This time let’s make something super easy and super effective – because that’s what we all like the most, right? A wrap cardigan, which you can wear in dozens of variations.
I’m sure you’ve seen it before on the internet or somewhere else – a beautiful lady wrapping around herself a piece of garment, making some fabulous looks one after another. Some time ago Donna Karan has released this type of garment calling it COZY. The whole idea has been around the internet for a while now but I don’t really know who’s actually standing behind it. Anyways today I’ll show you how to sew something like this yourself :)
The idea of making this tutorial was given by Aga B., one of my boldest course participants. And by saying the boldest I mean that Aga is a willful constructional-sewing experimentalist ( sometimes even disobedient). Such creative people go really far in the fashion world. And Aga has already signed up for the September edition of designing course :) It’ll be fun!
But going back to our garment – I’m making this tutorial according to a small video series, which I’m recording for Dzień Dobry TVN (morning show in polish tv TVN) – they’ll consist of 3 DIY instructions. I’ll be showing there super easy things that all of you can make- some spring/summer handicraft inspirations :) I really hope that you’ll like it. And I can’t deny that I’m being pretty nervous about it since I’ve got no clue how a wider audience would respond to something like that. But this is the thing I’ll be worrying about after the broadcast. And you, my readers, are the first ones to see this tutorial :) So let’s get it started! This is what we’re going to sew today:
My muse- Justyna, has gone to Asia but fortunately Monika has taken up a challenge of replacing her in the role of my model . Monia is currently finishing her second-degree sewing course. And since she’s a fashion designer by profession and wants to develop her skills in this area , we’re going to start a cooperation soon. First we want to give it a try but I hope we’ll both enjoy it and stay in the design studio for good. Monika will soon make a tutorial about zipers for you guys. Enough of talking, let’s do it!
The cardigan’s pattern:
The cardigan’s shape is a rectangle with sewed on sleeves. The whole secret is about sewing them in the right place, and at an right angle. First you’re going to make a pattern for an opening, which you’ll cut in a rectangle- here’s where you’ll sew on the sleeves later.
1. Copy a pattern from you T-shirt, here’s an instruction of how to do it LINK. The sleeves’ openings should be in a right distance from each other, so that the back body part can fit in between them:
2. In order to cut the arm openings symmetrically, you’ll be working with a half of the pattern – outdraw a half of the top part of T-shirt’s back, and thicken the armhole’s line- black line in the picture.
3. Now draw an armhole’s mirror image, so that you’ll receive a teardrop curve – black lines.
4. To make sewing on easier, widen the teardrop curve a little in its upper part and also in its bottom, drawing an ellipse curve ( blue contour). It’s important not to change the back armhole’s shape ! The ellipse curve should be of 7-8 cm in its widest part. When it comes to its height: 15-17 cm would be absolutely enough, unless you’ve got a big bicep ;)
5. The dark grey ellipse curve is a pattern for an arm opening, where you’ll sew the sleeve on. Cut it out of paper along with a piece of T-shirt’s shape – in this way you’ll see in what distance from the edge of fabric it should be placed.
6. Prepare a rectangle of fabric of dimensions:
When you’ll put the ellipse curve in the right place on the fabric, pin both of the knitwear’s layers around the ellipse. Outline this shape with a tailor’s chalk.
Cut out an opening, adding a 1 cm for seam allowances. NOTE! The seam allowance should be added inwards to the ellipse curve – look at the picture. When you’re done with cutting it out, measure the opening’s circumference- in 1 cm distance from the cut off edge – there, where the stitch will be placed. So it means it should go after the line drew with chalk. Try the cardigan on and check if the openings are not too small. If there will be a need then extend them downwards, while not changing the back panel’s shape.
Cut out the sleeves and cuffs with 1 cm of seam allowance all around. The knitwear should stretch across the sleeve and cuff.
Sewing a lightweight, stretchy fabric is way much easier with an overlock. If you don’t have this machine you can sew on the regular one using a zigzag stitch. If your machine doesn’t lock the threads make sure that the needle doesn’t require changing – it should be really sharp ( when it comes to this type of fabric using a ballpoint needle will not change much here). Another step is to increase the upper thread tension. If Machine still doesn’t lock threads, lay a half-parchment paper underneath the fabric to firm it up and make the needle pop through the fabric strongly. After making a stitch, remove the paper gently.
Start with sewing the cuffs and sleeves. Fold them in half, so that right side of the fabric will be inside now. Sew together only bottom edges (in the picture below the bottom edges of folded in half elements).
Roll out the cuff halfway. On the picture below the left edge is where the fabric is folded, on the right edge we’ve got raw edges of both layers. Leave the sleeve wrong side out and slide the cuff inside of it, so that the raw edges of cuff and sleeve will touch.
Pin all around, making sure taht you distribute the differences between circumferences of the cuff and the sleeve evenly between pins. Sew with the presser foot placed inside of the sleeve. Stretch the cuff very gently to the sleeve’s width while sewing, but don’t pull the sleeve.
Turn the sleeves right side out- done. They are both symmetrical so there is no left or right one.
Lay the cardigan flat on the table with its wrong side up. Slide the turned right side out sleeve to the opening. The sleeve’s stitch should be placed on the ellipse curve bottom now.
Pin the sleeve’s edge (sleeve’s cap) on to the opening. Place the pins on the inner side of the sleeve, 1 cm from the edge- only in this place the circumferences of opening and sleeves cap are equal.
Sew the sleeve on to the cardigan, placing the presser foot inside of the sleeve. Pay attention especially while sewing at the bottom and at the top of ellipse, since it’s got some sharp curves in those places – make sure that the fabric won’t be coming out from under the presser foot while sewing those curves.
The cardigan is done- the sewing took about 20 minutes :)
And here Monika shows you how to wear it, in my opinion those are 5 most interesting ways, but below the photos you will find the video with more draping instructions. HAVE FUN!
OPTION 01 – a typical throw/cardigan long in front, short in back.
OPTION 2 – my favourite :) it’s a blouse with wide panel on shoulders, tie on front and a V-neck in back.
OPCJA 3 – an envelope top with tie on back.
OPTION 4 – a blouse with a lot of draping on front, it looks best with belt in waist.
OPTION 5 – probably the most beautiful one – simple throw, but this time twisted on back – which makes it drape beautifully on the back. If you add belt in waist, it will look more like a dress.
And here is Donna Karan’s instructional video. It shows all the above drapings and a few other, but I am sure it is not all this cardigan has to offer. Maybe you can create your own way?
This post was prepared for you by Janek
He was using BROTHER overlock 1034D