Sunday, December 17, 2017

Vogue 9980 - A Cardigan from the 90s

I pulled this pattern out of the stash a couple of months ago. It's a Koko Beall pattern. I collected a lot of these when they were in the pattern books back in the 1990s. 

At the time I wanted to make a lightweight summer throw on type jacket - you know something that will keep you warm against the artic chill of office air conditioning. 

As with all good intentions, I didn't get to it this summer.  However, it was still sitting out when this sweater knit arrived from StyleMaker Fabrics, and it caught my eye.

Last weekend the East Coast experienced our first snowfall and the bitter cold also swooped in. Even though I was in the midst of making dresses for my daughter, I took some time out to make a quick sweater coat for myself. I was looking for a little warmth against the cold.

First a little about the fabric ~
It's a heavier and more stable fabric than I thought it would be when I ordered it. So I knew the light cardigan I was thinking of wouldn't work. I've been wanting more sweater coats to go over jeans and tops, especially since Chicos & JJill have some amazing ones in their assortment. Upon touching the fabric I knew it would work for this kind of sweater coat.

Construction ~
Since this is a 90s pattern, the shoulder seam was quite long. I did alter the shoulder seam to my standard length so that it would fit better.

Then I had to complicate the construction by adding some black piping to the neckline and sleeve hems. But the pattern on the fabric would have been overwhelming without some stopping or resting point for the eyes.

After I stitched the side sleeves and tried the sweatercoat on, the sleeve openings seemed really wide. Since I'd cut the hemline off before adding the piping, I had a 1.5" hem after adding it back to the sleeve. It made the perfect casing for adding elastic to the sleeve hem. I love how the piped and ruffled hemline gives an artistic touch to the sleeve.   

Also the pattern calls for one buttonhole at the neckline. Since the fabric is a little thick and patterned, I thought a regular buttonhole would get lost.  So my first choice was to add a "Spanish Snap Buttonhole" using black ponte/pleather. That was my intent. In reality, I wanted to wear the sweater coat to my company Holiday Luncheon and used a pin instead because I ran out of time.

BTW, the pin is old. Back from my corporate days...glad to find a use for it now. Hopefully I will be able to repurpose some of my other pins too.  After wearing the sweater coat, I liked it so much that I decided to leave the buttonhole off. 

The facings were cut from a black ponte scrap from the collection. I wanted the facings to be smooth and flat so I didn't use the sweater fabric for them. I also turned the edges under 1/2" inch and stitched them flat because I wanted a cleaner finish on the inside fronts.

The sweater coat hem is machine stitched. Because the fabric is pattern, after stitching it in and giving it a good press, the stitching disappeared into the fabric.

Otherwise this pattern was easy to construct. The instruction sheet has great pictures and to me the construction process made sense, especially since they had you insert the sleeves using the flat method. Sleeves that btw, I didn't need to make any pattern alterations too. 

A few pictures ~

This is what happens when you take your own pictures
The sweater is caught on my butt - but it was too cold to retake!

...and a pic of me wearing it with a black RTW mockneck and black skinny jeans at the Holiday Luncheon.

Conclusion ~
I really liked how easy this piece was to sew and I will be making it again. However, I will add the buttons and buttonholes to the jacket in future renditions. I'm sure that some of the heavier sweater fabrics I own will match up perfectly with this pattern (and clear some shelf space in the cave) this pattern will be showing up again during 2018.

If you're interested in owning a copy, there were a few of these patterns available on Etsy and even Amazon when I googled the pattern. This is part of my plan for 2018 to sew from my pattern stash and fabric collection, so I'm ending 2017 on a high sewing note. always more later!


  1. Beautiful jacket and it looks great on you!

  2. This fabric!! I love this simple-but-not jacket!

  3. questa giacca e bellissima mi piace molto abbinamento fato complimenti per il risultato un bacio lili

  4. I love this jacket! Your fabric was a super choice in using this for this pattern.

  5. Beautiful work, as usual -- and I love the pin as button. So elegant. Another stunning creation and good incentive to go back to the pattern stash. Ages ago I worked at a chain fabric store (no longer in existence). When there was a pattern clearance/restock, all the old were pulled and left in the backroom. Employees were welcome to take what they wanted. I have a ton of old ("vintage") Vogue patterns from the early 1980s. Pretty sure this is one of them. You've inspired me to take a look.

    1. Was it Piece Goods? I sooooo miss Piece Goods. Seems like something they would do for employees.

  6. This is great! I love this fabric & it looks wonderful on you :)

  7. Outstanding jacket. Please post some of your daughter dresses too!

  8. This jacket is stunning and perfect on you. And your construction details are right on. I so enjoy your posts. I do not know how you work full time, sew your own creations and do this blogging. God bless you for it.

  9. That’s my fear with destashing, what if I want the pattern later? I reallly like how you used the sweater knit and the sleeve detail is a happy surprise! I don’t know how I would react to a pattern that doesn’t need a bicep adjustment, great job! I haven’t found different sweater Knits I love, I’ll have to give them a look.

    1. LaQuana - I actually make fewer alterations to the sleeves on my older patterns. It's almost like they realized that some women had larger biceps. I read about y'all destashing patterns and remember the two times in my life that I have and lived to regret I try to be more descriminating when I purchase patterns now. LOL!

  10. Very nice. This could be dressed up with a long skirt and fancy top or semi dressed with skirt long or knee length and turtleneck. I love it. Enjoy wearing it.

  11. I love how your jacket turned out! That fabric is lovely, and you put it to good use.

  12. This jacket is so beautiful. I love, love the fabric. And using the pin as a closure was a clever idea and looks gorgeous.

  13. Beautiful jacket Carolyn! :)

  14. Gorgeous fabric and the perfect use for it with this pattern. I think the pin idea is brilliant!

  15. Beautiful jacket, Carolyn, and you look fabulous in it! I love the pin, too.


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