It's fall, and I need a cardigan. Wait - I want to make a cardigan. I have so many and wear them all the time over sleeveless tops and dresses. And like bed jackets around the house when I don't want a full robe. So. A new cardigan.
I settled on the Love Notions Boyfriend Cardigan, after much searching on Pinterest, Kollabora, Jalie, Style Arc (not right now, thanks), BurdaStyle, and the Big 4 sites.
It's a PDF download file, which is becoming a preference with me. I like to flat-measure, draw, and write all over the assembled pattern. Plus, the designer, Tami Meyer, use a great trim-less technique for the tape-it-together exercise. It's easily and quickly done.
However...once I had it printed and taped, I just sat in amazement and kept pushing down the leg (mine) that was trying to kick me. Even though I read reviews and looked at several dozen versions of the cardigan, I had no idea that it has such close-fitting lines.
Beginning below the neckline and continuing to the high hip, the center back has a concave curve that is about 3/4" off vertical at its deepest point, in the area of the waistline. The side seam has an even more pronounced curve starting below the armhole, through the waist, and out to the hip.
Suddenly I had a picture of myself wearing this thing propped on my bum. If I had paid more attention to the examples I visited, I might have caught this - lots of fantail definition going on. But maybe that's popular - I know that not everyone wants to wear loose clothing.
So, I redrafted the main pieces.
and my cardigan flows.
Sleeve caution flag - there's no angle on the hem allowance. I can't imagine how one would turn and hem this sleeve as drafted.
I like to start the angle about 3" above the bottom edge, which is usually more than I need, but lets me fit the length without fussing at myself...
- I sewed the size Large, the best match to my measurements.
- And did all the seams on my serger.
- No side vents - just not my thing.
- I didn't use any of the neckband options offered by the pattern. I think the hood is cute, but I didn't have enough fabric for this version. The shawl collar - well, it's very shallow, and I doubt it would really fold back nicely.
So I drafted a plain neckband, 76" long (a generous length, just in case...) and 3.5" wide. I also cut it lengthwise on the grainline so it wouldn't sag or flop. Finished, it's 1 3/8" wide, and it works great!
|Inside view of the band finishing.|
|Outside view of the band and hem finishing.|
- Squeezed for fabric, I used a plain patch pocket, instead of the draped one from the pattern.
Not remarkable - I just think the letters are fun! Cotton /poly jersey from Girl Charlee.
- Good stuff - the length of the cardigan and the sleeves were perfect for me.
- This is the top of the armscye, at the shoulder seam. It puts my teeth on edge.
- One last thing that had me so perplexed that I had a discussion with Tami about it. The sleeve cap is 3/8" shorter than the armscye at each side. And she said it is intentional, that the armscye should be longer than the sleeve cap on knits.
I have no way to respond to that - it's her pattern. But I never imagined this would happen, and I didn't measure the two pieces when I was drafting my tissue. Out of fabric, I had no choice but to lose some of the side seam at the armhole.
|Sleeve and sleeve cap (top), sewn into the armscye (bottom).|
In the end, I have a nice new cardigan. But I'm officially done with exploring indie patterns for a while. Except for Grainline Studios. I'll sew anything Jen Beeman designs and drafts.