A Chocolate Mocha ‘Paro Cardigan’ by Itch to Stitch
Posted on Monday the 12th March 2018 by Sew Sarah Smith
Hello again sewing friends!
I’ve had this PDF pattern, the Paro Cardigan, by Itch to Stitch, in my collection for a while. I liked the look of its shape with its defined waist, pleat detailing, flared skirt and single button closure; described as designed to be slightly relaxed in fit with a drop shoulder, suitable to be worn as a layering piece. The PDF only runs to 28 pages and it’s pretty quick to stick together. In terms of additional supplies, you will need some Interfacing Seam Tape
to stabilise the shoulders, Ballpoint Needles
, one 2.5cm button and a Twin Ballpoint Machine Needle
. I used two colourways of the same Knitted Fabric
, in chocolate and mocha.
The pattern recommends using a medium weight drapey knit with 10-25% stretch. In terms of sizing, it recommends that, if your fabric has more stretch that this, as mine did, to size down.
I’ll be honest, I did size down overall to allow for the extra stretch in my fabric but looking at the finished measurements, I knew I would also benefit from sizing down two sizes at the waist and hip. But did I do that? No, I did not. And that was a mistake. I also didn’t take out anything from the length of the upper Bodice, even though I knew the pattern was designed for a height of 5.6”; three inches taller than myself. Ordinarily I would have done but at the time I was starting with the flu and clearly my brain wasn’t capable of making good decisions! I did, thankfully, take out 1.25” from the sleeve though.
Oops, I need to press those pleats better!!
It’s such a shame really as the pattern includes really good instructions for how to customise the fit of the garment. In hindsight, even had I sized down twice at the waist and hip I could probably still have benefitted from taking a further chunk of ease out of the centre back by increasing the width of the central box pleat there and decreasing the back waistband piece correspondingly.
The fit is ok across across the Bust and upper back but is way too big elsewhere; it is also, unsurprisingly, slightly too long in the upper bodice. It doesn’t nip in at the waist at all which, given that I’d chosen to emphasise the waistband by using a contrasting colourway of the same fabric, is a real shame. Looking at the pictures, I know this is supposed to be a drop shoulder but it still looks too much and next time I’d even consider lengthening the bottom skirt pieces to streamline the overall look. As it stands the whole thing has ended up too boxy. Hindsight’s a wonderful thing, eh!
I’ve got to say, I did really enjoy sewing the cardigan up though! The instructions were really good; simple and clear. I think the only criticism I have, is that I would have preferred the waistband to be faced so it looks more finished on the inside too. Thinking about the alterations I’d need to get the fit that I wanted excites me about the possibility of making another. I’d use the same fabric again as I love this stuff! It’s a medium weight knitted, very soft poly/spandex blend jersey with good drape. As I say, I used two of the colourways here, the mochan and the chocolate. I have to say the Chocolate is particularly lovely, it has a really rich marl tone to it and I’d consider making my second in that entirely. (I’ve also used the thatch colourway in this Fabric
before to make another cardigan pattern and can confirm that is a gorgeous colour too!). Given the fabrics’ properties, I took a little extra care when sewing it up; filing my nails smooth to prevent snagging and not backstitching the start of my seams to prevent the fabric getting caught in the feed dogs. Also, this pattern uses a 3/8” seam allowance; if you’re using this fabric it might be good idea to cut your notches as outer triangles rather than notching into the fabric as they will splay out and stretch as you sew. And I’d recommend using a walking foot too.
And all is not lost!
My sister is visiting this weekend. She is taller than me and bigger in the right areas so I think she’s going to be scoring herself a new cardigan, I’ll be scoring myself some Brownie points AND I potentially have enough offcuts of both colourways of this fabric left to squeeze out the sweater version of the Deer & Doe Givre Pattern
So overall I’d say, I like the pattern but if you’re considering making it, look carefully at the finished measurements!
See you soon!