With the 10th Doctor suit taking up a lot of my last month, I’m super behind on writing up my projects. If Instagram fuels your sewing plans at all, you will know that the #cosicardichallenge just finished up recently. As it’s snowing where I am currently, cardigans are a much needed extra layer to fight the cold! It was interesting to take stock and realize that I have several sweaters, but only a couple cardigans. The cardigans that I do have are really just for Spring, which is not terribly helpful for adding warmth to a cold weather look! Let’s get to the cardigans, starting with DG Patterns Lily cardigan.
DG Patterns Lily Cardigan
I was a tester for the Lily cardigan (affiliate link). It has a big cozy hood and an option for 3/4 length slightly flared raglan sleeves or for a more fitted long sleeve. The 3/4 length won out because I liked the look. I wasn’t sure if I’d like that length for a warmer cardigan, but it’s perfect. In cold weather I wear a lot of fingerless gloves which keep my hands warm and mobile for violin playing. A flared, slightly shorter sleeve gives me enough ease for the glove to fit in my sleeve without feeling like a stuffed sausage.
When the call went up on Instagram for testers, I jumped on this train immediately for the hood. I really, really loved the velvet trimmed cardigan I made for the Fabric Mart challenge last year, but the colors in that one are not my style. A girl at church with a similar size to me is the happy owner of it now, but I’ve always missed that big cozy hood.
For the Lily cardigan, I chose one of the double faced jerseys I got from Fabric Mart a while back. It is an athletic wear jersey they offered in one of the mailer’s for Julie’s picks. Julie suggested it for an athleisure look, and I think that’s a perfect choice for this jersey. It’s super soft with a lot of drape and bounce and recovery but not an outrageous amount of stretch. While it has a white side, I chose to stick with the lilac because it’s too pretty and I didn’t like the contrast of the white + the lilac. I also bought this in a seafoam green which I believe will become a knit dress.
The Lily cardigan does not call for a lined hood, so I added my own per my preference. I lined it with a heavy french terry leftover from my Lola dress. Here’s how I did it.
I would say the only tricky bit with this cardigan are the buttonholes. The button bands are pretty narrow and if your machine is anything like mine, you might run into some trouble. I persevered mostly because I loved the cover buttons I made from this fabric too much. There’s many of the holes I had to redo.
My buttonholer attachment is 100% against any kind of bulk. Even if you trim away any of the bulk in the seam (I did), if there’s even a slight tilt on the foot because of the difference in the layer thickness between the seam and the band, my buttonholer falls on its sword in rather Shakespearean fashion.
Here’s some ways I thought about to make for better buttonholes on narrow bands like this:
- Install buttonholes before you sew on the bands. This will keep the buttonhole attachment moving on a completely flat surface, so less chance of buttonholes you’ll have to rip out.
- Use snaps: When in doubt, cheat, right?! There’s a snap for every thickness of fabric. For this jersey, spring snaps would be a good option. I’ve used snap tape before when facing a similar problem.
- Use a water-soluble stabilizer: Sometimes in can be hard to make buttonholes with knit fabrics even when they’ve been interfaced. Cut a small square of water soluble stabilizer and fold it around each buttonhole area and sew right through it. It’ll make for nice clean stitches and a buttonhole that’s more likely to stitch evenly.
Itch to Stitch Lisbon in lace bonded knit
My 2nd cardigan is a Itch to Stitch Lisbon, this time in a lace bonded knit from Colorado Fabrics. It’s a really interesting fabric, having a lace right side and a sweater knit backing. It has very little stretch, and yet it’s incredibly warm and it was SO easy to sew. I didn’t appreciate how quick this pattern is to sew as my first Lisbon had a lot of embellishment. I made this one in just over 51 minutes which included installing the pearl snaps.
Because the fabric has 2 sides, I used the sweater knit for the bands for a little contrast. For the hem band and the cuffs, I used some leftover sweater knit I cut from the white cashmere blend sweater I used in the colorblocked Lisbon.
I’m surprised at how warm this cardigan is! It was sleeting on the day I took the pictures, and I managed to stay relatively toasty with just a tee-shirt underneath the cardigan. This will be a great winter addition to my wardrobe while still keeping with my favorite springy kinds of colors!
Featherweight Ottobre swing front cardigan
Do you ever have those days where you’ve sat on a fabric for a really long time, not knowing what to do with it, and then one day out of the blue, you MUST sew it up immediately? That’s what happened with this featherweight knit from Stone Mountain and Daughter. I bought it 2 years ago with a cardigan in mind, and then forgot about it.
In thinking about this challenge, I came across it again in my stash and picked up this loose swing front cardigan from Ottobre (Ottobre 5-2017-17).
I really prefer cardigans that close in some fashion (buttons, snaps, zips) because I’m cold so frequently. If a cardigan style is open, it’s gotta have enough fabric in front to make up for the loss of warmth from not closing. This pattern is nice because the fronts are big enough that they can completely wrap around you.
This was also a really fast sew. I traced and made the whole cardigan on my serger and coverstitch in about 90 minutes. It’s surprisingly warm given how lightweight this jersey is. This won’t be my choice on snowy days, but this is a great extra layer around the house kind of cardigan.
All the quick sewing!
After the suit and my Rose Tyler jacket, these cardigans have been a nice brain detox from all of the long, focused work.