Stretchy stitches

So you’re going on an overseas holiday tomorrow, you’ve got an afternoon to pack and clean, and you decide that you really need a stretchy, slouchy blazer to take with you. Naturally you head to the fabric store, choose a pattern, panic over there being none of the right fabric in the right colour, search every shelf and find the last metre and a half of black ponte, head home and hit the sewing machine.

Who even does that?

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Um, me, apparently.

This is a heavily modified version of Butterick’s 5926, view B. The three-quarter sleeves were sitting an inch above my wrist bone so I chopped them a lot shorter and cut about 12cm out of the body length so it hits at the top of the hip. I wanted a casual, cropped jacket to wear with jeans and this pretty much hits the spot.

All went swimmingly well until I tried to do the button hole with my fancy new sewing machine that does these kind of things automatically for you. Until it hits a snag and makes about 200 stitches on top of each other at high speed. Un-unpickable. I gave up on the button hole and sewed my button over the top of the giant lump of stitching in a effort to hide it. Some time I’ll give it another go. Maybe.

The desire for a stretchy casual blazer was partly inspired by a Josh Goot for Target one I’ve had for years and love, but it’s navy and doesn’t go with all the black I wear, and partly by The Monthly Stitch May stretch sewing challenge. But seeing as I made this in April I wasn’t sure it could technically be applied to the challenge.

So I filled another wardrobe hole: a Brumbies-yellow cardigan to wear to the rugby.

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One of BurdaStyle’s recent very tempting emails convinced me to buy their knit collection, which included the 107C cardigan pattern. I liked the gathering at the centre front and it looked very easy. I’m a big cardigan wearer since I mostly have sleeveless dresses and this looked like a pattern that I’d get a lot of use out from.

I found the perfect colour in wool jersey at Mood Fabrics while in New York (one stop on the holiday that followed the crazy blazer making frenzy). I figured the wool would be nice and warm for rugby-watching in the middle of winter. Unfortunately it’s a little bit scratchy against the skin but hopefully a wash will help with that.

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The pattern was very easy to sew – I think the whole thing took me three hours from tracing the pattern pieces to completion (including changing the threads on the overlocker and remembering how the diabolical automatic buttonhole thing on my sewing machine works). Speaking of button holes – much more success this time! I ended up with three perfect, one slightly dodgy and one half one that I fixed up with regular zigzags.

After reading reviews of this pattern that all mentioned how small-cut it was, and realising I was a size bigger than the largest included in the download, I added about 3cm to most sides. This is my first time doing major size changes to any pattern. Astonishingly, all the pieces still fit together. It’s still a wee bit tight but I mostly wear cardigans open so that’s not a big issue.

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This was also my first time sewing a whole garment on the overlocker. I’m still not totally confident with it so usually I do the seams on the regular machine first and then finish them. But for the stretch fabric I figured I should give it a go – and I’m glad I did!

I’m pretty pleased with the final result (though the topstitching on the button band is rather dodgy – must do it from the outside not the inside next time…) and it’s headed to the match with me tonight!

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One thought on “Stretchy stitches

  1. whisperinggums May 11, 2014 / 9:49 pm

    Lover reading about your sewing adventures tinawheeze! I love cardigans and casual jackets too, and wear them mostly open. Every time I do them up, I decide I don’t like the look and undo them again.

    Hope the holiday went well.

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