Did you miss me? I ended up taking some time out due to some health problems that turned into worries and ended up with a hospital procedure. Thankfully. the outcome seems to be ok, although it wasn’t the most fun of things to go through and the anxiety of it all exhausted me. Anyway, I’m trying to get back up to speed with projects by starting off with a bold-coloured make in the form of my McCalls 7476 cardigan. The fabric is a pure wool garter stitch sweater knit in burnt orange that I bought from Stone Fabrics.
This colour isn’t one that I’ve worn before but it’s actually a pretty close match to the bright rust in my Soft Autumn colour palette and what sealed the deal is that it’s also in both of my statement print long-sleeved tops, here and here
At the forefront of my mind when I bought the fabric (it’s dry clean by the way) was how I could finish the hems and the seams neatly, given that it’s a proper knit with a fairly loose stretchy structure. I decided that a knit jersey binding for the hems and seams would be a good idea and luckily Bess from Stone Fabrics was very helpful in finding a perfect match viscose binding for me…thank you, Bess!
What about the pattern? I hear you ask…well, it’s a fairly simple dropped-shoulder design with length options and a shawl-style collar if you want it. I chose view B and I cut a size small around my shoulders and armholes grading out to almost a medium at the hip.
I finished the shoulders, armhole and sides in the same way. First I stitched the seam with a slight zig-zag using my walking foot, then I pressed, trimmed and laid the binding over the top. Next, I stitched down each side of the binding. The resulting seams look quite decorative and also really neat on the inside.
To finish the hems, and front edges I stitched the binding along one edge then pressed it up to the inside and slip stitched along the top edge. I had tried machine stitching them up but the bottom of the cardi proved troublesome because of the lines of garter stitch in the knit. If I veered off course a bit and crossed over a line of garter stitch it kind of looked really higgledy-piggledy and messy so I went with the neater option. The pockets are also hand-stitched into place with binding along the top.
And that’s it…Had I chosen a Ponte knit or another sort of stable knit fabric this would have been a fast sew. Trust me to choose something that causes more labour-intense sewing! But I have to say that I love the easy casual vibe of my cardigan and the colour is so cheerful…plus my hubby approves of it so that’s a win in my books.
I’ve really loved sewing and planning to sew lots of fun basics. I think this cardi will be a great wardrobe addition.
Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the internet and I’ll see you soon x
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Glad you’re feeling better. I found your site when I went searching for a sewing blogger who had done a cardigan. I just ordered sewing supplies, and while it’ll be awhile before I’m sewing garments…I do know cardigans and robes will be on the list. Happy to see you mention colors, too! Earlier this year I did the color system (dark autumn! we’re like seasonal cousins!) and the Kibbe system and learned why I’ve struggled so much with shopping over the years; my love of grays and skinny jeans was doing me no favors… I’m excited and committed to learning how to make my own clothes that fit my color, my style, and my body type. I know your blog will be a huge source of inspiration!
Hello Jocellyn, I’m so pleased that you found me! So sorry for being a little late replying as I haven’t checked in on my blog for a while (too busy gardening!)
Ooh yes, we are seasonal colour neighbours! I often steal shades from dark autumn as I prefer a little more contrast in my outfits lately. I’ve always been fascinated by colours and body type/proportions. I find it all so helpful when deciding what to make for myself. I wish you lots of luck in your style and sewing journey.
I am so thankful that you are better! The cardigan is spectacular in every way!
Thank you so much, Pamela! That’s really kind of you yo say x
So sorry you’ve had a bad time health wise, but you’ve had a good time sewing wise! I love everything about this cardi – a he style, the colour, and it’s so beautifully sewn. The knitting would make it hard but you’ve managed it brilliantly!
Thanks so much, Sue! This knit texture was certainly a challenge to work with and it would have taken half the time if it was a ponte.
Glad to hear you’re recovering!
The texture on that fabric looks great, and the insides are a thing of beauty with the binding. I think it’s an excellent pairing of pattern and fabric.
Thanks, Catherine. I’m feeling tons better. Glad you like my cardi.
So sorry to hear you’ve been having health issues, Diane but delighted you’re back with us again! I always love yr posts, yr great sense of humour as well as your sewing ideas. I live the way yr not afraid of a sewing challenge too. Stay well and enjoy lots more sewing. Christine, New Zealand xx
You’re a treasure, thank you, Christine. Much appreciated. And I’m planning lots of new makes as I type 🙂
Very happy to receive your new post, Diane! I love that chunky tomato orange wool and your lovely long cardigan!!! This is my FAVORITE color in the world, and I wear it happily even though I am a basic ‘winter’ . Ie, it isn’t my best color!
I immediately searched for it from your link, and may indulge 😉.
I think you made beautiful decisions for your make and the wide tape produces a very clean and sportily elegant finish. Cardigans easily turn to reveal the reverse side, so your taped finish makes ‘the difference’!
Did you try your widest 4-thread serge? I’m curious if you captured the fabric securely. It would not be nearly as custom a finish, but I wonder if it would work, particularly for the armhole.
I’m very sorry for your health troubles: always worrisome… But very happy to hear that ‘the bad’ is largely behind you.
Ohhh, thanks so much, Joan. I’m feeling much better now.
I’m pleased that you like my cardigan. I’m loving this new-to-me colour. Glad you love it too.
Yes, I did try the widest serge setting and the only place I used it was down the inside sleeve seam that doesn’t show and was tricky to add binding to. What I found happened was that due to the somewhat loose nature of the knit, little bits poked out in between the looper strands of the serging. Maybe if you tried one of those soft and fluffy textured serge threads it might help cover the fabric weave better.
This is a great color for you and a nice looking garment!
Stay well! Yes, I did miss you – your posts are always fun.
Thanks ever so much, Heather!
Diane: I enjoy your posts; always inspiring! Your work is meticulous! Wishing you a speedy, complete return to good health. And, yes, I did miss you!
Oh, bless you, Fran, thank you so much. I’m feeling a lot better now.
Lovely cardigan. Great colour and texture. I too like sewing with ponte knits but the extra work with this wool knit produced a more custom finish. Wishing you a full recovery and good health.
Thanks so much, Pat! Yes, I’m the same…I always tend to default to Ponte so this was quite the challenge!