Fall Wardrobe Sewing Update – A Cozy Oslo

Remember with me, dear readers, all the way back to the gilded days of summer.  Those ambitious hours spent hiding away from humidity and heat and dreaming of fall fabrics and sweaters.  Ah, yes.  Take a pull on your frosty mint juleps or G&Ts (or whatever your summer beverage of yesteryore happens to be), and recall, if you will, my grand fall sewing plans.  And then chortle along with me as I snicker at how my “plans” all came to a screeching snails pace thanks to massive end-of-summer-outdoor-house projects (aka painting the damn house).  Instead of painting for a couple weekends, then sewing for the remainder of September, I ended up painting nearly every waking moment in September and early October (except for one golden, glorious Sunday that John told me to go sew something because I was way too crabby to work with–ah, love.  He gets me, that one.)  So in short, I am waaaaaaaay behind on my planned fall sewing (but my house looks amazing…a blog post on that to come).

To date, nearly 2 months to the day that I settled my plans and ordered my fabric, I have sewn…….drumroll, please……..1 cardigan.

Yup.  And it’s awesome!  So let’s talk about it, shall we?  One of the fabrics I ordered for fall sewing was a great abstract-ish grey & white giant houndstooth print on a “medium weight” (according to the fabric seller) jersey.  Medium weight is…a generous descriptor.  I’d call it lightweight, myself, but then I suppose since I don’t really deal with sheer knits, on the grand spectrum it may well be medium weight.  It drapes really nicely, and is the perfect weight for layering over a tee or tank at work, which is all I really ask for in a cardigan.  And the pattern is great.  From a distance it reads giant houndstooth, but up close it’s a bit deconstructed and brushy.  I love it, and paired it with an Oslo Cardigan from Seamwork/Colette.

I made an executive decision after taping my pattern together and just cut out the 3X, assuming that since my last known measurements were pretty close to that for the hips, it’d work just fine.  Two problems with that assumption, right off the bat.  1) I think chest/upper body measurement is probably more appropriate in this case for determining size, since it’s a loose-fit boxy shape and seems to have lots of ease at the hips.  2) The pattern is written with bulky, heavy-weight knits in mind, so when drastically changing the fabric used (say, going from bulky heavyweight stable knits to a light/medium weight jersey), one should probably size down a size (or maybe two?) to avoid a humongous garment.

As I said, executive decision was made.  Size 3X was cut.  Resulting garment was comically enormous.  I wish I’d snapped a photo…the sleeves were 4-5″ too long and a good solid 2-4″ too big around the girth all the way to the armsyce.  It was amazing.  Did I mention that I was sewing this up the afternoon before John and I were going to see a play with his mother?  Of course!  (Coincidentally, if any of y’all are around the Twin Cities, go see Sweeny Todd at the Ritz–Theater Latte Da does an AMAZING rendition).  So I’m on a bit of a timeline here.

Luckily, this is a super fast sew.  From cutting to all sewn up I think it took about 2 hours?  Of course, then I tried it on and had to shorten the sleeves, take in the width, and trim in the side seams, so all-in-all, it was an additional 45 minutes before it fit.  But still in time for the play!  I think I ended up shortening the main sleeve by 2.5″ overall, and drawing a wedge from the armsyce to the newly shortened sleeve that took out 2″ overall by the time it reached the cuff.  Side seams came in about 1/2″ each, and I took a solid 2″ out of the wrist cuffs because I want those suckers to stay put when I push the sleeves up my arms.  So I basically made something between 1X and 2X when all was said and done–and here’s an object lesson in the effects fabric choice can have on the finished garment!  Yippee!

I do really like how it came out, though.  And I enjoy the finish on the shawl collar and cuffs–very nice overall effect.  So.  Without further ado, here’s a few pictures of my handiwork (hastily snapped in the gloaming before we hopped the train to the theater).

And just look at those seams, all lining up and whatnot…

I skipped the buttons, figuring that the knit was too stretchy/drapey to bother with them, and I’m glad I did that on this version.  I do think a ponte or maybe heavy thicky cozy fabric version would look really nice with them, though.  Overall I’m really happy with this little make.  Now here’s hoping I get to the rest of my very long list before spring rolls around!

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