Wednesday 2 November 2016

Have You Seen Karl Lately? .... In Melbourne

So who is this Karl? He's getting around a lot and seems to be very fond of spending time with women who sew!

Karl is the new pattern from Schneidernmeistern.

"Karl is a cozy, high collar, sweater dress in midi length. The unpretentious design creates a timeless look. Karl has a slightly oversized fit, a funnel neck and a side pocket."

Now, wrapping yourself in a handsome, cozy sweater dress should NOT be what we're all doing in Australia in spring. But, ever the hospitable city, Melbourne turned on the Karl weather and welcomed him with cold winds, squally rain showers and lit open fires. It is a perfect Karl spring!

Thinking the weather would warm up, I had no intention of sewing a snuggly, wool sweater dress for at least six months. But when Monika nicely asked for English speakers to proof-read her new pattern I couldn't help but put my hand up.

I sat on the couch one evening with my Korinthenkacker's pencil sharpened to a vicious point and set to work. There was very little required of the proof read as the instructions, while simple, are very good. A few decimal places that had grown tails (commas in numbers are very Euro and kinda weird!), a couple of typos and I was done.

It was cold, I knew I had a gorgeous remnant of wool jersey, and I had fallen under Karl's spell....

I haven't had a chance to look over the final pattern yet, but I suspect the sizing has changed  a bit as the size I "measured" at no longer exists. My measurements put me in the 48 (depressing, yes) but that seemed crazy to me (denial, you bet). I drafted the 42 down to the waist then out to the 48, but after sewing it up I took it in below the waist to make what is probably a straight 42.

Fitting it all on my remnant of fabric was a serious puzzle, Consequently my sleeves got no seam allowance added - yes you need to add seam allowances to the pattern. Hence the sleeves are probably closer to the size 38 or 40.

But as you can see, even with the major down sizing they're still plenty roomy. My fabric has a good 80%+ stretch and it is an insanely soft, cuddly wool that I picked up as a remnant at ClearIt. The stretch of the fabric is important as the funnel neck has a very neat and clever facing, but no opening. You need to be able to get your head through that hole folks! The sewing instructions set out how to calculate whether you will, or not. Ignore that at your peril!

I would have dearly loved to have been able to cut the sleeves so that the stripes matched across the body and sleeve better, but there was no way of dropping them lower on the fabric. I have added 2cm extra sleeve length, as a good cuddle from Karl would be ruined if his arms were too short!

I didn't think to get a good photo of my side seam and show off the stripe matching, but you know how fussy I am already, right?! :)

Karl is usually a bit taller than my version, aiming to be a midi length dress. Due to my fabric shortage I lost about 14cm length and so I guess I'm wearing Karl's shorter cousin.

For the next few days the Karl pattern is available to purchase at a 15% discount.

Shop for an English speaking Karl via the links below:

And check out for more Karlspiration

My contemplating-marxist-theory face perhaps?


  1. Oh that looks comfy! And wool!? Fabulous!

  2. Gorgeous stripes and wool for Melbourne's spring weather (not that Sydney was much better) to keep nice and warm.

    1. Thanks Sharon. the weather has been crazy but now that I've got this snuggly pajama dress I'm not complaining! :)

  3. I would not even think to question your stripe matching skills ;) Karl is perfect for our... shall we still refer to it as spring?

    1. Ha ha Jenya. I did share the interim photo with one other person, but she was sworn to secrecy on pain of death :). I knew I would have to go back and fix it! Mismatched stripes drive me nuts. Double sided sticky tape is the BEST

  4. thank YOU Monika! It's certainly going to get a LOT of wear.

  5. Oh, that looks so cozy! Love the stripes and the length looks really nice!
    We're just heading into winter now so perhaps I should add this to my 'to-sew' list...


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