Stroopwafel Marlo

I’m not tempted by some luxuries – like, as far as I can tell, a luxury hotel room is still a stuffy bland box and a luxury car is still a roll-y box that goes beep. And then some seem totally worth it – tea and chocolate, haircuts with good-smelling shampoo, the Petit Trianon. Happily my recent splurge showed me that nice knit fabrics fall into the second category. I got myself 2 2-yard cuts from iseefabric for my birthday, hoping to fill in some holes in my homemade wardrobe. The colors are beautiful, they’re squishy and warm, and they showed up as two wonderful fat rolls snuggled in a box. Budget-wise this is going to be a Sometimes Food, but I have no regrets!

This is the first of them, a waffle knit in the color maple. It’s quite possibly the power of suggestion that led me to pick this color (maple + waffle! Delicious!) but it’s a closet pal and gets along with most other colors. It was really fun to work with – satisfying to handle and sew, it even held a press well, thanks to 95% The Fabric of Our Lives (also 5% The Spandex of Our Lives). The drape is heavy. It’s warm. It’s soft. Basically, I love it.

Speaking of loving it, this is the Marlo sweater by True Bias, and uh…I love it also. This was the other part of my birthday gift to me. Basically I bought this sweater pattern and used it to blackmail myself into buying fancy fabric (“If you don’t buy fancy fabric you’ll be wasting $14 and untold cents of toner!”). And I used the fancy fabric to make myself buy the pattern (“If you don’t lay out the pattern and calculate the amount of fabric you need yourself, you might buy the wrong amount!”). It worked like a charm, I never saw it coming.

My size – 10 bust, graded to a 14 hip – called for 2.2 yards of 54” wide fabric, but I found 2 yards to be more than sufficient (this is mainly important when ordering online, especially since iseefabric only sells whole-yard cuts). Mine doesn’t have pockets, but I did cut the pocket pieces out, interface them, hem the tops and everything, only to discover I couldn’t turn or attach the rounded corners to my own satisfaction. I stitched one on before deciding that the stretch of the fabric + texture of the fabric + asymmetrical corners weren’t going to fly. Unpicking went almost flawlessly, but then I snagged one little thread on the back of the sweater front. It doesn’t seem to have run, so I’m hopeful!

I do have enough scrap fabric to recut the pockets as squares. I might. I feel the lack of them, but I’m not confident I can sew them as neatly as I’d like.

The fabric has a very relaxed recovery so this sweater definitely grew in the making. It will probably shrink back again someday (Spandex), but I don’t know when! I added grosgrain ribbon to the shoulder seams as suggested, which is attractive and functional (as opposed to clear elastic, which is just functional), but it’s attached to the back so you can’t see it anyway.

Because of the fabric’s lack of springiness/recovery, I cut the longer band, even though it stretched more than 40%. That’s probably why it kind of slumps at the center back.

Because I didn’t stretch the band much, though, I was able to hand-sew the inner edge. That’s right, I used the ‘fancy finishing’ method on the bands and cuffs, only more so. I felt mildly goofy hand-sewing on a knit but I didn’t think I could machine stitch perfectly on the first try, and I didn’t want to risk unpicking again! Also, I don’t have matching serger thread (I have two colors – black and white).

I was forewarned by Beck’s post that the last 10 pages of the print-at-home PDF were just the button placement guides for each size. I decided to print none of them, to avoid waste, so my buttons ended up sCanDoloUsLY low.

The buttons, by the way, are vintage leather from my never-ending flea market bag and are also arguably waffle-esque, which I enjoy. I like the brown tones together a lot (alternative color family name, “caramel macchiato”).

The elements of this project were expensive but the final sweater does feel truly luxurious, and luckily not like a sad beige bag. And I’m definitely going to make another Marlo! I want to try the cropped view next. think the success of this piece is due partly to a solid pattern, but a lot to the fanciness of the fabric. Now that I’ve had a taste of the good stuff, I want more grade-A maple syrup every day!   

Pattern: True Bias Marlo sweater, long view

Pattern cost: $14.00

Size: 10 bust, 14 hips

Supplies: 2 yards of organic cotton thermal waffle knit in Maple, iseefabric, $31.90; thread, buttons from stash

Total time: 6.25 hours

Total cost: $45.90

14 thoughts on “Stroopwafel Marlo

  1. It looks fabulous. I feel somewhat guilty for my contribution to the scandalously low button placement! Still I think it is rather fitting given a garment of this nature. The last button is just hanging out, taking it easy, just as the wearer of this sweater (cardigan!!) should do!!!


    1. Ha, it’s all your fault! ; ) No, I could have…what’s the word…checked? Measured? Either? 😂 Your review got me to buy the pattern, actually, so maybe it is your fault! ^^

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d probably cheat and sew the bottom of the pocket into the band seam so you only have to hem & stitch the tops & sides of the pockets. I did this on one of my Blackwood cardigans and it makes the pockets a bit low, but saved me the grief of dealing with square-pockets-stretched-into-trapezoids.


    1. Ooh that’s a good idea, thanks! I was thinking of cutting thin strips of interfacing and stabilizing just inside the stitch line, but just thinking that that made me tired. I like your solution better, I’ll try that next time.


  3. Fair Warning – I will be tiptoeing in and stealing that Marlo sweater. It looks fantastic!

    I know you said these purchases may be a sometimes thing. The only problem is that Organic Cotton is quite addictive, even if the first one isn’t free. I made a long-ish Wiksten Haori in black organic terry and love it so much.

    PS The only color of serger thread that might show is the outside needle thread. The rest can be any color, as long as your fabric is opaque enough. (I have 4 spools of hot pink waiting to be used up.)


    1. I AM hooked! I have a couple tees made from organic jersey, and the only reason I haven’t bought more is because I can only get it on a German website and I don’t want to make my sister (who lives there) go to the post office during a pandemic just to send me fabric. Whereas the only bar between me and more of this particular organic cotton is money…and what is money for anyway?! Essentials? Oh right. 😜
      Thanks for the serger thread tip! I was definitely put off by the notion of buying 4 spools I would certainly never finish. Hot pink is a neutral though!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It makes sense to use more expensive materials for a workhorse sweater. You’ll wear this sweater for years before needing to replace it. And if it plays nice with a lot of your wardrobe then your cost per wear will be very low.

    Besides that – it looks great and makes you happy!


  5. Great coziness! I’ve never felt guilty about “spendy” fabric… unless I don’t use and enjoy it…
    But I subscribe to the “wear per use” philosophy. (Extreme example: $200 shoes worn every day of the year = 55 cents per wear. $15 Walmart shoes worn twice = $7.50 per wear. So obviously, you should buy the expensive shoes. Haha. But seriously…) Wear and enjoy your Stroopwafel Marlo in good health!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mm, expensive shoes…that’s definitely a worthwhile luxury. I might get into tracking this per-use thing! Right now I cheat the system by making ‘free’ things out of leftover fabric when it would be more honest to divide the fabric cost proportionally…but dang it it’s my spreadsheet and I’ll cheat if I want to! ^^ Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It is a beautiful sweater. I went looking for the Isee fabric and found it, but it is almost twice the price here in Canada. The thing I worry about most when purchasing such a fabric online is that it is so hard to judge the quality. Now that I’ve learned from you that it really is worth it in real life 😉, well I’ll certainly be more tempted! I agree, the colours are really special.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OOF! Double the price, yikes, but then of course you’d really, really appreciate the sweater! Knits are trickier than wovens to judge, I think – one thing that helped on that website was seeing the fabric made up into actual clothing. I’d love if that became a online fabric store norm! And thanks! ^^

      Liked by 2 people

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