Complete Outfit: Piece by Piece
Select Garments for a Collection
For years and years, I have purchased garment patterns that catch my eye. I look for style, notions, accents, and the ability to construct from one of our batik fabrics. Sometimes it's not easy to envision the garment made from our batik, but I have to look past the garment sample displayed on the pattern cover to decide if we should offer the pattern to you!
How many different jacket patterns, tee shirt patterns, and skirt patterns can one person own? Well, lots - if you are like me!
This year I've decided to focus more on outfits and ensembles, not just individual garments. This brought me to our latest look for our curvy ladies. I was looking for a jacket or cardigan, a top, and slacks - three garments, one outfit. I found our first outfit in our new patterns designed by Cashmerette.
Batik Fabric Mix and Match
I decided to mix our Jersey Knit with our Batik Rayon to complete this fun and elegant look.
- Cardigan: Cashmerette Fuller Cardigan + Batik Cotton Jersey Knit Phoenix in the shade of Navy Jewel
- Tank Top: Cashmerette Springfield Top + Batik Rayon Spray in the shade of Dakota Nights
- Slacks: Cashmerette Calder Pants & Shorts + Batik Rayon Spray also in the shade of Dakota Nights
The resulting look is exactly what I wanted it to be. A soft comfy cardigan that can be worn open or buttoned. The cardigan covering a easy to wear and comfortable tank top and loose fitting pant (see image above).
Substitute the cardigan with a Batik Rayon Wrap - and - you have an entirely new outfit!
The Cardigan - Fuller Cardigan
The first garment I made for this collection is the Fuller Cardigan. Our Batik Cotton Jersey Knit is the perfect weight and has the right amount of stretch (no more than 20% stretch) for this style of cardigan. I also selected an shade that had an understated coordinating Batik Rayon for the Tank top and Pants. I want the cardigan to be the statement.
I am making this entire outfit for a friend and I have her measurements. She is a size 18 with grading at the hips for a size 22. The sizes I'm referencing are exclusive to the measurements specified by the Cashmerette patterns only. Here are the steps I took to construct her cardigan.
- Prewash and prepare the fabric. it is important to prewash any garment fabric before cutting out any pattern pieces. We truly do not want any shrinkage after we spend time preparing a garment. Press the fabric to remove any wrinkles prior to planning pattern layout. (Care Instructions)
- Read the pattern. Read every single word of the pattern. There are times when I have not taken the time to do this and it has had consequences. Always know what the pattern steps are from start to finish. This way you are prepared and ready to go.
- Body measurements. I have body measurements from my friend. I found the key measurements for this garment and have them ready.
- Find the right size pattern. Most patterns have two sets of measurements - body measurements and finished garment measurements. The difference in these two measurement is the "ease". Ease is the amount of room available to move, or the difference in inches between your body and where the garment sits on you. I always go by the finished garment measurements when deciding on the size to prepare. This cardigan should fit snug, without stretching. We also don't want the cardigan to be too loose. We will be grading her pattern from an 18 to a 22 at the hem.
- Trace the pattern onto tracing paper and cut out your pattern pieces. Use tracing paper, I recommend Swedish Tracing Paper, to trace your desired pattern size. This step is important to me. I never used to do this and would cut out the size from the tissue paper. Well, this cardigan is for a friend and I want to use the pattern over again.
- Layout the pattern pieces on your fabric and carefully cut around each pattern piece. Always remember to cut/mark each notch/marking from the pattern piece to the fabric. These markings include taking a snip on the center back fold of a back piece, center front fold of a front piece, etc... these are markings that are not physically marked on the pattern pieces themselves, but good to have when you are assembling your garment.
Notes - Fuller Cardigan
Fit: The fit of this cardigan is "curvy". The front and back pattern pieces are not boxy or straight. The pattern assumes we have a fuller bust, narrower waist, and fuller hips. There is a nice shape. If you prefer a straighter looser look take the time to adjust the curve of the front/back pattern pieces when you trace them to your tracing paper.
Fabric Preparation: I take the time to read the pattern one more time. I look for one thing - seam finishing tips or guidelines. I use my serger for seams and hems. Not all pattern designers include seam finishing in their pattern instructions. I make sure that prior to sewing a seam I have the option of overlocking the edge of the fabric. I don't like unfinished seams that are exposed. Knowing when to finish the edge of the fabric is very important.
Let's Get Sewing:
The Shoulder: The shoulder is a raglan sleeve. It also has a nice shaping dart at the center top of the sleeve. Sew the dart following your line tracings. Press the dart to the back of the sleeve. Assembly of the front, sleeve, and back pieces are in sequence, because of the raglan sleeve style. The front edge of the raglan sleeve is attached to the front of the cardigan. Next the back of the raglan sleeve is attached to the back of the cardigan. All sewing right sides together and on your serger (fast and simple). This finishes the edges at the same time.
The Front and Collar Facing: The cardigan has a flat and simple front and neckline. The design includes a 2" (or so) facing sewn all the way around the front and back neckline of the cardigan. Fuse light weight interfacing to the back of each facing fabric piece. I choose to serge the outer edge for a clean look. I prefer this look instead of folding and stitching the edge under. You select the look you want.
Top Stitching: I still get nervous when I have to top stitch along any edge of my garments. I took time to make sure I did this properly. I attached my spacing guide to the presser foot of my sewing machine and on the right side of the cardigan I moved the fabric along the spacing guide as I top stitched. Remember to test your thread, stitch length, and spacing guide on a piece of leftover fabric. You want to keep the facing flat and catch the outer edge in the top stitching.
The Cuff: I love the cuff on the sleeve. It is a traditional looking cuff. A wide piece of jersey knit is folded in half, wrong sides together, and serged to the bottom edge of the sleeve. It gives a nice clean finish to the sleeve. It's difficult to see the cuff in the image because of the busy design in the fabric.
I really love the Fuller Cardigan by Cashmerette made from our Jersey Knit. It is a nice look and the design is very simple to construct. The raglan sleeve style makes this a super simple cardigan. I do have to add the button holes and buttons, but I'm waiting until we fit the entire outfit to make sure I place the buttons in the right position.
In a few days I'll post tips and tricks that I used to construct the Springfield Top and the Calder Pants - perfect coordinates to the Fuller Cardigan!!
Until next time....