Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Merino Knits

When the cool weather started to hit Sydney, and with Me Made May '12 in mind, I had a bit of a merino splurge at The Fabric Shop in Surry Hills. I did really well - if that's what you call buying heaps - and no regrets for any of my purchases!

My favourite merino make so far is this hoodie, which I am absolutely loving:

 the above photos from day 18 of MMM

This is not getting worn that much because I'm sort of cherishing it! That probably seems crazy for a knit top, but it does have some nice details like
flat felled seams (the first that I've ever knowingly sewn - and I'm very proud of myself to have managed them on such a stretchy fabric),
flat felled merino knit seam from the outside
flat felled merino knit seam from the inside
and interesting neckline details intended for a woven fabric, to which I decided to add some parallel lines of top stitching (boy did I sew those slowly!)

On top of that I count this as a Frankenstein pattern mixing success - it even bridges a few decades :-).

Betsey Jackson pattern for oversized, dropped shoulder, woven tops from the 80s, sitting on top of the pattern pieces I used to make the final hoodie. I based my final draft on the basic shape from an old Burda Style long sleeve t-shirt pattern, adjusted for improved fit using old RTW tops, and then revised to fit the Betsey Jackson hood pattern pieces - which I left pretty much as is excepting the shape on the shoulder seams. 

I wore this top on days 18 and 31 of MMM - it's mentioned in my last MMM post, but it seems I forgot to post anything about days 17-21. Oops.  I doubt I'll get around to a belated post for these 5 days, but you could always go look at my Flickr stream here, or indeed at the entire MMM group Flickr stream here.
Thanking Zoe on the last MMM day


Before that I made a useful but very plain long sleeved blue top using pattern #108 from issue 2/2009-108 of Burda Style Magazine: 

I described this top in the relevant MMM post - some simple fitting changes, but it's still recognisable as pattern 108.

Although this is not glamorous sewing, this top has proved itself a wardrobe staple already, and I can't remember what I was living in before it! 


My third merino make so far is this cardigan, which although very toasty warm represents a bit of a disappointment. I like the fabric but the pattern, V8819 - well, it could have been me, but could also have been the pattern... 

I made view B of the pattern in a size Medium, which apparently means size 12-14. I normally sew a size 12 for Vogue tops, and this sizing is usually pretty good for me, so I expected the cardigan to have some room. 

I think I used the wrong fabric here though - I used a two sided knit (blue on the outside seen here, black on the inside not shown), which I guess is a lot heavier than the summery knits the cardigan was intended for. Be that as it may - and I guess that's a good explanation for the tight arms - it's a lot shorter on that I expected.

Maybe I need to go back and check whether I sewed the wrong length. It could have been me!

Unfortunately even though I like the fabric piecing details on the back, this cardi is not going to get a lot of wear - it's a winter weight but I can only wear it on top of sleeveless tops!

There are still two fabrics to go - a rich green lightweight merino knit and a heavier olive merino knit. I have plans for both, and have already made a summer "test" version for one of these plans :-).  As soon as the weather is decent again (it's bucketing rain lately) I'll show you the summer dress and a new skirt too.

See you! 


  1. I like your hoodie too. It's got a nice shape and you've finished it so carefully that the details really make it special. You should wear it a lot!

  2. It seems the merino knit is a favourite with lots of bloggers! I can see why you love that hoodie. Why don't you make it again in several colours, then you won't have to "save" it!

  3. I do love merino knits - they're surprisingly hard wearing too! I'm really liking the hoodie - very flattering on you. I'm even more impressed that it's a frankenpattern!

  4. I love me some merino and I am loving your hoodie too! The neck detail is great and the felled seams and extra stitching really make it, beautifully made xx

  5. What a fantastic hoodie - I'm a bit partial to a merino knit myself and I love all the colours you picked.

  6. Hi, love this top. If you want to make a top out of New Zealand merino fabric then go to http://www.newzealandmerinoandfabrics.co.nz. They have a huge selection of New Zealand merino wool fabrics by the yard and they ship worldwide.

    1. Thanks Sandra, and thank you for this link - I could go a bit crazy with merino wool!


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