What makes these four posts here at my site different is that I will focus on the individual pieces a bit more here, and end with a post on packing with these three pieces as my base for the whole travel wardrobe for my trip to Mississippi in a couple of weeks. The rest of the posts will be published over the next week.
In 2013, McCall's issued the most amazing cardigan pattern, McCall's 6884, and I, along with every single sewer out there (including Mrs. C, who has made it five times?), purchased it. Unlike every other sewer out there, I didn't get to my version right away since I am the world's slowest sewer (although my stepmom thinks that title should belong to her, lol). In fact, though I pulled this one out multiple times over the past year, I never sewed it up until Julie over at Fabric Mart asked me what I wanted to do for my first blog post as an official contributor to their blog.
Because I am me, I had a gazillion ideas, one of which was to use this amazing heavy wool jacquard sweater knit (on sale today!) with view C of 6844. I didn't know if the folks at Fabric Mart would go for it since it is a dear price for a couple of yards, but they said yes, and upon receiving it, I think I fondled it for about an hour. It isn't that it is especially soft (though it is lovely to touch), it is that the sparkles from the silver threading combined with the heavily textured diamond jacquard pattern knitted throughout are stunning in real life (I hope you can get a sense of the texture in the above photo). My stepmom was equally in love and was excited to see how it would look as a cardigan.
I do want to point out that if you are sensitive to wool, I would recommend lining this fabric, and since it is a lot like a felted wool woven, you should be able to do so easily. If I needed to line it (I am not sensitive to wool, though), I would use something like this since it has a bit of stretch.
Well it turns out that because the fabric is so thick this cardigan is now probably closer to a sweater jacket because of the weight and heft of the fabric. If you get cold in winter and like to have a wool knit that will keep you toasty, this is your fabric.
Here in Virginia, this is actually a jacket I can wear as outerwear in the fall and spring since there are always quite a few days where the temps will be in the low 50s, and this jacket is perfect for those conditions. Otherwise this is a great dressy topper for chillier days when you need something to keep you warm inside.
Detective Houndstooth best describes this procedure, so I definitely encourage a visit to that blog post she wrote.
I want to point out that with a lot of steam from your iron, these seams were very easy to press. I knew that I was going to keep the whole seam allowance intact, so I realized that fully pressed seams were the only way to go. I used my tailor's ham for all of the seam pressing, and even at the armscye I got a very flat finish. Success. By properly pressing these down, I was able to control the bulk, and you can't tell from the outside that these were once very thick seams!
On the left side of the image you see the newly trimmed seam, where only the upper most seam was left full, the two below were trimmed to nearly an 1/8". On the right side is the full thick seam as it was before the shears came after it. ;-)
All cut away. I would say the trimming took me a good ten minutes, and after that pinning the allowances so the upper layer encloses those newly trimmed under layers so it could be topstitched from the right side took another thirty. Worth ALL the effort. The topstitching looks great and the seams lay flat. I didn't serge this seam, either. Again, if it starts to unravel, I will hand sew a finish. I really hope that its current state stays, since that is a lot of hand sewing. ;-)
What is great is that it is very easy to dress up, but surprisingly very easy to dress down. It looks super cute with a tee and jeans, for instance. And since this olive brown color is in my wardrobe in quite a few items (whether in a print or this exact shade), I will be able to wear it often!
I did make a size small, but in a stretchier knit, I will likely have to size down to an extra-small since I suspect that the stretchier knit would make the small too large for my frame, especially in the shoulders and neckline area.
BTW, that is another bonus to this thicker fabric, the collar easily stays up, and I didn't even interface the collar. (Can you imagine how stiff this would be all interfaced up?)
I haven't done this yet, but I did figure out a way I could add one snap to the front part of the collar to attach to the other snaps allowing for me to properly close the front of the jacket so it actually fully functions as a jacket. I also have plans to belt this jacket since I bet that would look cute, too.
Okay, that's it for now. I am so glad I was able to finally sew up this pattern! :-)
Thank you to Fabric Mart again for the fabric. So beautiful!