I must admit, it's a little strange to be sitting in mid-July and writing about sewing layers. We're coming off a record-breaking heatwave in the Northeast and right now, all I want to wear and sew are knit tanks and light linen. But soon enough, the weather will start to change, the days getting shorter, the nights getting cooler.
Enter the humble cardigan. In my opinion, it might be the perfect piece of clothing. As someone who is naturally cold all the time, my closet is chock full of them. I ALWAYS have one close by year round to throw on whenever I need it. In simpler times, that meant any time I went to the movies in the summer, any time I was sitting for a long time at the office, even just when I had to walk through the freezer section of the grocery store. Every outfit was coordinated with what cardigan I could wear with it.
While we may not be going to the movies (or the office) much this fall, the cardigan is still a great sewing project that you'll want to make again and again, and that's why we've picked it as our theme for September. It's an awesome way to transition an outfit from day to night, or to get a little extra life out of those lightweight linen tops that you love in the summer heat and don't want to pack away just yet for the winter. (And psst, they also make a great robe for the house - I may just throw a cardigan over my pajamas for a little added warmth when I don't want to get dressed quite yet.)
So let's take a look at the fabulous cardigan patterns and the coordinating fabrics that we've chosen for our September Boxes. You may notice, the fabrics are more on the neutral side than those in some of our boxes, but that's by design. We want you to be able to create a cardigan that will go with many different outfits so you can get the most of out of your handmade wardrobe!
Sew Fearless Box: Blackwood Cardigan from Helen's Closet
A little while ago, Helen (of Helen's Closet) revealed on her podcast that the Blackwood Cardigan was far and away her bestselling pattern. And, honestly, it's really no surprise there. This sweater is the absolute best! It's everything you want in a layer piece: simple styling, pockets (!), a loose, but not bulky fit, and customizable options to get the exact look you want. All this adds up to one knock-out of a pattern, and it was a no-brainer for us to use it in our boxes.
Now, to the fabrics. . .
- Royal Blue Hatchi Sweater Knit - If you haven't heard of hatchi knit, that's no surprise. It's only really appeared on the market in the last decade, and the name is hardly descriptive. But at its core, it's a sweater knit with a looser weave than jersey and soft, semi-fluid drape. That makes it a great choice for this cardigan pattern. The yarn-dyed knit, mottled with royal blue and black, is incredibly soft, with a brushed hand and great stretch. The addition of spandex also gives it good recovery, which is ideal for the sleeves of the pattern. A great color and a great knit!
- Light Gray Ribbed Modal Knit - We love a good rib knit for cardigans. The vertical ribs give the fabric amazing stretch and recovery and will really compliment the close fit of the sleeves and shoulders of this pattern. In a neutral light gray, this fabric will go with absolutely everything, and the modal content will ensure that you're wrapped in softness whenever you put this cardigan on!
- Turmeric Cotton Modal Jersey - While we said we were sticking mostly with neutrals, we couldn't resist this color! An earthy yellow, this color is perfect for the fall and will brighten up any outfit. The cotton modal blend has both strength and softness and a healthy dose of spandex gives it great stretch. If you're looking to liven up your fall wardrobe, this is the fabric for you!
Sew Confident Box: Madison Cardigan from Style Sew Me
- Sapphire Polyester Sweater Knit - This fabric is all about the color. An Yves Klein blue, this hue is bold and beautiful, and will really add a kick to your outfit, whether it's jeans and t-shirt or a silk top and pencil skirt. The knit is on the heavier side of medium weight and has a subtle, yarn-dyed striation which adds interest. Embrace your own blue period this fall with this gorgeous fabric!
- Light Gray Microstripe Bamboo Jersey - Silky and soft, this bamboo jersey is the lightest of the three fabric options. The semi-fluid drape will really emphasize the waterfall front of this cardigan, and the neutral color will allow you to wear it with almost everything. A subtle microstripe, just a row thick on this very fine jersey weave, gives the fabric a heathered look and adds to the soft, natural look of the fabric. If you want a cardigan to wear always and anywhere, this is the fabric choice for you!
- Black Bamboo Cotton French Terry - We adore this French terry and have used it in other boxes, most recently in our T-shirt box for the Romy Dress from Tilly and the Button. And it's hard not to see why this is a fave. The bamboo gives the fabric a light, silky hand, and the french terry is so fine it can work for all sorts of clothing. Here, we have it in a classic black so you can make that black duster you've been dreaming about ever since you saw Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (Just us? We're okay with that!)
