Peacock sweater

Christmas has been over for a while and the Christmas presents have all been unwrapped, so time to show them here!
Like every year, I make a large part of my Christmas presents myself.
My most productive months of the year, when I actually finish crafts, are usually November and December. This year I kept track: in 2022 I made a total of 37 items, of which I actually finished 23 in November and December. That’s over 60%!

So I do still have some “tadaah” posts to write for the blog! Today I want to show off the first sweater I made for my oldest godchild!

When she came to stay with me in the summer, some time was also spent in my attic, where all my hobby materials are kept, including my fabrics and bag of left-over fabrics and scraps.
My godchild especially likes to dig in the bag of fabric scraps and always pulls out something that she wants to take home.
This time, however, her request was a little different: Would it be possible for me to still make her something with the scraps of the two above fabrics?

A few years ago I used the left hand fabric to make my peacock dress.
The right hand fabric dates from even further back, when I used it to make her a real Elsa dress.

At first she asked if I could use both fabrics together, but I didn’t really think the two fit all that well together. Not only didn’t I really like how they looked next to each other, they are also two very different types of fabrics: a fairly firm cotton with a very little stretch and a very flowing, stretchable knit-fabric.
So instead I suggested to make two separate pieces.

I did temper expectations, especially for the peacock fabric. I litterly only had the scraps left; just the edges and sides of the dress I had made from it.
The Elsa fabric would be less of a problem, since apart from the scraps in the bag, I also still had a whole piece left in my other fabric stash. But I will tell you about that project another time. Now I’ll just focus on what I made from the scraps of peacock fabric.

I actually instantly deceided that I wanted to make a sweater. And since I only had scraps of the fabric, I wanted to try to combine it in some way with another, more neutral fabric. The idea that sprang to mind quite organically was that I wanted to use the peacock fabric as an accent on the sleeves.

But before I really started to think about the design, I first wanted to decide with which fabric I would combine the peacock fabric.
I wanted a uniform colour that would both accentuate the peacock fabric and combine well with it. The most obvious choice was white, but I also toyed with the idea of a green or blue, but an exact colour match was going to be difficult. Also, I thought any color other than white would dull the effect of the highlight. So my head stuck on white and I finally chose a cream french terry.

The next step was the pattern. What I needed was a fairly standard pattern for a raglan sweater, and while browsing through the magazines available in my sewing class, I came across this Stina sweater by La Maison Victor (RIP 😢). It was actually almost exactly what I had in mind, so it really was a match made in heaven

The rest was pretty straight forward: drawing and cutting out the pattern, cutting fabrics to size, following instructions for sewing, etc.
I was so curious about the end result that I forgot to take pictures in between, even of the sweater when it was finished according to what I originally had in mind. And although I was very happy with the end result, I also found it boring in a way. In the end it was just a white sweater with an interesting sleeve, but I wanted to do something extra with the peacock fabric.

After some brainstorming with the sewing teacher, I wanted to attach a flower to the front of the sweater with some leftovers of the peacock fabric. I drew what I had in mind on paper and let the idea rest for a week.

However, the idea of the flower had really convinced me and I went to work on it the very next week.
I cut out the different parts of the flower, in both the fabric as in double-sided adhesive paper. Then, I first ironed the adhesive paper to the fabric parts of the flower, after which I ironed it in the desired shape on the sweater itself.
This all sounds very simple and straightforward, but it did take some trial and error to get the double adhesive paper to stick to the fabric scraps, without completely melting away the glue to be able to secure it to the sweater.

After I was finished and had taken a step back to admire the result, I felt both elated and like something was still missing.
I really loved how the flower looked, but my eye was still drawn towards the empty space beneath it. I wanted to add some extra falling petals, but also wasn’t sure that I liked how it looked.
Instead of letting it simmer in my head, however, I decided to just ask the person who would eventually be wearing the sweater. And she chose to have the extra petals!

And this is the finished piece!
I’m really happy with how this turned out. I had been unsure and hesitant about the adhesive flower bit, but now I really really love it and can see so many more possibilities with this technique. This is going to make it even harder to throw away bits and pieces of left over fabric, lol.
And I think the recipient was also very happy with it, which is of course as always, the most important thing!