Finished - the Named Saunio cardigan in Carpet Underlay
Now one of the coolest things about making friends with other seamstresses in real life, apart from them generally being awesome people who indulge your endless sewing-related blabber, is that you just might be lucky enough to be a similar size AND have similar taste AND be able try on stuff they've made! BAM! Instant toile collection!
Literally one minute after I first met the delightful Anna at the Stitch 56 party she'd whipped off her marvellous Named Saunio for me to try on and I snatched up a copy of the pattern in the blink of an eye. I loved it's casual Chanel-esque design, especially the curve of the neckline. Perhaps it might be my perfect long awaited cardigan?
|Imaged via Named Patterns|
The line drawing doesn't really do it justice in my opinion....
It took me a while to find a suitable fabric for my first version - the pattern suggests a heavier weight knit, and it does need to have a degree of structure to it - like a ponte or sweater knit weight. I finally found something suitable at the Cloth Shop in Ivanhoe - a curious wool blend knit on the low end of moderate in stretch with a murky maroon-brownish base and little pinky red fibres throughout that reminds me a lot of felt carpet underlay.... The ladies weren't certain of the wool content but it must be fairly high as it tolerates a wool heat very well.
The paper versions of Named Patterns have no seam allowances, and it's very important to take note of what they suggest, especially for the hems on the shell and facings, to get a nice finish. The facing is drafted to be shorter than the front of the cardigan, but you attach the hem of the facing flush with the hem of the jacket right sides together, then turn it all out the right way - the difference in the length results in the creation of the hem turnup. Clear as mud? The image in the instructions explains it quite well. Next time I think I will sew this slightly smaller than the recommended amount to compensate for the turn of cloth....
I really don't think I would have had such a nice finish topstitching down the facing without the help of my brand new kickarse walking foot! My machine is from the 70's (like me - it was a marvellous decade for producing awesomeness) and I didn't believe my local Husky dealer when they claimed it was too old for a walking foot. A brief check on the interwebs lead me to one on this site, and despite coming from the USA I had it within a week. After consulting the Instagram hive mind I was on my way and haven't looked back! Because one must top stitch the facings down I hand basted them first, and used my basting stitches as a top-stitching guide, rather than stitch from the wrong side, and this worked very well.
I traced off a size medium - Meredith warned me that the sleeves were snug, but I had tried on Anna's again more recently which was also a medium and had no issues. Unfortunately my fabric must just have a little less stretch, because these sleeves are SNUG on my forearms. Now I've got beef in certain places, but my forearms are spindly so be warned! They'd be the perfect size if they finished at my wrists but being 3/4 they're just a bit snug. And as a result I'm not 100% on the shoulder fit. I've had to add a snap to prevent it sliding off my shoulders which I suspect is related to the tightness of the arms. I do have a tiny bit of the fabric left and I'm seriously considering recutting a new pair of longer and roomier sleeves.....But maybe next Autumn. It's just too warm and sunny to consider sewing wool anymore!
You can see from these photos it looks like I've stylishly scrunched my sleeves up, but alas, they do this by themselves. I'll be lengthening and widening a little for my next version.
And so how to wear it? I wear mine mostly done up with my mega snap, but it looks great left open too. I think it's a pattern with a lot of potential - with the right fabric and arm size I think it's a winner! I think I'm becoming quite the Named fangirl....
And many thanks to Anna who provided me with her garage door, art direction and took my photos - there she is, in my sunnies!