After spotting this cardigan on Ebay, and deciding I “needed” it for spring, worrying about the quality and sizing, but mostly not wanting to wait the 6 weeks to receive it from China, I went in search of materials to make it myself.
I found a lovely navy and white stripe that has a really good feel to it, just a small amount of lycra for just $2.99 a yard! I also picked up 1/8th of a yard of a caramel ultra-suede to use for elbow patches. I can’t tell you which exact one I bought but I do know it is available online and the lovely women who work at Field’s Fabrics will help you find the perfect one over the phone. I chose ultra-suede over suede, or leather, because it is so much lighter weight, machine washing is a bonus.
I couldn’t find a pattern exactly like I wanted so I went with Butterick 6328. I started out using the vest version D, then adding the sleeves from version A.
It went together easy enough. The pattern’s directions use a traditional sewing machine, I did use a serger which made for a neat and fast finish.
The pattern I bought was multi-sized and the smallest was an 8, this correlated to a size small, in ready to wear, no matter what the measurements on the pattern envelope says! Sleeves were still too long and the shoulders a tad wide, but nothing that couldn’t be altered.
Once I finished it, I quickly realized I had more altering to do. While I have, and love, two of these long cardigans, for winter, I decided this one was just too long for spring and summer. I decided the points had to be cut off. I cut them straight off from the side seam to the point on the front edge which allowed for a perfect drape.
The other major change I made was to remove the inseam pockets. I like pockets, but these just added bulk to the hip area, they hung in a lump. I think because the material is lightweight the pockets just hung. If a person wanted pockets, they could probably inset them as written, but then topstitch them to the front of the cardigan, preventing them from sagging to the hips.
As for the elbow patches, I drew up a pattern, cut both out with a rotary cutter, at the same time, to keep nice crisp edges.
Traditional, store-bought patches are 4 3/4 ” x 6 1/4″. I cut mine slightly smaller at 4 1/4″ x 6″ which was perfect for a size small and slimmed down sleeves. I first found something round that I could trace around for a 4 1/4″ circle. I then drew a rectangle of the size I wanted, (4 1/4″ x 6″), in pencil, on the backside of the ultra suede. I used the tin and traced a circle at one end of the rectangle, scooted down to the other end and drew another circle. I then used my small rotary cutter to cut along the edges, switching to a ruler for the short straight section. It worked perfectly!
I temporarily basted the sleeve seam closed, I had altering to do though, the sleeves were wider than what I wanted for this lightweight fabric. I seamed them in 2″ almost all the way to the armpits, tapering to the pits 1″, that is total measurement, so half those numbers on both the front and back edges of the sleeve.
I then pinned the patches where I thought they belonged. Once I had it where I wanted it, I opened the sleeve, transferred the measurements to the other sleeve and sewed the patches on while the sleeve was flat, topstitching, with a topstitching thread, 1/8″ from the edges.
Instant gratification and I couldn’t be happier with this one. Now for some warmer weather so I can actually wear it!