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The Lisbon Cardigan from Itch To Stitch.

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So, November has rolled around again and that must mean that it is time to share with you my entry into the Instagram challenge the #cosycardichallenge

The #cosycardichallenge is a fun annual event over on Instagram hosted by Amanda from I Sew Alot and Rachel and Nikki from The Stitch Sisters. To enter, you simply make a cardigan and share a picture of your finished garment to be in with a chance of winning a super prize!

This year I have chosen to make The Lisbon Cardigan from Itch to Stitch. It’s quite different from the The Cocoon Cardigan by Jalie Patterns which was my entry last year. This time I wanted a more fitted, cropped cardigan that I could wear with skirts and dresses.

It is the first time that I have sewn an Itch to Stitch pattern, although I have had The Marbella Dress for ages and just haven’t got around to making it yet.

The only little problem that I came across was when it came to sticking my PDF pattern sheets together. Usually I slice off the right hand vertical edge and the bottom horizontal edge of each sheet of every page, and then stick them together with tape. I found that with this pattern that in order for the cutting lines to match up that I needed to then place these sheets together edge-to-edge (with no paper overlap at all). Perhaps there is something that I have missed, although I can see no special ‘cutting and sticking guidance’ in the instructions. Anyhow, apart from it being a little fiddly, it all came together in the end.

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The cardigan is easily adapted to your preference, as there is a choice on sleeve and body length. I chose to make the cropped bodice with 3/4 length sleeves. I particularly love the round neck on this pattern. I think a round neck suits me better, and whilst there seems to be lots of v-neck cardigan sewing patterns, I have found fewer round neck cardigan patterns available, so I was excited to try it.

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I’m pleased with the length of the sleeves on me. Although as is often the case with me the cuff bands are slightly too big. Something for me to adjust next time I make it.

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The knit fabric was a gift from my friend Kate, so I’m not sure exactly what it is. It’s lovely and soft though, and I would describe it as a medium weight. It took me ages to decide the direction of the fabric when I was cutting it out and it the end I just gave up trying to decide which was best and cut it out anyway. I figure if it is impossible to work out which way up it is, then it really doesn’t matter.

By the way, my skirt is The Tulip Skirt from Sew Over It.

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The pattern contains several pieces. Along with the bodice you need sleeves, cuffs, the bottom band, neck band and the button bands. Also knit interfacing to reinforce the button bands.

It was a lovely pattern to sew up. I thoroughly enjoyed making it. The written instructions were very good and there are plenty of step by step black and white illustrations to guide you through the process.

Instead of using buttons and buttonholes, I decided to use my Kam Snaps. I have seen lovely Amanda use this technique quite a bit on her cardigans and inspired by her gave it a go on this make. The trick with these seems to be that when you are installing them, you need to squeeze the pliers together as hard as you can, (like until you knuckles turn white – ha!), and then they will snap together and work perfectly.

I could not have been happier with the colour match too – the chocolatey brown colour snaps that I had in my little snap collection were perfect!

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I kind of like it worn on it’s own like this with a skirt, buttoned up, and look forward to making it in some plain fabrics so that it will sit nicely with some of my patterned dresses too.

I feel like this design could work really well as an edge-to-edge jacket too. Choose a heavier weight knit and omit the buttons/snaps and you have yourself a cute jacket right?

I would love to know your go-to cardigan patterns. Are you taking part in the #cosycardichallenge this year?

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Take care, and I’ll be back soon, Kathy x

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My Cocowawa Crafts Pumpkin Dress

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Last Thursday saw the release of the new Pumpkin Cardigan and Cardi Dress from Cocowawa Crafts, and it could not have been timed better. The Pumpkin Cardigan and Dress is a comfortable cosy pattern for knit fabrics, and offers you the choice to make a cardigan or dress using your choice of necklines, sleeves and pockets. You can also add a simple hem or add a ruffle!

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I am so thrilled to be part of the pattern testing team for Cocowawa, and when I saw this pattern for the first time I knew that I would like to make the dress version. I had recently spotted this gorgeous loop backed jersey in the online fabric shop Material Girl Laura. it is the perfect weight for this project, the quality is excellent and I have since noticed that Laura is now stocking other colours ( check out the ‘sage’ colourway – it’s lush).

I teamed it up with a beautiful blue ribbed jersey from Material Magic in Leicester. The colour is a perfect pairing with the dark blue dove in the main fabric and I was thrilled to find such a great match.

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I went for the scoop neckline, and chose to keep things cosy and make the sleeved version (with cuffs). I also opted for inseam pockets (my favourites), but also love that there is the choice for bound pockets too if that is your preference. Finally I wanted to keep the hem of the dress simple and went for a simple band at the bottom – but a ruffle here is definitely something I will make in the future as it is too cute.

Fitting on the dress is easy, although I did make a toile before this finished version, as I always do when pattern testing,to make sure that I had the right size. For me, with this dress, as long as I have the bust measurement correct then the a-line shape of the dress just falls into place perfectly. The result is the most comfortable, cosy dress you could dream of. Pair it with warm tights and flats or boots and you are good to go and Autumn ready!

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I know that I have already mentioned the pockets, but, well.. they’re essential right?

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I love that Ana from Cocowawa provides you with the support of a YouTube video for this pattern. So if you feeling nervous about any of the construction techniques or you simply want a pal to sew-along with, then head on over to the video which I have linked above. Having said that, the written instructions are great and super clear and are accompanied by excellent illustrations, but this video certainly provides that little bit extra for those amongst us who like visual explanations.

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There are quite a few buttons required for this pattern whether you choose the dress or cardi version. You can use regular buttons and buttonholes, add snaps, or like me simply sew your buttons right through all your layers because you discovered that you can easily pull it off and on over your head.

Of course, this is only one version of the Pumpkin, and I was blown away when I saw all the other versions that the rest of the pattern testers had produced. It really does highlight the variations in the pattern when you see them all together so I will pop a link in here if you would like to have a browse through for some Pumpkin inspiration.

Huge thanks to Ana for allowing me to be a small part of this pattern journey with her. As always, the whole process was a joy, and I am thrilled to share the result with you. I can’t wait to see Pumpkins popping up all over the place now, and look forward to seeing your fabric choices and whether the cardi or the dress is your preference.

Don’t forget that the Instagram challenge #cosycardichallenge is running at the moment until the end of November and the Pumpkin Cardi would be just perfect for this don’t you think?

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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