Thursday, September 1, 2016

Purple Kool-Aid cardigan

I finally got around to sewing another Lisbon Cardigan.  This is #4 and I am planning a few more.  What can I say, I'm just a cardigan kind of girl.   

Like my last three, this one is a size 12 graded to a 14 at the hips.  I was tempted to cut a size 10 shoulder on this one, but I had not yet used a cotton/lycra for the pattern and suspected it might sew up a little smaller than the drapey rayon French terry and bamboo jersey I had used on previous versions. 


So I stuck with the pattern pieces I had already drafted.  I had lowered the neckline on two of my previous Lisbons but I decided to leave it as is for this one.  It did sew up smaller, but the shoulder is still too wide.  Also, because the fabric is less drapey than the fabrics I used before, the cardigan is shorter than the others and feels a little boxier.

It might seem kind of surprising that it would take me four iterations of the same pattern to figure out what alterations I'd like make, but different knits really sew up so differently.  No two of the four cardigans I made fit the same.

And now I know that, for next time, I am definitely going to cut a smaller shoulder.  I have to go back and look at the pattern to see how much narrower the shoulder is on the 10; I might go down to an 8.  I'm unsure as to whether I'm going to do an actual FBA or just grade out at the bottom of the armscye.  I also want to experiment with the sleeve - I think I'd like to do a long hemmed sleeve instead of a cuffed sleeve.  I won't want to lose any width in the upper sleeve, but I have a good bit of ease beneath the elbow, so I'll need to narrow that part. 

Like on my French terry version, the front hems dip when the cardigan is worn open.  I wonder if that is just what is going to happen with a cardigan, or whether it indicates a fitting issue, because it's not noticeable when the cardigan is buttoned.


And speaking of buttons ... I recently picked up another bag of buttons from the thrift store, and it happened to contain about two dozen 1/2" purple buttons that match the fabric perfectly.  You may have noticed that they are not on the cardigan.

That is because I could not get my machine to sew buttonholes on this fabric for love nor money.  Whomp whomp.  Although my machine generally stinks at sewing knits, a layer of interfacing on the fabric has always been enough to get it to make buttonholes.  I was out of knit interfacing when I sewed this, so I used two strips of knit stay tape instead.  My machine didn't like that, nor was it cowed when I attached some tear-away stabilizer to the underside of the placket.  So I bought some Dritz snaps, grabbed my hammer and got to work.

 

Yeah, so that wasn't so easy.  I've never used metal snaps before, and it was a pain.  I had a pack of 12 snaps and had to use them all to get 7 useable snap sets on my cardigan.  I kept hammering the male sockets to the side, thus rendering them useless.  I have a Kam snap press from my diaper-making days and am considering buying the dies I need to install metal snaps.  Or maybe I'll just get a Snap Setter - I've heard good things.  I don't mind the look of the snaps on the cardigan, but as I don't trust my snap installation, I'm very, very careful when I undo them


The fabric is Robert Kaufman Laguna cotton/lycra jersey knit in Amethyst.  I've used Laguna a few times in the past and have found it to hold up pretty well.  But I'm not the biggest fan of the available colors.  This purple seems a little juvenile to me - not much depth and it reminds me of the color of artificially "grape"-flavored things.  But one can never have enough cardigans (at least, not if one is me), so this has already gotten plenty of wear and will continue to do so.


Even if it does remind me of purple Kool-Aid.

17 comments:

  1. This cardigan is really cute! I've been pondering buying the pattern but then I keep wondering if I could just hack my Lark tee pattern. I love the Laguna jersey for t-shorts but I am with you on the colors that are available. I have used all the neutrals and the grass green but I don't love the rest. Art Gallery solids are really nice colors but I prefer the price tag of the Laguna jerseys!

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    1. Thanks! I had held off buying a cardigan pattern for the same reason (although in my case I was planning to hack the Plantain). I'm definitely getting my money's worth out of this pattern though!

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  2. Nice job with this project! You are right that it seems like every knit behaves differently.

    You could over-dye the Laguna colors to get more depth if you wanted to try it. I'd dye the whole piece of fabric in case you need some extra (instead of dyeing the final garment.) Just a thought.

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    1. Good idea! I admit I am a bit intimidated by the idea of dyeing - but it will be worth a shot if this one starts to spend more time in the closet than it should.

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    2. Dyeing is really easy (and addictive). I thought I had to have all sorts of fancy dyes to do it right, but honestly the stuff from the local craft store worked just fine.
      This cardigan looks great though. I'm definitely a cardigan girl too!

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  3. I think the Purple is a beautiful jewel color...good problem solving with the snaps!

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  4. The fit looks fabulous! I am so amazed at how you really do fit your clothes to perfection with each pattern you work with. I think the shoulder resizing would make it absolutely perfect. Now...lets talk about snaps. I have a love / hate relationship with them. Super impressed that you persevered with the knit fabric and the snaps though!!! Seriously, incredible job!

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    1. Yeah, I'm not so big on the snaps - what a pain they are! But I think I am going to need a new sewing machine if I'm ever going to make another buttonhole :(

      Thanks for the compliments on the fitting - I think I'm kind of a junkie in that department!

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  5. I love the purple kool-aid color and the cardigan. They all look so nice on you.

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  6. Love love the colour! But I'm purple biased. Yeah my machine doesn't seem to like buttonholes at all. On any type of fabric. The two test ones on scrap fabric would come out great and as soon as I get my garment under there? Mess mess mess. Ugggh. And I can only find sew on fasteners here in Barbados. Boo.

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  7. I love the jewel colours on you and you have made this pattern your own.

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  8. Actually the purple really suits you, even if it's not quite your thing. Snaps do take a bit of practice and sometimes I don't trust my own snap-fitting either... they look good, though!

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  9. that's such a nice little cardi! I agree, you can never have too many. The colour is really good on you :)

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  10. I love it!! It looks great and the color really suits you :) I also have this pattern and one of these days I will get to it :)

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Hi! I am so happy you came by. Thanks for your comment!