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I Sewed a Callen Sweater! Here's How I'm Wearing It.

See how I made this nautical-inspired sweater and how I’m styling it.

Posted in: Style & Wardrobe, Patterns • March 11, 2024

A striped sweater is a classic in my wardrobe. There are so many fun, creative ways you can wear it year-round.

I just sewed a beautiful striped sweater with some interesting, unexpected details. In this video, I’ll share all the details about how I made it and a bunch of ideas for how to style it.

Let’s dive in!

You know I love to take an intentional approach to designing my wardrobe. If you want to see what I’m making this spring, be sure to check out my spring planning video where I go over everything I am sewing this season.

My intention is to sew things that will be in my wardrobe for a long time. I also really like to make things that I can wear for more than one season. Stripes are a real classic in my wardrobe, and I’ve been wearing them for decades. So I know it’s something that will last.

So now, the pattern!

I sewed the Callen sweater in a size 6. I love all the interesting details.

It has a forward shoulder seam with a faux button placket to show off some buttons. That’s a really classic nautical-inspired detail.

The bell sleeves are really on trend right now. I’m careful about incorporating trends, and I like to incorporate trends that fit into my overall style. I like that bell sleeves are really pretty and romantic.

It has this little split hem, and I like how it is interfaced. It gives it a lot of structure.

Now let’s talk about fabric.

I really wanted to make this in a classic Breton stripe with more white than black. I wanted narrow stripes with a white background because I just think that’s the classic nautical-inspired look.

I also really wanted my fabric to have enough body to look like a sweater and not be too drapey or T-shirty.

I think there is a danger of your sweater looking like a big T-shirt if you don’t find the right fabric.

I found this ponte at Denver Fabrics, and it has these horizontal ribs in it, which gives it even more body. And I like the size of the stripes on it.

I think ponte is a really nice choice for a structured sweater. And it’s easy to sew with, even if you don’t have a serger.

Some other fabrics that I think would work well are French terry, a merino wool would be beautiful. You could also look for a double knit or a bulky sweater knit.

I also ordered a rib knit to see if it would work, but once I got it, I could see that it would be too drapey. So I’m going to save that for a cardigan or dress.

And here’s a little sewing tip: I really wanted to match my stripes, but I didn’t want to have to think too hard about it.

If you’re using a narrow stripe, one way to really quickly match your stripes is to align the notch on the armhole with a stripe and align the corresponding notch on the sleeve with a stripe.

This is not quite as precise as if you were to draw in matching stripes, but when you’re working with a narrow stripe, I find it’s good enough. You’re not going to be able to match your stripes all the way, but you can match in the center, which to me is the most important.

So here’s how I’m going to wear it!

Jeans + Blazer + Scarf

This first look is a casual outfit that feels really Parisian. I’m wearing the Callen sweater with straight-leg jeans, an unlined linen blazer, and a silk scarf.

Stripes lend themselves really well to pattern mixing, so you can pair them with a floral scarf, abstract prints, or something really colorful. My scarf has an equestrian print.

Blue is a color I have a lot of in my wardrobe, and stripes are a great opportunity to pair with whatever your favorite color is. So if you have a jacket or accessory in your favorite color, wear it. If you don’t, maybe now you can make one!

For shoes, I’m wearing a pair of black loafers with a gold bit that echoes the gold in my scarf.

Black Slim-fit Pants

For the next look, I’m pairing the sweater with some ankle-length, black, slim-fit pants.

This is just a really simple and comfortable 60s-inspired look. It reminds me of Audrey Hepburn or Bridgette Bardot. It just transcends time.

I think this outfit looks great with loafers, ballet flats, or even a mary jane.

Mini Skirt + Tights + Mary Janes

A black mini-skirt is a staple for me. It goes with just about anything, and I really like the way they look with sweaters.

If you’re wearing a boxy top like this, pairing it with something a little more leggy can be nice. If you aren’t comfortable wearing a short skirt, a pencil skirt is also a good way to create a balanced silhouette.

These pink mary-janes add a little pizazz. I like the texture of them. It’s nice to add some colorful texture with your stripes, sort of like my linen blazer from earlier.

With Shorts

Here I am wearing the sweater with some tailored shorts, which is nice for those warmer spring days. It’s super easy for travel.

The sweater is loose enough that you get airflow so you won’t overheat. And you can even wear a tank top underneath if you want the option to take it off.

This look goes great with sneakers or sandals.

With a Slip dress

This last look is one I wear a lot.

I love to throw a sweater over a long, flowy slip dress. This gives you another way to wear a basic black dress.

If the dress is body-skimming enough, it will balance a boxy top. I just love the way this gives me more ways to wear the slip dresses in my closet. And once again, you can take the sweater off if you get warm.

For shoes, keep it delicate with ballet flats or add some contrast with chunky boots.

I can already tell I’m going to be wearing this sweater constantly this spring. My next project is going to be something lighter and a little bit more romantic. So subscribe if you want to see how I make it and wear it.

So what’s your favorite striped thing in your closet? And how often do you wear it? Comment and let me know.

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