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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 #cosycardichallenge entry – The Cocoon Cardigan by Jalie Patterns

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You know me, I can’t resist a good old Instagram sewing challenge. I just can’t help myself, and when I noticed that Amanda, Nikki and Rachel were hosting a cosy cardi challenge this Autumn I simply could not ignore it!

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The pattern I chose to use is The Cocoon Cardigan by Canadian pattern company Jalie Patterns. I have had my eye on it for a long time and this sewing challenge was all that I needed to give me that push to purchase it. I chose it from the huge range of sewing patterns at Sewessential.

The packaging of the pattern is a little different from regular sewing patterns. Whereas most sewing patterns have the instructions and pattern pieces contained within an envelope, this is a large folded sheet of paper on which the pattern pieces are printed, along with the cutting layout, instructions and measurements. The size of the document is slightly larger than an A4 piece of paper.

It has an impressive range of 27 sizes!! From children’s through to plus sizes, and if you pop on over to the Jalie website you can print off the sewing instructions on 3 sheets of paper. The instructions are contained within the paper pattern, but they are difficult to use as they are on such a large folded sheet of paper and much easier to handle when printed off on regular paper. Another advantage of having the instructions available for printing on the website is that you can browse these even before you buy the pattern to see if it is something you are happy with making.

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I was so happy with my fabric choice. It is a soft brushed texture stretch jersey knit from Minerva Crafts, and is a neutral grey marl colour. It behaves very well when cut – doesn’t fray or curl, and is super soft and very very cosy. I did try to link it for you but cannot find it anymore, maybe it has sold out? However there are plenty of alternatives to choose from.

It could not be easier to make. The pattern comprises of a front piece, back piece, neck band and cuffs.  There are no separate sleeve pieces, they are part of the top rather like a kimono and there are no buttons or other fastenings or pockets. Super simple.

Because of it’s simplicity I decided that this was the perfect sewing make to take along with me to my recent sewing day with my friends at Sewisfaction – see my blog post about this here. I knew that there would possibly be more chatting and tea drinking than actual sewing so wanted to take something really easy that didn’t require much concentration. This was all well and good until I noticed halfway through sewing it that I must have dropped one of my cut fabric pieces at home as I was packing my sewing bag so couldn’t complete it whilst I was there. How annoying! Sure enough when I got back home that evening there was the missing neck band piece, but never mind it took next to no time to finish it off.

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So the construction of the cardigan couldn’t be simpler. You are basically attaching the front pieces to the back, adding the cuffs and finishing with the neck band all around the edge. The result is a loose fitting, open fronted cardigan, and is really wonderful now that the weather in England is starting to feel colder.

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The sizing was good for me – no problems with that, although I wonder if I might shorten it next time I make it. I made no adjustments to the pattern for this make, but there are the usual lengthen/shorten markings on the pattern and I think I will use these to shorten my next cardi. It is described as ‘drapey and loose-fitting’ on the website which I love, but I may also size down a fraction next time too. What do you think?

Overall a very enjoyable make. You will be seeing more of these for sure!

Thank you to Amanda, Nikki and Rachel for hosting such a fun challenge. Do head on over to Instagram to search for more #cosycardichallenge inspiration. There is still plenty of time to submit an entry as the closing date is not until the end of the month, and you could be in with a chance to win one of the awesome prizes on offer!

Do let me know if you are taking part and what cardigan pattern are you sewing up?

Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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