Call me the cardigan experimenter, The Jenna Cardigan by Muse Patterns

I admit it, I had a stroke of luck when Kat approached me & asked if I would like to sew the first of her patterns, the Jenna Cardigan.  I mean,  we all know how long it takes me to knit anything, especially a cardigan.  (Answer: about a year) How else am I going to satisfy the warm’n’wooly aspects of my wardrobe with a no-buy RTW pledge?

Jenna Cardigan

So I have sewn and compared two cardigan patterns prior to the Jenna.  Simplicity 2154 and McCalls 6708.   And my conclusion I think was that I would like a combination of the two in terms of fit & finish.  I also love the Julia cardigan, having made a couple of those now that get worn almost solidly.  But for a classic layerable & wearable under coats cardi?  Enter Jenna.  I must caveat this with the fact that I have *so far* only sewn one version, so my thralls might well be based on fluke, a full moon, or the ambient temperature on the living room rug as I cut it out.  But people I am seriously impressed.

Jenna cardigan

The Jenna cardigan, in case you have not seen other fabulous versions, gives you options: sleeve length, body length (waist or hip length) & it gives you the opportunity to include if you wish a cute gathered front yoke.  Coo.  I did.  Because I haven’t got a cardi with a cute pretty gathered yoke.  And it’s just too perfectly quaint.

Jenna cardigan

I found some grey “sweater knit” of some description that I had in my stash.  I thought it was some yukky acryllic but when I came to work with it, changed my mind, suspecting it has some cotton in it.  And probably a degree of synthetics, but no way as high as I had initially thought.  I sewed it with the wrong-side out so that the “garter stitch” finish was on the outside.  I’ve done this for something else I’ve sewn recently & will show you soon. I like the nubbly effect this gives & thinks it elevates the appearance from “dull” synthetic-cotton  mix  to “interesting & artisan” cotton-synthetic mix.  And cutting the waist length version does not need a whole load of fabric, which is another bonus- it’s quite an economical little make, even with long sleeves.  The deep waistband helps keep pieces (apart from the sleeves) from being that long.

Jenna Cardigan

So, once cut & started to be sewn I was enjoying the process.  I accidentally ignored notches & sewed the yoke pieces upside down (doh!)  so unpicking a top-stitched, yoke with gathering & almost perfectly matched thread in a sweater knit was not the easiest, but that’s life when you are over confident 😉

Jenna Cardigan

Apart from that I had a simple sew & loved how it all came together.  I did have to narrow the arms a little bit once I had the chance to try it on.  I also shortened the sleeves a little too, but don’t you think that’s a good design principle as one of the worst things is to have sleeves that are too short?  I would much rather have sleeves too long & swaddling my wrists in layers.  But hey, when you are making it yourself, you can get the sleeve length the right length to suit you!  Score.

Jenna cardigan

So this is the first pattern by Muse Patterns, & it’s a very welcome entry into my sewing repertoire.  The cardigan is truly fulfilling my cardigan ambitions.  The only thing possibly I would even consider adding would be the welt pockets from McCalls 6708.  But this pattern has now officially usurped the other two.  As far as the instructions go, new pattern company & all that.  I found them just right (OK, even if I proved that I didn’t read them properly!  It is my fault, not the instructions’).  I think if you are comfortable sewing knits, you should progress to cardigans.  You don’t have to use an overlocker (although I always do whenever I get the chance).  The construction is very similar to the Renfrew in terms of hem bands & sleeve cuffs to provide a nice edge, but you also have to introduce the button band which is actually no big deal, even if you think it is going to be!   Before I made cardies I always imagined the button band would be where I faltered, I thought it would play up, stretch out of shape and drag under my buttonhole foot.  In this pattern, the button band is interfaced which helps a whole lot in terms of nice neat finish when wearing, but also when sewing buttonholes.  And if your fabric is thick, fluffy/ open weave or anything else that will cause you problems with buttonholes, then you can use snap fasteners, hooks & eyes, or even turn some loops.   But simulate it first and try a practice piece as it might not be as bad as you think.

Jenna cardigan

So this cardi was originally a tester if I am to be honest, before I bring in the wool jersey.  I had to make sure I knew what I was doing & what I had to be careful about next time (paying attention!).  But when  this cardigan came together & I had buttons to choose I thought it was the perfect backdrop for some ceramic buttons a friend had brought me, a while ago.

