Draped Cardigan Tutorial

I have a favourite cardigan that was looking a bit rough around the edges. It's a very basic design in a light knit jersey. Now that I have my serger I felt I should have a try at making a reproduction. The basic design is a wide strip of stretch knit jersey fabric with raw edges and sleeves set into it. Kinda like a jersey pashmina with arms.

Below is a whole range of photos showing how I like to wear it. Sorry ahead of time for the awful bathroom mirror photos but I really felt like getting this tute done today as it is my due date so who knows when my next post shall be. And aren't thin stripes terrible to photograph? Kind of makes for an optical illusion that hurts the eyes. . .

It's the perfect Queensland cardigan because it is so light and versatile. You can just let it drape naturally or you can pin up one or both sides. I often tuck it up and inside the shirt I'm wearing underneath for a sort of scarf-like effect.

Also, it's the perfect pregnancy/breastfeeding cardigan because you can wrap it around your growing belly or around a baby in a carrier or around a nursing babe who is easily distracted by wind or other action in the surrounding environment. I'm not the type to worry about 'hiding' my breastfeeding baby but if that is something that makes you more comfortable about feeding in public, the cardigan makes a nice tent for breastfeeding under.

Here is the pdf tutorial with measurements etc. for making the cardi. It is meant to be custom fit so you will have to do a bit of measuring of yourself. I think it is all fairly self explanatory in the schematics but here is a little breakdown.

1. Measure your armspan and cut a piece of stretch knit jersey to this measurement wide, by half this measurement long. Therefore if your armspan is 160 cm you would cut a piece 160 cm x 80 cm. A lot of bolts of jersey are 160 cm wide which is the size I cut. If your armspan is a lot wider than 160 cm you may need to cut your fabric differently.

2. Find a long sleeved knit jersey top that fits you nicely in the arms. Trace this onto your fabric along a fold such that you will only have one seam on each sleeve. Remember to leave a seam allowance. The first sleeve I cut was a little tight as the stretch in the fabric I was using wasn't as 'stretchy' as the sleeve I used as a template, so I would recommend trying the sleeve for size before cutting a second one. Sew the arm seam shut, leaving the cuff raw.

3. Trace and cut a slit in your fabric about 14 cm from the top edge and approximately as long as the opening in your sleeve. This will be where you will set the sleeve into the main fabric. I didn't worry about shaping the slit to the arm sleeve opening at all as the stretch of the knit was enough to accommodate the small difference. If you don't have a serger you will have to use a zig zag stitch for this part I suppose. If you do have a serger, take care to start at the armpit and sew your way around to avoid any accidental mangled cutting when turning the corner of the armpit. For the top of the shoulder I just ignored the top of the slit and curved around it with the serger as well as I could and it worked without a problem. Also take care to note which is the 'right side' and make sure you turn your sleeve right side out before setting the sleeve in to pin and sew.

That's all. I hope it all made sense. It is a pretty simple thing to make but that doesn't mean I explained it in the simplest way.



Anna Maria Flannels for Baby

I had some lovely lovely Anna Maria Horner flannel sitting around which i didn't know what to do with as i thought about making some pajama pants for my little one but didn't want to 'waste' flannel in Queensland.

Luckily i felt like practicing some rolled edges with my new man Sergio and had some minkie fleece waiting around to be edged with something. . .

The flannels are so soft! i think they will be the sweetest little washers for our new little guy. It's nice to have some special things that aren't just hand me downs, don't you think?


Thrift Shop Finds

I've made some nice thrift shop finds lately. This chair, which will be eventually re-finished in some fashion, and a cute plate and tea-cup which i super-glued together to fashion a little cake platter of sorts. I've seen a few lately in craft blog land including a 2 tiered version and think it is a cute idea. An alternate base could be an inverted wine goblet.

