Sunday, October 27, 2019

Style Sew Me Madison Cardigan

In my continuing quest to have different cardigans and toppers, I've wanted a Madison Cardigan (Style Sew Me Patterns) by Eryn since it first came out.  But y'all know my rules, no PDF Patterns and no patterns that aren't graded up to my size.  While Eryn originally offered this cardigan as a PDF pattern with larger sizes, the minute she started to sell them as paper patterns, I was on that!

...then the pattern sat. Cause with all things, I can buy it faster than I can make it! However, now that the temps are changing, this will be a great sweater jacket for this season.

Supplies ~
3 yards of polyester open weave knit from Fabric Mart
1 yard of black pleather from the collection via Emmaonesock
5 yards of black pleather binding from Pacific Trimmings

Pattern Alterations ~
I heard on the interwebs the sleeves are a little tight which was posted by someone slightly smaller than me. Ok alot smaller than me *LOL* but I always check sleeve width because of my bodacious biceps. 

I knew I wanted to change them up a little to make them work better for me. The cardigan has a two piece sleeve which makes it special but I will admit that at 16" wide at the biceps it was too small for my arms. Also I'm lazy and didn't want to figure out how to alter both pieces so I taped them together and made one sleeve piece.
  • I proceeded to make alterations to the one sleeve piece by slashing and spreading up the center of the sleeve.  
  • That gave me some more space but I wanted several more inches than that provided. 
  • Then I added a 1/2 inch to either side of the sleeves body which will make the sleeve wide enough to wear a full sleeved shirt under it. 

This was my final sleeve piece ~

While it keeps the original sleeve cap shape, I've widened it to encase my arms. Now I'm not a pattern drafter and this may not be the correct way to add width to the sleeve...actually I would bet that it's better to adjust each sleeve pattern piece...but I wanted this finished sleeve...

Back Body:
I did a pivot and slide on the back piece which is supposed to be on the fold to add additional inches to my abdomen and butt area. Again while the largest size will "fit" around my body I wanted a little ease so that it would move with me.

Construction ~
This is an easy pattern to sew.  There are no funky instructions and the instruction booklet is clear cut. I LOVE that the seam allowance is printed clearly on the first sheet. It was easy to highlight so I wouldn't forget that I wasn't sewing with 5/8" seam allowances.

I changed up the order of construction where the sleeves where concerned. I sewed them in flat to insure that I hadn't altered the sleeve cap too much when making my alterations. I also added some seam tape to the shoulder seams to stabilize them - this isn't mentioned in the instructions either. Otherwise, I followed them as written.

Working with Pleather ~
My challenge came because I added pleather bias binding and used pleather for the sleeves.  This caused me to sew slower, use different feet and pressing. I don't follow "the rules" when working with pleather.

1. I pin it - making sure to pin within the the stitching line
2. Use a silk organza pressing cloth folded several times to press open seams
3. Press it with steam just on the lowest setting possible.

Two things I DO NOT do ~
   - I don't press directly on the pleather, sure way to ruin it
   - I don't remove stitching - those holes remain - so stitch purposefully.

Adding the Binding ~
I really had to think about how to add the binding without totally making it look wonky and handsewn.  After thinking it through, it became a multi-step process to add it to the cardigan. The thing I need to stress is this is a SLOW technique. If you rush this stitching it will show.

     * I added binding to the neckline area first. Making adding the binding a 2-step process.
     * First I added the binding to the back of the neckline, pinning it to the mid-point of the binding.
     * Stitched it down the center of the pleather binding.
     * Then folded the binding over and pressed it close to the edge, using a teflon foot.
     * Stitch setting was on 4 to give a looser stitch look.
     * Pressed it down using my clapper to make it as flat as possible.
     * Repeated the same process for the side and back of the cardigan.

This was not a fly by the seat of my pants sew. I thought everything out carefully before I started working on it. There were quite a few things that could have gone wrong to send this project south. The sleeves and the bias binding were the most complicated portions of this make...and I need to say this was a very SLOW sewing process. Oh and I left the sleeves unhemmed.

Finally that question everyone asks when I sew with pleather.  How do you launder it?  With this one it will be washed on delicate in cold water on a very short cycle then laid out to dry.

A Few Pictures ~

I could see adding another one of these to my wardrobe in a really interesting sweater fabric.  Otherwise, I probably won't make this again - more because I own a lot of cardigans and this one is very distinctive. I got a compliment from one of the neighbors on it as we were taking pictures so I think one is enough for now. 

Would I recommend you purchasing this pattern?  
Yes definitely. I think it's important to support indie pattern designers of color especially when they make patterns in my size and PAPER patterns.  Grab a copy of yours here.  You won't be disappointed with your finished garment! Oh and this isn't a sponsored post, just a happy customer posting about a great new piece. always more later!


  1. Love this! It looks absolutely fabulous and you look super amazing in it.

  2. That is freakin' awesome! Love it!

  3. Very pretty! Well fitted too. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Awesome topper! It is a stunning statement piece and with being black will be a versatile.

  5. Fabulous cardigan, it is definitely a show stopper.

  6. I'm sure you'll get a lot of use from this one, it's looks amazing on you.

  7. It's beautiful and looks great.

  8. Love it. It looks great on you.

  9. this is a terrific design and interpretation. congratulations on a 'perfect 10'.-anne

  10. Wow!Your cardigan is lots of things all rolled into one. Elegant,funky,fun and just really cool. Looks wonderful on you! Love it!

  11. This is so stylish and very expensive looking. I want to sew as well as you someday!

  12. Very VERY nice. That extra time you took really shows.

  13. That is terrific; I love the length in the back! Your knit and pleather together are stunning.

  14. Wow! Like your style and skills.

  15. I love this, it's so dramatic!

  16. Oh WOW, I love this sweater. It looks great on you, and the drama, my dear, the drama. It's fabulous.


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