Finally, I felt ready to make something with sleeves. Yay making an actual garment! Time for the Cuddle Up Cardigan from Sew Everything Workshop.
For some reason, I felt like I could ignore the author’s suggestions and get moleskin fabric instead of fleece or wool, since moleskin was on super-sale. The fleece just looked too bulky to me, and of course the wool fabric I liked was $25 a yard (why do I only like expensive fabric?), which I will not pay until I know what I am doing. I have to admit, the pattern looked a little big- the shoulder seams are halfway down the model’s shoulders, and wow, those sleeves look wide.
But, the author is trying to make this easy to make, and she is attempting to design something that will fit a variety of body types, which are both goals I can respect, considering that this is one of the first garment patterns in the book.
Layout and cutting the Cuddle Up Cardigan was pretty straightforward. Again, I just drew directly on the wrong side of the fabric, since I don’t need a bunch of paper rectangles taking up space in my apartment, and it will be pretty easy to re-do the pattern if I make it again. (Hopefully, I will move on to more advanced, fitted clothes, so I won’t need to make it again.) I used overcast stitch on some of the inside seams, since my fabric frays like crazy. Thanks, Wrong, for telling me about overcast stitch!
MerKnits! made the Cuddle Up Cardigan for her mom, and she seems pretty happy with it. She gives good critiques of her sewing projects, and has comments about several other Sew Everything Workshop projects, if you are following along in the book.
My problems were:
1) I think the instructions for and illustration of applying bias tape are a little unclear. I watched a youtube video for help, and practiced on some scrap fabric before working on the real thing.
2) I think the instructions for the tie strap are either incorrect or very unclear. I pretty much had to ignore them and just try to use logically determine how to make the tie strap. It’s not very good.
3) I still get confused about when to stop sewing near the edges- if a seam allowance is 5/8”, do I stop 5/8” from the edge? I think the answer is generally no, but am not quite sure.
4) I had some problems with overlapping seams on the armpits, from not knowing where to stop sewing. But, this is my first sewing project with arms! Good for me! I really can understand why the author wanted to make a loose-fitting cardigan- it’s nice and big, so I won’t be able to feel the weird armpits at all.
5) Ha, ha, I should have listened to the author and used the suggested fabric (Wool or cotton double knits, or sweatshirt fleece). I wish mine was fleece, but what I have now will work as a robe. My boyfriend thinks it looks like a Jedi robe, or an artist’s smock.
Grade: B. The project loses points for the tie strap snafu. The project runs big and the fit is a little big, but looking back, I can really understand and appreciate the author’s reasoning with this. She is helping you to learn and make something you can wear, even if it isn’t the most chic cardigan ever.