eleanor cardigan

Pattern: Eleanor Cardigan, c/o Indiesew
Version: mid-thigh length with extra long sleeves
Fabric: ribbed knit from Indiesew (sorry, sold out!)

Boots: Nine West
Top: JCrew
Pants: Macy’s

Perhaps not the most original garment I’ve made (*cough* Allie’s version *cough*), but I absolutely love my new Eleanor Cardigan.  For those of you who subscribe to my newsletter, I committed a few weeks ago that I would be strict about not sewing any other projects until I got a major chunk of my wedding dress completed.  Well, since I’m in a “holding pattern” until next weekend when I can cut out my real dress at my parent’s house, I figured whipping up a little instant-gratification project wouldn’t hurt.

eleanor cardigan

I actually attempted to make this pattern back in September for Selfish Sewing Week, but ended up chucking the project since the grey french terry I used made it look like a bathrobe.  Not a good look, and a sad waste of nice fabric!  It was also too big for my liking; I cut out a small when I made the first version but didn’t like how baggy the fit was or the fact that the sleeve seam was way off my shoulders.  Fast-forward to October and Allie’s launch of a new fabric collection – I saw this fabric in action during one of her Periscope broadcasts and knew I had to have it.

eleanor cardigan

The fabric is pretty nifty – it’s a rib knit that’s white on one side, black on the other.  However, the print of the pattern doesn’t follow stretch of the fabric, the ribs run horizontally across the body.  I had to cut the sleeves so the ribs ran vertically, increasing the degree of stretch like a normal knit fabric, and it changed the orientation of the print on the sleeves.  Not a big deal, but it would have made the sleeves much tighter if the fabric was cut like the rest of the cardigan.  I also had to be a little creative with cutting out the long neckbands, and utilized a section of the print repeat to create a zig-zag look down the front.

eleanor cardigan

The Eleanor Cardigan is a super-fast make and you really don’t even need the directions to make it.  I found Allie’s tutorial on serging bulky knit fabrics really helpful – I had wavy seams on some of my knit garments in the past and it didn’t really bother me, but now I know how to fix that on my serger and prevent it from happening in the future.  Everything lays so nice and flat and neat, it feels very RTW!


knit night cardi1

Pattern: Whole Wheat Cardigan
Yarn: Sublime Yarns Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK (#162 Pinkaboo)
Needle: US 9

Jeans: Gap
Watch: Michael Kors
Sneakers: Reebok

I started this sweater what…two years ago???  Yeah, umm…I got distracted, let’s call it that!  Me Made May this year kicked my butt into gear – I really wanted to finish this sweater to wear with some of my dresses, and I’m finishing up a Ginger skirt right now that goes perfectly with this color.  A cropped sweater like this really pairs well with a fit-and-flare dress.

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I blame it on the fact that I HATE seaming sweaters.  Hate hate hate.  Which is crazy, because I sew, but there’s something about sewing up sweaters that’s just plain NOT FUN.  It’s irrational, I know, whatever.  So this guy sat in my knitting bag for the last year, just waiting to be blocked and sewn together.  But now that it is, I think it’s one of my favorite hand-knit sweaters to date (but my Owls is still my all-time favorite, hands down).

knit night cardi2

Honestly, not a complicated knit, but I did have to be mindful of where I was with the pattern.  I may have done the stitch pattern on the fronts incorrectly – I’m not sure if they’re supposed to mirror each other?  I actually noticed it as I finished binding off for the second side.  It doesn’t seem necessary to have them mirror, but if that floats your boat, it’s totally possible.

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I lucked out on the buttons, too!  White buttons would have looked way too twee, and these pink ones are a pretty close match.

Is Me Made May motivating you to finish any WIPs that are lying around?


missoni cardigan2

missoni cardigan1

Pattern: McCall’s 6559, altered
Fabric: Missoni sweater knit fabric (legit!!) from Fabric Place Basement

Tee: JCrew
Jeans: Gap
Flats: Michael Kors

This was one of those projects where I didn’t consider how in the world I was going to make the fabric work with what I wanted to do, which will become evident later on in this post.

I admit it, I must have a crush on everything Missoni, their fabrics are just too amazing .  I kept looking at this Missoni sweater knit fabric every time I went in to Fabric Place Basement (which is usually once a week), eyeing the pretty colors and imagining what kind of wonderful garments to make out of it.  I think it was around the end of January when I broke down and ponied up the cashola (totally worth it though) for two yards of this colorway, thinking it would make a great sweater jacket.

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I didn’t have a pattern in my stash that was the kind of jacket I wanted: basically, no seams or shaping except for the side and shoulder seams.  I realized when I got home and opened up my fabric that this stuff was fragile – the cut edges fell apart easily, so the less seams in my garment, the better.  I liked the sloping front style of the tie-front cardi of McCall’s 6559, so I altered it to have a straight front instead of ties and drafted a self-facing for the cardigan neckband and fronts.  I also lengthened it, too.

The picture above gives a good idea of how the fabric is constructed – it’s pretty baffling, actually.  Even though it’s made up of loose ply yarn and sweater-like, the construction is more like a woven.  Those thin black threads keep everything together and connect all of the colored yarn, so if a black thread is snipped, the color pieces pull out and fall apart.  That’s the only way all of the yarns connect in this fabric, very unlike a knit.  I have no idea how this fabric was manufactured!!

