Self-Designed Cardigan And Tank

Self-Designed Cardigan And Tank

Or maybe I should call this post “who said twin sets are dead?” lol! Anyway…in late summer last year I finally pulled the trigger and bought some lengths of Merino wool jersey from The Fabric Store Online in New Zealand and this self-designed cardigan and tank was my first project with it. I think it’s safe to say that working with this lovely fabric has totally spoiled me and I may never return to viscose jersey again.

Let’s chat about the tank first. I’d seen lots of variations of high-necked cutaway armhole tanks in ready-to-wear collections online and wanted one for myself but with less extreme cutaway armholes so that I could still wear my regular bra. A quick flick through my Burda magazines and I found the pattern of a top from July 2019 (number 119) to use for my starting point. I used the back and front pieces and I cut the armholes in a little and raised up the neckline.

It’s a straightforward make so I just started off by doing the side seams and the shoulders on my overlocker but then I decided that I wanted a little pop of colour. I used some leftover pink wool jersey from this project and did a flat piping effect around the neck and armholes. 

I cut some narrow cross-grain strips and then overlocked them around the neck and armhole. Next, I folded them to the inside leaving about a quarter of an inch jutting out to give a lovely colour pop. Finally, I finished off with two rows of stitching. I didn’t use a twin needle because try as I might I couldn’t stop it from tunnelling…something about the fabric didn’t like the twin needle at all, I tried everything I could think of to alleviate it but it just wouldn’t behave. So I just did a mock twin needle effect. I absolutely love the pink edging and how it elevates a simple tank top style. Plus the fabric was a pleasure to work with.

Self-Designed Cardigan And Tank

Next up is the cardigan. 

This cardigan actually started out as a whole other project…a wrap cardigan to be precise. I cut the wrap design out, stitched the shoulders and the sides, tried it on…and…I hated how I looked in it. I’m not sure why it is, but I realised that I simply do not like how I look in a wrap style.

Anyhoo, moving on… after much grumbling and head-scratching, I carried on with Plan B.

I managed to cut a very simple, short edge-to-edge cardigan from the wrap cardigan pieces. I simply created a basic shaped plain back and two V-neck fronts, though obviously, I needed some sort of bands for my cardigan fronts and as luck would have it there was just enough fabric left over to make them. 

So, do you remember how I said that this fabric was prone to tunnelling when I used a twin needle? Well, that gave me an idea… I decided to use the effect to my advantage and I created a tucked detail all along the front edge bands and hems.

I used a 4 mm wide twin needle and made sure to add a bit more tension to the bobbin thread by tightening the screw on the bobbin case. By doing this I was able to exaggerate the tunnelling even more. I did a row of the twin stitching through the middle of the hems and the bands and I’m actually pleasantly surprised rather thrilled with how they turned out.

Self-Designed Cardigan And Tank
Self-Designed Cardigan And Tank
Self-Designed Cardigan And Tank

 And that’s it. Quite a straightforward couple of projects really, though not without some little problem-solving moments along the way. And maybe you might want to try my edging and hemming ideas for yourself sometime?

I really like that the two pieces can be worn together or on their own and make great little casual additions to my wardrobe.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you had a nice Easter break. I spent a lot of time gardening, going for walks and enjoying nice food. The weather has been gorgeous too 🙂 

See you soon!

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22 Comments

  1. Leanna
    April 29, 2022 / 6:31 pm

    Beautiful twin set and the pink piping is the bomb! I’m always inspired by your projects. Thanks!

    • Diane
      Author
      April 30, 2022 / 5:01 pm

      Thank you, Leanna!

  2. Jane
    April 24, 2022 / 2:36 pm

    Beautiful! I will be filing away the idea of adding piping as you did. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Diane
      Author
      April 30, 2022 / 5:01 pm

      Ahhh, thanks, Jane! Glad you’re inspired 🙂

  3. Joan
    April 23, 2022 / 2:21 pm

    Just love this twinset, Diane!!! Cutaway armhole, piping in a contrast color that I would not think of, lovely band detailing on the cardi, and great hem detail… the sum is definitely greater than its parts, too!

    And I always appreciate your details about how and what you did, what went smoothly and where there were bumps in the road, and how you solved them.

    • Diane
      Author
      April 23, 2022 / 6:37 pm

      Ohhh, thank you so much for the kind words, Joan!

  4. April 23, 2022 / 7:53 am

    Those are seriously classy. Beautiful fabric too!

    • Diane
      Author
      April 23, 2022 / 6:36 pm

      Thanks, Catherine! It really is nice fabric to sew with.

  5. April 22, 2022 / 4:02 pm

    Just perfection Diane! Love the sheen of the fabric and the colour combination of deep beige and pink against your skin makes you glow. I sat up when you said this just might take the place of viscose knit for you! I love the look of Merino but a sweater I owned once in it made me so itchy I was like a crazy woman rubbing up against everything to relieve the itch for days. Sadly Merino is a hard no for me 🙁

    • Diane
      Author
      April 22, 2022 / 8:26 pm

      Thanks ever so much for the kind words, Kathleen! So glad you like my two-piece. What a shame about the merino making you itchy. I wonder if in your sweater it was a different blend because this fine, lightweight jersey really is very smooth to the touch. I haven’t noticed any prickliness at all.

  6. April 22, 2022 / 3:30 pm

    You can wear ANY colour, but this is truly lovely on you. It is -44 where I am today, so this venture into Spring is inspirational.

    • Diane
      Author
      April 22, 2022 / 8:23 pm

      Ohhh, thank you so much, Angela!
      Yikes…-44? Now that is cold!! I’ll try to send some warmth your way.

  7. PatB
    April 22, 2022 / 1:46 pm

    Love your twin set. Really appreciate your details about fabric, colour and stitches. Will definitely try the twin needle tunnel effect. Good to know that you also experience that issue and made it a custom effect on your twin set. I find it always scary to embellish on a successfully completed garment. You certainly take custom to the next level.

    • Diane
      Author
      April 22, 2022 / 8:21 pm

      Thank you, Pat! Yes, sometimes you have to work with the problems like tunnelling and make it a feature, though I can attest that it was definitely rather scary to do, especially as I had to keep to a straight line!

  8. Louise
    April 22, 2022 / 12:09 pm

    Love a twinset! The pink piping really adds to it.

    • Diane
      Author
      April 22, 2022 / 1:38 pm

      Thanks, Louise! I’m glad I did that piping, it’s a pretty shade.

  9. carmen
    April 22, 2022 / 9:43 am

    This looks fabulous, love the pop of colour.

    • Diane
      Author
      April 22, 2022 / 1:37 pm

      Thank you so much!

  10. Vicki Maiorano
    April 21, 2022 / 9:56 pm

    Very nice! Good work on the cardigan save. Love the pop of pink too.

    • Diane
      Author
      April 22, 2022 / 1:37 pm

      Thanks, Vicki! Yeah, I like how the pink adds a bit of zing

  11. Miriana
    April 21, 2022 / 9:53 pm

    What a great set and looks beautifully sewn

    • Diane
      Author
      April 22, 2022 / 1:36 pm

      Thank you Miriana!

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