The Final Finlayson

This sweater will be the last of my winter sewing. Like many of you, I’m ready for spring. This will also be the last GREEN thing I sew for awhile. Olive is a great color for me, but enough already!


This is another one of those situations where, “when great fabric falls at your feet, you should BUY it!” In this case it happened at Metro Textiles in NYC. I’ve mentioned before that this place is very “hit or miss” for me. Like almost all New York fabric stores it can be overwhelming. There is fabric literally stacked to the ceiling. And what can’t be stacked is leaning up against the walls. My eyes glaze over and I go blank the minute I walk in. I almost completely overlooked this olive green ribbed sweater knit, which was mixed in with some rolls of wool coating. It turned out to be wool / mohair. Incredibly soft. How much? $15 / yd. How could I say no. SOLD!



As you can see here it’s quite loosely knit. So my plan is to line it with another knit fabric, which I’ve been doing a lot lately with my “Phoney Missoni” jackets.




My search lead me to Elegant Fabrics on W 40th, a big fabric emporium without all the frenzy of Mood. Am I the only one who’s entirely unnerved the instant the elevator doors open there? All the commotion, the bag check, ugh. I much prefer being greated by the adorable little Boston terrier at Elegant Fabics, than the bag check guy at Mood!


Anyway, I splurged on some gorgeous heavy wool jersey, which totally offset my bargain at Metro. It just seemed wrong to pair a luxury sweater knit with anything less. The Finlayson sweater is a classic style, and I anticipate wearing this sweater for years. We all work hard on our projects, so don’t we deserve to work with the best materials we can afford? More and more, my answer is “Yes”!



This process is becoming very familiar. Here the sweater knit and jersey are basted together. Both fabrics together are quite hefty so I’m going to alter the Finlayson pattern slightly. I’m eliminating the cuffs and waistband, a fairly easy fix. I lengthened and slightly tapered both the sleeves and the fronts and backs. I also fused a strip of Fashion Sewing Supply’s Pro Tricot interfacing to the hem. This technique worked well on my Missoni-esque jackets to stabilize the edges of the loosely knit fabric.



The Finlayson pattern has an optional back facing. It adds a nice touch and is very easily accomplished with a scrap of fabric (of which I have plenty!).



It also gives some “back interest” to the sweater.


I’ll save putting on the overlapping shawl collar for another day. It’s really what “makes” this sweater, so I’ll need to be fresh and give it my full attention.


5 thoughts on “The Final Finlayson

  1. Wonderful fabric and enjoy seeing your detailed work. Now I didn't know about the bag check guy at Mood, something to remember when I finally get to New York.


  2. Very nice work! Your thread tracing is causing me great shame. 🙂 I feel like I always comment this on your blog, but – I can't wait to see the final sweater!


  3. great choices here! i also like NY elegant, especially on weekends. anything after 10:15 on a saturday at mood immediately becomes unbearable 🙂


  4. I have not been to Elegant fabrics but will have to check them out the next time I'm there. Have you been to Paron? The size of the store is not overwhelming, and all the fabric has content and price labels. It's very well organized. Kashi is my first love but he's not open weekends which is the main time I visit NYC.

    I find Mood to be overwhelming unless I know exactly what I'm looking for and go just to that section. I think I'm the only person on the planet who doesn't mind the bag check–after lugging stuff all over NYC it feels good to drop it for awhile.


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