Tuesday, 9 September 2014

It's all about the men

This Sunday just gone was Father's day in Australia. According to Flipper it was just the second day of Father's Weekend, which comes at the end of Father's Week which of course is only the last week of... (you get the picture)

Anyway, it was also the second weekend of spring, and it was forecast to be a day like this:


So I got up early, rode to the shops for some croissants, piled the family into the car and drove them out to the countryside to see my parents.

I'd been making a gift for my dad for father's day...


It's the Newcastle Cardigan by Thread Theory. I can't say enough good things about the pattern. It's beautifully presented, perfectly drafted and the instructions are impeccable.

I had initially bought the paper patterns from the Parkland Collection thinking I'd make things for Flipper. I ran the idea of this cardigan (obviously I didn't use the C word) past him, suggesting some of the double sided windproof fleece that P had here. He was interested but perhaps not convinced.

Flipper has a particularly long torso and I was keen for a test run in some other cheaper fabric. But then when I spied this dark grey sweater knit with a kind of faux cable pattern it became clear that the test run was going to be for my dad.

Their chest measurements and arm lengths were similar enough, but the waist measurement did differ somewhat (sorry dad). The patterns are described as being an "athletic fit" which presumably means pretty slim.


So, using the pattern pieces I'd already lengthened and drafted for Flipper, I added a Grandpa waist adjustment (seen above).

By now I was starting to have invested a bit in this project and the underside of that grey sweater knit is horrible. It appears to have a kind of black interfacing backing. It's scratchy and unpleasant. I figured my dad is probably as fussy as I am, so it would have to be lined.

I used a nice cotton interlock from Spotlight in a kind of moss grey colour. Lining it saved me from having to finish any seams (yay) and turned out to be very easy as I kept all the facings exactly as they were intended.

Infuriatingly I'd recalculated all the buttonhole spacings after lengthening the pattern, but then somehow mucked up transferring the new markings to the fabric. It wasn't until I'd sewn and cut the bottom two buttonholes that I realised my spacing was out of whack, and the next three buttons would never fit. I had to evenly space just two more buttons. It doesn't matter, but the pattern is intended to have five buttons, not four.

Photoshoot time arrived and my dad was either busy or had wandered off somewhere... (sorry dad ;) ), so Roger, who was also visiting, and was very keen on the Newcastle Cardigan (Christmas present sorted) stood in as man model number one.


And he worked it!


The pattern comes with options for a regular or wide shawl collar, and for the front and back yoke panels. I chose the yokes and the regular collar (view A).

I used the same fabric for the yokes but cut them on the bias. Saves on matching stripes you know!

 
The fit is fairly snug, but it feels so incredibly cosy (yep, I kept trying it on while I was making it!) because of it. With the jacket styling it works really well as a halfway between a dressed up blazer and a comfy ol' cardi.
 
 
I didn't get any photos of the insides before handing it over, but since Roger's commissioned one of his own, I'll take some pics along the way when I make that one. We were also talking about adding some welt pockets on the front for hands, or just for a wallet. I think they'd have to be smallish to prevent distorting the way the front lays....
 
Then my dad wandered back and reclaimed his Father's day gift for a bit of modelling himself.
 
 
Thanks daddy! He was a good sport, given that his gift was presented with the following advice: You don't have to like it, cause I had fun making it so I hardly care. You do, however have to model it for me for the sake of my blog. If you don't like it I won't be offended, so long as you realise there is no plan B present. Oh, and happy Father's day,
 
And now, since too many dads is never enough, here's the third:
 
 
Flipper scored my second ever bit of man sewing with a Metro t-shirt by Liesl + Co. It's a straight XL size in a cotton lycra. No extra length added and it's still a great fit.
 
I used some of the great Ottobre ribbings that I bought a while ago for the neckband. It's not quite the exact same light grey marle but near enough and the recovery is great. I'd possibly cut the neckband a tiny bit narrower next time.
 
