Friday, May 4, 2018

The Itch to Stitch Paro Cardigan

Hey y'all! Long time no see. I seem to have dropped off the blogosphere accidentally. To be frank, the process of taking and editing pictures, then writing a blog post was just too much for me for a while there. I really have been sewing quite a bit. If you follow me on IG (@kid_md) or Twitter (@katie_kid_md) you'll still get to see lots of sewing action. I'm not sure I'll be posting everything I make going forward, but I really wanted to show y'all this. Blogging mojo kickstarted!
So, this cardigan is what I wanted to share with y'all. Now that we live somewhere with proper seasons (it was ALWAYS hot in Texas and ALWAYS cold in Utah, no transitions), I find myself grabbing cardigans and hoodies a lot to layer on chilly mornings. I recently made the Jalie Helene cardigan, which I love and hopefully can get some pics of soon, but wanted something with a little more flair and shaping. I was just browsing on the Pattern Review shop, and came across this cardigan pattern from Itch to Stitch. I admit, I hadn't paid any attention to this company. I have a lot of patterns and these smaller Indie companies can be pretty variable in terms of pattern making and drafting quality. But I like the style so much, I decided to give it a go.
I mean seriously, this rear view?! With all that wonderful pleating! I love it. Another down side (for me) was that this was a PDF. Y'all, I hate taping those things together. And this was not the easiest one I've ever done. I fall into three different sizes, so I couldn't just print the one size. And for whatever reason, the pieces just didn't want to fit well together during assembly. I ended up cutting out each piece as I assembled it, instead of leaving it as one big sheet. Once that was done, it went together fine.
I really like that this style lends itself well to being dressed up or down. Pencil skirts aren't exactly conducive to chasing my kids, so I love that I can wear this cardi with my jeans as well. It sewed up nicely in a rayon-poly-lycra Ponte from FabricMart. I don't think it's particularly well suited to thinner knits, as you'd lose the details in the pleating.
 As far as the pattern itself goes, the drafting was good - everything fit together as it should. I found the sizing a bit on the RTW/vanity sizing side of things. My measurements put my in 3 sizes, the smallest of which was a size 2. Y'all... I haven't been a size 2 since middle school. That said, as long as you ignore the size numbers and go by your measurements, those are accurately represented. For fit, the only alteration I made was to grade out 2 sizes at the bust. Since there is plenty of ease in the hips, I didn't make any changes there. It's also worth noting that I did not lengthen the sleeves. I have quite long arms and generally do have to add some length to most sleeves, but as you can see, this one is quite long as drafted. Shortening is easier than lengthening though, so that's a feature for me.
The other major change I made was to add pockets. I must have pockets in my cardigans. They hold my phone, keys and all the bits of stuff that come with modern life. It doesn't matter how much I love a garment, if it doesn't have pockets, I won't wear it and that goes double for cardigans. I made these the full length of the lower section and deep enough for my 5.5 inch phone.
Inside, you can see the pocket bags cover up the pleats a bit, which is nice. Since the pockets reach the entire length of the panel, they are stitched into the waist seam and the hem, so no flopping about. I used a matching cotton jersey for the pockets to reduce bulk, as the waist seam gets a bit thick with all those pleats. You can also see that I added inner buttons to stabilize my large outer buttons and prevent them from pulling through the ponte. It's always good to stabilize a heavy button, especially on a knit fabric. I did add an extra button. The pattern calls for a single large button, but I really liked the look of two. And it's mine, so I do what I want.
Overall, I think this will get a lots of wear. It's a pretty distinctive style, so I'm not sure I'll make a ton of them, but maybe there's room in my closet for one more. I have some leopard print ponte...


  1. I really like seeing how you would dress this up and down! And your pocket is really cleverly installed - glad you are blogging, at least occaisionally! ;)

  2. Smiling at the leopard print ponte...and I understand how you feel about pdf patterns cause I feel the same. It has to be an extraordinary pattern to make me go through that process. Love this on you cause you're right the details are fantastic and really makes the cardigan sing!

  3. I am so laughing at the pdf comments also. I will love a design and then think, but what paper pattern looks like that one...just to avoid the pdf annoyance. I too have loved the look on this card and I like the design with a skirt as well which makes it very versatile....and maybe worth the patience test of pdfs. And leopard, yes!!

  4. I love the final result of this cardigan, and don't think I have ever seen anything quite like it! You look beautiful in red!

  5. This is a beautiful make - I love the 1950s feel to the shaping, and the colour is fabulous. Putting this pattern on my list! Thank you.