Thursday, December 15, 2011

Shawl Collar Cardigan

I've thought about making the ubiquitous shawl-collared cardigan for a while, but didn't want to buy a pattern, especially since I remembered I had a draft-it-yourself pattern in one my Japanese magazines.

Earlier this year, Cindy made a nice variation on the shawl collared cardi.

Well, I ended up going the draft-it-yourself route, using diagrams from a Lady Boutique magazine. It took me ages to settle on a fabric. I never found a sweater knit I liked, but found this nice brushed interlock - but it's still not ideal. I realize now, the pattern is more of a jacket than a cardigan, so I'm getting all this jacket ease with a fabric meant for a cardigan.

This cardigan isn't as much of a fabric hog as some versions since the collar piece is cut separately. I had some mental turmoil trying to figure out how to stitch it so the seams wouldn't be visible. I didn't want the front edges flipping open, revealing the seams just inside, but unless I arranged the collar just so, the seams were very visible on the front! So, I ended up doing a French seam (a little odd in a knit, not to mention bulky). Now no seams are visible either way you look at it.

Lady Boutique magazines utilize three different bodice slopers. I've made two of the slopers now. It seemed whenever I found a pattern I liked, it used the sloper I hadn't made.

How are the slopers different? (Not very.)
#1. Fitted with darts (bust, shoulder and waist).
#2. Less fitted but with shaping built into the side seams. (Shown in the diagram above).
#3. Straight with a curved hem. (I have yet to use this one. This one seems to be unique to Lady Boutique, as I have not seen it in Mrs. Stylebook magazine.)

I can't tell from looking at the model photo what the fabric is. A sweater knit? Or possibly a boucle?

I like it because it's soft and comfortable and I'll wear it while lounging around the house. I was imagining a drapey cardigan, but chose a more structured pattern. I'd probably have gotten better results with a thicker, heavier fabric.

Brushed interlock: Mill End Textiles
Lady Boutique Magazine: 2-2009-59.


  1. Finding good sweater knit is tricky! It looks warm and cozy, which is the important thing this time of year!

  2. Looks good and comfy for around the house. I think a sweater knit would give you more structure.

  3. It looks lovely. Perfect for lounging around.

  4. I think this looks great and is the sort of thing that I would like to wear.Looking at the picture the original looks like a heavier fabric but I think your version works really well and you can always layer!

  5. Finding sweater knits is hard, there often aren't many around. Your cardigan looks like the perfect thing to lounge around in without looking sloppy!

  6. I like it! Your cardigan looks very cozy!

  7. sweater knits (or a lack thereof) are the bane of my existance. This looks nice on you (even with the extra ease) and VERY comfy! For my two cents, I think it'd be worth trying a closer-fitting version in a boucle. Seems like it would be a nice 'throw on' type jacket for the fall and spring.

  8. it came out great! especially the color.. i love that shade :)

  9. I think this works and is an easy piece that can be layered. This is also a good colour on you.

  10. I really like it Joy - looks perfect for being comfortable & cosy at home & respectable enough to wear out! Interesting thinking on the french seams and I really love the colour on you.

  11. What a nice cozy sweater! I admire you in using the Japanese sewing magazines. I bought some while in Japan but am way too intimidated by the drafting.

  12. I think it may be a woolen knit. I made a similar cardi last year both with wool and jersey knit. It's super comfy

  13. I agree it is difficult to find good knits, but I think you've done a fantastic job. The fabric looks like it "wants" to be this sort of garment, drapey and softly elegant. Gorgeous!


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