Monday, 1 June 2015

A cropped Renfrew Cardigan


I have a lot of high-waist dresses and skirts, but only a handful of knitted cardigans that I can wear with them. I just can't knit that fast, pity. Thus I thought I would sew a cropped cardigan. But I couldn't find a pattern that I liked. I wanted a cropped and tight fitting cardigan. Something that goes with the style of my dresses and skirts.


I then accidentally found a post by Andrea from FourSquareWalls. A post where she showed her newest Renfrew mod - a cardigan. An idea was born! I had that pattern but never came around to make it. So I made a normal test Renfrew first (which you will see soon) to asses the fit. The shirt was a bit big on me in my back. Thus I decided to combine the Renfrew and Ladyskater pattern.


The Ladyskater is super fitted on the waist - the style I was opting for. Thus I traced the Ladyskater pattern from waist to under armhole and the part above the armhole is the Renfrew. Sleeves are Renfrew as well. I the shortened the Renfrew waistband a bit - I made it 1" shorter than my waist seam would be and then followed Andreas constructions.


To make the button band I just added 5/8" to the seam allowance of the front bodice paper pattern and on the actual cardigan I just folded it back and topstitched it down. I then attached the neck and waist band. To get neat corners at the waistband and neckband, I sewed the corners together first (right sides together). Then turned the right side out and topstitched the seam allowances down.


What do you guess was the most difficult part? The button holes! I really dreaded them because I knew they would either make my cardigan beautiful or super ugly. I guess I hit the middle. I can only recommend to stabilise the button band and parts of the neck and waist band where the buttons go. I didn't and my fabric was stretching. I would also recommend to sew the buttonholes before you sew the neck and waist band to the bodice. Because my sewing machine just didn't want to sew over that seam. It was a really messy job that you luckily can't see because of my big buttons and dark fabric.


I love how the cardigan turned out! He is not perfect yet. I think the sleeves are a bit big and I will make them a bit slimmer for my next version. The length I like :) I like to pull up sleeves so that they cover my nuckles - I always have cold hands.

I've bought already some jersey snaps to try on my next version :) hope they will be easier to put in than the button holes!

I'm almost at the end and I haven't told you about the fabric yet! It is a romaknit fabric that I bought from myfabrics.co.uk It does not have much stretch and is a bit thicker. And just perfect for a tight cardigan. I'm a bit disappointed though because it has started to pile already at my shoulders. At the spot where the strap of a handbag runs over the shoulder. I have worn the cardigan maybe 10 times and would have expected it to last a bit longer. Nonetheless, the piling will not stop me to make another one from the same fabric but in dark grey. I need more basics in my wardrobe.

I'm the proud owner of a cropped cardigan :)

17 comments:

  1. How inventive and it's a real success - goes especially well with the dress you have styled it with.

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    1. Thank you, I'm really happy with how it turned out and I've finally cropped cardigans that I can wear with my dresses :)

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  2. I really like the color of your cardigan, and good luck with the next one :) I made my first cardigan recently and I also had problems with buttonholes. A lady gave me a tip to try using regular printer paper as a stabilizer and then tear it away, and it worked fantastically!

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    1. Thanks Emily. And that's a great tip with the printer paper! I will definitively try it with my next version :)

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  3. What a great idea to hack the Renfrew into a cardigan! It looks really good, and I definitely can't see any evidence of the problems you had with the buttonholes. I've been thinking that I should try sewing some cardigans but the buttonholes have been putting me off! I've made a couple of Seamwork Astoria tops though and they're also great for wearing with full-skirted dresses.

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    1. Thank you Ruth. Yep dark colours are good colours to hide mistakes :) I'm going to try snap fasteners next time and hopefully that will work better. I'm in envy with your lovely Astoria tops. But I kept thinking that I could make a cropped Moneta jumper as well, as I have the Moneta pattern already. So many possibilities :)

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  4. This is a perfect solution! You've done a great job with this hack and the button holes look great from the photos. I'm sure you'll be the only one to notice them. Looking forward to seeing your next version.

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    1. Thanks Claire! So far nobody at work has said anything about the buttonholes (and I guess they never will, haha) :) It is just me knowing that they not as nice as I would like them, buh. But I love the cardigan anyway. In fact I'm wearing it today :)

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  5. What a great cardigan, and a brilliant idea to mash up the patterns.

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  6. What a gorgeous cardigan! It's just the kind of style I like too. It's soooo hard to find cropped length, fitted cardigans with long sleeves, so it's great to know that it's possible to make your own. Lady Skater and/or Renfrew are on my "to buy" list so I might try it out some day :)

    Also I love how you've tied up your hair, it looks really pretty in the third photo.

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  7. As I told you already, I love it! I desperately need a cropped cardi and I think I might hack the lady skater pattern to make one. Thanks for the inspiration! x

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  8. This is perfect!! I may totally copy you :) It works great with your dresses

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  9. Such a lovely jumper! I love how you merged the two patterns to make an item which is truly unique!

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  10. That's very pretty - and it matches your dress so well!

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  11. That's very pretty - and it matches your dress so well!

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  12. I've been googling and googling and finally hit upon your site which has exactly the garment I've been looking for! Thanks for such a great write-up!

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