You get what you need"
Thank you Rolling Stones for that sage piece of advice.
I have been searching searching searching online and in (god forbid) actual stores for a white cropped cardigan. And do you think I can find one anywhere in the world? No! So last weekend I realised it was not going to happen before the end of winter, and I just needed to make my own.
Here is the cardigan that is my inspiration. I've been looking for something just like this in length and shape.
Gorgeous knit cardigan by my favourite Australian designer, Alannah Hill
My aim was to copy this cardigan pretty exactly, and this meant my first explorations of pattern making! I traced and pinned and cut and fiddled and came up with this, my calico pattern:
I did make a pattern piece for the sleeve too, just didn't bother pinning it to my dress form...
Now, retail fabric selection in Australia is not awesome, so I was unable to buy any actual knits to make my cardigan from, so instead I bought a lovely soft fluffy fabric that I think you are supposed to make baby rugs from... (and by the way, I bought WAY too much of it, so in the future I'm going to have a go at dying it).
It was pretty easy to sew, but very quickly I realised that I was going to have to bind each seam as there was fluff EVERYWHERE! Here is my cardigan part way through construction:
You can see that my calico pattern wasn't awesome, and I had to take the cardigan in at the waist
And you can also see (if you look really closely) my seam binding on the darts
Then it was time for the sleeves. Dun Dun DUN!!!! SET IN SLEEVES!!! One of my sewing nightmares. All that gathering of the ease and making it fit... then sewing it together and turning it through and realising that its all puckered and looks AWFUL and you have to unpick it and START AGAIN! Not with this fabric!! It went together like a dream and any puckering was hidden by the fluffiness of the fabric!
Next problem was the buttons. The fabric is soft and I didn't like the chances of my sewing machine doing buttonholes in it easily, so to get around that I stitched some wide bias tape behind where I would sew the buttons and do the buttonholes. My machine did the buttonholes like a dream, I finished all the unfinished edges and ended up with this:
Not that you can see from this photo, but Spotlight actually carries the exact same buttons from my Alannah Hill cardigan, but in white! Beutron makes them...lucky score!!
To make it not so plain, I am doing some embellishments. This really is a homage to my favourite designer's cardigans, so I have named it the AHhh! Cardigan. Yes I do seem to name all the items of clothing I make...
So, back to the Rolling Stones, yes I didn't get what I wanted, (from a shop), but I did find that I got what I needed. And that was a boost to my sewing confidence. I now know that I can make simple patterns, do set in sleeves, and problem solve as I go. And I'm also going to have a go at fabric dying!
This cardigan was made for a particular outfit that I've also had some custom resin jewellery made for, by the divine Miss Renee from Lucy Luxxe. I'm going to put the whole thing together this weekend and get some photos, so you can look forward to seeing the completed, embellished cardigan next week!
Thanks for reading