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Sparkly Hi-Low Cardigan

This month I received some lurex open Knit Fabric from Minerva in Navy and Gold. This is a medium weight polyester fabric, and my initial though had been to make a tracksuit in order to make lounging around the house feel a little more glam. 

However, once the fabric arrived I changed my mind, realising that I wanted to be able to show off this fabric in a simple garment that could elevate an ordinary outfit. 

I happened to have on hand Simplicity 8377, which I received free with a magazine but is available on the Minerva website. 

The pattern is one of the pattern hacking series and is for a cardigan and includes five options in the pattern itself. I chose the hi-low hem version and left the cardigan open at the front, rather than including the button loop or belt options suggested in the pattern – I can always add those at a later date if I find I want to be able to fasten the cardi. 

I made the large size with no alterations from the pattern as drafted and am 5’4”, the back of the hem falls at mid-calf and the front is on the knee. Overall I am pleased with the fit. I predict making many more cardigans from this base pattern in many different fabrics and styles.

The fabric itself has been a delight to work with. The knit structure is to a far larger gauge than your standard jersey fabric so I was a little concerned about potential unravelling, but I need not have been worried. Cutting the fabric caused me no issues at all, but I did put a line of zigzag stitching up the sides of the facings to be cautious, and to ensure that the interfacing stayed put should the glue fail with washing. There is a reasonable amount of drape to the fabric, although it is stiffer than the knit fabrics I have sewn with in the past, I believelargely due to the lurex content. As a result the finished item has an almost coatigan feel to it.

The surface of the fabric also has more texture to it than a jersey would due to the larger gauge that it has been knitted with.

Sewing the cardigan itself was a dream. The fabric sailed through the machine easily and speedily. The construction is really straightforward – although the sleeves took a little encouragement when setting in, partly due to my skipping the ease stitching recommended by the pattern as that is not something I usually use.

The instructions included in the pattern are clear, but limited. Simplicity has organised the instructions by design feature rather than in a set order for completion. As a result the pattern would be confusing for a beginner sewist. However, if you have already made a few garments and are looking to start modifying patterns the pattern hacking series from Simplicity would be a good starting point as it gives you a variety of ideas that you could use, without being too prescriptive. In addition the base patterns are simple designs that can be used as building blocks for far more extravagant garments, or to show off a special fabric as I have done.

Thanks for reading,

Zoe @ Ewe Sew You

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