Our sewalong starts in just over a week. In the meantime I wanted to put together a post with all of the information you might need to pick the right fabric and notions for your Marlo. Good sweater knits can be hard to find (but are out there), so I wanted to show you a bunch of great alternatives in case you want to start with a simpler fabric.
Remember that the main fabric does not actually require stretch, but the bands need at least 20%. You can use the same fabric for the whole sweater or use a contrasting fabric for the bands. Here are some fabrics I would suggest:
FRENCH TERRY / SWEATSHIRTING PAIRED WITH A MATCHING RIBKNIT
A great beginner friendly option is a good french terry or sweatshirting. I also included a waffle knit in the picture as another great option. These fabrics sometimes have stretch and sometimes don’t. If they do, you can use it for the whole sweater. If not, I suggest using a matching or coordinating ribknit. I bought the ones above from Blackbird Fabrics and Iseefabric. Lots of fabric stores are starting to carry matching ribbing and french terry / sweatshirting so I would just search around a bit. These fabrics are easy to find, easy to care for and generally easy to sew.
I love a good ponte! Look for ponte with little to no polyester content and more rayon content for a good quality version. This one is from Blackbird. I love ponte because it’s easy to sew, looks more elevated than a french terry, and generally has enough stretch that you could use the same fabric for the main sweater and bands.
Boucle is making a big comeback and I love it. It feels very 90s to me for some reason. It has an amazing curly texture while still being fairly lightweight. It has a beautiful sweater feel without being an actual sweater knit. I have been seeing it everywhere lately, although the three above came from Etsy and Fabric.com. It usually has stretch in it and looks great as the main sweater and bands in one.
I wish I had a swatch of a regular polar fleece to show you, but know that all polar fleece is a great option for the Marlo. The one above is the teddy bear / sherpa fleece that I am seeing everywhere. This one does not stretch so I would pair it with a matching ribbing or other knit. I have seen some polar fleece that does stretch however. The swatch above is from JoAnns and they carry a bunch of colors right now.
My favorite fabric to use for the Marlo is definitely a sweater knit. They can be hard to find, although I had good success on Etsy and with independent stores. I prefer a medium weight sweater knit that holds it’s shape. Lighter weight sweater knits like hacchi can also be used but may not give you the same look – so keep that in mind. The ones above came from my kits (sold out sorry), Etsy, and Fashion Fabrics Club.
You are also going to need a few notions for the Marlo. You will need some all purpose matching thread, a stretch sewing machine needle, and some fusible interfacing. The interfacing is to stabilize the bottom portion of the neckband where the buttons go. I prefer tricot interfacing which I buy from Wawak, but any light to medium weight interfacing should be fine. Also, you can get some clear elastic for should seams if you like. This will help the sweater to not grow over time while it hangs on your body or a hanger. This is most important if your fabric is heavy or very stretchy. Usually I don’t add it though.
Lastly, you are going to need some buttons. The Marlo calls for 1 1/8″ buttons, but you can go a bit smaller or bigger depending on your preference – just make sure you adjust the size of your buttonholes if you do. I love a big wooden button. I think it gives it that “grandpa sweater” vibe that I love. I found all of the above buttons on Etsy. Vintage buttons are a great option as well.
That is it! I hope this was helpful. I can’t wait to see your Marlo Sweaters.