Ellie & Mac Shawl Collar Sweater

This Christmas gift for my husband was on my mind for a long time before the holiday. All the gifts that had to be mailed got sewed up first and suddenly we were well into December! I snuck in the cutting and sewing on this gift when Eric was out of the house, and hid the unfinished pieces in my dresser drawer. He was completely surprised when he opened the box Christmas morning to a handmade sweater.

I’m absolutely thrilled with how this turned out. I bought the fabric at Mill End in Portland, which is where I’ve been getting everything lately. It’s sweater fabric on one side and fleece on the other side. It’s quite thick and plush. I brought it up to the cutting table at the store and asked for 2 yards. As the yardage was unrolled, it was revealed that someone had cut what looked like a very small baby sweater out of the 2nd half of yard two. The associate gasped and apologized. Then she gave me the rest of the bolt — another yard and a half — for free! Which meant I had plenty of this gorgeous fabric to work with and (for once) didn’t have to squeeze the pieces out of every last inch.

This is my first pattern from Ellie & Mac and I would definitely recommend. The instructions were very clear. I was nervous about the tie and button for the shawl collar, but it was simple. They have some very cute complete capsule wardrobes that I would love to try, and it’s one of the few pattern companies I’ve found that have men’s and women’s clothes.

I appreciated how insistent the pattern was that you lengthen/shorten if the wearer is NOT 5’10”. A grading chart was provided right on the pattern pieces, making this very easy to do. Eric is 6′, so I really did need to lengthen the body and sleeves by 2″. If this hadn’t been on the pieces — and as I was in a time-crunch — I probably would have ignored the suggestion.

I serged the entire garment, so it came together very quickly. This was great news, as I didn’t get started on it until very close to Christmas! My favorite part of the pattern is the collar. It’s amazing — for how easy it is to sew — how much it looks like it came right off a Nordstrom rack (if I do say so!).

So far, the sweater has been worn a lot — especially at outdoor visits to Eric’s brother’s house. Here’s Christmas morning, with mask and handmade hat, eating lipioshki — a sweet fried dough that is a family favorite.

I hope everyone has a Happy New Year 2021! -rp

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