Missoni fuzz, post edge-serging

And this is what immediately happened after I cut out my cardigan pieces…yikes.  If I didn’t have a serger, there is no way I could have made this garment.  I used the four thread setting on my serger and a wide overlock, and finished all of the edges of the garment pieces immediately after I cut them out.

The construction itself was a no-brainer, but I had to be a little creative in some instances.  For example, even though I set the sleeves in ok, some of the thin black threads become loose and I had some running holes under the arm or at the front of the sleeve cap.  I ended up “darning” them with black thread by hand, catching all of the colored yarn loops together and securing them so they wouldn’t create bigger holes.  It was some tricky stitching…

missoni cardigan3

Then came the problem as to how to finish the edges of the cardigan.  I didn’t want to turn the edges in, and then turn them in again and stitch them down since it would be bulky.  Thank goodness I stopped in at Grey’s Fabrics and picked up some silk bias tape – you really haven’t lived until you’ve sewn with silk bias tape!!  In retrospect I should have hand-stitched it to the edges instead of machine sewing since there’s irregularities in the width of the bias tape, but oh well!  After I attached the bias tape, I folded in the front facings and hand stitched everything.  Funny enough, I forgot to hem the sleeves, but I’m ok with the edges being serged and not hemmed, you can’t even tell.

missoni cardigan5

This jacket/sweater/cardigan is definitely something I’d wear for special occasions due to the nature of the fabric – it seemed appropriate to debut it at the NYC blogger meetup last month!  I’m not sure if I’d ever even have it cleaned, I wouldn’t want to risk damaging the fabric.  But it’s all worth it, because now I have a real Missoni garment in my closet for a fraction of the cost.


wool circle top 5

wool circle top 1

Pattern: Circle Top from Papercut Patterns
Fabric: Merino wool crepe knit from Metro Textiles (thanks, sis!)
Size: XXS

Tank: Old Navy
Jeans: Paige Denim
Boots: London Fog

Hooray, my first finished garment for 2014!  I started this on New Year’s Eve, actually, but couldn’t finish the binding until I got my sewing machine back from the shop – as much as I love my serger, you can’t do everything on it.  I’ve worn it out a few times already and I bought some fabric for another version of this cozy cardi.  I guess that’s a testament to how much I like this!

wool circle top 2

This cardi is massive: it’s basically a giant circle with two holes in the center where the sleeves are inserted.  That’s it!  The pattern envelope claims there’s many different ways you can wear this – I didn’t find that to be the case, but if you’re feeling silly, you can wear it as a hoodie.

My sister picked up this fabric for me from Metro Textiles before she headed to our parent’s house for Christmas – it’s a yummy mauve merino wool knit with a crepe-like texture.  It has a lot of body, and behaves more like a woven than a knit, but it’s warm and I love wrapping it around me while I sit on the couch and watch TV (helloooo Downton Abbey season 4!)

wool circle top 4

The binding was the most time-consuming and fiddly part of making this cardigan.  There’s a lot of circumference to bind!  I decided to opt-out of how the pattern called for sewing the binding and did it my own way, which seemed a lot easier: sew the strip of binding around the cardigan, press it over to the right side of the garment, turn the raw edge under about 5/8″, and edge stitch it down.  It has a thicker look to it, but the way the instructions have you sew the binding seemed way too fussy for my liking and I’m happy with how my binding turned out.

wool circle top 3

This cardigan has a very fluid and casual style to it, and I fought with it the first time I wore it to get it to lay exactly how I wanted it to.  But in the end, it’s best if you just let it do its thing and undulate around you.  I bought a light pink rayon cotton jersey for my next version and I bet it will be even softer and drapier.  A quick, no-stress project!


cape cod 015

cape cod 004

cape cod 003

cape cod 001

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Chris took me down to the Cape this past weekend for my birthday (which is today, by the way!).  Can you believe it, he’s lived here all of his life and he’s never been to Cape Cod??  The last time I visited the Cape was on a family vacation when I was eight years old; I remember going whale watching and sitting on the boat, very cold and bored for several hours.  We had a much more fun this time – walked down the Main Street of Hyannis, ate fried clams, and looked at seashells on the beach.  No, we didn’t run into any Kennedys, but there were JFK memorials everywhere around the town.

And of course, I needed an excuse to whip up something to wear this weekend!  Since it was going to be a little on the chilly side (we ate outside and freezed our butts off when the sun went down!), I stitched up a cardi to wear a few hours before the trip.

cape cod cardigan1

It’s pretty much obligatory to wear Sperry Top Siders and nautical stripes when you’re down on the Cape.

cape cod cardigan2

I googled “free cardigan sewing patterns” and came up with this cardigan from iCandy Handmade.  It’s a dolman sleeve cardigan with hem bands at the sleeves and neck (note: there’s no grainline on the front piece (wtf), it’s advisable to add one.  I didn’t and my sleeves twist a little).  I think this took me about two hours to make, from printing out the pattern to finishing the hem.  And if I had a serger, it would look a lot more professional, especially on the inside…when there’s a breeze, it’s easy to see my raw edges inside the cardigan.  It’s not my best work, but it was quick and easy to make as well as comfy to wear.  I really need to get on the ball about making more wardrobe basics like this – they’re not as exciting to make as other garments, but I wear them a ton.

Did you have a nice weekend?  Looks like the weather is going to be great here all week!