It’s early January and I’m not heading anywhere tropical so I shouldn’t really be sewing Spring garments, but Pattern Review had a contest …
For the 2019 Sewing Bee on Pattern Review, the challenge for Round 1 was to make a knit cardigan inspired by Pantone’s colour of 2019 – Living Coral.
There was plenty of hand wringing in the forums because not everyone likes coral, and some say it doesn’t suit their skin tone. But I love coral and actually purchased a piece of coral French terry from Fabric Mart last year so while I considered entering the contest I pulled the fabric out and draped it on my dress form. The terry wasn’t nearly as beefy as I thought and it draped nicely. So the fabric told me it didn’t want to be a pullover (as I had planned) and instead it dreamed of being a cardigan with some movement in the front, and a hood. (Yes, fabric talks to me, and to my cats.)
I vowed last year that I will not enter contests or challenges unless the resulting project is something I will actually wear. Fortunately, I will wear a cardigan in this colour of fabric, so I gave myself the go-ahead to find a pattern.
The nice drape and fun hood option attracted me. I did not like the look of the photo on the pattern >>>. The fabric looks too stiff, and it reminded me of an inexpensive cardigan I had many years ago where the fabric was a bit hard and crunchy. The line drawings for the hoodie had promise, although the waist tie had to go.
Ultimately I decided to make version B cut to the length of Version A.
This was destined to be a quick make because there are only 7 pieces and no complicated steps. I set a goal of making this garment well rather than going for the bling and messing it up.
The first thing I did was apply fusible knit stay tape to the shoulders and neck edges so they didn’t stretch. I also stored the pattern pieces flat rather than leaving on my dress form as I am apt to do.
After applying the stay tape I did up the few seams. On the centre seam of the hood, I used a French seam so it would look tidy.
In the past few weeks I’ve been trying to use my Brother CV3550 cover stitch machine more so I get used to it, and I had some really good success over Christmas. I had enough coordinating thread to do a two-needle cover stitch for the edges (the front band and the hem), and it turned out very nicely.
The pattern calls for topstitching all of the other seams, however I was feeling confident with my cover stitch so instead used a chain stitch. I like the look of that stitch. It’s a long topstitch on the right side, and has more definition on the inside.
The final step was to trim the excess fabric on the seam allowances.
I took considerably more care with this project and still was completed in about 4-hours. That’s manageable!
When I bought the French Terry I also picked up a piece of striped jersey that goes well. I used that fabric to make a Grainline Lark for my contest photos. The t-shirt wound up taking more time than the hoodie because I learned the hard lesson about cover stitch machines – the needles need to be perfect.
A quick note – for the contest you have to say how you are inspired by the colour Living Coral, and although it reminds me of Florida it doesn’t make me think of the sea or sea life – it makes me think of the dozens of brilliantly coloured flowers in gardens and landscapes.
All in, this was a fun week of sewing! I made something suitable to enter in the contest, and it will certainly be worn. Fingers crossed it gets me through to Round 2, but if it does not that’s (sort of) okay.