A Cardigan for Early Spring:McCalls 6802

img_1938Yes, I know the title of this post is optimistic. Sure, there are several months of cold weather between me and Spring, but I can dream, can’t I?

This knit fabric is so soft, I knew at first sight I had to make a sweater-y wrap from it. This new cardigan is a perfect seasonal transition piece: it’s as cozy as a coat, but as soft and light as a sweater. I’ve had this knit in my stash for several years (!!). You know how it goes..sometimes you love a fabric so much, you can’t bear to cut into it.I’m glad I finally settled on this cardigan though, becuase I’ve worn it constantly since I finished it.img_1876I am a big fan of any garment that has a hood. They’re so useful when battling the elements of course, but also just to keep the chill off my neck. So the fact that McCall’s 6802 had one was a big selling point for me.

m6802_aThis loose-fitting cardigan could not be easier to make! It isn’t lined and the sleeves are cut as part of the bodice. So easy! I was able to finish it in about 3 hours. I did make one modification though. The pattern is designed to have an unlined hood with the wrong side showing. Although I like both sides of this fabric, I wanted the inside of the hood to provide contrast, so I cut a duplicate  of the hood and the front band pieces to use as a facing.

img_1968Not only does the lining provide contrast, but the facing makes the hood  warmer too. The sizing on this pattern is generous.  I cut a size 8 (the smallest size), but it was still too big, so I had to take in the seams until it fit. Also, the pattern doesn’t call for a front closure and, although I love the oversized look of it when worn open, I’ll likely wear it with a belt to keep it from becoming a parachute in the wind. If that gets tiresome, I’ll probably just add a couple of buttons down the front.

img_1900Because the cardigan is unlined, I finished the seams with my serger.A note about the sleeves: I like rolling them up a bit when I wear them, and I forgot to take photos of them unrolled. So, just so you know, they are loose and about three-quarter length, cut ‘kimono’ style. img_1947My style is pretty casual these days, so I think this cardigan will be a great addition to my wardrobe. I like the weight of this knit. It’s not too heavy, but warm, so it should be great to wear outside when the weather improves just a little. This fabric is a cat hair magnet though! Hmmm, a certain feline is going to have to stay away from me when I wear it. The colors are great though – -Not only do they blend with Dustin’s fur, but the earthy tones have just a pop of warmth that makes me feel cozy when I wear them.

Even though there’s alot of cold weather ahead, I’m feeling the urge to sew with Spring fabrics…crisp cottons and linens, maybe even some silk. But do I have anything planned? Not so much. I seem to be enjoying ‘sewing on a whim’ these days, and working through my stash. When do you transition into Spring sewing? Is now the time, or am I too early?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

 

 

 

A color-blocked tee in ‘Merlot’: the perfect palette cleanser

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After completing a challenging sewing project, I often find I need an easy follow-up ‘sew’, sort of a palette cleanser, you know? A tee or a top is my ‘go-to’ project at times like these and I feel especially virtuous if my project uses up a bit of my huge, largely untamed fabric stash.

I found this great red ponte in my stash, and decided it needed to go out into the world. It’s a wine-y red, similar to the color Pantone chose for 2015, ‘Marsala’, a robust and earthy wind red that they describe as a ‘hearty but stylish tone’ (LOL).  I gotta give them credit. They definitely called that trend, because that color of red is everywhere! In Nordstrom’s fall catalog, they called it ‘merlot’ and nearly every page included a splash (Ha) of it. And who among us doesn’t love a color that reminds them of their favorite beverage?

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The Merlot ponte in my stash was perfect for a tee, but there wasn’t enough for a long sleeved style (so typical…), so I was forced to color block (Yes, I’m a fool for it), mixing my wine-colored fabric with accents of black and gray.

The pattern I chose for my easy-to-wear tee is Vogue 8710, a semi-fitted pullover top.

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The pattern was released awhile ago, but it’s still around. I love tees that fit closely around the bust and shoulders, but that have an interesting shape. This one fits that criteria perfectly because it’s almost bell shaped at the bottom, which I love, but it’s not too loose either.

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View B is a color blocking dream-come-true because it has curved side panels that add interest to the fit, but are also the perfect host for a contrasting color.

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For me, the fit of this pattern is pretty spot on, in spite of the fact that I have really narrow shoulders. I think this means that others might need to adjust the pattern a bit? I used red ponte’ for the bodice (moderate stretch), dark gray for the side panels, and black jersey for the sleeves and neck binding. My ponte’ knit was pretty substantial with a lot of body, but with a good drape. This seems important to support the cool shape of the bottom of the tee. I don’t think this pattern would work as well if your knit was too lightweight, even though the suggested fabric include light jerseys. Just saying….

The pattern was super easy to put together. I used the knit stitch on my regular sewing machine and it worked fine. This tee qualifies as a quick sew to be sure. You don’t have to think too much so you can watch Game of Thrones and never miss a beat. And it’s so fun to have a new top that you started in the morning, but wear in the afternoon.

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I think I’ll make this top again, probably in some random shades of blue (I’m obsessed!). Do you have a favorite ‘palette cleanser’ pattern? Do share! Happy Sewing! And thanks for stopping by.