Cool Weather Series: Fair Isle Sweater Look-Alike

Sweater Tutorial and Pattern

Don’t you love those happy accidents that turn into something really great? This sweater was one of those. I didn’t plan on making this sweater with the trim on it. I happened to be working on another project idea and lay the trim down on top of this fabric. When I walked by later I saw it and played around with the idea of sewing it similar to a Fair Isle sweater. I loved how it turned out. This is probably one of my favorite sews.

Sweater Tutorial and Pattern

Sweater Tutorial and Pattern

The gorgeous fabric and trim both came from Oh Sew Rylee, my go to place for my sweater knit addiction. She has mystery sweater knit boxes, which are awesome! Who doesn’t love a surprise, especially when it is fabric! I think I might have enough of this gray to make myself one of these sweaters too, which needs to happen soon! It looks so cozy.

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This was a relatively easy sew. The trim was a bit tricky to line up across the arm and chest, but other than that it came together pretty quick. I used the sweater pattern that I drafted for this series, which is in an 18 month size, but you could use a similar pattern or draft your own.

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Now on to the tutorial for how I made this top.


What you need:

1/2 yard sweater knit or French terry

Apx 1 yard of trim

The Brynn Sweater pattern or one similar. Download the 18 month pattern here: Brynn Sweater Pattern


Getting Started:

Print out your pattern and cut one front, one back, and two sleeves all on the fold. Seam allowance is 3/8″.

Sweater Tutorial and Free Pattern

With right sides together, sew across both shoulders.

Sweater Tutorial and Pattern

Open up your bodice pieces with right sides up. Lay one of your sleeve pieces right side down with the center matching up with the center of the shoulder. Instead of sewing the sleeve all the way on, only sew the top portion on, about half way down. Repeat for the other sleeve.

Sweater Tutorial and Pattern

Now we are going to attach the trim across the front chest. Cut two pieces of trim that overlap the sides of the shirt by about 1″. One will be for the front and one for the back. Then decide where you would like the trim to fall. I placed mine 4″ down from the shoulder. Measure from both shoulders to make sure that your trim will be straight. One you have it straight and where you want it, pin across the top, then smooth out and pin across the bottom. For this particular trim, I sewed a narrow zig zag along the four straight lines and then also sewed in the center of each flower.

Sweater Tutorial and Pattern

Next we are going to sew the trim on the back of the shirt. Line up your back piece of trim with the front piece that you’ll be able to see sticking out a bit from each side. Then sew on the same way as the front piece.

Sweater Tutorial and Pattern

Now we are going to add the trim across the sleeve. Cut a piece of trim that will wrap around the length of the arm. Tuck the bodice piece of trim under the arm so it is out of the way.

Sweater Tutorial and Pattern

Angle your trim across the sleeve, lining up the top edge of the chest piece with the top edge of the sleeve piece. Pin along one side of the sleeve, flip your shirt and line up that side and pin the top of that side.

Sweater Tutorial and Pattern

Now open up your sleeve and smooth out any bumps in the trim, being careful not to move it up or down. Once you have the trim smooth, double check that your top edges still line up. Then pin across the bottom. Sew the trim on the same way as the front and repeat on the other side.

Sweater Tutorial and Pattern

Now flip your sleeve back over and pin and sew the rest of the sleeve on. Turn your shirt inside out with right sides together. Line up the underarm seams and pin, then continue to pin from the bottom of the sleeve to the bottom of the shirt. Sew both sides of your shirt together. Trim off the excess trim.

Sweater Tutorial and Pattern

Next we are going to attach the neck band. Cut a piece of your fabric 2″ x 15″ and fold in half with wrong sides together. Overlap the shoulder seam with the band by about 1″ with raw edges lined up. Pin at the shoulder. Sew along the raw edge, pulling gently on the band as you go. Be careful to only stretch the band and not the shirt.

Sweater Tutorial and Pattern

Stop sewing  about 1″ before you get back to the seam where you started. Join both ends of your band and pin where they should meet at the shoulder seam. Push the shirt fabric out of the way and place the band under your sewing machine foot, lining up your needle with your pin. Remove the pin and sew the band together. Trim off the excess band and you can now continue to sew to your neckline. Flip up and top stitch if you choose to.

The last step is to hem the sleeves and bottom. Turn your fabric under by 1″ and pin, then sew your hem with a double needle, a triple straight stitch, or a narrow zig zag stitch. Then you’re done!





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