This is my current favourite item of clothing in my self-made (or, if you insist, me-made) wardrobe (or possibly my entire wardrobe). At least, it is as the moment, but my first chambray Archer shirt is coming up on the outside, and when I’ve hemmed it and put the buttons on, it could well be neck and neck. (Or collar and ribbing. Ha!) But anyway, I’ll let the jumper enjoy it while it still has the edge.
It’s the Linden pattern from Grainline Studio, made from some lovely cotton interlock printed (in case you hadn’t noticed) with elephants.
What do I love so much about it? It’s lovely lovely lovely and soft against my skin, perfect for sticking over a t-shirt: the layering up season is beginning to creep in, but because it’s not a sweater knit it doesn’t feel too warm when the weather’s only just beginning to cool down. The inside as well as the outside has that smooth knit feel (rather than purl, being interlock).
I also love it because it was so ridiculously easy to put together. It took me one lunchtime and an evening to do everything apart from the final top stitching around neck-cuffs-hem ribbing. I did it on my sewing machine (not having the serger option, although there are also instructions for that) and finished the seam allowances with a simple zigzag stitch along the very edge of each. The seam allowances are pretty small – 1/4 inch, but this means that you don’t have to bother cutting them down. And with the wonderful non-curling-at-the-edges-ness of interlock, it really was a breeze.
It too on me a while to decide what colour ribbing to use. Since it’d be the only real block of colour, it would sort of set the tone of the jumper, whether it was dark or light, muted or bright. I bought yellow and blue, and already had some red and dark green, all of which would have fitted with the colour scheme of the elephants. When I got to that part of the construction, I spent ages holding the jumper up with the different ribbing, and eventually settled on yellow. Yellow’s good, and I’m too easily drawn towards dark colours in the autumn / winter months.
As you can see, the way I had to cut out the pieces means that the back looks a lot darker than the front, because hardly any red elephants made it onto the back piece. That’s something I’ll be more aware of when cutting out pieces around a pattern in future.
I didn’t manage to get the pieces completely centred on the elephant pattern, the pattern is so big, that I was limited for where I could fit the pieces, but I think I didn’t do too bad a job. If you look closely, you can see that there isn’t quite the same amount of elephant coming in from each side at the seams, but where it’s most noticeable is on the sleeves – the distance between the bottom of the last elephant and the ribbing isn’t exactly the same. But it only bothers me on days when I’m feeling particularly cantankerous.