McCalls 7476 Cardigan – Maybe not


OK, these two M7476 cardigans are from sewing some time ago, but I want to share. This is a McCalls ‘Learn to sew for Fun’ pattern, and it does have a lot going for it. The instructions are very much oriented to an advanced beginner sewer:

line art

Aside from really great and detailed instructions, it is interesting because it has an attached shawl collar, rather than one that is cut-on (with all the seam challenges).

I’ve fallen rather in love with hacci knits, as a substitute for cotton knits, so I used 2 pieces from the stash as victims.

First go, View B, no collar.


Great stripe, and I agonized over the stripe matching. However. That turn in the front, where the curve meets the straight part of the front – it absolutely demands a button. I want it to fly open with panache and grace!

A few sewing notes here:

  • On both, I raised the front bodice by 1.5″, so that curve point would not be so low. Even for me, at 5’7″, that is a very low focal point.
  • In the following version, I likewise shortened the collar to match.

Well, not deterred and having the fabric, I made View D, which has the attached collar. I like this much more, mostly because the front button/curve are better, and here are pics.




Well, no. Not for me. I’m sitting on some beautiful sweater knits, so I’m glad I tried this. Next? I’ll remove the snaps and buttons, gently, and donate these two cardigans.

Ciao! Coco


Goes with jeans…


What to do with white french terry?

My intention was to make a robe – a fresh white robe just feels wonderful after a shower. However, I discovered that I only had 3 yards of fabric (huh, I really did mean to order 5 yards). Time to re-think this project.

I’ve been toying with the idea of a long button-front cardigan, a mix of the Ready to Sew Jamie Cardigan and the Blackwood Cardigan from Helen’s Closet. I don’t have the Jamie pattern, and the Blackwood is very slim, so I trolled the stash. Voila! Burda Style 09/2016 #119.

line art

Yes, I made changes!

  • I left off the collar and drafted 2″ wide facings for the front and back neckline.
  • The original sleeve is very wide at the armscye and connects at the natural waist. I narrowed mine by 7″ on the front and back seam, which gave a nice kimono sleeve.


  • I was short on fabric so I made a two-piece pocket with fun topstitching.


  • And I cut 10″ off the bottom, which I refashioned into a 4″ wide hem band.
  • For closure, I used 5/8″ buttons with silver #4 sew-on snaps. Easy peasy 🙂


I admit I sewed this with some trepidation, not totally convinced I was making something I would enjoy. But I love it with jeans!


I used my Frixion pens all over this as I was sewing and fitting, so I laundered it again when it was finished. The cotton terry is so soft and rumply.


Yes, I still want that white robe. I just ordered more fabric, because Cali Fabrics only had 7 yards left when I went looking!

Bye for now, Coco

Blackwood Cardigan in Ponte Knit


More love for the Blackwood Cardigan pattern from Helen’s Closet.

part 1-side

Feeling adventurous, I used a very stretchy (60%/40%) rayon/nylon/lycra ponte from Fabric Mart (my first version was in hacci knit, here).


I actually began construction with the neckline band, because I knew it would be the biggest challenge. I did not want to end up with a wavy, stretched out band! So – my approach:

  • I keep my ironing board at table height, so it can double as a work surface. The foam pad makes a great pin cushion as well!


  • I measured the band and did all my work with a measuring tape above it to ensure I wasn’t stretching the fabric. Or possibly shrinking it when I applied the fusible interfacing.


  • After I folded the band and gave it a press, I did some fancy basting to prevent shifting when it was sewn. It took a while, but was worth the effort.


  • I also made a 12″ long replica for testing my stitches, tension, and so on.



A couple more sewing notes:

  • I staystitched the neckline edges of the garment to stabilize them while I was handling the fabric. On the back neckline, I stitched from the center back to the shoulder. On the front pieces, I stitched from the bottom edge to the shoulder.


  • To avoid stretching my seams, I sewed them first on the sewing machine, and simply finished the edges on the serger.


Whew! but it all worked 🙂






Next up, of course I’m going to sew this in a cotton/lycra jersey!

Bye for now, Coco

Blackwood Cardigan fan club…


It’s official – I’m a fan. From Helen’s Closet, the lovely Blackwood Cardigan!

part 1-side

Yes, another cardigan. But they’re such fun to sew and so easy to wear. I think I’m slow on my game, because this cardigan has been around for some time.

back 2

I actually purchased it and 2 pieces of hacci knit a couple months ago. Then I chickened out on using the hacci, mostly because I read so many comments about ‘sweater knits that cling to themselves’. Absolutely, hacci knit, in all its polyester glory, will do that. But this pattern is not voluminous, so this weekend I went with my first inclination, and I love the result.


