Sunday, 21 August 2016

Blueprints for Sewing Geodesic sweater & some upcycling action

And sometimes something is just absurd but fabulous.

I was trying to figure out if I had a "before" picture. I don't. This sweater is made up of three sweaters.  I bought them at the Mercer Island thrift shop, which by dint of being a thriftshop in an elite, rich neighborhood, means they weren't so very cheap - like $10 each.  The sleeves were the body of an XL man's merino sweater (eck, replete with holes that I still have to fix), the pink was a lighter weight J.Crew merino sweater with dubious shoulder zips, and the black was a silk-cashmere batwinged, possibly cowl necked ladies monstrosity.  The weights are slightly different but didn't cause problems when sewing.  I used the body hem of the man's sweater for the sleeve hems so I didn't even need to sew anything on, and I used the split hem from the pink sweater for the sweater hem (and managed to keep the split!) and for the neckband I used a cut edge of the bottom band from the black sweater (the neck band wasn't optimal.)

The pattern, of course, is Blueprint Patterns Geodesic sweater.  I made a size C/D but honestly could have gone down for a more fitted look.  Along with the instructions you get a page of history about Buckminster Fuller and the Geodesic dome!  It's so fabulous!  Not to mention some of their other patterns!  I haven't tried the others yet but I'm definitely going to make a Saltbox tee at some point.

I think it's a pretty boxy shape - the sleeves could be narrower as they reach the body and the back, weirdly, hangs down really wide away from the body compared to the front, but because I'm short waisted and short anyway, it all works.  The neck is also a bit undefined.  You cut out a mess of identical triangles to make this top, and for the back and front neck you just scoop out the top triangle a little.  Maybe it would be better if the back triangle were not scooped at all, and the front were scooped more?  Something to consider.  I recommend not scooping at all until you have sewn it together, and then trying it on for fit prior to scooping to your heart's content, and then applying the neck band.  For the body, the triangles are sewn across, and then the two rows sewn together, which makes it easier to get that all-important center point to match.  On the front (naturally on the front) I tried to help this along by easing around that center point so as a result the center is sort of worn and stretched out.  Arg.  At least it matches! 

Delving into fabric recycling has taught me a few things.  First is that you can really make extra seams anywhere as long as you then press and even topstitch them down.  (One sleeve here was pieced but it's mostly in the armpit.)

Second, and more important, is that you don't tend to get the real fit of the pattern by doing this.  Mixing up fabrics, textures and weights, cutting corners when things almost match up, using bindings from the original sweaters - all turns the result into something just a little extra unique.  I would love for these recycled efforts to work as true muslins for further projects, but I think that they aren't great representations of the original pattern, or at least they obfuscate potential size/fit changes that might need to be made.

And yesss that is foreshadowing for the next project. How'd you guess?


  1. I think this looks great! I wouldn't have the creativity to come up with something like this. It's fabulous.

    1. thanks so much Lynsey! I got compliments while hiking too :) I absolutely think this pattern is worth it as long as you don't mind it being boxy, it creates such a striking effect and all you have to do is choose which triangle to put where.