Buttons

Who cares if one button cost more than the sum of all the other materials, these arty crafty buttons go down a storm on such a plain backdrop.

So, it has been worn a lot.  I don’t think it looks second rate (which I think my others do).  The next version of this is more than likely going to involve my special wool jersey that is *one of those* fabrics wrapped away for *the perfect* make.  I can’t think of anything better to do with it than to make a cardigan that will be truly practical & pretty.  Thank you Kat !  Here’s the link to the pattern where you can see a bit more about the design and other variations.

30 thoughts on “Call me the cardigan experimenter, The Jenna Cardigan by Muse Patterns

  1. Emily

    I love the buttons on your cardigan, I think it elevates it from beyond a regular grey cardi to s something special! I can’t wait to try the Muse pattern too.

    Reply
  2. Lessles

    I bought this pattern a while ago and then we get all summery – snookered! Looking at the gathers I’m wondering if they might sit better as pleats, so they don’t stretch out the yoke? Has anyone tried this yet?

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      I’ll bear this in mind for my next one, but rather like the gathers, hadn’t considered stretch risk at the yoke though. Thanks for the forewarning. I could see this as being a lovely little summer cardi too- you could make a short sleeved version out of a Jersey?

      Reply
  3. Debbie

    Oooh, I really like it. A yoke on a cardigan is so sweet and pretty. Love the grey too and the mismatched buttons. I am not often tempted to buy a pattern but I am now! xx

    Reply
  4. Pingback: Autumnal sewing update | maevesshed

  5. Charlotte Skinner

    I just made this and love it! I especially liked how in the instructions she tells you which pages you need to print off for the version you are sewing so saving paper and ink. Genius!

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      I’m glad you like it too. I’ve seen that Kat has launched her second pattern this week now. A wrap dress and top. I bet she’s paid the same attention to the print instructions as well, plus it’s so very appealing with a lovely gathered yoke as part of the design too!

      Reply
  6. Rachel

    Isn’t this lovely! The yoke! The buttons! The nubbles! 😀 the shoulder width is perfect on you – very flattering and elegant. Well done Winnie! Rachel ☺

    Reply
  7. Elizabeth-sew-little

    What a lovely cardi. When I first saw it early this morning I thought you’d gone over to the dark side and knitted it!! It’s lovely and I’m going to have to put it on my list now. I’ve got so many clothes that would go with. Thanks for showing us.

    Reply
  8. Kellie

    Oooo love this one. I’ve been looking out for a pattern some some rather gorge crochet knit that’s just arrived (knitwear without the knitting is just genius). I think I might have to give this one a a go.

    Reply
  9. Jenna

    I was lucky enough to win this pattern from a giveaway that Rachel HOP hosted on her instagram and I love the version I made! (http://justsewjenna.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/serendipitous-jenna.html) There are definitely going to be more of these in my wardrobe once I have found the right fabric. I know what I am looking for but haven’t found it yet!!

    I love, love your one. The grey is such a useful colour but the buttons really bring it to life! Also I can see the shorter length being really useful. I also shortened and narrowed the sleeves on mine for a more fitted look.

    Reply
  10. Amanda

    Like. A. Boss. Knitting is for chumps when you can sew up something this rad (said from a lady 16 months into a cardi) Though I am not sure the Simplicity 2154 likes you straying 😉

    Reply
  11. Tamsin W-P

    I really like this. I am in the process of revamping my ‘woollens’ for winter and this looks lovely. I didn’t like the pattern that much when I first saw it, but having seen yours, I am reminded of a second hand summer cardi that I wear all the time and it is very similar. I also really like your Julia cardi’s. Just need to find some nice wooly knit fabrics!

    Reply
  12. Pingback: Londinium and an orange cocoon cardigan - Scruffy Badger Time

  13. Alessa

    What a pretty little cardigan! I really like the yoke, it looks perfect for a bit of contrasting, maybe with a lace overlay? Or a chance to slip in some polka dots… 😉 Love the pretty buttons!

    Reply
  14. Pingback: Adventures in pleather - the Madrid Tote - Scruffy Badger Time

  15. Pingback: Secret Santa’s Jenna cardigan | not sew simple

  16. Pingback: Jenna oh Muse | Barbara Jane made

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *