Tag Archives: Muse patterns

My new teal woolly is the Jenna cardigan!

So you saw that I had a new, unblogged and much worn cardigan last month in Me made May (seen in the third week, here).  Time to reveal the identity (unless you already worked it out for yourselves!) This is my Minerva Blogging Network make from last month that owing to all sorts of pressures I arranged some slippage on my deadline.  But I can now show you all.

You would have seen from my May wearings that I wear cardigans a lot.

jenna 1

I am in complete envy of Dolly Clackett’s rainbow hoard of cardigans – she can pluck a coordinating cardi for any of her wonderfully colourful dresses & look feminine, stylish & warm. When you get on the “I really want to make all of my own clothes & not buy anything” bug, knitwear is the hardest to handle. It is hard to perfect a cardigan that replicates the fine gauge machine-knitted M&S round neck. I have considered taking up knitting – & have knitted a cardigan, but that took the best part of the year, is expensive on wool & is more of a winter weight. I have tried therefore to sew some cardigans, using Simplicity 2154 & McCalls 6708, to varying degrees of success. But still the finish was distinctly sewn & a bit clumsy. And then there came the Jenna cardigan by Muse patterns.

jenna 2

My first Jenna cardigan is a huge success & gets worn frequently. I love the gathered yoke detail, the button band & the depth of the neck line. I also love the way that this particular version sits at waist level- that works for me- it’s a length that suits me.

jenna 3

I remember when making it that it was straight forward & that the instructions comprehensively steered me through any of the areas I might have come a cropper – eg where the neck joins the button band. Therefore, it seemed a good time to make another one.

jenna 4

I chose this John Kaldor Isabella wool-viscose jersey in teal (you know by now that I love teal!) for last month’s Minerva Blogging network project. It is on the upper price range for jersey but fair to say that the price is standard as far as wool jerseys come– but is definitely yummy quality- & with the wool content I thought it would be ideal as a cardigan.

Sewing this jersey though was a pleasure, from gathering the yokes, to setting the neck band. The button bands are interfaced (as per the pattern’s instructions) & it gives it enough strength & structure – making sewing buttonholes easy.

These buttons were from my stash & I love the bronze with the teal – it works really well as a colour combo I think.

jenna 5

I don’t have much to say about the construction of the cardigan that I have not already said before.  Except I did narrow the sleeves just a smidgeon plus took some off the length.

It is my favorite cardigan pattern, by far & Kat has really drafted an excellent pattern. Maybe I should try the plain un-yoked version, but I love the yoke detail too much.

jenna 6

It’s much like my love of red Thai veg curry – it is beyond a shadow of a doubt the most amazing dish I have ever eaten such that every time I go out for Thai I cannot bring myself to experiment as I couldn’t bear to experience anything less perfect!

jenna 7

And you can bet that as soon as I finished it, it has sprung into action & is worn a lot. It is a more summery colour than my grey Jenna cardigan & is delicious to wear. I love wearing teal with red (& I have a lot of red in my wardrobe). And as our summer hasn’t really started yet, it really is getting a lot of use over dresses, t-shirts & tops ….with trousers or skirts. It’s a new wardrobe basic.

jenna 8

The fabric and thread was supplied by Minerva as part of the Minerva Blogging Network.  You can visit my project on Minerva’s site if you want an easy way to see which fabric was provided to me & thread to match.  That is, if you are a cardigan person 🙂

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.