The dark side of the sweater

It did not work out. In the end I had a sweater I will not make again. I lost my precious fabric to the realm of destruction. Above my sewing machine dark clouds are gathering. Far away I can hear thunder rumbling and while looking down on the seems of my sweater I notice small cryptic signs emerging. Did I accidentally formed an incantation by sewing in an ornamental stitch? What have I done???

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Yes, what have I done…
For some time I have this amazing book of Rosie Martin, where she explains how to construct clothes without a pre existing pattern. I instantly fall in love with her clothing style and wanted to make them for ages but never felt experienced enough. Last week, after I bought this fun fractured fabric on the market, I thought the day come, where I will try out a formula from her book.

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I decided to try out her puzzle sweater which consist of triangles which are cleverly arranged. Cowardly as I am I used some scraps which are left overs from a skirt I made: a lovely flower fabric which has a kind of stuffing (like a duvet) and a simple grey jersey. With @cryptocariad's help I figured out, that here occurred the first mistake as the flower fabric is much stiffer than the jersey.

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But a step backwards. I sat down on our floor and calculated, measured, cut and glued and finally I had the sweater pattern ready. As I had more of the dark jersey I decided to make front and back of the sweater differently. The modular pattern makes this very easy… nevertheless I had to fumble a bit, as the flower fabric was insufficient. But I was more than satisfied how the triangles formed this geometric sweater.

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So, on to the sewing. As the sweater consist mainly of straight lines, it should not be too difficult. You see the ‚should not‘ in the sentence… I was sloppy with the pinning and so the tips of the triangles did not align: AHHHHHHHH

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Next step ripping everything open and rearranging the triangles. The second attempt was ok and I decided to not go for perfection 😂😂

After I had the sweater together I tried it on and thought again something like ‚AHHHHH‘. The sweater was to tight on my hips and much to wide at the bust and shoulders. After seeing the sweater on my body I had an epiphany that a sweater which consist of triangles ultimately is a square. And my body is not a square. I could have anticipated this. The next problem was the stiff flower fabric which lent the sleeves extra volume (which was absolutely not needed).

In sewing, especially the sleeve cuffs put up a fight, as the flower farbic did not strech properly. But the end product is quite nice (at least for me)

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I wanted to quit but @cryptocariad motivated me to finish by sewing the neckline and shortening the body of the sweater. And tada: here it is, fitting much better.

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I still find the sleeves to wide and although I like the construction, I perhaps won’t use it again, but the sweater is now wearable. I hope it will soften after washing it and get a better drape. But I am back at the beginning with my wonderful fabric find from the market….

The photos are made by the wonderful @giavellottista and by Silvia whose amazing paintings you can see in the background.

Thank you @crosheille for iniciating and @muscara, @shanibeer, @marblely for hosting the #needleworkmonday. If you want to see more beautiful projects with yarn, fabric and most of all needles, follow @needleworkmonday. Or even better grab your needles and keyboard and join the #needleworkmonday community.


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That looks gorgeous ... and after all the dark gothic drama! I like your adventures with pattern cutting, you are much braver and much more imaginative than I would be. I like the look of the floral triangles, almost like a little waistcoat and the sleeve finishes are lovely. Good to have your mentor @cryptocariad!


Thank youuuu 🙏🥰 And I am also very pleased with the sleeve cuffs and I think I would not have finished the sweater without @cryptocariads cheering. But I am not so daring as you think, as the book is really good and all is explained in detail. I love most of her designs, only it is a bit time consuming to start from scratch and make the pattern yourself (or perhaps I need more time, because I am still learning)


ha ha... more like a disruptor, @shanibeer. I do admire @neumannsalva's sewing skills and energy and think she did really well with the cuffs. That scuba jersey fabric is quite thick :D


Ha ha ... you seem to be having fun ☺

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Making (textile) things and planning projects keeps me going (and sane), @shanibeer, literally :D


👍 I understand. Me, too 😊

1- kitty socks helping to plan the sweater!
2- crazy sweater non-pattern! I am glad you tested it with something other than your new fabric.
3- the cuffs look cute so you still learned something useful!
4- can you tell I am writing a big report at work, full of outlines and processes and bullet points?
5- I hope the sweater works better after washing!

  1. kitty socks help with everything.
  2. all of Rosie Martins patterns are crazy cool. I got her book as a bargain and know I dream of her second one for my birthday 🙏
  3. The cuffs look cute, but are form hell. The fabric did not stretch and I were forced to curse a lot :-D
  4. writing lists and reports are the best.
  5. other people do not influence me.

You are way advanced. What beautiful work.
Designing is great.


Thank you so much for the lovely compliment. I am still not totally convinced as the sweater sits a bit awkward on me :-D But I am already thinking to modify the pattern and try again 😁

Thank you for the mention, @neumannsalva. The sweater looks great finished and I still think it reminds me of tangram puzzles - my lines would never be that precise even after the unpicking :D


I am so with you, it has this graphic puzzle quality. I did not played tangram for a long time, but your comment reminded me that we have a game which is basically the same as tangram only more evil 🤪
It’s this:
We play this sometimes, but without time limit and competition, as it is so difficult (at least for me)
And with the straight line.... this was no fun. I always sew stretchy fabric with a special zig zag stitch and I had real problems to unpick it. I think the sewing afterwards was like a breeze in comparison.


I followed the link and it reminded me a bit of a (three dimensional) tetris game, @neumannsalva :D

Well pretty much worked for most of us


Ohhhh I can get a bit of perfectionist sometimes 😅 But not in sewing...


hahah perfection doesn't come cheap, appreciate it 😉

Hey girl it looks great, even you made me think to blow dust form my sewing machine and try out after very long time :)


Oh yes pleaseeee. I have said this already, but I think you have such a good eye for colours that I can imagine all you would sew or knit will be amazing.
And thank you so much for the compliment. I think the sweater is growing on me and perhaps it will soften a bit at the sleeves :-D

wow !!!! What a complicated project you have !!!!! not! I'm not ready to learn to sew! I am too cowardly for this))))) this is a very creative idea with this sweater. It's great that our girls suggested how to do better !!!! Good job!!!! you are very brave!!!!


Believe me I was also cowardly. I have this book for a long time and admire the patterns and read it multiple times, but never dared to sew a pattern from it. I am so happy it worked out. THere are many more interesting designs in this book and I am dreaming to sew a bluse which is made out of a poncho like top with a small waistband.


great you made it !!!!!! I really like this blouse. be sure to sew it !!!!!


Believe me I want to make it.... but I have to gather courage firstly 😂😂

Ooo i hate it too when tips and ends and edges don’t align. It is always a debate, do I just continue and close an eye or rip them all out and restart slower this time. Arrggghh. So glad you decided to redo though it must have taken so much time. I am very proud of you!! Your sweater looks really cool. Its like having a fashionable cardigan but not or a patchwork but not. I love this type of illusions. I love the cuffs too! You are soooo brave to work on this project!

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THank youuuuu 🥰 I think I forced myself through this project as I liked the sweaters as they were shown in the book so much. But after this project I can no longer imagine how someone could sew a whole quilt with a billion of tips and ends that must align 😱
The most complicated was to calculate the pattern (and if I ever sew the sweater again, I have to work on the fit) and the matching tips of the triangles. The rest was not too complicated for a beginner like me.