I don’t own a Christmas jumper, never have done as I far as I can remember, and never really got the concept. Last year, however, as more and more sparkly jumpers were appearing for Christmas I decided the time had come to join the party.
Since watching a couple of seasons of Project Runway last year I’ve really wanted to shop at Mood Fabrics. It’s in New York, so an in person trip isn’t likely any time soon, but my brother’s moved to the States so I could deliver to him – an opportunity I just had to take up when there was 15% off sequined fabric there. I ordered two fabrics, one grey with neat lines of black fabric, which was definitely lined up to be my Christmas jumper. The second is more of a gold and black shimmery check with added sequins. I ordered more of that (2 yards) as I have vague ideas of turning it into a skirt, but haven’t done anything with it yet.
To make the jumper I used McCall’s M6992, the same pattern as I used for A jumper that’s not really a jumper. After actually getting some help to measure I ended up using the same size as last time, although this time I actually took the seam allowances into account so it ended up smaller. It’s a pretty straight forward pattern, but the nature of the fabric was that there were a few challenges so it ended up taking a while.
To cut out I tried using a rotary blade and weights rather than pins and scissors as this is what I’ve recently been reading you should do. I don’t have any proper sewing weights (major hint for anyone thinking of buying me a birthday present!) so I used plates and cans of baked beans instead. It worked pretty well, but the main challenge was that my cutting mat wasn’t big enough so i had to keep re-positioning things. Generally this all worked fine, but for some reason one of the sleeves was a lot shorter than the other, so a bit of matching and chopping was required.
I did the construction on my overlocker. Given the sequins I started by going very slowly, but I quickly discovered that every time I hit a sequin it jumped a stitch and I had to re-thread the machine. Re-threading an overlocker is not fun, so I rapidly amended my technique. Instead I carefully did a basic line of zigzag stitching using my standard machine then snipped off all the sequins from the seam allowance before overlocking the seam.
Because of this most of the time spent constructing this jumper was spent snipping sequins, but it was worth it, so much easier and less frustrating than overlocking over sequins. Unfortunately when I did the final seam to add the waist band I went fast over a seam which must have included a sequin and snapped one of my overlocker needles. After a couple of days delays until I could pop out to get a replacement I now know what’s more frustrating than threading an overlocker – replacing a needle on one!
To finish it off I went back and snipped off the sequins inside the collar as they were itchy, and I was done.
After all that sequin fun I’m really pleased with the finished result. The jumper is quite thin (possibly more of a top than a jumper) but I think it looks great and will add a bit of sparkle at Christmas. I might even be tempted to wear it at other times of year too!