When I saw this textured knit last winter at Britex, it was love at first sight. I was so taken with the open weave, the natural color, the texture that was remiscent of eyelash knit, that I didn’t bother to check how much stretch it had, or to think about what I might sew with it. I just bought it!
When it was time to sew, I was pretty surprised to discover my lovely knit had absolutely no stretch at all. Ha, that will teach me. My gut told me it was perfect for a cardigan, but most patterns require two-way stretch. I did find one in my stash though that was more like a jacket than a sweater, a style that would be compatible with a stable knit.
McCalls 6708 is an out-of-print pattern I’ve used before here. I love the Chanel Jacket look, and the structure the front and neck bands add. I think you could get a similar look using a collar-less jacket pattern, adding patch pockets and front bands.
Challenges: This pattern required inserting buttonholes into a very loosely woven knit. I tried a few with remnants of the fabric and discovered my machine just wanted to eat it. So I fused little pieces of interfacing to the back of the band to put a protective layer between feeddogs and fabric. The buttonholes were a success, but this changed this project from easy to requires patience.
This knit, even though stable, has a tendency to stretch, a less than ideal characteristic when it comes to patch pockets. So, to help the pockets keep their shape, I interfaced the entire pocket. Because the fabric unravel easily, I serged the seams.
I think it looks a little bit retro, don’t you? This sweater will be perfect for Spring. Even though this knit wasn’t ideal for this project, I do love how it turned out and I’m so glad it came home with me! Have you started your Spring sewing?
In other sewing news, I’ve started my night dress for the Day and Night Dress challenge. I can’t wait to show it to you. I’m also gathering fabric and patterns to participate in the Pattern Review Wardrobe Challenge. I’m not sure I’ll be able to get them all sewn before the deadline, but I’m going to have fun trying. It’s stripe month over on the Sewcialists too…so much inspiration right now in our community!
Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!
8 thoughts on “A Textured Knit Cardigan For Spring”
Beautiful cardi Elle! I have this on my list for this year for sure. I used to wear cardi’s all the time but had trouble finding any that I really liked in the shops. My preference is for a cotton knit because I don’t want it too warm and it needs to breath since I’m typically warm. So I realized I’m just going to have to darn well make my own. I bought the Itch to Stitch cardi and have the fabric, now just need to do it. It was exactly the buttonholes in knit that was worrying me! I notice in most RTW they use a grossgrain ribbon at the back to stabilize and they probably use some interfacing as well. I’ll have to practice a bit. I had thought about snaps but that feels like cheating 🙂
I totally agree about loving cotton knit. It’s so nice to wear. This knit is a cotton blend, but they are hard to find in RTW and also in fabric stores but so worth hunting for. I noticed the grosgrain ribbon on some ready to wear buttonholes too and that would be a good option too! Snaps could look cute, if you decide not to take the buttonhole plunge, I’m sure whatever you do it will be cute!
This is so amazing and so cute!xx
Great fabric find, as usual! I can see it pairing effortlessly with so many things. 🙂 I am very excited about Stripe Month on Sewcialists: there have been so many great things shared already, and it’s only the 5th day!
Cardigans are something I know I need to make (I literally have one, and it looks rough) but it’s hard to buckle down and sew them. At least in my case I know there won’t be any buttons and buttonholes involved–I have never used the buttons on a RTW cardigan! I would recommend tear-away stabilizer for buttonholes on difficult fabrics: I’ve had a lot of success with it on knits and wovens, although nothing nearly as textured and challenging as your sweater knit. Glad you were able to find a solution that worked for you, though!
I agree, stripe month has been great so far! Lots of tips and great makes. I haven’t tried the tear away stabilizer although I have seen it in the stores, and it probably would have been quite handy to have used it in this instance, but I didn’t have any. Probably should add it to my on-hand sewing supplies. Yes, cardigans are so handy to have in your closet and they aren’t hard for someone as accomplished as you – – after all, you have sewn a Marfy!