Paro Cardigan in distressed French terry

front 1

I enjoyed my tattoo Itch to Stitch Paro Cardigan so much during my Christmas visit with my son in Orlando – time to make another one.

Just to shake things up a bit, I used a ‘distressed’ poly/rayon/lycra French terry from Fabric Mart. What an adventure, this is truly a funky fabric.

back full

Distressed – the loop side is actually the front side, and it has patches of deconstructed threads, similar to distressed jeans.

screen shot 2018-12-29 at 5.52.09 pm

This made for some interesting sewing challenges 🙂

  • Before I did any sewing, I staystiched the cut threads on the edges of the pattern pieces. Using a ‘helper’ (my double hole threader) really helped.


  • I had to be gentle with the fabric to avoid catching the threads unintentionally. And I used a lot of basting since pins slipped out so easily.

baste baste

  • I decided to face the waistband with a lightweight woven fabric. Here’s a view before the facing – notice the drooping. It really bugged me.


  • After adding the facing – much better, and I like the added weight:


More pics:

side closeup 1

front 3

front 2

Update on my techno-gadgets: I took these photos with my new iPhone, first time! I haven’t conquered the subtleties of the camera, but I love the quality of the pics. It was also the first time I used my Arkon tripod phone adapter. This thing is really neat and so easy to use!!

tripod adapter

My dear boy turned 50 on Friday. Proud mom here…


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