Monday, 16 February 2015

Completed: A Julia Cardigan

I had the house to myself last week while John was away up north with work. This left me with a little bit of time to make up my most recent item: A Julia Cardigan!

I picked up the pattern with one of the pattern parcels last year and recently I have seen a few cropping up over the internets. This got me thinking - I picked up a load of John Kaldor Jersey in the sale last month in Mandors  (At only £4.99 / m it was rude to leave it on the shelf...) and had been looking for something other than another Bronte to make it up into! The fabric is really light and drapey and proved a bit of a nightmare to work with!!

So based upon the sizing charts and my measurements, I made the cardigan up in a size L. I  made up the version with 3/4 sleeves and the unlined collar. This was definitely the right size to make. I think it fits well and is certainly the size I would want this type of garment to be. The only change that I would make in subsequent versions is to taper in the cuffs a little and shorten the sleeves so they hit at exactly my elbow to save me always houking them up.

Reading through the instructions I never noticed anything about stabilising the shoulders or neckline - this worried me slightly as I recently had to chuck out a holy jumper which had stretched out all over the shop and I reckon this was coz there was nothing to keep it in shape. So I went over the full neckline and shoulders with some ribbon. Will this work? - Time will tell.

Ribbon all around neckline and stitch to hold collar in place
I had a few problems sewing this up - not because of pattern pieces or instructions but with my machine. It clearly didn't like the fabric and the threads kept bunching up on the underside. I was using a ball point needle and stitch length of 2.5 - my guess is that this was a problem with the tension? It really didn't like the tension on auto and it seemed to work a bit better when I cranked this up to around 6- does anyone have any ideas?

I'm now going to let you all in on a sneeky seecret. I didn't finish a single seam OR hem it. The reason? These edges are going nowhere and I didn't want to fight any more with my machine than I had to. The only thing which I added for finishings sake was a few stitches over the centre top back seam. I put a few stitches over the seam here to stop the neck rolling back on itself and exposing the insides. I actually investigated the insides of a dress which I own with an overlay of the same type of jersey. None of these seams were finished either so clearly this is a proven technique!

The seams are going nowhere so I didn't want to overlock in red...

I like the results. I have worn the cardi a lot this weekend - it works well for the office and isn't overly warm or bulky and can be worn quite successfully under my new awesome (not me made) leather jacket - win!!

So an easy make hindered by my machines distaste for this fabric. I have around another metre of this fabric left however am a bit reluctant to use it until I've worked the issues with my machine.

Have a good week guys!

Jen xx


  1. Oh Jennifer -- it is fabulous! I love with knits that you can leave seams unfinished. I have no advice since my machine does not like drapey thin knits -- I read somewhere that you can use a pieces of paper (sew right over them) to help stabilize (I have not tried this!). Do you have a walking foot?

    1. I agree! I enjoy being able to have something finished so much faster :-D. The paper method could be a shout actually - my machine didn't mind sewing over the pieces with the ribbon however the rest was like wrestling an octopus!

  2. Those dots are so cute! I would dare to guess either tenssion or improper bobbin threading.
    ps. I love a good “pick your battles” attitude :)

    1. I know the bobbin was definate;ly threaded right so thats at least one thing i can discount! however yes i think maybe a mix of tension issues and using tissue to stabilise may do the trick! On the subject of finishing edges - it has now survived a second wash so theres definitely no need to worry!

  3. Beautiful Jennifer !
    Sew pretty !
    Have a nice day !

  4. Nice one! think ribbon should work okay- i tend to use that stretchy interfacing really useful to stabilise

    1. Cheers :-) I have worn this quite a bit and so far so good....!


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