Made by Me!

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Grainline Driftless Cardigan - Finished!

This is one of my favourite makes of 2016, my Grainline driftless cardigan made from strange ponte roma lurex fabric in a creamy, coral colour from Fabric Godmother, sadly no longer available. I went for view B which has a split hem at the sides and a lower hem line around the back of the cardigan. I think its a little bit more contemporary than the straight hem on view A. I have totally fallen in love with this cardi and am now planning a more basic colour in black or dark grey but first I have to make my Mum one as she saw it on me over Christmas and loved it. Can't get more of a compliment than that really. Just awaiting the fabric delivery.

Over the last year I have become mildly obsessed with jersey and stretch fabrics. I would never have thought that this would happen as I have never really felt confident with knits, my makes in general have either come together by complete fluke or fallen apart within moments of wearing them for the first time, usually due to poor fabric choices and probably bad sewing technique. Through trial and error I have finally come to a place where I can make something and know it wont be a total fail! Whilst sewing my Charlotte Kan Elskan dress I had a mini revelation that I can add neckbands and sew with a twin needle without messing the whole thing up. It was also the first hem that didn't go wibbly. And I have worn it to death, it is absolutely my go to going out dress now. Yip!! I kind of launched into jersey from there, especially as winter necessitates some warm cosy clothes. It's funny how you feel rather overwhelmed by something and then all of a sudden it doesn't feel scary anymore. That's what persistence gets you. I still stumble from time to time with fabric choices as if I am honest its difficult to predict what you will get from an online order sometimes and lots of shops don't put the percentage of stretch on their stretch knits so you have to guesstimate whether its suitable. Plus the issue of not being able to feel the fabric and drape it in front of you means its scary to buy. But armed with some knowledge about what I am looking for means I am getting better at it. And you know I am at that point where I might just order myself some posh merino jersey from the fabric store for a hefty price tag per metre because it sounds delicious and I don't think I will destroy it anymore when I cut into it!

Anyway I digress. I have made a couple of Grainlines patterns now (another one to blog about soon!) and I have found them all to be so easy to follow and straight forward to put together. The fit is made for me, being a straight size 10 I don't need to make any alterations which is dreamy when it comes to easy sewing. The only thing I managed to mess up on this is the sewing of the band to the front. It is too tight and consequently wrinkles a bit mid way down. The fabric has stretch but the pieces at the front seemed to struggle to reach the required length and easing the fabric to reach the required length was a total mistake. But hey you live and learn and it isn't so awful you wouldn't want to wear it. Plus I don't think anyone has actually realised so its probably just me being persnickety.

My second issue is the slip stitching around the front band - you sew the band down by hand rather than serge or machine sew it. I had to redo it a couple of times as the stitch doesn't stretch with the fabric and it popped a couple of times. I am not sure if I am doing something wrong but I just put it on more carefully now. Once on its not an issue. Anyone else made this and know the solution here? I fancied just serging it on to be honest but I am not sure if it would sit flatly.

What I really like about this cardi is it feels kind of elegant to wear, its stylish whilst being a staple wardrobe basic. The cute hidden pockets are a lovely little feature and the seam across the cardi half way down the body means you can play about with colour blocking, just like this wonderful version from Christine Haynes. Endless possibilities!

The fabric was a weird one. When I was sewing it together it gave off a really weird plasticy smell that has only faded after a couple of washes. It also seems to like to come apart a little. I have had to sew in a couple of threads that have just come unravelled for no reason. The best thing is the wrong side of the fabric, it is red and gold in colour and so pretty. I think it might actually look quite nice sewn as the right side.

If you are struggling with fabric choices then both Fabric Godmother and Dragonfly fabrics do lovely basics colour palettes of ponte roma which is perfect for this piece. Girl Charlee has the most wonderful patterned ponte if you want something a little more wow! The Fabric Store sells lots of heavier weight merino jersey but it is expensive so you need to make sure you can cope with cutting into that fabric when you get it!!

So in conclusion I am going to make more of these, one for my Mum first but then when I have time definitely another one for me. I love, love, love it! What do you think?


  1. Great cosy cardigan, I love fabrics that are/ could be two sided. I am so in need of new cardigans, I lost one and the other ones fabric went all bobbly so just a pink rtw one left. This pattern is definitely a contender.

    1. Hi Lynsey. Thank you. I had the same issue. One RTW woolly cardi left from all of my warm winter stuff from last year so started the season truly lacking in warm clothes. Really trying to rectify this with a jersey marathon. I have an Esme and Saunio cardi coming from Named and a couple of Toaster jumpers. If I can fit another Driftless cardi into the mix I will. Cannot tell you how much I love it!


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