Fall is finally here and I am so ready for it! It’s no secret, fall is my favorite season (besides, maybe, Christmas!), and I have so been looking forward to its arrival. This year especially, I am ready for everything fall brings with it—cozy fires, snuggly sweater, hot cocoa, all things pumpkin and apple, the list goes on! With so much continued uncertainty in pretty much every aspect of life right now, I’m depending on fall and the comfort it brings, or forces us to find, after the long days of summer. Bring on the rain and cooler temperatures that force me inside to settle in, find warmth, and hopefully sew!
To be honest, I have done very little sewing over the past few months. When I wasn’t working I found myself outside in the garden more and more. Between my veggie garden and all of the gorgeous flower beds at Makers Hideaway, I had my work cut out for me. A few projects popped up here and there, including masks, but nothing really noteworthy. Going into fall, I knew I wanted to change that and take on a few things on my sewing lists, especially some cozy cardigan/pullovers and snuggly flannel button-up shirts/jackets. Since I sewed up the Ilford Jacket for our Spring Style Tour, I decided to go with a cardigan for something different. Although, a flannel Ilford will likely be coming very soon!
Now for the hard part, deciding on the pattern and fabric. For the cardigan, I wanted something really warm and cozy, maybe a little oversized so I can sort of wrap up in it. With that in mind, I settled on Jalie’s Hélène Cardigan. After debating about what to layer with it, I settled on a new hack of one of my TNT patterns, the True Bias’ Roscoe Blouse, with long, gathered sleeves.
Patterns in hand, I narrowed down the sweater knit options for the Hélène to our thickest, most textured styles and this quickly got paired down to the Soft Cable Stripe Sweater Knit. I went the rich wine colorway—perfect for fall! And for my long sleeve Roscoe Blouse, I knew I wanted a soft drapey rayon in a beautiful print to compliment the solid, textured cardigan. Below are a few of my favorite options, but the Artistic Sketch Floral Rayon Crepe ended up being the winner. I just love how the slate grey pairs with the burgundy and both will look great with jeans, my pants of choice!
With limited time to sew, I was happy both of these garments were pretty straight forward. I did make a few changes as I went but I was able to get both pieces done in just one day of dedicated sewing. Not bad, right?!
Let’s take a look at the Roscoe Blouse. First up, I didn’t want ties at the neck, I thought they might compete with the cardigan and just get in the way. Rather than just leave the slit neckline open, I added a small loop in the bound edge and a button on the other side for a beautiful, simple finish. And thank you button stash for the perfect shank button!
The Roscoe sleeve pattern piece has straight sides, so to lengthen the sleeves I added 6″ and straighten the bottom edge. The addition was a guess but it ended up being the perfect amount for me with the double folded 3/8″ hem I used to create the elastic casing. I figured I could always trim any excess off if needed. I hemmed the sleeve and left a small opening to thread some 1/4″ elastic inside and experimented with how tight to make the cuffs. I learned on my Magnolia dress not to make them too right or the sleeves get stuck mid-arm as you move.
Next up, the real star, the Hélène Cardigan! The biggest change I made to this pattern was in the back construction. It is normally two pieces to give the back a bit more drape and allow for possible color blocking. Rather than break up the beautiful cable design, I taped the two back pattern pieces together (overlapping the 1/4″ seam allowance) and cut it as one piece on the fold.
I debated about forgoing the pockets on the front of the cardigan and cutting the two fronts as one piece as well. Super cozy pockets won out though, and I did my best to match the cable pattern as I cut the two-part fronts and sewed them together. Another option would have been to cut each front as one piece and add large patch pockets. Maybe I’ll try that for another version!
For sewing, I decided to construct the cardigan on my regular sewing machine using an overlock stretch stitch with a longer stitch length. This gave me a bit more control over how the sweater knit fed into the machine and helped prevent stretching of the looser knit. To finish off my cardigan, I cover-stitched the front edge and hems in place for a profession, clean look.
For styling my look, I kept things really simple—jeans, booties, and earrings. I didn’t want to take a way from the amazing texture of the sweater knit or the beautiful print and details of the rayon blouse. These days there aren’t too many reasons to “dress up” either, so this combination is definitely something I can wear anytime. Here is a look at the finished pieces and how they came together to create my fall look!
What do you think?! I love how both pieces turned out and can’t wait to mix and match them with other items in my handmade wardrobe. I have a feeling the cardigan is going to get a lot of wear and likely become one of a few in my closet!
That wraps up our stop on the Fall Style Tour! Dei, of Sew Hot Mommi, is up tomorrow with another rayon/sweater knit combination you won’t want to miss. We’re at the halfway point of the tour; if you have missed any of the stops so far or would like to learn more about our fall kick-off, check out our launch blog post HERE.
Stay safe this fall and happy sewing!