Monday, 30 April 2012

Green and gold drape front cardie

One of my aims has been to sew more separates and mix-and-match type garments, and of course this includes cardies, jumpers, cover-ups etc. I have a few sweater knits in my stash, so I thought I would have a trial run using one of the fabrics I wasn't so keen on.

Pattern description

Self-drafted drape front cardigan.

Fabric used

Green and gold sweater knit from, I can't remember the fibre content.

Did it look like the sketch/idea when you were done?

Pretty much.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I think I should have used a block with less ease, as this knit is quite lightweight so it's ended up a little large on me. However, I'm pleased with the look of the front drape, and it's extremely quick to make.

Drafting details

The basic block was drafted using the easy fitting jersey block from Aldrich. I then used Lauriana's tutorial on BurdaStyle to modify the block. I used much smaller "wings", and I also kept the side seams in my draft.

Construction details

All the seams were sewn on the serger (with the sleeves inserted flat), then the cuffs and hem (including the neck and drape edges) were sewn with a twin needle with gold thread. The hem along the bottom could probably have done with some stabilising before doing the twin needle stitching as it has stretched a bit, although this isn't too bad here as it sort of adds to the wavy drapey effect (at least that's what I'm telling myself...)

There were a couple of snafus when making this. I snipped into the corners where the collar joins the shoulder seam on the front pieces, thinking this would make it easier to turn this corner accurately. Not a good idea - after sewing, the knit started unravelling, so I had to fix these corners with some handstitching. Next time I will just use the stretch of the fabric to manipulate it round these corners, which shouldn't be too hard as I use a fairly narrow seam allowance when I'm sewing knits on the serger. I also forgot to stabilise the shoulder seams, only remembering when I tried it on and the sleeves drooped off my shoulders. I wasn't going to be unpicking any serged seams, thank you, so I just retrofitted some clear elastic by topstitching along the seam line. Not the most elegant of solutions, but it's ok.

Would you sew it again?

Yes, I plan to, but will modify the pattern slightly, with the first change to reduce some ease in the basic block used (Lauriana does actually suggest using a fairly fitted block, I should have listened!). I also need to adjust the collar as mine wants to sit a bit flat when wearing it, pushing the shoulder point and armscye off the top of my shoulders (even with the clear elastic stabilising the shoulder seams). I think part of this might be due to the lightweight knit used, but I think maybe there's a slight drafting problem too, I just need to work out what it is! Actually stabilising the back neckline might be a good idea too. The final modification will be to think about the hem finishes a bit more - for most of the front drape, the wrong side of the front sections shows, so the effect of the twin needle stitching is rather lost.


A simple draft, and a very quick make, producing a handy and interesting garment. I'm definitely going to make some more of these with a few variations in details.

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