Hi Everyone! I hope January has been treating you all well. I have to be honest with you, I feel as though this outfit is the personification of the January Blues, and for that I am sorry. It basically says “yes, I put on clothes today, but just barely”. But, you know, I feel like a wardrobe needs those kinds of outfits just as much as it needs party dresses and power suits. Because we all have days where we feel kind of ‘blah’ and there is nothing better on those days than crawling into forgiving jersey and blankety jackets. And sometimes sticking to a head-to-toe black palette just makes mornings easier.
But of course the use of a delicious fabric and a pattern with some fun features can make even the most blankety of looks seem elegant! For the sweater coat I used Mood’s Italian Black and White Double Cloth Blended Wool Slubbed Knit. I had actually bought one and a half yards of this some time ago and planned on making this sweater back in the fall, but for the life of me I couldn’t make my pattern pieces fit no matter how I jigsawed them together! So I sadly had to admit defeat and ordered another yard and a half.
But it was well worth it, because this is a truly yummy knit. Since it’s a double cloth it’s nice and thick, with a moderate amount of stretch mostly in the width. The wool content means its extra warm, but because it’s a blend it’s not picky or itchy. And it was very easy to work with. Stitches just sank into it, and it took both heat and steam well.
For the pattern I used the Oslo Cardigan from Seamwork magazine, however I followed the free pattern hack to give it kimono sleeves. This was a very easy change to make to the pattern, however I wish I would have added more width to the sleeves. My sleeves ended up being tighter than I would have liked so I chopped them off at the elbow. I actually quite like the way it looks as a short sleeved sweater jacket! It allows for interesting layering options.
Here you can see the plain black side of the double cloth. I used my overlocker for most of my seams, and my sewing machine’s 3-step stretch stitch for the hems. I didn’t follow the instructions exactly for attaching the collar because it would have meant running three layers of this fabric through my serger, and I just didn’t think my machine could handle so much thickness. So instead I used my machine’s stretch stitch and attached the right side first, then stitched in the ditch to secure the underside in place. It still looks quite neat from the inside.
The dress I’m wearing underneath is a Closet Case Files Nettie dress made up in Mood’s Black Cotton-Viscose Jersey. I used this same fabric previously to make leggings and I love it. It’s very stretchy and soft. This dress feels a bit revealing when I wear it alone because of the negative ease (I’m not comfortable in skin-tight dresses) but I love it as a layering piece. I added length to the sleeves to make them nice and long so they bunch up at the wrists. Construction wise, this was the same as for the sweater jacket – overlocker for the majority of the seams and a 3-step stretch stitch for the cuffs and hem. I love that stitch for stretch fabrics. Its’ really the only conventional machine stitch I’ve found for knits that doesn’t pop with wear. For some reason my machine’s zig-zag stitch never really seems to have any give, but the 3-step straight stitch does. Plus it looks super clean and professional.
And there you have it! Two pretty basic, comfy additions to my wardrobe that work well with a lot of what’s in my closet, and together make a cozy yet pulled-together look! That’s a win in my book! Hopefully next month I can find some color! Does anyone else gravitate towards monochrome blacks this time of year?