Thursday, November 17, 2016

Jacquard Knit Cardigan

I really should stay off of Pinterest. Sometimes I get these ideas in my head, and no matter how hard I try, they don't pan out. That's what happened with today's creation, a kimono-sleeve cardigan from McCall's 6802.

First, fabric. I got this medium-weight jacquard knit from the Etsy shop Urban Rag Trader and it is awesome. And it was $4/yard!! It's thick, warm, and behaved like a ponte. This was one of those times where I had a great fabric and didn't want to screw it up with the wrong pattern, but I think I kind of did. Here are my inspiration photos from Pinterest to show you where my train of thought was going:

I chose McCall's 6802 because it had the fewest seam lines of any of my cardigan patterns. I liked the draped front that could turn and show the reverse, which in this case is a nice speckled black. I've made the pattern once before, so it was already cut, which might have influenced me a bit too much. I had the same problem this time around that I did the last time (slow learner?). There was way too much volume. I made a size 8, the smallest in the envelope. I did not add pockets.

Sewn as-drafted it looked way too much like a bathrobe. After I took the above photo, I went back and removed 1" under the arm, starting at the sleeve hem and then tapering to nothing at the hip. It gave me a slightly more fitted look like my inspiration photos. But the more I looked at it, the more I realized I should have made a cardigan pattern with set-in sleeves. I had been trying to avoid crazy directional issues with lots of seams but it just didn't work.

It's possible I just have a styling issue. I tried my best here, but perhaps I should have thought of potential pairings before sewing, huh? After finishing, I realized that what I should have made was a Morris Blazer. I still could have gotten the cool reverse black lapel, but it would be more structured. I'm half-tempted to order more of this fabric just to overcome my regret!

An additional note about this pattern: the waterfall portion is not hemmed or finished in any way. There is a center-back seam behind the neck that shows when you turn down the drape.

I covered my seam by hand with black rayon seam tape. If I were more fired up about this cardi I would do the same for the rest of the seams, since they occasionally peak out. And because the drape isn't finished, there is a part inside where the hem meets an un-hemmed part and just looks sloppy:

I could not double-turn this fabric to hem, it was too thick for my coverstitch, so I only have a single turn here. But you get the point.

I will not make this pattern again, I've learned my lesson. I'd still like to decide on outfit options though so I can wear this one, since the fabric is cozy and warm. Am I being too hard on myself or is everyone else seeing what I'm seeing here?


  1. Love the fabric, order more and make the Morris! It looks better after you took it in, though it is still a bit big on you.

  2. There's plenty of fabric to work with. Can you take it apart and use it to cut the Morris blazer? I haven't made that pattern so don't know exactly what the pieces look like.

  3. In my never-to-be-humble opinion, your disappointment in this garment is based on its failure to embody your inspiration, and not anything wrong with the cardigan itself. I love your inspiration pieces, but the only resemblance they bear to your garment is the 3/4 length and that the fabric is knit. Both of the pieces you admired have bold patterns and close fitting sleeves. I believe you are correct that yours would have been better with set-in sleeves. Regardless, it is a nice cardigan, and I wonder if you might like it better, if you made a matching tie belt for it, as this would significantly diminish the slouchiness, which you seem to dislike. I really think it might do the trick.

    1. Ann you are so wise! I think you're right, it doesn't meet my vision but there isn't anything particularly "wrong" with this. Thank you for your perspective!

  4. I think you're being hard on yourself as we tend to do sometimes. I actually prefer the original draft on you. I think the oversized/baggy look looked better on you. Especially with the skinny jeans, maybe belting it and boots.

  5. I have the same bunching problem with dolman sleeves. I've learned to cut the pattern into a semi-raglan (seam joins to the shoulder seam instead of the neckline; search semi-raglan on Google Images to see) and that gives me a way to reduce the bunching, sometimes even with concave seam lines. Otherwise it's a very nice garment, well worth saving. Good luck.


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