So who else listens to the love to sew podcast? Probably everyone reading this? It’s definitely my favourite podcast to listen to while sewing, and also to get my sewjo going when I’m not able to sew. Helen and Caroline seem like such lovely relateable people and their passion for sewing really shines through with each episode.
It was through listening to the podcast that I discovered Helen’s Closet and I was keen to try one of her patterns. When the Elliot sweater was released at the end of 2018 it really jumped out at me and I purchased it straight away. Generally I’m not a huge fan of PDF patterns and when I do purchase a PDF I much prefer to get it printed on A0 sheets to avoid taping a gazillion pages together. Unfortunately my local options for A0 printing are limited so I tend to wait until I head to Melbourne to get it done at Officeworks. Luckily I had a trip planned not long after the pattern release so got my pattern printed out.
Finding a good fabric match took a little while but I wasn’t in too much of a rush as I prefer to wait until I find the perfect match rather than use fabric I’m not 100% keen on. I found this lovely sweater weight French terry at Guthrie and Ghani with a perfectly proportioned navy and blue stripe. Normally I couldn’t justify shipping from the UK to Australia but luckily I had a visitor coming over from England who was more than willing to bring it over for me.
I was a bit unsure as to what view I wanted to make as I loved the idea of a cropped tee but I do still wear lower cut pants so that would limit how much I would be able to wear it. In the end I cut out view C but took 1.5” off the length of both the front and back hems. I liked the side split in view A so did a 6” slit. I used the smaller height roll neck of view B so this ended up being a real mash up of all three views.
Other modifications included extending the sleeves to full length (an extra 8” on my small frame) as I felt with a fabric as cosy as this French terry longer sleeves would be more appropriate. Unfortunately I didn’t come to this conclusion until after I had cut out my pattern pieces so had to cut and attach pieces to the bottom of my sleeves. Figuring out how to do this while matching up the stripe pattern was a bit of a head scratching moment for me but after doing some measuring and basic math I got it in the end and you can’t really tell the sleeves are two pieces.
I initially just lengthened the sleeve and this made the sleeve a little too wide at the hem for my liking. I unpicked my finished sleeve hems (navy zig zag stitch on navy fabric is no fun to unpick!) and narrowed the circumference at the hem by about 1.5”. I’m happy with how this ended up looking and am glad I took the time to fix it properly.
This is probably my best stripe matching effort yet and I credit that to actually using my walking foot. I was lucky enough to have this included when I got my machine (over ten years ago!) but for some reason never thought to use it. When I made my Mandy boat tees I had some issues with stripe matching and some lovely people on Instagram suggested trying a walking foot. It was one of those lightbulb moments so I made sure to use it this time.
I pinned each stripe and basted seams with a long straight stitch using the walking foot before running each seam through the overlocker. The walking foot really made such a difference and my stripes are almost perfectly matched – yay! I used a zig zag stitch to finish all the hems as I’m not really a huge fan of a twin needle.
The day after I finished it I wore it all day and this has already become a top that I reach for all the time. Have you made the Elliot sweater or any other Helen’s Closet patterns? I was very impressed with how in depth and helpful Helen’s instructions were and I would definitely recommend this pattern. Happy sewing xx