More Husband Sewing: Another Newcastle

Today I have yet another long-overdue project to share with you! This year, like last year, I decided to sew my husband something for his birthday. However, unlike last year, it didn’t take me five¬†months post-birthday to complete it. Just one month. ūüėõ Still, an improvement!

Since his first¬†Newcastle Cardigan was such a hit, I figured a second version would be a great choice. This time, I chose a lighter weight fabric so that I could play around with the contrasting yoke option the pattern offers – a really sharp detail that I enjoyed a lot! The main fabric is a very lightweight fleece I found at Britex¬†that supposedly has moisture-wicking properties, which I figured can’t hurt in our often sweaty weather here.

In fact, the fleece was¬†so lightweight that I was concerned about pairing it with the ponte knit I had chosen for the contrast yoke. To mitigate any potential problems mixing the two different weights, I added a medium-weight interfacing to all of the interfaced pieces (as opposed to a lighter-weight option that I might have otherwise picked for the fabric). This worked quite well, and I didn’t end up needing to interface the main body pieces, which was my plan B if things didn’t work out as hoped.

I played around a bit with the fit for this one. Last time, I had made a straight-up size medium and shaved off 3/8″ at the armhole¬†to account for my husband’s narrow shoulders. This time, I retraced the whole pattern, grading from the smallest size at the shoulders to a medium at the chest. After basting the pieces together, I found that this actually didn’t work as well as my first fix, so I adjusted my seam allowances accordingly to approximate the first version as closely as possible.

I really love how this one turned out – the contrasting yoke is such a nice touch!

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I’m pleased to report that this version has been an even bigger hit than the last one! It’s gotten a¬†lot of use, and has held up extremely well, even with the differing fabric weights. I always enjoy sewing Thread Theory patterns – not only are they beautifully drafted, they work perfectly with my husband’s body type! I’m sure there will be many more Newcastles in his future…

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Christmas Sewing, Hubby Edition

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!

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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!

Button detail:

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Anyhow, this was a super fun project to make, and I hope to make many more in the future!