Monday, December 07, 2020

The Cardigan - Simplicity 8992

This cardigan was started in December 2019 when I also began writing this blog post. I write them as I sew so I don't have to remember details which is lucky in this case since I finished the garment a year later!

When I moved, I threw some unfinished garments out and brought a few with me. This is one of the ones that came along and is now finished.

So here is the original blog post with some updates to it...

I bought this Simplicity Pattern in August 2019 because my favorite cardigan pattern (also by Simplicity) only has a tie closure and I want a button front closure option. I love the cardigans I made using that pattern but 9 times out of 10, the cardigan unties beneath my coat. I'm sure a button front cardigan won't have the same challenges. 

Then I saw this cable fabric on StyleMaker Fabrics and I bought a couple of yards of it. It seemed perfect to make my first version of this cardigan. 

Materials ~
3 yards ocean knit fabric from StyleMaker Fabrics
Navy blue ponte scraps for facings
1 large button from the stash by way of Fabric Mart Fabrics
1 large gold snap from Pacific Trimmings

I need to talk a little about this fabric. I loved this fabric and bought it as soon as Michelle posted it. However, I didn't think about what it would take to work with the fabric. I can honestly say that if you're a newer, beginner, returning to sewing or advanced beginner, I wouldn't purchase this fabric. This fabric is challenging to work with and while it gives a good result, it took some extra to make it work.  

Pattern Alterations ~
While this pattern goes up to a size 22/24 (XXL), it's close-fitting. My other cardigan pattern has a looser fit and I wanted to combine the fit of the two patterns to add the button front closure.  To make that happen, I used my pattern sandwich method. Where I lay the TNT pattern piece down first, then the new pattern piece and finally a fresh piece of tracing paper.  This allows me to create a new pattern piece that fits me. 

An example below of how the new cardigan front was made. Also when I altered them, I did add a little of the waistline curve in the Simplicity 8992 pattern instead of the boxy shape of the original pattern.

All of the accompanying pattern pieces were also altered for a looser but shaped fit.

Construction ~ 
This fabric needed some special handling. It was heavy. When you sewed into the cables it pulled out of shape and hung funny. 

1. The facings were cut out of a dark royal blue ponte to add some structure to the cardigan so I did not need to add interfacing to the facings. 

2. I added fusible twill tape to the shoulder seams and to the back neckline so it would retain it's shape.

3. I made a hem facing for the sleeve hemlines because the cables were stretching them out. Adding the hem facing gives the sleeve hemline some structure which this cardigan needs.

4. The cardigan hemline also had hem facings added to them. However, I did this after I moved and couldn't find the royal blue ponte scraps so I used black ponte scraps instead.

5. All facings and hems were hand stitched down. It made it easier to control the fabric and to avoid wavy hems.  

6. Even though I wanted buttons and buttonholes, I realized that my home machine would never make buttonholes in this fabric. My original plan was to take it to NYC and have professional buttonholes made. But I dragged my feet and Covid happened so that plan went out the window.

7. To make this work now, I added a large snap and a large button to hold the cardigan together.  Since I'm working from home, I have no worries about wearing it under a coat for the foreseeable future.

Conclusion ~
I have a several more garments that need finishing touches. To ease back into sewing, I'm finishing them up before starting a "from scratch" sewing project. So my next project is another unfinished garment. BTW, I'm only spending a couple of hours a day sewing and still don't feel like posing in garments yet. Hopefully that will be back soon too.  However, I thought a garment post would be a better update on my progress than anything else. always more later!


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