I have entered hobby sewing limbo. I’m making a bunch of wearable items, sure, but I’m just not as wowed by things as I used to be. It probably has more to do with the fact that I’m far less impressed with myself than I was a year ago, when finishing a garment that was decent was a BIG DEAL.
This cardigan is definitely not a candidate for wowing me. I sewed it up because I needed a casual layer for upcoming business travel. Some people loooove black and rock it amazingly well. I don’t think I’m one of them. I feel so blah in this, but function over form was the priority. It was also a good (cheap) way to try out this pattern.
After making M7199, I loved it at first, then started to realize just how oversized it was. It’s a nice example of the waterfall trend, but it’s not the fitted, cute style on the pattern envelope. I picked up 7254 in the hopes of having a fitted cardi. (“It is so you” were my mom’s exact words.) The good news? This pattern delivers in that respect.
I cut an XS, since I like things fitted and it’s usually closer to what I’m looking for than what happens when I cautiously size up. I’m not sure if this is too small, or if it’s the cut of the cardi, but I feel like the front seams aren’t quite hitting me in the right spots. Like, if I smooth the front down and hold it in place, this fits well over the bust, but they way it naturally hangs? lt kinda bulges out in places.
Also, for anyone considering this pattern: the sleeves are pretty small. I mean, I have skinny weakling arms, and there’s no room to spare.
Final gripe: the collar is wider than anticipated. The pattern comes with 2 collar options, and I selected the narrow option. Still looks pretty big to me.
Really, my issue here is with expectations. I wanted this cardi to be a casual layer to replace my blazer (which is too dressy for some meetings on the trip). But this piece looks less like a casual shawl cardi and more like… a fitted blazer.
In that sense, this pattern rocks. If you want to make a super-easy blazer-style garment in a knit: this is your golden ticket! The pattern itself was simple and quick to construct. The directions were straightforward and clear. Plus, with no lining, there’s no hand-stitching needed. (Also, for styling inspiration, check out Sheila’s color-blocked sleeve version. Super-chic, right?)
That said, I do have some Thoughts on the collar construction. After making my sleeveless blazer (cough *vest* cough), I realized that the collar would’ve benefitted greatly from some understitching. So on this cardi, I went ahead and understitched all the way around on the facing side. (The collar and peplum are all attached together in one continuous loop, then also faced with self-fabric in another continuous loop.)
Understitching works great: with some pressing, the facing rolls under perfectly. (I also pressed the heck out of the facing side and made the ponte a bit shiny in parts…) What my genius self didn’t catch was that because it’s a fold-over collar, part of the facing would show on the outside.
Sooo… on the visible portion of the collar, my understitching is totally exposed. It doesn’t really look bad. It actually kind of looks like intentional top-stitching. But just food for thought for anyone making this: on some portion of your garment (either the front bottom and peplum, or the fold-over shawl portion), the facing will show. Do with that what you will. This may be obvious. I mean, really, it should be obvious. But this would not be the first time I missed something completely, entirely obvious. (After all, I *am* the woman who broke her new serger on its first go-round.)
In the end, it’s functional, serviceable, and a pretty cute shape. It’s just not quite what I expected, and in a color that doesn’t thrill me. That said, I imagine I very well might make this again in a bright, bold color or print. Another bonus: it takes way less yardage than the waterfall cardi.
A reserved and dubious welcome to you, Unexpectedly Bland and Faux Topstitched Cardi!