Thought I would do some man sewing. I downloaded a beautiful .pdf pattern from Thread Theory called the Finlayson Sweater. I really like their selection of men’s patterns. The site, especially the photography, is just beautiful. The products and packaging all look clean and professional looking. Of course they are Canadian. I planned to make one sweater for Hub and maybe one for son too if he wanted, but I may go back for more of their patterns.
Preparing the Pattern
I found that right out of the gate, putting together the .pdf pattern pages was cumbersome even though I have done it quite a few times now with various other pattern designers. I had to trim each page some on one side, some on two which added additional time and frustration to the process. Maybe it was because I tried an experiment to forego the glue and just use tape. Never again. Using a glue stick is the only way to remain sane. It did take me over 2 hours but to be fair I’m kinda meticulous and I was doing it while watching Scandal on Netflix. So all that prep had to be done before any sewing started.
Hub has a height of about 6’2″ and he carries a little extra weight around the middle. His dimensions don’t all fit into any one size for all measurements and I had just gone with the largest dimension that fit to try it out first. This is how we purchase ready-to-wear for him.
I cut out the size XL first, based on the largest measurements, with a very light-weight fabric I had on hand. Very glad I did because the pattern was great with tons of help resources, but the size I cut for him was way off when I tried it on him – the shoulders sagged, the stomach stretched tightly around his middle and the length was too short. Not pretty.
There was no other choice – I had to “grade”. I’d read a lot about the adjustments and thought it might be time to give it a try.
I cut a line on the front pattern piece down the middle (on the grain line) and another perpendicular to this and swung the side piece out through the middle. It needed to be longer, so I then added 2 inches in length at the lengthening line shown on the pattern. After re-taping the whole thing back together with extra paper I found the side that is cut on the fold was no longer straight. I just forced a long straight edge there from collar opening to bottom. Next, I added the additional length to the back piece as well, re-taped. Ok, ready to cut the fabric.
Fabric Weight Again
The pattern calls for medium-weight fleece, and I found a really nice thick fleece at Fabricland that would be so nice and cozy as a sweater. I asked the woman in the store if it was medium weight, but she just shrugged, looked at the fabric and said maybe.
So, again I feel like there is a disconnect between the online fabric and local buying – there doesn’t seem to be a common language. So I’m not sure if it is considered medium-weight for the purposes of the pattern, but I like it.
The only major issue I had was that the material was so thick when going though all layers, that I couldn’t fit it into my sewing machine with the presser foot adjusted all the way up. The serger luckily just plowed through it all like a trooper! I ended up doing all construction with the serger, which is probably for the best anyway. I will have to be careful about considering the thickness of fleece in the future for sewing.
Putting it together
This is a really great pattern in my opinion! It all came together easily and the fit was great. There is a detailed sew-along at the thread theory blog too. Hub loves it and I’m sure I’ll be making more for him.
We went out with family to a New Years Day Brunch and he wore it and got a lot of compliments.