Summer Sweaters

Summer Sweaters

Summer sweaters might sound like an oxymoron, but no matter the season, I rarely leave the house without a cardigan! During Me-Made May I relied heavily on a newly-thrifted royal blue waterfall cardi and a 5-year-old pale grey cardi that is starting to sprout holes, both of which you can see here. Since then, I’ve been working to gather nice rayon rib knits and sew them into three new summer cardigans!

Summer Sweaters

All three cardigans are based on the Cashmerette Concord tee. For the two draped sweaters, I cut off the front and back bodice at the waist, and attached a wide rectangle draping over the hips, and a narrow rectangle for the neckline. (Style Arc Nina has the same shape, if you prefer a real pattern.) This striped version is the closest in proportion to the royal blue sweater I copied – the perfect length for making a tank and leggings into a “proper” outfit!

Summer Sweaters

The turquoise version is constructed in a same way, but slightly shorter. I had 3m of a bizarrely narrow rib knit, and I was scared to run out of fabric!

Summer Sweaters

The grey sweater is as close a copy as I could make to my RTW favourite. It is the sweater I reach for when no other sweater matches, especially with dresses. This version is almost identical in colour, and hangs open in the same way too! I squeaked it out of just over 1m of knit end, and I’m so glad it worked out!

The theme with all three sweaters was to pay attention to the fabric and strategically use it to advantage. That might seem obvious, but it’s the sort of thing that past-me wouldn’t have always known how to do.

 

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Ribbed sweater knits can be notoriously hard to hem, so I thought about finishing before I cut things out. The centre front uses the selvedge edge as much as possible, so that when it drapes open there are no obvious seams. I hemmed the bottom and sleeves with the coverstitch, and it did a perfect job. Something like the Helen’s Closet Blackwood would be great for these fabrics too – all finished with bands and no hemming needed.

Summer Sweaters

On the grey, the ribs came off the selvedge at a slight diagonal, so I used that as the angle at centre front! To get a mirrored pair, I had to use the front of the knit on the left and the back on the right… but I don’t think anyone would ever notice. The turquoise has a much more pronounced rib, and you can see how hemming the sleeve stretched things out… so I chose to leave the bottom hem raw instead. The black and marl grey has such a bold stripe that I avoided any pattern matching by playing with directionality on front and back. Lazy and effective!

My summer vacation has started now – so except for 9 days of teaching kindergarten ESL students in July, I’ve got two months to sew! I moved my sewing room down to the dining room, and I have tons of plans. Only problem is, I think I might have TOO MANY CLOTHES? I’m sure I’ll get over that feeling soon and start cranking out more! What are your summer sewing plans?

 


22 thoughts on “Summer Sweaters

  1. Love the stripes in particular! Ha, I understand the need for a summer sweater now that I am up north… I was chilly last night!

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    1. I feel like it’s either hot and I’m dripping with sweat, or I’m huddled under two blankets on the couch. Is there mo middle ground to summer? πŸ˜‰

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  2. I love the color of the turquoise sweater! For me, my summer is 1/3 done, and I work 40 hours a week, so my sewing plans are staying small! I’m currently brainstorming for the Sewcialist challenge!

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    1. I”m glad you are joining in! (Honestly, any time I launch something, I think, “Oh god, what if NO ONE takes part?”)

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  3. These are gorgeous, I’m sure you will get a lot of use out of these! I have the summer off, too, for the first time in ten years and I don’t know where to start, too many ideas, far too much fabric. I’ll be sure to keep an eye on your blog for inspiration!

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    1. Oooooh, you should sew ALL THE THINGS! Starting with something indulgent and frivolous, perhaps? Or maybe some nice wardrobe basics?

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  4. I love the striped sweater! Thanks for sharing. Have a great sewing summer in your light filled dining room. I am off on a voyage soon and August will be my sewing time.

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    1. I do give Anne stuff every few months… my current issue is, I love too much of my wardrobe! Even my favourites only get worn a few times in a season, which is crazy… but I have a lot of favourites, so I do love getting dressed in the morning!

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    1. Oh to have AC at work! I’m teaching camp in a public school with no AC and no windows that open. It’s gonna be FUN! πŸ˜‰

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  5. You are always such an inspiration Gillian! I love how you just get to it πŸ™‚ “I need a couple of sweaters – here is some knit fabric I have and a style I like – cut and some sewing and voila! a couple of sweaters!” My plans remain a little random…I have just finished a Dove by Megan Nielsen and I have to say I LOVE this pattern! The sleeves didn’t turn out so great (my fault entirely) so I left it sleeveless and the fit was perfect. I’m going to make another – maybe even another sleeveless since it turned out so great. Then I have the Webster by Cashmerette sitting on my table and I keep fantasizing about a knit capelet (pattern and instructions in Natalie Chanin’s book).

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    1. I wore my Webster yesterday! Even with a cami underneath so I didn’t flash the world, it was still really comfortable on a hot day. You’ll like it!

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  6. My summer plans include several flamingo skirts. I have declared this the summer of Flamingo Fun Fridays. I love themed outfits and flamingos so… I am on the hunt for some nice knits to make some t-shirts and with some luck something nice and drapey to make a kimono top to function similarly to your summer cardigans. One of my coworkers has one and every time she wears it I am envious of her style and home comfortable she looks.

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    1. OMG, I LOVE IT! totally genius to have a secret )or not so secret!) theme day in the week. Can’t wait to see what you make!

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  7. Those are very cute cardigans, and you had some very good ideas for working with knits. I have a sundress that fits me really well, but I don’t want to go outside the house with bare arms. I will have to experiment with making a cardi to go over it.

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    1. You might like a light linen or rayon knit – nice and cool in the sunshine, but keeps the sun off your shoulders!

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  8. Summer sweaters are definitely a necessity. I feel like I should have one just for riding in the car with my husband, since he likes to crank the AC full blast and I can’t take it! It’s a great pattern hack, and is making me want to revisit my wearable but not great attempt to make the Deer & Doe Plantain into a cardigan. (But not right now, because my summer sewing is fall necessities.)

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  9. Here in Nova Scotia, you always have to have a cardigan on hand! Love your versions. I have been making a few Blackwood’s, not blogged of course….ugh. You’re hacks are great. Thanks for sharing Gillian!!

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