 
The monsters came from a hilarious kid's book about manners called Being A Pig Is Nice. I traced them and cut a freezer paper stencil. The kids then roughly mixed some fabric paints and sponged the paint on, doing one monster each. Once it was dry I added the eyes and hairy bits. The wording is a t-shirt transfer which I deliberately made very small so that he wasn't walking around with a huge happy father's day message across his chest.
 
 
While Flipper has said the Newcastle cardigan isn't his style and has vetoed me making him one, he is very happy with his Metro t-shirt and has said yes to more of those as needed. I get to sew the Newcastle again later on for Roger, and dad was still wearing his one the next day.
 
happy times!
 
 






20 comments:

  1. Fantastic gifts! Happy Father's day to your stylish men.

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  2. Excellent sewing and Roger did so well!

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    1. He did, didn't he? I had no idea he was a man model in the making. I should have guessed though...

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  3. Love the cardigan. Love the tshirt. I think I'd like to hang out with Roger.

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    1. Thanks Janice. I'm sure you would, he's good fun!

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  4. Wow - great-looking cardigan and fantastic t-shirt. Making gifts for men is really difficult, I think. You did well!

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    1. Thank you. My gift giving modus operandi is to always do/give/make what I want and hope it's well received.

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  5. Clever fabric for the cardigan. Your father will enjoy wearing it I'm sure. Along with Janice, I too would like to hang out with Roger :)

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    1. The fabric was so obviously right for this project I couldn't not do it.
      you and Janice crack me up. Watch out 'cause he likes to travel, and I'm sure my folks have sent him a link to the blog post and these comments!!

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  6. "Grandpa waist adjustment" :) That cardigan fabric is fabulous, and it turned out completely perfect. Nice work!

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    1. Yeah I missed the opportunity to throw in a three letter acronym there. GWA it shall now be known as.
      I'm so bummed about the missing fifth button, but I guess it's only thread Theory and me who'd notice... Otherwise I'm delighted too, so thanks.

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  7. HAHA! i love that you're pulling in random fellas to model your creations because your dad "wanders off," hehe. cracking me up. way to sew for the men, though! i get all intimidated because the pattern pieces are just so damn big.

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    1. It's so lovely that my parents have enough of a garden that they can lose each other around the place. Infuriating when you're trying to get everyone in the one place for breakfast though! It's like herding cats.
      I hear you on the sizing. Tell you what I'll never buy: A PDF pattern for a men's dressing gown. Just imagine tiling the pages. Eeeek.

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  8. I bought the pattern and promise my husband I will finally make something for him. but impossible to find the right fabric!!!!! Is the fabric you used quite stretchy? I found some nice manly fabric but without any stretch and I'm scared it's going to be impossible to put on. Thanks for your help.

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  9. I measured the stretch on this fabric as I was describing it to someone else. It's about 25% on the cross grain. That is, a 4inch section can be stretched to a bit over 5 inches. The lengthwise stretch is probably only half that. you don't need any lengthwise stretch, but without the cross stretch you'd need to size up considerably, or he won't be able to move while wearing it.
    A good fabric with stretch could be polar fleece, sweater knits, merino/wool fleece, thick ribbed cotton knits. You want something with a bit of thickness, not t-shirt weight. Good luck in your search.

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  10. Love this cardigan for your Dad, the fabric is what has taken my interest, can see my hubby in one but have to find the right fabric. Also purchased the Parkland Collection and have just made hubby the Strathcona Henley.

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    1. Thanks Sharon. I must get around to making the Strathcona. I'm sure it's one my husband would wear. I still think there's a glimmer of hope that with the right fabric Flipper might wear the Newcastle, but I don't want to waste my time if I'm wrong. Good luck with yours!

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  11. omg, the fabric for your Newcastle is amazing! as is the way you cut/sewed it on the back yoke- amazing!

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    1. Thanks Meg. And there was I thinking it was a bit sloppy not to have cut the two halves of the back yoke so they actually pattern matched. Your compliment has made me feel much better about it! :)

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