Completed: LMV Indigo sweater – not just for teenagers

I suppose I was 12.... 18 years ago.

I suppose I was 12…. 18 years ago.

Meet my new favourite sweater. The Indigo sweater from the July/August 2015 issue of La Maison Victor, a Flemish sewing magazine. I didn’t know this magazine existed until my co-workers gave me this issue for my birthday. When I saw the shapes of the pattern pieces for this sweater I was sold.

Indigo Sweater pattern pieces.

Indigo sweater pattern pieces.

It is a guest-pattern by Valerie Boone, author of Remi & Cosette for teens, a book with sewing patterns for teenagers. The Indigo sweater pattern is also featured in this book. Since it was designed for teenagers the size range is, unfortunately, rather limited. I made the largest size, 36, which corresponds to a 88 cm bust. This sweater has no side seams, the only shaping comes from the princess seams on the front. The front and back pieces are sewn together in one continuous seam, which even includes the pockets. The sleeve seam is not on the bottom of the sleeve but is sewn continuously with the shoulder seam. I think the whole construction is quite ingenious.

Indigo sweater backI made a muslin and one of the first things I did was to sew the pockets closed. I really like them in theory, but on a person with hips I thought they added too much emphasis on said hips. I moved the shoulder seam forward by 1.5 cm and also shifted this seam on the sleeve since shoulder and sleeve are sewn together. The sweater length was reduced by 2 cm at the waist.

Adjusted pattern. Pockets removed. Shoulder seam moved 1.5 cm forward. Reduced length 2 cm.

Adjusted pattern. Pockets removed. Shoulder and sleeve seam moved 1.5 cm forward. Reduced length 2 cm.

The fashion fabric is a mystery knit that came from the stash of a friend’s mother. She decided that she wasn’t going to sew anymore and wanted to get rid of the fabric she still had, lucky me. I thought it might not be opaque enough on its own and feel scratchy against my skin so I decided to underline it with black laguna jersey. To do this, I cut all pattern pieces twice, layered underlining and fashion fabric on top of each other, pinned so that nothing would shift and then stitched with a wide zigzag stitch around all edges. This basically turns the two layers into one which is much easier during construction later on.

underliningThe seams were stitched with a narrow zig zag stitch using my walking foot. Instead of pressing the seam allowances to one side as instructed, I pressed them open because I found the 4 layers of fabric too bulky otherwise. The neckline and sleeves are finished with black ribbing. The bottom hem should also have been finished with ribbing, but I did an invisible hand sewn hem instead. When I was testing fit during construction I already liked it a lot without the ribbing and I realized that I don’t really like the ribbing on the hoodies that I occasionally wear so decided to skip it. One of my co-workers gave me some tags to use for my handmade items and I sewed one to the interlining of the back.

150826_tagThe downside of the fabric I used is that it completely hides the interesting seam lines, unless I wear it inside out…

Indigo sweater insidesNow all I have to do is wait for cooler weather so I can actually start wearing this sweater…


All outside pictures were taken by my brother who I should probably turn into my official blog photographer because he only took a couple and nearly all of them turned out great.

15 comments on “Completed: LMV Indigo sweater – not just for teenagers

  1. katechiconi says:

    It’s a very interesting construction, and I can see why you like it. Like you I think it will be more fun if you make it in something where the seams are visible. I’m looking at it and wondering if it would work if graded up to a much larger size and made in a non-stretch fabric like linen… I need big cool shirts for the summer here, and I love interesting construction for them.

    • Emmely says:

      Grading up and a non-stretch fabric… Hmm. Well, it’s not a figure hugging design which probably makes it easier to go to a non-stretch fabric. I don’t really need the garment to stretch out when I put it on (because I skipped the hem band). The armholes are quite low though for a garment with sleeves, I’m not sure whether that would still be comfortable in a non-stretch fabric and it might be a challenge to raise them. I would, however, be a bit worried that in a much larger size it would turn out tent like. On me it is already quite boxy and I’m only a B cup. The princess seam does provide some shaping, but it’s very limited and there is really nowhere else to take the sweater in or let it out to get more shaping. For larger chests I think it is possible to do a FBA on the princess seams but because there are no closures the garment will need to be at least the same circumference at the hem as it is at the chest in a woven fabric because it will otherwise not fit over your chest when you put it on.

      • katechiconi says:

        Thanks, that gives me plenty to think about. Boxy is what I’d be after, and really outsized, to be worn as a tunic over trousers – I’m not so large myself, but I do love big loose shirts. I’ll do some drawing and make a muslin, maybe… I appreciate your help!

      • Emmely says:

        If you are going to draft a pattern yourself it might be helpful to start with an existing one for a top that has princess seams that originate from the armhole. The side panels would then have to be merged with the back piece while mainting the correct straight of grain on both back and sidepanel by filling up the gap between them (which creates the boxiness). If it is unclear what I mean I could draw you a picture if you like.

      • katechiconi says:

        No, it’s fine, I have the idea, but thank you so much for the offer. I don’t think it’s going to happen very quickly, there are so many other things on my work list, but it has sparked off some new ideas, and I’m very grateful to you for that.

      • Emmely says:

        Then I’ll just wait and see what happens. ;-)

      • katechiconi says:

        Hopefully I won’t make you wait too long….

  2. CurlsnSkirls says:

    What thoughtful mates. Your labels are beautiful and so is this sweater. Well done you!
    And belated Happy Birthday congratulations! 🎂

  3. Deborah says:

    What a great sweater. I really like it without the ribbing–nice choice. And I like the inside-out-view. Quite the conversation starter. :-)

  4. dezertsuz says:

    It IS very attractive. I like the inside-out look, and it is very popular here in some groups.

    • Emmely says:

      I’ve been wearing it rightside out now that the temperatures are dropping at bit, and it is very comfortable to wear. I do see a longsleeved version to wear in winter coming up at some point.

  5. I love the pics where you put the sweater inside-out!
    Tip: Anyone who would like to turn the sweater into a tunique or dress: You only have to adjust front pattern piece. Add inches/cms at the bottom to lengthen!

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