If someone asked me to sum up my everyday style in five words, those words would be “cardigan sweaters and sensible shoes.” After two years of sewing my own clothes, I have plenty of handmade shirts to go under cardigans, but have never sewn a single thing to go over them. Finally I stumbled across the Julia Cardigan on the Indie Sew site and knew I had to make it. I bought the pattern and the fabric (Robert Kaufman Laguna Cotton Jersey Knit Solid in Navy) and it sat in my “not yet started” pile for a bit. Then my mom pinned the very same pattern on Pinterest, and I convinced her to convert our next sewing day from a quilting day to a garment sewing day.
After our sewing date was set, I realized that I had misread the fabric requirements. Thus, I had purchased two and a quarter yards for the Cardigan Doubled-Over Version, and neglected to buy the additional three-quarters of a yard for the sleeves. However, I played around with the layout of the pattern pieces and managed to cut the whole thing out of the yardage I had. This was the first time sewing with a knit that I didn’t have any usable scraps left after cutting out all the pieces. Next time, I might buy two and a half yards, just to be on the safe side.
All around the blogosphere, this pattern is touted as a quick sew. While I was frustrated that this was not the case for me, I think I know why. It’s because I was using a normal sewing machine and not a serger. The instructions call for pressing the seams open and I chose to finish each of those pressed open seams with a mock overlock stitch. That means that I was sewing every seam thrice. In the same amount of time that it took me to sew this one cardigan on my usual machine, I could have sewn three on a serger. Well, let this be known as the garment that made me want to buy a serger, because I want to make several more, and I want to make them now!
While sewing this cardigan took longer than I liked, I did find this pattern to be easy enough to sew. The only major change I made was that I omitted the cuffs. Truth be told, I lost them somewhere between my mom’s house and my house, since I wasn’t able to finish the cardigan in one sitting. I thought about making replacement cuffs, but then I tried the cardigan on and realized that with my short arms, I didn’t need cuffs at all. I finished the sleeve hems with my trusty twin needle and Wonder Tape. The sleeves were the only things that needed hemmed, thanks to the awesome doubled up collar. Sure, it takes a lot of fabric, but I think it makes the cardigan.
The Belcarra Blouse was my favorite pattern this past spring and summer. The Julia Cardigan may very well be my favorite pattern this fall and winter. I want to make it again in black, like this one from Cut Cut Sew, and also in a patterned knit. In the Laguna Jersey Knit, it is super cozy, so much so that I have to force myself not to wear it every day. (Some people at work have already noticed my multiple Wiksten Tanks and Belcarra Blouses. They’d definitely notice if I wore the same navy cardigan every day.) Guess I’ll just have to make some more soon so that I can be cozy all winter long!