Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Getting back on the horse (in a cardigan I made)

I last posted on the 4th of November and at the time I was all I am hopeful I am will feel better this month (compared to October, which was rubbish) and will be able to get on with things!

Alas, I didn't feel better and didn't get on with things, a situation compounded by dire world events, rotten personal news, rubbish weather and a side order of I'm Just Not Feeling It Right Now glumness. I didn't even do the the many, many miles of curtain hemming that my mum is patiently waiting for me to finish in advance of the arrival of Hordes Of Houseguests (a.k.a. my brother and his family, visiting from Australia) who are coming for an extended Christmas visit.

At some point early in the month, I did work up the energy/enthusiasm to cut out a very simple knit project. Although the pieces I cut out then lurked about untouched for about three weeks, when I suddenly felt more enthusiastic this weekend I was therefore able to start sewing something straight away.
Burda Easy 02-2015-4D Coat with neckline darts - images from Burdastyle magazine.
This pattern is from Burda Easy A/W 2015, pattern 4D. I own a half dozen issues of Burda Easy but this was my first use of the patterns. As the name of the magazine suggests, the designs tend to be very straightforward with few pattern pieces, plus they come with real actual pattern sheets (no tracing! though you still have to add seam allowances) and much more comprehensive instructions than usual for Burda.

Burda Easy A/W 2015 Pattern 4D in blue floral ponte knit

This particular pattern is actually intended to be a woven coat, but my version is a cardigan or "coatigan" as I made it out of a mid-weight ponte knit. I do own quite a few patterns for cardigans actually made for knits, but once the idea to make this coat was in my head I couldn't persuade myself to find something else. Partly this was because I had a problem with the wrong side of this fabric as it's a really bright white. Obviously anything like a waterfall design where the wrong side is on show was therefore out of the question, but also it seemed like a lot of cardigan patterns I had didn't go a great job of concealing the wrong side. I also wanted very few style lines as I didn't want to break up the giant print too much. This very simple coat pattern ticked all those boxes and since the fabric was pretty but ultimately inexpensive I decided to run with it.

Back view. Giant floral print is giant

This garment was ultra easy to sew, as you would expect. With making it out of ponte knit I just overlocked about 90% of the construction so I didn't even need to do any extra seam finishing or anything. As always, however, facings are the bane of my existence. On the one hand, the wide facings do a good job of keeping the wrong side of the fabric hidden. On the other hand, despite me spending a while hand-sewing the facings into place along every seam and hidden area I could think of, they do tend to open up a little still. I'll have to see if this annoys me when I wear it for real or if I forget about it.

Innards, including the annoying front facings

Size and fit wise, I made a size 44 with my usual small square shoulder adjustment. It's a rather shapeless and voluminous garment -- for sure you'd have room to layer even if you made it in a woven. It has no fastenings, which is what I wanted, although the pattern could easily be made up differently since the other versions (A-C) all fasten various ways. On me, the fit is maybe a little wide at the shoulder, but not enough that I am too bothered about it.

Overall, I think I like this cardigan. It was certainly a nice easy way to get sewing again. However, I am a bit dubious about the print. I really loved the print as a piece of fabric, but I'm not sure it 100% translated the way I expected into a garment. The colours are perfect for my wardrobe but I don't know, sometimes I think florals skew very frumpy on me. I guess I'll see how it goes wearing it.

Next up: This week is curtain-hemming-apalooza on behalf of my long-suffering mum, who has waited quite long enough. After that I've got a pile of Christmas and holiday related sewing and knitting to do, plus I want to finish the blue jumper I stalled out on at the beginning of the autumn by the end of the year if I can. So I'll be busy busy busy, or at least I will be if I can just stay well enough and motivated enough to keep going this time!


  1. Nice to 'see' you again! I know what you mean about florals being frumpy, but I think the giant print takes it out of frumpiness.

    1. Having worn it, I think I do like it! Florals are so tricky though.

  2. I really like the way the print looks in the finished garment. Looks more fun than frumpy IMO. If the facings bug you, perhaps some topstitching is the way to go? In ponte they might begin to sag otherwise.

    1. The problem is that this ponte wanted to stretch quite badly when I was sewing it. Not sure how it would take to top stitching... When I wore it I wasn't too bothered by the facings. I think they irritate me more when I am sewing than when I am actually wearing garments, in the end.