Winter Merino Tops

Winter clothing is always jeans for me. I often can’t be bothered with fussy tights and dresses when the wind is howling and it’s raining yet again. So, desperate for warmer tops, I dug out some merino fabric.

Being warm, breathable and lightweight, it’s the perfect fabric for layering.

Raglan Sleeve Merino

I picked up this raspberry merino from The Fabric Store and the top was in solid rotation as soon as it was finished (actually, even before that. I wore it unhemmed for a couple of days!).

Raglan Sleeve Merino

With this top, I wanted a loose fit, but specifically with raglan sleeves. So using a Kwik Sew pattern (#3120), I made a size small top, graduating it out to a medium in the waist to give it a sloppy, relaxed fit. I also added length to the sleeves ’cause I love to pull them down and keep my knuckles warm on a cold morning.

Because I wore the top constantly, I needed another to get me through laundry day.  So, making the most of a recent sale, I promptly scooped up more merino in various colours.

merino top for winter

Version two is a pink Megan Nielsen Briar with scoop hems. It’s very similar to the red one above, but the neckline is lower and the sleeves are standard rather than raglan.

I should have gone down a size though, because this merino jersey is super stretchy. Lesson learned.

Megan Nielsen Briar in merino

I love pairing the tops with a Robson coat and ankle boots. It’s been my apparent uniform for the last week!

Megan Nielsen Briar in merino

In the hopes of stopping the super stretchy knit from warping over time, I opted to reinforce the neck and shoulder seams with ribbon. Fingers crossed!

merino top for winter

And I finally learned how to use my twin needle! I love the professional finish.

merino top for winter

 

Since making swimwear last year, I’m falling in love with using knits again and merino has only encouraged that. It’s very forgiving and easier to sew than it might appear. I’m hooked.

I believe merino can be tough to source if you’re outside of NZ? The Fabric Store have outlets in NZ, Australia and the US and happily take phone orders (I do it a lot!), if that helps.

Happy sewing!

Neon Briar by Megan Nielsen

I love colour and usually the brighter the better. But it’s entirely possible that I’ve just found my limit. Neon Briar Top by Megan Nielsen. I need this pattern! | Offsquare.wordpress.com This fabric is a hi-viz pink merino from The Fabric Store and it’s great for a blast of colour. It almost assaults my wintery, sun-starved eyes but I love it because it’s so unexpected when everyone else is wearing black.

It will be perfect as a warm-up layer when running too. Neon Briar Top by Megan Nielsen. I need this pattern! | Offsquare.wordpress.com I used the Briar Sweater and T-shirt pattern by Megan Nielsen and made a length somewhere between the cropped and long sizes while also straightening the front hem and slightly raising the neckline.

Megan has an app you can download with all her patterns, tutorials and tips. It’s very cool. I saved paper by not needing to print instructions, her tutorials were thorough and easy to follow and I love that I’ll always have details on hand when fabric shopping.

Well played, Megan. Well played. Neon Briar Top by Megan Nielsen. I need this pattern! | Offsquare.wordpress.com This definitely won’t be my last Briar. I have some more merino waiting in the wings already, although not in neon this time!* It’s such a great basic pattern to have in the arsenal and one of the few I have that is aimed at knit fabrics.

I love a versatile pattern and this is right up there with my two other favourites; the Belcarra Blouse and the Sigma Dress. I have them all on solid repeat with small variations each time.

What are the patterns you make over and over again?


*The neon aspect was really hard to capture, but after several failed attempts, it took a rainy day and the dingy depths of an underpass to capture the vibrancy.  I actually lost sleep over this one, trying to think of places I could take photos where the sun wouldn’t hit it. Darn you, neon! You guys do this too, right? It’s totally the norm for sewing bloggers to lose sleep about their photo locations? Yeah, I’ll just tell myself it is. Right before I drift off to sleep tonight thinking of non-photo thoughts.

Robson Coat

The trench coat is one of my all time favourite jackets. The structure, the practicality and the fact they never seem to go out of style makes for a solid investment. I already own a vibrant coloured one (via Ezibuy, no longer stocked) that has been worn consistently every winter for the last seven years … and it’s still going strong.

So when I spotted the Robson Coat by Sewaholic, I just couldn’t say no.

Robson Coat | Offsquare.com

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Refashion Fail

*sigh*.  Well, another valuable sewing lesson learned.  Fortunately (or should that be unfortunately?), the only thing lost was my time and a little sanity.

The idea was to take an old pair of Hubby’s pants and by keeping the existing fly and button, create a cool pair of pants for our Little Man.  Would’ve been a quick way to convert pants, that’s for sure.

The problem is, that the fly required for a grown man is, quite obviously, larger than that required by a 2 year old.  Duh.  So the finished product was hugely bulky in the crotch and made my gorgeous toddler look … um, let’s just say, extremely well endowed.  It was weird.

The other issue was that I had to force Little Man into them so many times to try get the right fit, that now whenever he sees them, a look of sheer determination comes over his face and there is no chance of me ever getting him into them again.  Hence the photo of the pants lying flat rather than lovingly modeled.

So I’m totally over these pants.  Don’t want to look at them ever again.  Hello rubbish bin.

However, This Mama Makes Stuff has a fantastic tutorial (intermediate level) in making slim slacks for boys and she gets around that crotch issue well.  It does involve recreating the pants a little more than I had hoped, but the end result is totally wearable so well worth the extra time.

I haven’t made these yet, but next time I refashion pants for my lad, this will be my go-to.