Hi all – I can’t believe it’s already March! There are hints of spring all around and I am starting to think about sewing for a new season, but first I finished a project that has been hanging around for a little while.
Way back in November I signed up for the Crafty Secret Santa on A Krafty Kat, because who doesn’t love sewing related mystery gifts? I was totally amazed when a parcel arrived in time for Christmas all the way from New Zealand! I was last minute about sending a package within the UK so I am really impressed that someone negotiated international posting deadlines on my behalf. I hope they received something lovely from their Santa in return.When I opened the gift at Christmas I was even more over the moon because I had been sent a length of black merino wool. I haven’t even seen fabric like this locally and it was absolutely lovely. Incredibly lightweight and fine and warm. I was really nervous about sewing with something so delicate, but I wanted to make the most of it.
Since the fabric had come all the way from New Zealand, I went for Muse Patterns Jenna Cardigan. This pattern was released last year and I love the idea of a sewn cardigan as I don’t knit, but I hadn’t come across any suitable fabric to make one. You can see examples made up here and here and here.
This pattern comes with cropped or hip length options, three sleeve lengths and a gathered yoke option. I had barely a metre of fabric but I managed to squeeze out the longer length, with three-quarter length sleeves. I did have to cut the waistband narrower – I simply folded the pattern piece in half. I also made narrower cuffs. I cut a size 36 at the bust and waist grading out to a 38 at the hip. This gave me quite a pronounced curve out towards the hip and I could have skipped this as it doesn’t entirely match my shape.
This was a perfect project for using my overlocker as I suspect my machine might have eaten up the very fine fabric. I sewed most of the seams using the overlocker then top stitched the bands with my machine using a slightly longer stitch than usual. I did find that I slightly stretched out both the neckline – which looks a little wonky as a result – and one of the button bands, which ended up about half an inch longer than the other. I stretched the other one out as best I could to try to match them up at least. It isn’t totally obvious when buttoned up I hope.
At that point I completely stalled for a few weeks – I was cross with myself for stretching the button band and a bit nervous that sewing the buttonholes would also go wrong. In the end I went for as few buttonholes as possible and it was very quick and painless.
I am really pleased with the finished cardigan and I can really see myself making another if I find the right fabric. I like that I can wear it open as well as buttoned up and it will be perfect as a really lightweight layer in the spring. I am really pleased I was able to make the most of the fabric I received – there werejust a few scraps left afterwards!
So did you get a Secret Santa gift – and have you made use of it yet? And where can I get more merino wool in the UK – I would love to try this lovely fabric again!