sewing, women

Sew Long Summer: It’s Cardigan Time!

Can you believe summer is nearly over?? (Well, for my northern hemisphere readers, that is!). We’ve had a pretty wet summer here in Virginia, and of course, the week school went back, it was sunny and over 90 degrees every day. Now, however, we have a hurricane bearing down on us, so we’re expecting rain, rain, and more rain the rest of the week (we don’t live near the beach so we’re just expecting flooding here).

This week, in honor of the changing season, we’ve put together the “Sew Long Summer” blog tour (hosted by mahlica designs) that’s all about building a transitional wardrobe, finishing up languishing summer projects, and whatever else “sew long summer” means to everyone!

We also have prizes!! Find out how you can win fabric from Simply By Ti or a pattern from DG Patterns at the bottom of this post!

When I was working out what I wanted to make for this tour, I quickly decided on cardigans. I don’t know about you, but I just LIVE in cardigans. Ever since having babies, I’ve found cardigans to be my outerwear item of choice, and these days I rarely ever wear a traditional sweater unless it comes with a zipper.

Over time I’ve become bored with my collection of cardigans and keep telling myself to make more, so this tour was the perfect impetus to get that done!!

For my cardigans, I decided on the Jalie Women’s Pleated Cardigan and Vest, and the Itch to Stitch Lisbon. As I tend to do, I left all of this til the last minute and so photos were hurriedly done by my 6 year old yesterday right before we headed to her swim lesson! (There is a reason my blog is predominately childrenswear!).

Jalie Women’s Pleated Cardigan & Vest #2919

This was my second time making the Jalie Pleated Cardigan (last time I made the vest version). For this version, I used this black sweater knit from Simply By Ti. This particular knit is super soft and cozy!! I hated sewing it (I’ve decided I get no joy from sewing black fabric, and for that matter, crocheting with black yarn!), but I do LOVE wearing it! The drape is fantastic, horizontal stretch is about 75%, and while their website says 0 vertical stretch, I’d say there’s at least 15% stretch there.


Thanks to my inability to follow directions, especially after sewing something once already, I had to do a lot of unpicking of black thread on black loose weave knit, which was basically death. And then when I finished it, I realized I completely botched the pleats. I made 2 pleats on each side. There should be 4. The shoulders, as a result, are a bit wide, and the pleats poke out instead of laying down… so I will eventually go back over and sew them down vertically to make them less obvious.

And so, once I was done with that and had sworn myself off making anything else again with black fabric, I went and made…… another black cardigan.

Itch to Stitch Lisbon

(includes *affiliate links)

What can I say… black cardigans are my go-to when it comes to my wardrobe (and gray… I need to make more gray ones now that I think about it!). And I have plans for this one! I have this awesome triangle black and white cotton lycra from Mabel Madison and my plan for that is to make a form fitted dress with it – so this cardigan will, hopefully, look good over that!


Anyways, my styling isn’t the best here, but here’s the Lisbon by Itch to Stitch*. Usually I add about an inch to her tops and I nearly did that here, but since I was doing the cropped version anyway, I decided to just cut it out as drafted.

This cardigan is SO warm!! I used black cotton lycra french terry from Simply By Ti. This makes for a more structured and boxy cardigan, so in hindsight, longer might have been a better option, but I still think this will work great with dresses and tunics. My buttons were recycled from something long forgotten (found in my button jar). I also decided to top stitch all the seams in this one (this step is not included in the directions).

I didn’t realize until I started editing pics, that the band at the back had flipped up a bit. So ignore that!!

And because I was on a sewing streak and my goal was to make *cardigans* and ideally more than 2, I then decided to use this hoarded coral rayon french terry to make a second Lisbon. I only had a yard of this one (I’d picked it up for $3 from a quilting store that was closing down nearly 2 years ago), and I’d been saving it for the perfect project. Was this the one? I don’t know… I quickly reminded myself that at $3 I could afford to just *try* it! Buttons were also free – upcycled from an old shirt!


I should also note that sewing the buttonholes on this knit wasn’t difficult. I used Palmer/Pletch Light interfacing (if you are only using Pellon on your garments, I *highly* recommend checking out Palmer/Pletch interfacing! It is SOOOO much nicer!), which stabilized the front bands and made them act more like wovens during the buttonhole step.


The second Lisbon came together SO quickly. I probably got it cut and sewn in about 2 hours. The trickiest part is making sure the front binding strips align with the hem and neckband properly. I suggest basting these with your sewing machine first so you get perfect accuracy before putting it through your serger.

I’ll definitely make the Lisbon again, though I’d like to do some in a less structured knit. I’d also love to modify the front to be a V-neck since V’s are my preferred neckline. I think it would be pretty easy to make that modification.

Itch to Stitch Nottingham Top

And because I wanted to make something slightly coordinated, I decided to make another Nottingham Top* (here’s my first two) with this fabric I picked up for $4 p/yard at Fabric Mart a few months ago. In hindsight it would have worked better as a dress for pairing with this cardigan, but I’d purchased it with the intent of making a Nottingham, so once that plan was firmly planted in my mind, I couldn’t change it. I have about a yard left, so naturally, Miss 6 is requesting a top for her and her doll!


For this top, I added about an inch in length (I used this same amount in my tester versions), and did 3/4 length sleeves.

This top was also quick to whip up (I actually sewed both the coral Lisbon and Nottingham over the course of a couple hours yesterday!).

So there you have it… layers for the new season! Are cardigans on the horizon for you?

Fabric/Pattern Summary:

Share what you’ve been making to say “Sew Long Summer” to be entered into our random drawing.

Continental US participants will be entered to win a $20 store credit from Simply by Ti Fabrics.

All other participants will be entered to win a pattern of choice from DG Patterns.

To enter, please tag your sewing project with #SewLongSewcial18 on Instagram or facebook. You can also leave a link in the comments on the mahlicadesigns intro post. Please limit your entries to items you’ve sewn between Sept 10th and Sept 28th 2018. Winners will be notified and announced shortly thereafter.

We can’t wait to see what you’re making.

The full tour includes these talented sewists, so I hope you’ll follow along week!

Sept. 10th Sewing A La Carte, Tenille’s Thread, A Custom Clothier, Made for Little Gents, Miss Marah Sewn

Sept. 11th Manning the Machine, mahlicadesigns, Sewing Vortex, Crafting Fiend

Sept. 12th Auschick Sews, Aurora Design Fabrics, My Heart Will Sew On, Vicky Myers Creations

Sept. 13th Flaxfield Sewing, Sewing with D, Musings of a Seamstress, Make it Sew with the Bear and Pea Atelier, Petite Font

Sept. 14th Sewing à la Carte, Sewing by Ti, Stitches by Laura, Sewing with Sarah, My Sewing Roots

20 thoughts on “Sew Long Summer: It’s Cardigan Time!”

  1. I think I could stand to have a few more cardigans myself. I’d greatly appreciate it if you work out the vneck hack on the Lisbon (so I don’t have to). I could use a black cardigan, but like you I don’t find sewing black clothing the least interesting and totally frustrating.

    Liked by 1 person

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