Sew Curvy Box: Fuller Cardigan from Cashmerette
I know we've been leaning pretty hard on Cashmerette Patterns these past few months, but they're just that good! (And I promise upcoming boxes will have other pattern companies in them).
Released in February of this year (simpler times), the Fuller Cardigan has a slightly vintage vibe that evokes mid-century fashion. With raglan sleeves, it's easy to construct, and the options for either a varsity sweater v-neck or sweater-set jewel-neck, you can create the look that exactly fits your style and wardrobe. Plus, this pattern is the first of Cashmerette's to have a larger size range, covering sizes 12-32 so you can get the right fit for your body!
Let's take a look at the fabrics. . .
- Dark Green Viscose-Poly Marled Jersey - The beefy, butter knit is so incredibly soft. The viscose blend has a cool hand and a marled, slightly shimmery surface. And in this emerald green, this will be the jewel of your fall wardrobe. Ok, ok, dad jokes aside, this fabric is lush and luxurious and you'll absolutely love a cardigan made out of it. 'Nough said.
- Black Doodle Print Bamboo Jersey - The only print of our fabric selections, we love this abstract, squiggly doodle design. It's not overwhelming and it adds just the right amount of playfulness to the cardigan. The medium weight bamboo jersey is thinner than the other two options but has great stretch and recovery, making it ideal for the more fitted look of the cardigan. We love it!
- Cream Rayon Modal Sweater Knit - This fabric has a looser weave than a traditional jersey, and the yarn is a little bit bulkier, making it the perfect for this sweater. With rayon and modal, it's got great drape to and the cream color means it can be worn with practically anything. Say hello to your new favorite sweater.
Sew Indulgent Box: Aveiro Cardigan from Itch to Stitch
We've been lurking the Itch to Stitch Pattern website for a while now, and we've finally made a deal to offer their patterns in printed copyshop version for you. We couldn't be more excited! Itch to Stitch has a great collection of stapes, especially tops and sweaters, and we love being to offer them to you in our boxes.
The Aveiro Cardigan is all about options. There are four length choices, from a cropped bolero to the long, coatigan cut. Plus, there are four sleeve length options, from a long cuffs for folding up to short sleeves for warmer weather. All together that gives you 16 possible cardigans out of one pattern! (And that doesn't even include the option for patch pockets!)
We wanted to offer fabrics that would look great with whatever style you choose, plus ones that are a little on the luxurious side so you can feel as amazing as you are whenever you wear your new handmade cardigan. So let's take a look. . .
- Mini Stripe Black/Charcoal Bamboo Cotton Jersey - The fabric, a lush bamboo-cotton blend, looks like black from afar, but is actually striped with black and charcoal, each band 2mm wide (that's slightly wider than a 16th of an inch for us non-metric peeps). This mini stripe adds a lovely hint of pattern while still allowing you to pair it with tops and dresses without clashing. A great fabric if you're looking for something a step above basic black.
- Heather Almond Bamboo Cotton Stretch Fleece - Fleece is often relegated to the sweatshirt, lounge wear category, but there's no reason why you can't sew a stylish and elegant cardigan out of this super cozy fabric. The cousin of our favorite french terry, this fleece is brushed and fluffy on the inside, smooth and soft on the outside. With that combination, you can make an amazing, neutral cardigan to pair with jeans or dress pants, all while enjoying the feel of your favorite sweatshirt. The best of both worlds if you ask us!
- Oxblood Tencel Cotton Modal Sweater Knit - Ever since fashion week a decade ago, oxblood red has been one of our favorite colors of fall. This red isn't bright and bold, but it also isn't earthy and brick-like. A lovely coolness to the red makes it rich and muted, and we think it will look absolutely stunning as the Aveiro Cardigan. The blend of tencel, cotton, and modal gives it breathability, softness and strength, and the looser weave of the sweater knit makes it feel cozy and warm. We love everything about it!
Whew! After writing this, I really can't wait for this heat to end so I can get my sweater on. Fall is my favorite time of year anyway, and these cardigans are really making me look forward to the season. In our Classic Boxes, we're reviving our knit jumpsuits, so if you want to start living the jumpsuit life - and who doesn't? - we've got you covered with four fabulous patterns. Finally, like last month, we're still dealing with some delays with our fabric shipments, but we will try to get swatches out to you as soon as possible so you can feel all these wonderful knits!
Until next time. . .