Thursday, July 5, 2012


I have an obsession with drapey and slightly oversized cardigans. My collection of them is reasonable right now, but I have plans to totally take over my closet and my life with them. This was my first attempt at making one and it has only fueled the cardi fire. It's one of those pieces I want to plan all my outfits around so I can wear it non-stop.

It's a Vogue pattern, oddly. I say "oddly" because I almost never buy nor make Vogue patterns. They're either weird or, as we've discussed, make it impossible to tell what the garment looks like because the sample is made up in crazy busy fabric or the model is crouching away from the camera in pain.

Luckily this Very Easy Vogue 8819 just featured some dead-eyed illustrated women on the cover so I didn't have to interpret too much. It has sleeveless and full-length sleeve options, too, but I went with the half-sleeves so I could cross over seasons.

As you can see, the main design features are all these bias-cut pieces that intersect at various seams. As you can also see, it's an OCD print-matcher's basic nightmare. If you are obsessive about your stripes, perhaps you shouldn't attempt this pattern in a striped fabric. Maybe I cut slightly off but I sometimes found it impossible to match the stripes all the way down certain seams, so I just had to focus on making it symmetrical instead of perfectly continual. I ain't mad. It's easier to get away with jaggedness in thin and narrowly-spaced stripes than in thicker stripes.

The back center seam is the one where print-matching is entirely possible AND crucial, however. The pattern actually has you cut two pieces for the lower back that you're supposed to stitch together at the C.B., but I straightened out the flare and cut it on the fold to save myself even more stripe-matching agony. This just meant I had to sew a V to an inverted V, but for me it was worth the technique swap. 

I made a Medium, and you can tell it's a little big because the seams dip off my shoulders, and I'm often tempted to push the sleeves up. I like my cardigans to be a bit slouchy, though, especially when I wear them over short or more fitted dresses like this one. Makes the coverage feel more balanced or something.

Let's talk about the cardigan flare, though. I narrowed the A-line of the bottom back pieces by about five inches overall. I like 'em slouchy but I don't like 'em boxy. I also didn't want it to look like I had an Oreo-themed curtain draped over my booty:

So that's that. A cardigan, just in time for the drippiest 103-degree death heat of summer. I'm just that kind of seamster. I make short-sleeve floral tops in January and elbow-length cardigans in July. 

Oh and don't think I forgot about our little agreement from my last post. I never break a blog promise, so here you go. I went with this McCalls model because our dresses were the same color:

You guys, this pose was surprisingly difficult to master. I almost popped my hip out of socket. Your feet are pointed completely sideways, in line, but your torso and head have to face directly forward, and you have to be able to touch your knee while your body is upright and not slouched forward at all. Not to mention the Tyra eye smoulder. That's BUSINESS. Who knew pattern modeling would take such quad strength? 

Keep it up, McCalls. Those girls got talent.

So who shares my cardigan obsession, even in summer? Or maybe I should ask who isn't a fan of cardigans, so I can squint at you (Tyra-style) through my computer screen and say, "...f'real?"