It’s Selfish Sewing week over at Indiesew and Imagine Gnats! One of the most inspiring things for sewing for yourself is to see lots of things sewn by women of all different ages and sizes. I love seeing what everyone else sews. It helps me learn about more patterns, fitting tips, and really sewing something you’d love. I was asked to be part of the blog tour and was given one pattern to review. I chose the Jenna Cardi by Muse Patterns because I’ve been looking for a cardigan sewing pattern that can carry me through different weather and body transitions. My favorite thing about the pattern was how the sizing worked; it makes so much more sense than anything else I’ve seen! I’d love to one day make a fitted cardigan like the original, but it just wouldn’t work in my wardrobe for the next year. But with some alterations to the pattern, I was able to make three different cardigans from it!
I got a boyfriend cardigan about six years ago that I have worn into threads. I love the oversized fit, I love the long length, I love the pockets, but I’ve never truly loved the maroon color. I have been looking for a pattern to help me replace this cardigan for years. Luckily, the Jenna Cardi was very easy to alter to get exactly what I wanted. I lengthened it by 9 inches, cut it out two sizes larger than my measurements, added pockets, and changed the neckline to a v-neck.
I love the length. I wanted it long enough to wear with leggings, and I needed pockets to hold my keys and phone. The color is fantastic; it’s almost a neutral for me because I love blue so much. I can’t wait to mix and match it with other things in my closet. I used a soft interlock fabric that I got from a friend that sells me good fabric for cheap. It’s a great fabric.
This is going to be my momiform for the Fall. I’ll wear this cardigan with a nice tee, a warm scarf, and leggings or skinny jeans. I know I’ll love grabbing this cardigan as I’m running out the door with the kids to play outside. The color makes me happy and feels like me instead of the maroon one that I used to have.
The next version I made was a shortened version. I shortened it 1 inch shorter than the waist line, changed the neckline to a v-neck, and turned the hem band into a tie. I wanted a simple wrap sweater that I could wear even when I’m 9 months pregnant. This is perfect because the wrap let’s me loosen or tighten it on my rib cage, and it’s short enough to stay out of the way of my growing belly.
I used a gorgeous sweater knit that I found in the remnant bin at Joann’s. I was originally going to make something for my daughter, but I just loved the weave and texture of it. I barely eked out this sweater from the less than a yard cut. I had to be really strategic while cutting out to get the patterns and stripes to match up. If you are sewing stripes this is how to match stripes.
I didn’t have quite enough for the tie so I crocheted a little bit of cream yarn onto the ends. I can’t wait to wear this with dresses and tunics. It’ll give my outfit and waist definition, so I can wear shapeless things without feeling shapeless.
The last cardigan I made is a statement cardigan. I wanted something that would make me feel pulled together even if I didn’t feel like getting ready that day. It’s the exact same fit as the first but I only lengthened it 3 inches instead of 9 inches. I also added a leather shoulder patch and leather elbow pads. (Accidentally, it looks very similar to Becca’s recent striped cardigan on Free Notion. She also has a great tutorial for adding leather elbow patches to light knit fabric.)
This fabric is great. I thrifted it a couple of months ago immediately knowing it would become a cardigan. It’s a mediumweight interlock fabric, reversible, and has tiny silver knitted woven throughout. I love thrifting fabric and it’s one of my favorites ways to save money while sewing. Whenever I thrift fabric I like to do a fabric burn test. It’s hard to make it show up in photos, but you can kind of see it on my upper back in the picture below. The fabric was easy to work with, and the pattern comes together surprisingly quickly. My only regret is that I didn’t make it a tiny bit longer.
I was going to make it all basic and striped, but I realized these bold stripes would be a statement no matter what. So I decided to add some fun extras to make it really stand out. I can’t wait for colder weather and a baby bump to show through. Since I’ll have limited shirts to wear, I’ll need happy cardigans and layers to give me some options.