In other news, i have recently acquired a serger (overlocker)! It is a Husqvarna Viking Huskylock 910. It is quite a manly machine, his name is Sergio. I'm super excited about it and it is taking up a lot of my spare time, as I have been so busy playing with it that any blog updates have taken a serious backseat. So the long and short of it is I have a big backlog of things i'd like to blog about that have been made by Sergio, but can't bring myself to sacrifice precious time with him for posting about it. I think i might have to do a largish serger project related post soon.

OK, I'm off to do some rolled edge Anna Marie Horner flannel washers and burp cloths!


I could really spend some time. . .

. . . fiddling around with these two sites, Spoonflower and Zazzle. Seems there is a bit of a Zazzle epidemic in the blog world at the moment - who wouldn't want to design their own sneakers? I know i wasted a good 45 minutes today messing around with colour ways.

As for Spoonflower, it's been around for awhile i guess but i've never paid much attention to it. However, with the newly made purchase of a whizbang overlocker (ahem, Husqvarna Huskylock 910 - more on that later) I am finding a new penchant for jersey knits and dismay at how hard it seems to find any nice prints around. Other great thing about Spoonflower is they have organic cottons available, which is super duper. Constant battle I have within is the fact that i like to make things therefore I am consuming albeit not in the typical manner - trying to salvage fabric second hand and finding ethical fabrics is really the go so I can still feel good about making more 'stuff'.

Anyway, below are some fabrics found on Spoonflower today that I am coveting. They are embedded from the site so ignore (but heed if you like the designer's work and want to see more) the designers name printed across the images. . .

Woodland Cutout (Brown & Pink)


Tetris Border Print

Weird Fishes

Orchard repeat

i'm sure there are millions of prints i could love on there. They are a bit pricey (starting at $18 per meter) but for custom organic prints that isn't much. Plus I am finding if I use a 'better' fabric i am less likely to be sloppy and finish my projects with a lot more care.

what fabric have you seen lately to inspire you?


mini quilts

my favourite mini quilts.

for sources see whip up's mini quilt month. . .


reused t-shirts

Projects involving reusing t-shirts have been catching my eye lately. Brett actually did the i heart tree frame of his own volition (being a bit crafty he was!). i found the embroidery hoop above the books at an op-shop and added a bit of old fabric from a t-shirt a la soulemama.

a few more reused t-shirt ideas. . .

Bean Bag Chair (CRAFT)

Baby Tights (Made By Rae)

Toddler fold-over Yoga Pants
(Samster Mommy) note: uses old adult pants, but could be done with any jersey clothing item

Grocery Bag (Between the Lines)

Extended Kids T-shirt modification (Dabbled)


little stitches

I've been busy lately making tiny stitches. My first even cardigan! Its a teeny tiny one, so it wasn't too daunting. I must say I am a little enthralled with the raglan sleeve shaping if i do say so myself. It isn't perfect, but as it was without a pattern I feel pretty pleased with the results.

As you can see the button hole side is a little shorter than what will be the side with buttons. Why? Probably because I am not a diligent stitch counter and therefore picked up more stitches when doing the front placket ribbing on one side than the other. Oops! Never mind. Gives it that handmade 'look' right? Must sew on the buttons, maybe today.

Other little bit of knitting above, completed a while ago but i had trouble figuring out what to lace these little booties with. Settled on golden yellow felt. The booties are made with cotton so as to be relatively cool and made using my own half-hazard pattern once again. The cabled top of the boot is an XOXO cable, which doesn't really show in the photo but is cute in real life.
The booties are perched on a piece of super duper soft 'minkie' fleece - plans are underway for a sort of pram blankie with pretty border. New little baby will have some hopefully cute things to be swaddled in if i can get it all done in the next few weeks. . .

In other news, i noticed today that there is a new follower on this blog which is a pretty big event around here as I am not the sort of blog to get 'random' followers. Anyways, I clicked on the link to her blog and imagine my surprise when i found she had just posted about one of my previous posts! Weird! In a good way. Thanks for linking to me Ali Foster, whoever you are! You should visit her, she has a very pretty blog.

Well, I'm off to do some floor moping and scavenger hunt map making.