Friends, don’t rush on a project. And, always make sure you cut your knits with the stretch going the correct direction. With that fair warning, allow me to begin my tale of woe.
A few months ago I was browsing the men’s Valet Magazine’s fall shopping guide and stumbled upon their ‘sweatshirt’ section. I immediately fell in love with the neutral color blocking of the J.Crew version ($85 retail and $60 on sale. Poly/cotton obvs) and figured I could easily sew one up on my in in wool jersey as a Hanukkah gift for Jordan.
**I’m calling this a baseball sweater because the ones with raglan sleeves and wool are called that on the J. Crew website. The ones in wool with set in sleeves are called baseball sweatshirts.
All I needed was a pattern for a raglan sleeve sweatshirt. I found this McCall’s dating back to 1992. Jordan measures a 43 in his chest so I purchased the Large for size 42 – 44. Naturally, it had 14 inches of ease at 58 inches. That, is a no go. I then bought a medium (5 inches of ease with 47 inches finished garment measurement) and sewed that up instead.
I first muslined this in a really nice charcoal ponte I had in my stash. Gah. It was SO HARD to let that fabric go for him. Based on the muslin, I decided to take in the waist 1.5 inches on each side, shorten the sweater by two inches and widen the waistband 1/2 inch. I really liked the fit through the chest and the sleeve length was perfect.
For the ‘real’ one, I used three wool jerseys for the color blocking. Jordan also thinks he has a short torso and asked to have another three inches taken offof the length. Fearing an 80s style crop top, I ignored my client and only shortened it two inches.
Below are some of the ones J. Crew has in 100 percent cotton. I did not do all the same topstitching as them. I wasn’t going for a sporty look. More like, weekend movies.
Folks. Here’s where it all goes awry: What’s that you see to the left of the triangle? I don’t even know. The neckband was cut (accidentally) without stretch. So, I was trying really hard to serge the neckband on. Yes. *serge* as in sewing off the seam allowance. Because the neckband had zero stretch, I thought the neckline had stretched out and just needed to be taken in a little bit. I got the *brilliant* idea of taking in the shoulder seam seam between the grey and the cream on ONE SIDE. One thing let to another and next thing I knew I had to add beige fabric *back* to the top and one side of the shirt is an inch wider than the other. FML. And, I acknowledge the point in the triangle also got destroyed in this process.
I contemplated scrapping the project and starting over. I thought about unpicking seams and recutting the front. But, I didn’t. Why? I really really hate to fix. Also, it was all serged and I didn’t want to overwork the fabric. And, wool jersey is real expensive. I figured at worst, he could wear it around the house. It’s still warm. And, it does fit. Plus, I actually have enough that I can just start over again for next time.
Initially, I was thrilled when I made this (before the neckband). And, in truth, I do have a pattern that I can use for sweaters and sweatshirts. I can see making this up for a long time. And, best of all, IT’S SO FAST. Seriously. I can sew this in under two hours. Jordan, god love him, still wore the sweater out with friends and says it looks just fine to him. He also hates having his photos taken in public places….
Next up… I have one more thing I’ve sewn for Jordan this holiday season. If I can talk him into modeling one last time.