Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Love Notions Boyfriend Cardigan...


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...

A few more sewing notes:
  • 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.
Before...


And after a trim.

  • 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.



Ciao! Coco

26 comments:

  1. Your cardigan looks beautiful on you and comfortable to boot!
    I'm speechless about the armscye/sleeve cap discrepancy, though. You are a patient woman.

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. I'm still stunned by the drafting issues.

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  2. I absolutely LOVE your new cardigan. You did a beautiful job. The shape is great and the print is wonderful. So wonderful that I called Girl Charlee after I couldn't find the fabric on their website. The print is exclusive to them so they may reprint it. I certainly hope so.

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    1. Thank you so much! I love Girl Charlee's playful prints. A couple years ago I got one with bears, I want more! and hope they'll bring it back. And they're so nice.

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  3. Thanks for the informative review. It turned out very well, but I am amazed at the sloppy pattern drafting. I have this pattern but never made it up. Now I think I'll just pass and buy Grainline's sweater pattern as I have some merino jersey in my stash. If the moths haven't gotten it over the summer.

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    1. Oh, that Driftless Cardigan is so nice. I did mine in a sweater knit that is very similar to merino jersey, and love how it sewed and wears.

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  4. Such an informative , honest review. I always enjoy reading your adventures and this review was particularly helpful,especially your info and photos concerning the armscye length vs sleeve cap. Also, I learned from seeing how you solved the back and side issues...simple adjustments that make a big difference. You also made me more aware of angling the bottom of a sleeve to help it lay correctly when hemming. I am not a beginner, but you have reminded me to examine the pattern lines more carefully and to go with my gut! Lately I have had some problems inserting sleeves where I never had problems before...can't understand why..maybe it is not all on me! Many thanks! And charming fabric.😀

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    1. Thank you, Fran. Isn't it weird how we go through cycles? A couple months ago I could not sew on a bias binding for my life - kept having to remove and redo them. And I've done so many! Any day now your sleeves will go in perfectly :-)

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  5. This is a great review Coco and your cardigan turned out absolutely great! I love everything about it (with your changes) and I adore your fabric choice too! I would really love to have one of these myself, that is truly a standout print!

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    1. Thanks, Myra. Kind of perfect for Florida - our several cool winter days!

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    2. p.s. I hope you got through the recent deluge OK :-) Was thinking about you.

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  6. Such a fun cardigan. Appreciate your evaluation and you always achieve a really good result.

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  7. It's just plain fun reading about your sewing adventures! The fabrics, the design adjustments, the wonderfully helpful pictures, they're all fun to see. I'm so glad you post.

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    1. Oh, thank you so much! Such a nice thing to say, and I'm glad you enjoy my posts. I always just feel so complimented that anyone wants to read them at all! and I treasure my blog friendships.

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  8. I'm perplexed as well! Do you suppose she thinks you stretch the sleeve cap to fit the armscye? I'm getting tired of spending money (and some are $18+)on indie patterns only to re draft the whole thing. Why not just make the pattern myself? The card does look great on you so thank goodness you made the proper changes.

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    1. Yes, that's exactly what the designer indicated. I'm with you - the prices are silly expensive and the drafting is getting worse and worse. For several years I made an effort to support indie designers, but no more. Some, I suppose the fortunate ones, are going over to the Big 4 anyway (not that it makes their designs any better, but it does amp up the drafting). Makes one really appreciate the established pattern companies. I find, however, that I even buy them less - IMHO, in the last couple years, the releases are so repetitive - I can franken-pattern all over the place with what I have :-)

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  9. It looks great in the end, Coco. And the print is cool too. I just got Vogue's Sewing Book in the mail today. So maybe now I'll actually know what I'm doing when I change all the stuff that doesn't work for me on those patterns...ha!

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    1. thank you, Pao. And you chose my favorite sewing book of all time. I got mine 'way back' in my early twenties. I know it has changed a little since, but I'm sure it's wonderful. Ha - I love your sewing, now you will be positively dangerous!

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  10. I appreciated that honest review, and can't imagine why the armscye should be longer that the sleeve cap, seems the wrong way around doesn't it? I would have done the same as you and lopped a bit off the front nd back! In the end though it does look lovely on you, so I hope you get to use it again; with your alterations it worked out really well I think . I love the back view :)

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    1. thanks so much, Carolyn. Well, the armscye/sleeve cap is certainly memorable :-) Ah, backs and sides are so often overlooked and have so much potential...

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  11. Coco, this looks fabulous! After all those issues, you must be glad you had a good result. Girl Charlee should give you a finder's fee for that fabric!

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    1. Thank you, Beckster - and I love your name!

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  12. Ooh! I love this cardi!!It just looks so cozy and comfy. And I agree that a larger armscye just can't be right. I've experienced that in my pattern making attempts and it is never a good thing.

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    1. Thanks, Diana. It is REALLY comfy, and I think it might get worn around the house way too much!

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  13. What a great cardigan. The fabric is so funny. All the alterations works very well. I can imagine why you made.

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I love it that you came by...and thank you for your comments! Coco