The Esme Cardigan/Coatigan
Posted on Sunday the 7th May 2017 by Alison Jane
I have wanted to make this Sewing Pattern for a long time. I often wear long cardigans instead of coats and thought this would be perfect with a warm scarf and gloves in winter and as another layer on cooler spring days and nights.
Choosing the perfect fabric for a project is something I find tricky which is probably why I have such a huge stash! Originally, I made this Esme in a gorgeous Italian Boucle fabric, but it wasn't up to the job and on the first wear, the armholes at the back pulled very badly.
So it was back to the drawing board and this super gorgeous Italian Wool Fabric was absolutely perfect for the job.
Beautifully soft and heavy, it's warm and cosy and feels great to wear. It is brown with a very subtle bronze pattern and in the sort of colour that can be worn with pretty much everything. (Minerva only have a little bit of stock level now, so be quick to snap it up if you want some!)
I wash all my fabrics before sewing them, no matter what. It's important to me that they smell fresh and familiar! This went in the washing machine on a wool and silk cycle at 20 degrees with a 600 spin and survived! It dried easily overnight. Cutting it out was tough on my scissors – I think I really do need to upgrade my shears! Because it's quite thick, it took a lot of strength to cut through 2 layers, phew!
The Esme by Named Patterns is a dream to sew. Very straightforward. I particularly love the pockets. I ignored the instructions to use a jersey for the pocket linings and used the wool fabric as I wanted my hands to be snuggly.
This has meant that the pockets are heavy and droop, but I really like that, makes it feel really slouchy. I used a blue tipped needle and a long stitch length and the stitches sunk deliciously into the fabric and hardly show.
I used my clapper on all the seams which has squished them nicely and reduced bulk where seams meet. As it's a maxi Cardigan, I reduced the length by 9 inches to make it knee length on me (I'm 5’ 4”). I made a size 12/14 and its roomy and generous.
On the first version, I sewed five buttons, but on this one, I realised I will only ever want the top button done up. So I chose a large chunky button, it reminds me of a minstrels chocolate!
The button was too big for my automatic button hole foot so I created the buttonhole manually. It was the first time I have done this and it worked well – a narrow zig zag, rather like a bar tack, up and down having measured the length the hole needed to be.
When I make button holes, I always use Fray Stop before I cut them. I apply it with a cocktail stick and then it needs to be left for a few hours to dry, but then when the button hole is cut, the edges are neat and don't fray.
I recommend this pattern …. Such a useful Cardigan and I will make another in a much lighter weight fabric for the summer. I will also size down to make it more fitted.
The fabric is really gorgeous – excellent quality, beautiful to sew, launders well and has made a coat that is very warm and cosy and will get a lot of wear. I can layer up underneath it, perfect with polo necks and jeans. The photos show me wearing it on a trip to the supermarket with a Molly dress, tights and boots. Perfect pockets for my shopping list, debit card and phone!
I hope this has been useful to you, and that you may be tempted to make an Esme in some lovely Wool Fabric. I think it could take the place of a winter coat, especially if it was lined. Now there's something to think about for next winter!
My next post will be a gorgeous lightweight summer jacket!
Happy sewing x