This year I decided to make the majority of my Christmas gifts, and since I’m no longer tied down to a full-time job, I mostly succeeded! My biggest reason for giving handmade gifts was actually to save money – since I’m not working as much this year, I thought it would be nice to use the extra time I have at home to avoid shopping as much as possible. I’ll be sharing the majority of my Christmas makes in another post, but today I wanted to focus on my gift to my husband. Unlike his birthday pants, these actually got done on time. In fact, I even had a week or so to spare! HA!
So, what did I make? I chose another Thread Theory design – you really can’t lose with them! – and made the Newcastle Cardigan. I had actually promised him the cardigan back in September, when I purchased the fabric for it, so I admit that turning it into his Christmas gift was sort of cheating. But, hey, it got me to finally sit down and make it!
The fabric is a pretty awesome double-sided knit from Mood Fabrics. One side looks almost like a rib knit, with thin, contrasting stripes running vertically down the fabric. The other side was a slightly darker shade of brown than the first side. I took advantage of this fun detail by making the main body of the cardigan out of the stripes, and the collar, cuffs, and button placket out of the darker side.
Fit-wise, this was a bit of an adventure. I’d never made anything for my hubby’s upper half before, so his “fit issues” came as something of a surprise! For some reason, I had been thinking, “well, he’s a man, so it’ll just fit right out of the envelope, RIGHT??” Wrong!!! His chest measured a size medium, so I started by cutting a medium. However, when I had him try it on after attaching the sleeves, the shoulders were WAY too big! Turns out my man has a very narrow upper back, which I never would have guessed. Since I didn’t feel like re-tracing my pattern pieces grading from an XS at the shoulders to a medium at the chest, I just shaved off 3/8″ at the armhole seam, which seemed to take care of it. Next time I make it, I’ll probably try doing it the “correct” way, but for now, it works!
I think it’s rather snazzy on him :). In fact, he’s gotten compliments on both the cardigan and the pants. Not too shabby!
The buttons were fun to pick out. I actually managed to drag my husband to the fabric store to get them. (Obviously, I did not try to keep this gift a surprise :P) Since he has excellent taste and is somewhat picky about what he wears, I thought it would be best to let him select the details. He picked out German coin buttons, which I initially thought weren’t the best idea, but after sewing them on, he clearly made the right choice!
Anyhow, this was a super fun project to make, and I hope to make many more in the future!