Sometimes I make the same pattern multiple times and then try to decide if it’s worth blogging about. Then I remember that this is The Sewing Things Blog and that I just sew the things that I love. And if I love them, then I will probably make them multiple times. And if anything, you’ll see the same pattern sewn in a few different fabrics and decide which one you like the best.
The Marlo Sweater by True Bias [tap here for the paper pattern] is definitely one of those patterns that I can’t stop making. I love it so much that I’ve even made one for a friend, and now one for my sister (and I don’t really like sewing for others very often). Check out this post if you want to see the first two that I made for myself.
Out of all of the Marlos that I’ve made: 3 have been with French terry, 1 with waffle knit, and my newest one with rib sweater knit. My favorite fabric to make it with is definitely a classic spandex French terry (usually 5% spandex /95% cotton). I made one in French terry that had no spandex and I wear it a lot, but the spandex makes it softer and more comfortable.
I made this light purple Marlo for my sister. It is made in a spandex French Terry, and I love how it turned out. I made size 12, view B of the pattern and didn’t make any adjustments to the length or fit. The grey buttons are from Style Maker. I hope my sister loves her Marlo and wears it as much as I wear mine!
I am so excited and relieved to have this cream sweater finished. I really love the Cacoon Cardigan from Jenni Kayne, but I can’t bring myself to spend $375-$445 on one. And since I don’t know how to knit, this was the second-best option.
I made the size 12, view B. I lengthened the bodice by 3.5″ and lengthened the sleeves by 1″. (Don’t forget to lengthen the neckband and interfacing too like I usually do!)
This is the Cotton Rib Sweater Knit from Style Maker, and it’s so pretty that I couldn’t resist. I didn’t want to have the rib going horizontal on the neckband or get all stretched out, so I used a matching spandex French terry (I See Fabric in the color ‘Oatmeal’) that I had left over from another project. The buttons are from a seller on Etsy.
I knew this fabric was going to be a challenge when I tried sewing the pockets and it was a complete fail. They were VERY stretched out and no amount of steam was going to fix that. I decided to skip over those, since my inspiration didn’t have them either, and I don’t usually use them. I still really wanted to make sure that I did what I could to avoid stretching out the rest of the sweater while I was sewing it.
To help with the stretching, I used clear elastic in the shoulder seams, and that helped a lot. I find it hard to serge with the elastic loose, so I sewed it to the seam with a zig zag stitch first and then serged after.
Before I serged anything though, I pulled up one of my favorite blog posts from Allie Olson on Serging Bulky Knit Fabrics. This blog post has saved me so many times and you should definitely save it somewhere. I changed my serger to the settings she suggests in the post and it worked great! (note: Take a picture of all of your serger settings before you do that so you don’t forget when you have to change them back.)
I was able to serge most of the seams without any problems and steam the little bit of waviness out of them. The cuffs were pretty thick, though, so I zig zag stitched them onto the sweater before serging, since my serger doesn’t usually like bulky seams very much.
The neckband on the Marlo is always a labor of love. There are two ways to finish the neckband, but I prefer the intermediate way (as opposed to the beginner way) because I think it looks better…on the outside – on the inside mine looks pretty crappy, but you can’t see that! With the sweater knit and French terry combo it was even more challenging. So, I did the best I could and still had to hand stich it on the inside in a few spots.
I really like how it turned out! It’s so cozy, and I know it’s going to get worn a lot. I’ve got to be honest though – after sewing with this sweater knit, I think the next time I make a cardigan like this will be when I finally learn to knit. Haha. So, if you’re new to sewing sweater knits or not a very patient sewist, you might want to proceed with caution.
As always, let me know if you have any questions or comments, and happy Marlo sewing! xo