Friday, October 2, 2020

Boiled Wool Oliver Sweater

 My sewjo! It has returned! I hope!

I took a brief vacation in early September, and then came back to a shitstorm of work in the weeks after (turns out it's hard to take a break while working on a public health emergency response during a pandemic!), so my sewjo has been pretty dormant since. Thinking about sewing lots, but not doing much of it.

But a turn in the weather got me thinking about sweaters and perusing my stash...

I made this Seamwork Oliver sweater with this pretty ice-blue boiled wool blend from my stash (you might remember it from another Seamwork project from a couple years back!). A perfectly simple sewjo re-starting project!

Note: I am a Seamwork Ambassador, which means I received a one-year subscription in exchange for sewing up 10 of their patterns and providing some feedback to Seamwork about their patterns, articles, etc. If you use this link, you can get a little discount if you decide to purchase from Seamwork.

I had just enough large scraps of my boiled wool leftover from my Jill Coatigan to make the Oliver pattern work with some careful cutting. It's a stiff-ish, low stretch knit, but I thought it would highlight the boxy cut and fun sleeve detail of the Oliver pattern

Speaking of sleeves: statement sleeves have been a "thing" for a while now, and I've mostly avoided them. I can't stand when sleeves are long and/or oversized at the wrist. I think I'm too clumsy and messy for those dramatic, droopy, drapey sleeves. I would inevitably get them caught on door handles, dipped in my lunch, etc. etc. 

The Oliver pattern has a two-part lantern sleeve that is tapered at the cuff, so I thought it might be a statement sleeve I could get on board with... it's relatively un-dramatic. Just a hint of interest. Statement sleeve lite.

My Oliver is a size 16, which is probably a size down from where my current measurements put me. I didn't make any fit changes and am pretty happy with how it turned out! I love how it's a little boxy, but not overwhelmingly so. And that it hits at the high hip.

The Oliver has a boat neck normally, but I went with a funnel neck rather than the facing provided. I used Seamwork's pattern hack instructions. Dead simple: just drafting a rectangle the length of the neckline, basically! I think the stiff boiled wool helps it to not be floppy.

I topstitched the neckline seam down, and decided to do the same for the sleeve seam. The neckline was so the seam lay flat, the sleeve seam just for visual interest. I didn't finish any of my seams because this boiled wool doesn't fray and I didn't want to add bulk. I used my clapper when pressing to get the seams nice and crisp.

I'm really chuffed with my Oliver! Cozy, cute, a little vintage-y looking, but still modern. Good stuff.


  1. Wow! I love this top! It is exactly the kind of sweater I favor, slightly cropped with long sleeves and a funnel neck. I made something similar years ago in a nice animal print fleece from an old (but good!) Simplicity pattern that featured other garments that could be made, too. I still have it and wear it, and it always draws compliments. Not bad for 1 yard of easy-to-sew fleece! I feel the same way about boiled wool!

  2. Great looking layer and another who for autumn/winter wants a slightly boxy with a funnel next top.

  3. First, one public health person to another, I hear you!
    Second, I made a similar sweater, but raglan, from Merchant and Mills top 64 (added a small lantern bottom to the sleeve). It's fuschia boiled wool and I LOVE it, but slightly stiff to get in and out of. SO warm.

  4. Love the lantern sleeves - love the sleeve head - it looks sharp - all in all a very successful top.

  5. I bump into your web site because I follow Cashmerette. I could not but notice how beautiful your sweater turned out. The colour is perfect for your complexion and a classic to combine with other items in the wardrobe. Beautiful, practical and to be proud of. Best regards.

  6. Came to you via McCalls M6044 and your yoke hack! I'm making one for my hubby and know I'll be making more...and here I am! Love this top, I'm not a boxy person, nor cropped as my back gets cold! But I'm with you on the sleeve problem...door handles and sauces...yup, that's me!
    Did you have to change the neck line itself to get the right shape for the funnel...sorry if it's a silly question...I'm learning. Anyway, it's lovely xx

  7. Really cute! Looks fantastic on you! I love 💕 the boiled wool and the cool blue color. I can’t wait to see what you make next! Oh! I loved the hiking pants and all the pretty fall pics of your journey!! Kindly, Barb 🦋