I absolutely love coming up with my own designs and today I want to show you my latest one…a DIY maxi cardigan.
The lovely sparkly teal rib knit fabric in my cardigan was some that I bought from Clothspot a few months back (sadly sold out). It has a lovely light drape and feel to it and I did originally buy it with a cardigan in mind, though I hadn’t thought of a specific design back then. Inspiration struck me, however, just over a week ago after browsing my Instagram feed and I soon drew out a quick design in my sketch pad. As soon as my idea was clear I was ultra keen to get going on it. It’s funny but I haven’t felt as keen to sew something up that quickly for ages. Nice when that happens isn’t it?
Once I pulled out my fabric to check width and layout options I saw what a fabulous fringed selvedge there was down both sides (it must not have noticed it when I first received my fabric package). It looked gorgeous and I instantly knew that I had to incorporate it in my design. It’s a lovely feature!
So my plan was to use the selvedge down both of the front leading edges of my cardigan (luckily I had plenty of length to play with). ‘But wait a minute…I hear you say, ‘how about the pattern and design elements?’…Well, I wanted a long sleek cardigan with a low ‘v’ neck, side slits and some subtle waist definition. I decided I needed a simple baseline pattern as my starting point and after a quick rummage in my pattern stash, I found McCalls 6886, I think it may be OOP on the McCalls website but I found plenty on Amazon.
I used view E from the pattern and I cut it out about a size bigger than I normally go for because cardigans usually need to fit over the top of other clothes.
The front of the pattern was cut right through the centre front from top to bottom and the ‘v’ neck was lowered at a more gradual angle. I also straightened the sides of the pattern where they had been shaped at waist level.
Next, I cut the back and front pieces into two horizontally at about 3” above waist level, because this is where I intended to add the deep waistband detail. I wanted to use the fabric with the ribs going around the body instead of vertically for a nice contrast and I cut this waistband section a bit shorter than the body width so that I could put a few gathers in the centre back above and below the band. On the front of my cardigan, the body is just eased a little onto the band. I love how this all creates a bit of subtle waist definition and adds an interesting detail.
The gorgeous teal fabric was really lovely to sew and I used my overlocker for all of it except for the final bit of the fringed edge.
So here’s how I attached the fringing. Spoiler alert…it was really easy 🙂
Firstly I cut both selvedges off the fabric length at about 1 ½” wide. Next, I stitched the selvedge close to the fringing and overlapped it a little onto the fronts down the leading edge of the cardigan from the wrong side. I used a walking foot and a slight zig-zag setting.
After that, I flipped the selvedge over to the right side of my cardigan and then folded the non-fringed edge under and basted it all down each front. I didn’t take it around the back of the neck, but instead, stopped at the shoulder seam. I actually handstitched all of the edges down to have better control and accuracy and then to finish off I simply bound the back neck. I absolutely love the fringed edge on my cardigan. It’s simple but really effective!
I hope you feel inspired to try something like this yourself by finding a simple basic pattern and customising it into something unique. And I don’t know about you but I’m keeping my eyes peeled for interesting selvedges from now on.
Have you ever used selvedge in a creative way before? I’d love to know so let me know and drop me a comment to tell me all about it.
Thanks so much for reading and I’ll catch you soon…
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