Hi friends! Today is my stop on the Stylemaker Fabrics 2018 Fall Style tour. I participated in the tour a couple of years ago so I was thrilled and honored when Michelle asked me to participate again. Stylemaker Fabrics has an amazing (and huge) selection of high quality fabrics in a variety of fibers and prints. It’s expertly curated, organized by color AND they have a bunch of new fabrics specifically selected for Fall/Autumn. Make sure to check out the new fabrics and read on to see the fabric I selected and what I made with it.
For the tour, I decided to make the Esme Cardigan by Named Patterns and selected a luscious textured sweater knit fabric. The Esme Cardigan is a maxi length cardigan with front in-seam pockets, sleeve cuffs and a button band. At the end of last year I made the Jill Coatigan from Seamwork and wore it all winter. It’s the perfect weight for a not-that-cold Southern California winter. I did the Seamwork Design Your Wardrobe course earlier this year and the Esme was one of the patterns on my list from that project so I was super excited to try it out. Uncoincidentally, it’s also in the top three of my Fall sewing list.
I selected a size 8/10 based on the finished bust measurement of 48.5”. My bust is about 38.5” so I thought 10” of ease would be perfect. Going by the size chart I’m between a 10 and 12 but with this style I felt it was ok to go down a size. I made a few minor changes to the pattern to customize it for my body shape. I added length to the sleeves which I then later removed because the shoulder is more of a drop shoulder (on me anyway) and makes the sleeves longer than I anticipated. I also added about 1.25 inch to the length of the body. For reference, I’m 5’11”. To add the length, I just added on to the hem for the front, back and button band.
I realized in the last year or so that I need to make a square shoulder adjustment for most patterns. What that means is my shoulders slope less than what most patterns are drafted for. Or in other words, my shoulders are at a more 90 degree angle to my neck. When I looked at the slope of the shoulders on this pattern I knew that it would be too much for me so I did a 1.125 inch adjustment. I raised both the shoulder point and underarm point up to make the shoulder line more square and to keep the shape of the armhole the same as drafted. I posted about this on Instagram and it sounds like there’s some interest in a tutorial so I’m planning on doing a post about that at some point. I could probably also do a narrow shoulder adjustment on this pattern. From the images on Named’s website, you can see that the shoulder seam is intended to sit on the upper arm, a few inches below the shoulder. On me it’s about 5-6 inches below the shoulder point which could be a bit excessive. But on something oversized like this, there’s not a huge need to do a ton of adjustments.
The first time I make a pattern I usually follow the instructions exactly how the designer has written them. I trust that the designer has made a certain decisions about techniques for a reason and I don’t want to second guess that without trying it first. It also helps me learn new techniques and/or practice techniques that I haven’t done a lot before. So that’s how I approached this pattern but I would definitely do some things differently next time. I’ve sewn the Driftless Cardigan by Grainline Studio once and the Blackwood Cardigan by Helen’s Closet three times and both of those came together a little easier.
The pockets in the Esme are very similar to the Driftless except that the pockets in the Driftless are cut in one piece with the body of the cardigan meaning there are fewer seams. Next time I make the Esme I’d like to try stitching the pockets to the body and then sewing the Upper Front to the Lower Front. I think it would be a little easier to handle. The second change I would make is sewing on the button band. I sewed on the button band as directed almost all the way around when I realized there was no way that I’d be able to turn under a 3/8 inch seam allowance on this fabric. It would take me hours. So I just serged it in one layer like on the Blackwood Cardigan. It’s not as elegant of a finish but this fabric is so textured that it’s hard to see any details and the serger thread blends right in (woohoo!).
I love the texture of this fabric and it was relatively easy to sew with. The only tricky thing was being careful to not let it stretch out of shape. The texture is great for hiding any imperfections in the stitching, particularly the buttonholes. This was my first time sewing buttonholes on knit fabric and it is tricky. The fabric just did not always want to move under the buttonhole foot. If you’d like to try out this fabric for yourself you can find it here at StyleMaker Fabrics. I highly recommend this fabric and I love all the choices available from StyleMaker. There’s just so much to choose from!
Make sure to check out everyone on the blog tour and the amazing selection of fabrics at Stylemaker. To celebrate the new season, they are offering $5 flat rate shipping on all US orders. For those living abroad, they have also discounted all International rates. No coupon code required. Discount ends Monday, October 8th at 11:59pm PT. Thank you StyleMaker fabrics for asking me to participate and giving me this lovely fabric!!