In my previous post, I talked about some of the challenges in finding your true calling in life. If you were expecting further philosophical musings from today's post, prepare to be disappointed. Instead, I'm going to tell you about a jacket I sewed. (Be warned - this blog is going to cover all of my wide and varied interests, sewing included.)
The pattern is the Saunio Cardigan from Named Patterns, but it has come out more like a jacket than a cardigan since the fabric is quite thick. And when I say "thick", I mean that it is soft and fuzzy and wooly, and I feel like a baby lamb wearing it. Talk about a perfect clothing item for spring.
A while ago, I saw this boiled wool (appropriately called "Curls") on Merchant & Mills' website and fell completely in love with it after ordering a swatch. (You guys - those swatches. That's how they get you.) It is heavier than a normal boiled wool, with a kind of spongy texture, and is covered with small lighter-gray curls all over. It would make a great natural substitute for fake fur.
Despite desperately wanting this fabric, I had no idea what to make with it. At the start of the A/W season I had dutifully made up a list of patterns I might want to make, and nothing on the list was appropriate. Long story short: if I were a stronger person, I would have resisted that boiled wool. Happily for me, I am weak.
I ended up on the idea of making a Saunio cardigan after seeing a lovely version made by Blogless Anna. It's basically a loose jacket with an open, overlapping front. The front pieces are finished with facings. I was lazy and left all the seams unfinished (boiled wool - yay!), but at some point I might go back and stitch them down flat. Because the fabric is so textured, any joins completely disappear.
The jacket is loose and comfortable, and I love the fabric. It looks very chic. I have been wanting to try a Named design for a while because they are so beautiful looking.
The pattern itself was well-constructed and came together quickly. Once you have gotten your pieces cut out, this could easily be made up in an afternoon. It is perfect for doing some easy, mindless sewing.
The boiled wool is heavier and less stretchy than the recommended fabrics for this pattern, so the end result is a bit bulky. It is still wearable, but it feels a little tight across the shoulders and elbows when I move my arms. Next time I would probably add more room in the sleeve width or use a thinner fabric. On the plus side, the pattern has a simple construction and would be easy to adjust for any fabric choice.
Also - this is not a problem with the pattern, but the open front design is difficult in the windy Edinburgh spring weather. I could have fixed this by adding a fastening in the front, but I think that might ruin the minimalist vibe.
Overall, I'm happy with how this came out, but the fitting issues prevent this from being a 5/5. It is warm and snuggly. I love that I feel like a lamb when I'm wearing it.
I had planned this as a layering item for winter, but I think the bulkiness makes it more into an outerwear piece. I'm still waiting for it to get warm enough to wear it more! It is still a great garment, but not as versatile as I hoped. I love the fabric and the pattern individually, but together they didn't quite work out the way I originally intended.
I still have more of this fabric, so I'm looking forward to making something else in the future. Perhaps Named's Tala Faux Fur Vest? Hmmm...