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Wednesday, August 1, 2012
One More Version:
Vogue 8839
I had such good luck last week tweaking my new sweater/jacket cardi pattern in a cotton double weave knit, so this week I tried it again in another sweater knit fabric.

The fabric is one I found last spring and have been saving it and eyeing it for fall. It is an Italian double weave knit I named
Panache, Panache, which is a word of French origin that carries the connotation of a flamboyant manner and reckless courage. Totally different on one side than the other, the two knit layers are joined at the dots and at some of the some areas the layers float. The supplier labeled it wool, but I think the outer fabric is a cashmere/wool blend, and the inner fabric is a cotton/wool blend. I loved the look and feeling, very soft and cozy. Love the black/brown/cream dot and stripe combo, it will go with a lot of my cool weather basics.
Right Side and Wrong Side
Sample Piece After Washing

Finished: Can be worn it open or closed

See the Layers

My thought was to cut it on the cross grain so the stripes run up and down and so I can use the selvedge at the hem edge. So, the first thing I did was to cut a piece about 9 wide and see what would happen if I tossed it in the washer and drier. One piece was just machine washed and air dried, the other was machine washed and put in the dryer. The dryer piece seemed to shrink and full a bit.
Next, I needed to guess the amount of yardage. I placed my pattern pieces on the fabric (still attached to the bolt), allowed for some shrinkage and cut a 2 1/2 yard length.
Then, I tossed this in the washer, this time using a HOT wash and COLD rinse cycle, hoping to shock the wool, going for even more shrinkage. It did not change that much, but left a lot of lint debris in the washing machine. So far, so good, so I tossed it into the drier. When I pulled it out, there was a lot more lint in the drier and in the lint catcher. Needed to vacuum the dryer, but the fabric looked ok. The cut edges were raggedy and it was a bit rumpled, so I gave it a good steaming/pressing, laid it out on the table and gave it a second good pressing. This was key to smoothing the fabric out, with some gentle tugging and sculpting to get it to lie flat and relatively straight.
Pressing the fabric gave me a sense of how the fabric would hang and stretch and recover. I could tell it would stretch a bit, but not out of control...OK with me if it grows a bit in length, but I wanted plenty of ease so I could wear it over other things.

Cutting and Construction
  • There was a lot of patting, arranging and pfutzing when I placed the fabric on the cutting table in preparation for cutting. Did my best to get the stripes lined up on both layers, to have the fold and selvedges lined up. Then I got out the pattern pieces and played around with the layout.
  • Eliminated the lower bands on the front, back and sleeve, lengthened each of these pieces to compensate for the bands and placed the hems on the selvedge.
  • Eliminated the pocket, just not right to put a welt pocket in this soft fabric...Ill miss the pocket but not the hassle and the thickness. This turned out to be the right choice.
  • Did not cut the center front band or the collar, decided to wait and see. This turned out to be the right choice too.
  • Used 1 seam allowance at the side seams and added 1/4 at the center back (1/2 total), cutting the back on a fold. This extra bit of ease was a good thing, the fit is easy and fluid.
  • Cut the front on the lengthwise grain so the stripes go horizontally...wanted this contrast.
Laying out the pattern: this photo just shows the general idea. My pattern pieces are just traced on white paper, from the prototype stage. When I place the pattern pieces for cutting I am SUPER careful to be accurate.
Stitch first, then serge

I LOVE it!
Making this reminded me of leggos and lincoln logs because I had to do one step at a time before deciding where to go next.

The finished sweater jacket is slouchy and cozy. It falls in an amorphous way I like very much. Ill wear it with a sweater pin to hold it closed and in place when the weather is cold, but I appreciate that it can be worn indoors and out, and that I can layer it under my raincoat and winter jacket.
Sewed this in 90 degree heat, had to wait for night to fall to do the hand sewing!

Saturday, July 28, 2012
Vogue 8839
I Love You, Now Change....
The new
Vogue Fall Patterns hit the internet a couple of days ago, including 2 new patterns from both myself and Katherine. Some of the sewing bloggers are having fun with the styling of the photography, (a change from past pattern photo shoots). There are a number of things in the new collection that are on my wish list....Katherine's pants are next in line, and I want to make her fabulous shirt, and I love the Issey Miyke coat.....but FIRST, I was inspired to whip up a cardi to wear right now using my new pattern, Vogue 8839. I really like the way Vogue styled the pattern photos, showing the slouchy knit sweater-jacket with jeans....and even a cowboy hat! Also love that they show the longer version belted, a great look if you have the long lean figure for that.

This was fast, fun and very satisfying to make in one of our new fabulous Japanese cotton double weave knits. I love this is so simple to make, mostly just straight sewing, but I changed it to suit the fabric and use the cool selvedges. Took about 3 1/2 yards of fabric because the narrow knit only has selvedge on one side....I think they make the fabric in a wider width, then cut in half lengthwise to be able to hand print the design print which is added in a second run after the fabric is constructed, that extra step plus the quality of the fabric itself and that it is imported from Japan explains why it is so expensive. This exquisite cotton knit comes in three color ways: gray, blue and creamy ivory. I used the gray
Arcata Japanese Cotton Knit.
  • I cut the fabric on the cross grain. There is not much stretch in the cross grain, so I'd recommend adding 1"total at center back and cutting the side seams with a 1" seam allowance to allow for fitting.
  • I made the shorter version and eliminated the bottom bands, so lengthened the front and back pieces the width of the band, and used the selvedge at the hem edge.
  • Made the sleeves 3/4 length, had to do the math by tissue fitting.
  • Filled in the 'gap' on the lower front edge of the center band by stitching a scrap of the selvedge along the edge.
  • No serging, just plain seams, this fabric does not ravel.
  • Made the collar double, used the selvedge on the top layer, trimmed the under layer so the selvedge would show, used a raw edge and edge stitched in place.
  • The reverse side of the fabric is warm white, like the selvedge, so I used the selvedge to tie the front and back sides of the fabric together....the collar and edge 'waterfall' and the underside of the fabric shows, so that is part of the overall design.
  • LOVE having the pockets in a cardi...they are surprisingly easy to make in a knit, the fabric is very forgiving.

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