Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Billy Cardigan



I think, when I'm not at work, cardigans are probably what I wear 90% of the time.  (well, cardigans layered over PJs.  Am I the only person who changes into pajamas the minute I get home?)

I've been seeing a bunch of pretty draped cardigans around, but I haven't found any that I love.  

Until I saw Katy  (who has this incredibly understated and elegant aesthetic) from No Big Dill's  tutorial for luvinthemommyhood.  I knew I had to give it a try.  Love the finished product :)


I love the neckline crossed over and pinned.  Sophisticated, but still incredibly comfy. Or...


Open and breezy.
Last night I wore it open with a skinny belt. 
But I left the belt at my sister's house. 
Uh-oh. 
Also, those skinny belts aren't the most comfortable.  At least when I sat down I didn't think so... maybe it's time to buy a bigger belt :) 

(also, what in the world kind of pose is that that I'm making??  I think I may have to start cropping my head out of every picture.)

Some How-To Advice for this Project
I am a bit of a completely hasty sewer.  I tend to skim directions and almost always jump right in and then regret it after I screw up something major. 

So a few things to be wary of if you decide to make one of your own...

1. The shoulder seams are sewn wrong sides together, then top-stitched down against the garment.  It makes a beautiful finish.  Here's the part I missed:  Top stitch down first, then trim the seams down to 3/8 inches.  One of my shoulder seams has some really wonky stitching because I trimmed then top stitched.

2. The decorative thread for top-stitching is a bear to work with.  I have a sewing machine that is incredibly temperamental with cheap and/or fancy thread.  It kept breaking and fraying and clogging up the works.

3. The entire garment is NOT sewn with all seams on the outside.  Only the shoulder.  I did the whole thing minus the sleeves with the outside seams, then decided that was far too much decorative stitching.  I ripped the entire thing apart and re-sewed. 

4. This is really an easy project!  Knits really are forgiving, and even with my seam snafu, it probably took me about 2 hours to draft the pattern, cut, and sew.  Then rip apart (sigh.) and re-sew.


10 comments:

Mo said...

Super cute!

Lori Frome said...

This is beautiful and so versatile!

luvinthemommyhood said...

Oh my gosh!!! So fabulous! You did such a great job and your tips were super helpful, I need to make this for myself still!
Oh, and the jeans - super comfy, super stretchy but with no sag anywhere! it's a miracle! at least in my case the only place there was stretch was the waist and that's where i needed it. overall super comfy!

k a t y said...

Fantastic job!! You know my machine does just fine with finer/fancy thread, but gets really touchy with heavy duty thread. Isn't it funny how even sewing machines have personalities? I'm so pleased that you like it. I bought some more fabric in brown to make me another one ;) Thanks for sharing.

Emily said...

Your Billy looks great! My machine was mad at me with the decorative thread too but it's so pretty. sigh. You should totally make a little one- it goes even faster the second time around, plus it's littler. :) PS- I completely agree with the switching to pjs.

Ms Muffin said...

Loving the look of it. The only thing that I probably would not like that much - I would need it to be able to close. Without the pin I mean. Maybe one could sew a wide fabric belt or something *thinking*
I have never been a fan of thin belts. ;-)
Will keep this post and think about it ...
Thanks for sharing this. (And I do love to wear PJs, too. :-) However they are often too cold.)

pinkfiktion said...

I like it a lot. I think i´m gonna try one, but I don´t sew that good and my sewing machine is so simple, I don´t know if it will work with that kind of fabric. Anyway I´ll try. Thank you!!

opportunityknits said...

It's so pretty. Thanks for the tips and it's great to know that it can be done in a couple of hours :)

Marie said...

@Emily - I've already made another, and I've got fabric to make the little girl one, too. Thanks for encouragement!

@Ms. Muffin - sometimes the pin closure does get on my nerves. I've been playing around with the idea of buttons or ties, similar to how a wrap dress is engineered. Have to play around with it some more.

@pinkfiktion - you can totally do this on a simple machine. My machine is definitely entry level, and the only issue I have is w/the decorative thread.

@oppurtunityknits - I made a second one, and it went even faster. The pattern drafting is what took so long the first time. The second one took me an hour, maybe. Super fast b/c there is basically no finishing needed on the garment.

Giddy for Paisley said...

Love this cardi! Just curious as to what you did with the shoulder cap seam allowance; did you trim it down before sewing the sleeve/side together?Lay it open? Thank you

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