Friday, May 4, 2018

The Itch to Stitch Paro Cardigan

Hey y'all! Long time no see. I seem to have dropped off the blogosphere accidentally. To be frank, the process of taking and editing pictures, then writing a blog post was just too much for me for a while there. I really have been sewing quite a bit. If you follow me on IG (@kid_md) or Twitter (@katie_kid_md) you'll still get to see lots of sewing action. I'm not sure I'll be posting everything I make going forward, but I really wanted to show y'all this. Blogging mojo kickstarted!
So, this cardigan is what I wanted to share with y'all. Now that we live somewhere with proper seasons (it was ALWAYS hot in Texas and ALWAYS cold in Utah, no transitions), I find myself grabbing cardigans and hoodies a lot to layer on chilly mornings. I recently made the Jalie Helene cardigan, which I love and hopefully can get some pics of soon, but wanted something with a little more flair and shaping. I was just browsing on the Pattern Review shop, and came across this cardigan pattern from Itch to Stitch. I admit, I hadn't paid any attention to this company. I have a lot of patterns and these smaller Indie companies can be pretty variable in terms of pattern making and drafting quality. But I like the style so much, I decided to give it a go.
I mean seriously, this rear view?! With all that wonderful pleating! I love it. Another down side (for me) was that this was a PDF. Y'all, I hate taping those things together. And this was not the easiest one I've ever done. I fall into three different sizes, so I couldn't just print the one size. And for whatever reason, the pieces just didn't want to fit well together during assembly. I ended up cutting out each piece as I assembled it, instead of leaving it as one big sheet. Once that was done, it went together fine.
I really like that this style lends itself well to being dressed up or down. Pencil skirts aren't exactly conducive to chasing my kids, so I love that I can wear this cardi with my jeans as well. It sewed up nicely in a rayon-poly-lycra Ponte from FabricMart. I don't think it's particularly well suited to thinner knits, as you'd lose the details in the pleating.
 As far as the pattern itself goes, the drafting was good - everything fit together as it should. I found the sizing a bit on the RTW/vanity sizing side of things. My measurements put my in 3 sizes, the smallest of which was a size 2. Y'all... I haven't been a size 2 since middle school. That said, as long as you ignore the size numbers and go by your measurements, those are accurately represented. For fit, the only alteration I made was to grade out 2 sizes at the bust. Since there is plenty of ease in the hips, I didn't make any changes there. It's also worth noting that I did not lengthen the sleeves. I have quite long arms and generally do have to add some length to most sleeves, but as you can see, this one is quite long as drafted. Shortening is easier than lengthening though, so that's a feature for me.
The other major change I made was to add pockets. I must have pockets in my cardigans. They hold my phone, keys and all the bits of stuff that come with modern life. It doesn't matter how much I love a garment, if it doesn't have pockets, I won't wear it and that goes double for cardigans. I made these the full length of the lower section and deep enough for my 5.5 inch phone.
Inside, you can see the pocket bags cover up the pleats a bit, which is nice. Since the pockets reach the entire length of the panel, they are stitched into the waist seam and the hem, so no flopping about. I used a matching cotton jersey for the pockets to reduce bulk, as the waist seam gets a bit thick with all those pleats. You can also see that I added inner buttons to stabilize my large outer buttons and prevent them from pulling through the ponte. It's always good to stabilize a heavy button, especially on a knit fabric. I did add an extra button. The pattern calls for a single large button, but I really liked the look of two. And it's mine, so I do what I want.
Overall, I think this will get a lots of wear. It's a pretty distinctive style, so I'm not sure I'll make a ton of them, but maybe there's room in my closet for one more. I have some leopard print ponte...

Monday, January 1, 2018

Ottobre 03/2011-18

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted! Life has been crazy, but good. Starting with the reason for this dress! My sister was married at the end of November, in Scotland! And we got to be there! Naturally, some new dresses needed sewn...
All my photos were taken in front of the Leith Registry House in Edinburgh, where my sister was married. It was a lovely venue!
Obviously, November in Scotland demands a certain level of cold protection. Not something this Southern girl generally has to deal with, but thanks to my Ottobre subscription, I had plenty of pattern options for Myra! Those Finns know how to deal with the cold.
We settled on Ottobre 03/2011-18, which is a simple dress with long sleeves and a turtleneck collar. Very cozy.
The skirt is lightly gathered into a high-low waistline, which has a pretty effect on. The skirt is nice and long, and kept her warm over tights.
The sleeves are long and slim, with plain hems at the wrist. The sleeve caps are gathered into a full puff, which Myra really likes.
The fabric is a cozy ribbed sweater knit. I'm not sure where I got it, but it's at least four years old, so yay for a nice deep stashbust. It really was perfect for this dress. It's a little on the unstable side, so I did stabilize the shoulder seams and waistline with clear elastic, but otherwise it sewed up without much trouble.
We've had a surprisingly cold winter here in Tennessee so far, so Myra has gotten quite a lot of wear out of this dress. I'm pleased that she likes it so much.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Ottobre 03/2015-24

This sweet faced boy doesn't get much sewing time. He has a lot of handmade clothing passed down from Logan, so he really doesn't need much, and he lives in tee shirts and shorts anyway. He only has one dress shirt, and it was purchased for Logan, so it's in rough shape now. It was time for a nice new one of his own.
This is Ottobre 03/2015-24, which is a sport shirt with some nice details. The back yoke is echoed in front and there are several pocket options.
The fabric I used is a tiny stripe, so I had fun playing with directions along the yoke and pocket. I cut the main body of the shirt on grain, with the front yoke on the bias and pocket on the cross grain.
In the back, the yoke is on the cross grain. The shirt has a nice fit, with just a little shaping.
Back ease is incorporated into two pleats near the armhole area, rather than the traditional center back pleat. I like the sporty look it has. It suits Duncan's active personality.
The shirt has button bands and a one piece collar. The pattern calls for buttons, but since Duncan likes to Hulk out of his clothing, I went with snaps. I hadn't applied snaps in a while, so it took me a few tries to get them on properly, but I like the way they turned out.
I've missed sewing for my sweet boy. There never seems time enough for all the projects I'd like to do, but I definitely need to make more time for Duncan.