I can’t quite believe that this is the fourth IPM that I’ve taken part in. It’s always such a great contest and I really enjoy reading everyone’s contributions and about all the indie designers. Many thanks to The Monthly Stitch editors for all their hard work!
For one pattern, two ways I decided to make a couple of cardigans. This is a big gap in my wardrobe which I identified (repeatedly) during Me-Made-May. It was about time to put this right….
I decided to go for the Driftless Cardigan pattern from Grainline Studio. The cardigan is slouchy with drop shoulders and a cocoon shape. And like most of the Grainline Studio patterns it has pockets! There are two views – View A has a continuous hem band, buttons and buttonholes, View B has a split hem and no buttons or buttonholes. The fabric advice given with the pattern is for a medium-weight jersey knit fabrics with a minimum of 20% widthwise stretch.
This is the second Grainline Studios pattern that I have tried. Like the Moss Skirt, my previous buy, the pattern is clean-lined and a straightforward sew. The instructions are very good and the Grainline Studios website provides extra information to guide you through the more tricky steps.
If, like me, you’re not familiar with making thread chains which are used to secure the pockets, there is a video from Jen on that topic to help with this step. The neck / front band is secured in place with hand-stitching. This is a little time consuming, but it does give a very tidy finish to the garment. I made View B with the split hem.
The fabric for the first cardigan came from Ray Stitch in London which I visited in July. It’s a light-weight blue marl jersey. Here I’m wearing the cardigan with my hidden cats t-shirt. This is an ultra-slouchy look and I think I may prefer the cardigan with a more fitted top.
The sleeves are quite tight below the elbow. They aren’t uncomfortable, but certainly it means that I’m restricted to wearing short-sleeved tops underneath. This cardigan really works best as something I can throw on in the office when the air-conditioning makes it too cool for short-sleeved tops. For more photos, take a look at this post on my blog
My approach to cutting the fabric was very cautious. I wanted to make sure that I got the positioning of the stripes just right. I cut out all the pieces as a single layer to make sure I cut everything square. I also made the decision to get rid of the cocoon shape. The cocoon shape would have resulted in the stripes forming a diamond shape at the mid-back seam. I decided that the cardigan would look neater it this was eliminated. Having said that though, I did see this cardigan and the stripe placement is so even and it looks cool. But the cardigan was already cut out; so I had to just live with the decision I made.
Another change that I made was to add 2 centimetres to the width of the sleeves below the elbow to make the sleeves less tight. The width of the sleeves in more generous on the striped version and I’m glad because it’s possible to wear another long-sleeved layer underneath. For more photos, take a look at this post on my blog.
If there was one small criticism of the Grainline Studios patterns I’ve used, I would say that it is that the fabric requirements are very generous. I bought 1.8 metres (as per the pattern directions) for the first cardigan and have loads left-over. To give you an idea of the quantity left-over, as it isn’t an easily measureable piece anymore – it is almost enough for a t-shirt, perhaps a t-shirt missing the arms! When I bought the fabric for the second cardigan, I bought only 1.6 metres, but I still think I could have got away with 1.4-1.5 metres with more tesselation. I’ve been trying to use up my left-over fabric more these days, I certainly don’t want to add to my scraps bag!
All in all, I think I prefer the striped version. In my opinion the thicker fabric suits the pattern more and the cardigan is almost jacket-like and less floppy. Plus, the wool ponte is so cosy and warm. This will be a great addition to my winter wardrobe!