Greetings you sweater wearing minxes.
This make might win the award for longest-held fabric. This sweater knit has been in my stash forever. A sort of dusty lavender in a maybe 6×6 commercial knit. I’ve never loved it I don’t know why I bought it initially. Likely, I was just so excited to find this type of sweater knit. It’s been in my stash since I left Minnesota the first time — so at least five or six years.
Turns out, it was the perfect color for a nice cardi-duster (carduster? ewwwwww) for the Spring Wardrobe Sudoku. Behold.
Apologies on the blur!
The Lavender Duster is cut from a basic pattern (self-drafted) that I use for a lot of my dresses and cardis. If you’d like something similar, it looks like Simplicity 8265 might fit the bill!
The cardi is fairly basic, with two fun details. First, as you can see, I added a lot of featherstitching and flowers at the hem and collar. I used basic perl cotton (thicker embroidery floss) for the stitching. I love embroidering! It’s a bit like coloring for me – all free form and whimsical.
I’m not sure if it’s obvious, but I left the sleeve seam slitted about 6″ at the cuff — I just stopped sewing at that point and then hemmed the unfinished edges when I hemmed the cuff.
Some feather stitching at the collar.
The other fun detail came about due to necessity. The upper right back is pieced.
To start with, I only had about two yards of fabric, so I was trying to be very, very careful in my cutting because I didn’t have any extra for oopsies.
So of course I cut two of the left back upper piece. The fabric has a right and wrong side, so that was a pretty big snafu. I decided to make it a design detail. I recut as much as I could from the oops piece and then pieced the rest of the piece by laying scraps every which way and topstitching together.
I liked the effect so much I converted the back ‘skirt’ pieces from a basic, slightly flared design to a circle-skirt with a pieced gusset in the center back seam.
Ooo! You can see the sleeve slits in this photo! I did a fun running stitch along all the pieced lines. The flare gives it an English riding coat flare. You know, if English riding coats were heathered purple knit and nearly ankle length.
To add the gusset I stitched together the two waist pieces at the center back waist — this pattern already had a center back seam. Then I lugged it into the dining room and laid everything out on the table. I spread the pieces apart, creating an empty pie-shaped wedge. I laid scraps together, sort of like puzzle pieces, ’till the space was filled up. I pinned everything in place, then basted all together while it was still lying flat. Then to my machine where I topstitched all the pieces together, mostly using a zig zag stitch RIGHT on the edge of the fabric. Then I trimmed and did all the running stitches along the pieced lines.
I added a bit of trim to the back waist (you can kind of see it in the photos — SO sorry they are so blurry!). For the trim I cut a strip of fabric about 1″ wide. I folded in half then hand-sewed to the waistline with a running stitch and the dark purple perl cotton. I twisted the strip every few stitches to give it a 3D effect.
To finish off, I added a couple of buttons on the center front above the waist, along with some ruching at the hem. I felt like it was a bit shapeless, so I pinched in some vertical darts under the bust. I stitched with my sewing machine and then did a line of running stitches along the darts. Then I pressed the hell out of it. I like the shape WAY more but will admit the top of the darts is a bit nipply looking at certain angles!
Here’s the sweater in a few more outfits from the wardrobe sudoku.
I love this sweater! It’s nice and light for layering and I’ve already got my eyes on my cowboy boots and which jeans are getting cut into impractical daisy dukes for summer wear. There’s something about long knits over short denim that really floats my boat.
Total Fabric used and cost…
Fabric: 2 yards knit @ $8 a yard, thread $1, perl cotton, $1, buttons $1, pattern $0
Total time… around 16 hours according to my time tracker. The piecing took a while!
Curvy girl rating…5… This is a self-drafted TNT pattern, so of course I love!
Liklihood to make again… This is a great pattern for me — I love long sweaters! There’s another one in the sudoku wardrobe, so… definitely!
Great post, I love the way it looks. Thanks for taking the time to document your idea!
You should sell your pattern! :o)
What kind of sewing machine did you use on this? And how did you sew the neck band from raveling? (can’t see any stitches in the photo!)
HI E! I have a Bernina 530, but there’s nothing special about it – any machine can handle this type of fabric.
When I hem knits I will use either a machine stitch – zigzag set to maybe 1 or so for the depth or maybe a bit more – something that has a BIT of give due to being ziggy, but not so much that it looks like zig zag. Or if I want more control (or a TV watching project) I’ll hand stitch — a whipstitch where I barely catch a few theads on the right side fabric so that it’s mostly hidden — I believe that’s what I did with this sweater!
And hahah – on the pattern….. this was a fairly free form make, not sure how I’d make a pattern for that!!
XO – p
Thank You! :o)