This is a toile for a pattern I’ve had my eye on for ages. Apologies for the ropey indoor pics. It just wouldn’t stop raining!
ETA: I realised this morning that I made a mistake while sewing this. See sections in bold italics below!
In a Nutshell:
I’m considering this casual cardie a success for a toile, even if it hasn’t had any wear just yet… It’s also a proper multitasker as it qualifies as my make for the following 2017 pattern challenges:
#wardrobebuilder: January: Jumpers and Sweaters
#dressmakingbloggerchallenge: January, Keep it Cosy
The Wembley Cardigan by Seamwork. It’s a relaxed fit, cropped cardigan without any fastenings to worry about, so a really quick and simple sew as all Seamwork patterns are intended to be. I cut a straight size small based on my bust measurement, reasoning there was really no need to grade this out to a medium at the hips as it’s such a relaxed style.
It’s a nice quality forest green 100% cotton interlock that I bought wholesale years and years ago from Vend fabrics. It is medium weight, with a moderate amount of two-way stretch but not fantastic recovery, so I’ve been struggling to think what to put it to use as. I have so much of this fabric in so many different colours!
This wouldn’t be my ideal fabric to make a cardigan in, but as this was my first time trying out this pattern I’m treating it as a (hopefully wearable) toile.
Changes I made:
- Cut waistband as one long piece rather than joining three.
- Cut neckband as one long piece rather than joining three.
- Added two inches to the sleeve length.
- Added clear elastic into the shoulder seams.
I did what I always do with knit patterns and traced out all the folded pieces as one flat piece. I find it much easier to cut knits in a single layer, especially when they’re the shifty rayons I love wearing. Admittedly I’d probably have been okay cutting this fabric on the fold as it behaves itself well, but at least I have the pattern ready for more challenging knits in the future. I also used my own cutting layout (something that’s much easier when you don’t have to deal with folded fabric) and managed to squeak it out of just over 1m of interlock. This might not have been possible if I’d been using patterned fabric or something with an obvious right and wrong side, but as it was I could cheat and cut things out different ways up to make the most of my yardage.
After congratulating myself for my cutting cleverness I then realised I’d forgotten to remove both seam allowances from the overlapped band pieces (I’d only removed one for each seam) so not only were the pieces 3cm too long, but the outermost notches were in the wrong place. Not a disaster. I just trimmed 1.5cm off each end and made a mental note to remember the notches would be out when sewing up. Luckily I sewed it all up the next day so I didn’t forget I’d done this.
ETA: Oops! And when I did this I forgot that the seam allowances were only 3/8″, so now I’d cut too much off. This might account for the way the front of the cardie at the bottom doesn’t sit quite right.
This really was a quick cardigan to make and I sewed it all up entirely on my overlocker in one afternoon. What’s more, it would have been even quicker if I hadn’t sewed one of the front pieces on back to front. Okay, so it was only one short shoulder seam to unpick, but I then sewed it back on with the seam on the outside! Gah! Just goes to show that more haste really does equal less speed, and that all of us make stupid mistakes from time to time, no matter how many years dressmaking experience we have.
In the end the cardigan went together beautifully. I was a little concerned after an initial fitting that there was too much volume at the back, but after sewing the waistband on some of that disappeared (you stretch the waistband slightly as you sew, so it gathers it in just a little). It’s still a bit swingy at the back but that would be fine in a fabric with better drape than this one. As it is, well, take a look…
I’ll admit I haven’t yet worn this cardie, but I reckon I will in the spring and summer. The fabric is warm, but just not warm enough for the cold winter we’ve been having. I might have a few issues finding things that go with that shade of green, but hopefully there will be something. I can see it working well over summer dresses and vest tops.
I don’t think this interlock was the ideal choice to make the cardie in as it just doesn’t have quite enough drape to look really good at the front, (ETA: this could be because of the seam allowance debacle) but it’s definitely an acceptable garment and I like the way it fits me. I’m particularly fond of the v-shape at the front hem, and I liked how quick this was to make up on the overlocker. Here’s a couple more pics:
Changes for next time:
I’ll definitely be making this out of a sweater knit next time, so I end up with a more cosy winter cardie. As it uses such a small amount of material and the pattern pieces are not large, I think I might start looking in the charity shops for oversize wool jumpers that could be cut up and repurposed. Sweater knits can be expensive and I really hate buying things like that online where you can’t see the colour properly or feel the fabric.
I also think it could maybe do with an extra inch or so on the arms, certainly for winter wear anyway. The length on the pattern might well be perfect for warmer weather, though. I guess I’ll find out when spring finally rolls around. Hurry up, spring. I’m waiting!
ETA: and if I make it again with just one waist and neck band strip I’ll make sure I deduct the correct seam allowances!
Pattern: $3.00 for the Seamwork download credit (£2.40 at today’s exchange rate, although I suspect it was more like £2.00 when I actually downloaded this one. Thanks for making US patterns more expensive, Brexit…)
Approximately £4.00 to get it printed at an online print shop. I’d much rather do this than piece together pdfs myself.
Fabric: £0.00 (okay, I know I paid something for it, but it was so long ago I’ve completely forgotten)
Notions: £0.00 (all thread and clear elastic from stash)
Total cost: £6.40
Total bargain! And it will get cheaper the more times I use the pattern 😀
For those of you who aren’t familiar, Seamwork Magazine comes out every month and subscribers get two pattern credits each month for their $6.00 (credits can also be saved up to purchase Colette patterns if you prefer). There are loads of Seamwork patterns to choose from now so you’ll be spoilt for choice. If you fancy signing up and using this referral link you’ll get the first month for only $3.00 and I’ll get a little something too. Cheers! 🙂