8 swatches is $56?!?
    Please tell me, how can this be? Does anyone else order from outside the States? What are YOUR shipping costs? What are the within States costs?

    I wanna buy fabric from Mooooooood!

    • LLADYBIRD December 20, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

      I can’t remember what the in-States cost is (trufax, I always save up my orders until they total is high enough so the shipping is free haha), but I recall it’s pretty reasonable. That is really high shipping, though! I know they were working on getting international shipping costs down, so you may have hit a glitch – I’d check with customer service and see what they say. I think swatch shipping for US is like $5.

  25. Joe December 21, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    Excellent! Love this fabric…..So have to make this for myself. Another awesome post Lauren!

  26. Jennifer, Workroom Social December 22, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    Love it! Your man is rockin’ his new sweater.

  27. kimmie December 29, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

    I love when you foray into menswear. So cute!

  28. missjoiedevivre January 18, 2014 at 12:58 am #

    Totally hot, well put together, great to look at. Basically, wouldn’t mind one for myself! Oh, and the sweater’s great too…

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