Like many sewists, I am afflicted with the pre-travel compulsion that makes me want to sew everything so I can take it all with me. Even if I spend months and months planning and sewing for the trip, I still end up sewing new things in the days (or nights) before a big trip. At the beginning of May, I took a week long trip to Copenhagen and despite starting my planning and sewing in January, I still made three last minute garments. I spent some time thinking about why we do this to ourselves and I have a few theories. One, it’s fun to wear new things and when we go to a new place we often need different kinds of clothing. Two, we want to feel fabulous on vacation and a new handmade garment is a great way to feel so. Last but not least, we’re worried that we are going to miss sewing while we’re gone and need to get in as much sewing time as possible before leaving. What are your reasons for last minute travel sewing? Let me know in the comments.
Anyway, let’s talk about this cardigan. Cardigans are one of my top favorite categories of garments. I’m more likely to be cold than hot and a cardigan is the easiest way to layer on warmth. A few weeks before my trip, Allie from IndieSew posted in her IG stories that she loved wearing her Seamly Wrapped Cardigan on plane trips. This cardigan is basically a wearable blanket, except that it looks really cool too. The pattern design is a collaboration between IndieSew and Seamly. They have 7 patterns available and I bought the Spring 2016 bundle which also includes a tank and a t-shirt. I’m looking forward to trying both of those patterns too. (So many patterns, so little time, amiright?)
This pattern was really easy to sew and only took me about three hours. The only thing I regret is the color of my serger thread. I didn’t really think through that you’d be able to see the wrong side of this cardigan a lot. So while my serger thread is not a completely different color, it is more visible than I’d like. I made a size M which is actually smaller than my bust measurement (38.5 inches). Because the cardigan has an open fit at the bust and I wanted a good fit in the shoulders, I decided to take the risk and go down a size. For reference, my upper bust is 35.5 inches and I often do a FBA. I’m pleased to say that the risk paid off and I’m very happy with the fit. The only fit adjustment I made was to add 1.5 inch to the end of the sleeve.
I thought the instructions were really good and did a great job of explaining how to construct the shawl collar. I’ve sewn a shawl collar a few times before and it can be really tricky to imagine how it works. The diagram in this pattern did a great job of showing what parts need to match. I also did the optional pockets which are very easy to sew and handy. They’re a little hard to get into because they’re inside the front edge of the cardigan but great for stashing a tissue or your phone.
The fabric is a mystery sweater knit from my stash. I actually used this fabric to make this dress last year for another trip. I actually have not worn that dress since then. It worked great for travel but it’s just not something that I gravitate towards for daily life. In contrast, I have worn this cardigan again since my trip. I wear a cardigan almost everyday so it’s easy to work into my wardrobe. If I can find the right fabric, I would consider making this pattern again. It’s a great, wearable basic for my wardrobe and I will definitely be wearing it for plane travel again.