Sewing notes:

  • Fabric: this is a blue/black/brown/cream abstract hacci knit from Fabric Mart. It’s very stretchy – 80%/40%.
  • Size: After viewing about a hundred versions online, and reading the sizing information and tutorials provided by Helen’s Closet, I settled on size Large. Measurement of the taped pattern confirmed my choice: the Large is 33″ at the bustline. With a 4″ gap between the front edges (it’s not meant to be closed), it’s perfect for me. The Large is about 40″ at the hip, just enough to prevent a skimpy silhouette. It also fits me through the shoulders and arms. BTW, my measurements put me in the Medium, but it would have been too small for me.
  • I also added 1″ to the length – I’m 5’7″ and the size model is 5’6″. I always appreciate that little piece of information.
  • The band: I planned to interface the front band, so I added 2″ to the length on each side. Fusible interfacing will always ‘freeze’ a knit and pull it up a bit. Better safe than sorry, and I used every bit of the length. Interfaced, folded, basted and topstitched:

band 1-down

band 3

  • The sleeve: my only change was to the cuff. The sleeve pattern is intentionally long and slouchy, with a very wide cuff. I simply finished my cuff at about 1 5/8″ wide.


  • No pockets! the fabric is way too stretchy for them.

side 1

And the inside view…

emile 1

emile 2

While browsing, I found an intriguing adaptation by SheSewsALot – she made it a bit oversized, with a button front and maxi length. I’ve already printed the layered XL and XXL for a similar version in the fall, perhaps in sweatshirt or French terry knit.

Other projects – My Luna Lapin wool felt arrived from The Felt Pod. It’s beautiful fabric, but my wool allergy bounded to the front almost immediately. Sigh. However, I have a backup plan, and I’ll be working on my Lapin today.

Bye for now – Coco

Paro Cardigan by Itch to Stitch

back 1

This cardigan is amazing!

What a lovely design. When I came across it on Pinterest, I was sure I would sew it.

Paro Cardigan-side

I started with a muslin (I’m still enjoying this print from Fabric Mart).


And I discovered a little wonkiness going on in the waistband – a little pulling and sagging. It’s not at all noticeable in a print, but would be in a solid.

tiled insides

This was an easy fix to include in future versions. I took the curve out of the front waistband and straightened the bottom of the back bodice (it’s actually a little swoopy from center back to the sides, once the pleat is sewn).

I was so happy with this cardigan that I couldn’t wait to make another one in a fabric I’ve been saving for something special. Check out this tattoo print from Cali Fabrics (sorry, I also bought up the remaining yardage a couple days ago. Picture a long robe).

Print fabric

front 2

side 2

side 1

Sewing notes:

  • Fabrics: The pattern site has a blog post with examples from a myriad of testers, in all sizes and many different fabrics. It is so helpful! Both my fabrics are cotton/lycra and have 25% horizontal/20% vertical stretch.
  • Sizing: I followed the pattern information and sewed size 8. Just in case I use a stable fabric in the future, I printed the pattern with sizes 8 and 10 (gotta’ love layered PDFs).
  • The pleats on the bodice: I followed the suggestion for small-busted women and topstitched the front bodice pleats for 3″. They’re so pretty.

Favorite presser foot

  • BTW, notches and marks are super important for all those pleats. On a dark fabric I use my trusty white marking pen. It steams/wipes right off, and it doesn’t cause any discoloration. Even better, because it’s a roller pen, it doesn’t disappear from a knit the way chalk does. I get mine from JoAnn, it’s usually in the quilters’ markers and notions aisle.

clover white marking pen

  • The front band: The pattern for the band is 6″ wide and finishes at about 2.5″ wide. IMO, it’s a heavy element in the design, perhaps just a little too wide. Mine is 4.5″ wide and finishes at about just under 2″ wide.
  • I also added 4″ to length of my band, so I could attach it all the way to the bottom of the garment and incorporate it in the hem. This is much easier than the approach in the instructions and makes a nice clean finish:-)


  • Last note on the band, I interfaced mine with tricot knit fusible. Knit bands want to stretch out, get wavy, and generally misbehave (check out the examples online to see what I mean). Interfacing helps with that.

up close

I’m smitten – this is a unique, fun, and feminine design!

Ciao – Coco