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May 7, 2014

Thinking Cotton Cardigans + Pocket-palooza!



McCalls 5267 (above) which dates from 1976 and isn't hard to find online, looks like a fun, relatively quick project -- perhaps my next one.

Why, you may be wondering, did I purchase it, when I already own (in-print) McCalls 6803 (below), also a unisex knit cardigan pattern?



Believe it or not, when I picked up McCall's 6803, I chose the wrong size -- instead of SM-MED-LG, I bought XL, XXL, and XXXL.  Not gonna work.  Also, the vintage Seventies McCall's cardigan pattern has raglan sleeves and a more attractive collar (imo).  The torso looks more fitted too, as you'd expect from that era.



Here's the fabric I'll likely use for it.  It's an Italian terry cloth-type knit that looks surprisingly like the knit on the pattern envelope (I believe the word for this cotton is "marled.")  Squint and you'll see sunlight reflecting off the Mediterranean -- lovely.







Today I cut the pattern out (it's a single size: Small) and experimented with interfacing and buttonholes.











I was thinking this cardigan might also look cute with a belt instead of buttons, a la Marilyn on the beach.



Any preference?

In other news, in last night's penultimate menswear sewing class, we worked on pockets.  The whole class learned how to attach a regular shirt pocket, and a small group of us (well, two) also learned how to cut and attach a cargo pocket (the blue pocket below).  I'd never made a cargo pocket before and I'm not sure when I'll use one, but it's a good thing to have in my repertoire.  Ever make them?









Finally, we got to try the industrial serger, known as a Merrow machine.  The difference between this and my Brother 1034D is like the difference between a Mercedes Benz and a Yugo.  It's incredibly smooth, quiet, and powerful.  And fast, potentially, very fast.



And that's it.

In closing, would you try putting buttonholes in a loosely-woven terrycloth-type fabric or just go with a belt?

And why were McCall's pattern envelopes so much cuter in the Seventies?

Have a great day, everybody!

29 comments:

  1. I have a Juki industrial serger at the office, and a Juki home serger at home. They are both great machines, but the difference is night and day! The industrial stitches about 4 times faster, and smoothly as you could ever want. The only thing that the home machine has over it is differential feed. I couldn't afford the industrial that had that.

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  2. pocketsssssssssssssss

    my precious pocketses

    (sorry... I go all Gollum when it comes to pockets)

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one!

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  3. I did cargo pockets on denim shorts. Definitely gets to be a lot of layers, but they are pretty cool. I used the pockets off of the Green Pepper Sunset Bay pattern, http://www.thegreenpepper.com/downloads/524web.pdf. Pockets upon pockets. Great learning experience. Keep the pockets coming. I now have a Sailrite LSZ-1 heavy duty machine just for occasions like that. Sorry, sort of off the shirt/sweater track.

    Sue C

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  4. Ooh, that fabric! Yum! What about using snaps to fasten it from the inside, but sew non-functional buttons on top for the aesthetic value?

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  5. Oh wow, I really like those cargo pockets.

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  6. I like the raglan sleeves, too.

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  7. You can make buttonholes, but stabilise the button placket with a strip of cotton. That way it is less likely they will "fall out".

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    Replies
    1. Excellent idea. I did use interfacing, but cotton might work better.

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  8. Maybe it was the sewing gods looking out for you with McCalls 6803 being too large because the 5267 is so much cooler! My grandma used to use cotton for her buttonholes and it really did work for her. Can't wait to see how it all turns out!

    And by the way, That cargo pocket is amazing!

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  9. I think that cardigan will be really cool. The buttonholes of course are the tricky part, that's why most cardigan patterns nowadays are buttonless.

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  10. Given the texture of the fabric, corded buttonholes would be worth testing too.

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  11. Hi, I have both of the patterns you mention, I completely agree the collar on the 70s pattern is so much nicer. I have yet to make mine up, and will give the cotton idea a go for the button holes. I think button holes is nicer that a belt. Love your blue marl fabric. Like the cargo pocket, agree I am not sure when I would use them, perhaps on a satchel-type bag in light denim or cotton canvas? Jane

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  12. I almost bought that terry knit! It is really beautiful. Maybe a cargo pocket would be great on a 70s safari inspired shirt a la Wes Anderson.
    I went crazy on buying 70s patterns yesterday! I think it may be the summer of the caftan for me.

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  13. Peter, I rarely comment - although do read regularly - your blog so you don't know me personally and if you don't feel like answering this I *totally* understand but I have the Brother 1034D as well and I can't get the loops to not go off the edge even with a change in tension. A friend suggested I move the blade to the right but I'm not sure the 1034D blade is adjustable. I'm not finding in the manual. Have you had this experience? Thank you.

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    1. I would not try to move the blade. I'd re-thread from scratch, making sure the all the tension disks are clear and the thread is feeding correctly. Hope that helps!

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  14. Love the cardigan patterns - I've been scared of cut and sew knits, and was having that discussion just yesterday with another sewer. The buttonholes are what I find daunting. I have't tried yet, but I have had advice n how to handle. I'd need to do a bit of experimentation first.

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    1. I suppose I could also go to Jonathan Embroidery and have them make them and through them cleanly.

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  15. For me, since I don't like buttons, I would probably go with a belt, and as suggested by someone else snaps. However, for you, since the fabric is plain, maybe the buttons would add that something extra. You are amazing at button holes.

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  16. I'd like to see buttons and a belt.

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  17. A new reader there and I am already smitten...I would go button less, but use a great trim on the placket for visual interest. The belted version is just amazing! Also cargo pockets are some of my favorites and can add so much depth. I use them on everything from skirts to handbags.

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  18. I think the fibre gods are telling you it's time to learn how to knit.

    Judith in Ottawa

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  19. There is an awesome guy who crochets. I have seen him on "Knit and Crochet Today". I love to knit, but not very good at crocheting.

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  20. Any tips for attaching a patch pocket the professional way?

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    1. In class we folded our bottom edges over a cardboard template. But obviously you don't need the template if you measure the seam allowance correctly. Otherwise there were no special tricks, just careful measuring and edgestitching.

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  21. In my opinion, the 70's were the Golden Age of pattern fashion illustration. My favorites were the renderings on the Betsy Johnson and Willi Smith patterns; the illustrations were imbued with a rare sense of creativity and a touch of whimsy not seen since then. Thanx to Etsy I have been able to repurchase that Willi Smith jacket pattern (with it's cool illustration) that I crudely made 40 years ago, and reminisce how and why I
    started sewing (wow! 40 years, time flies when you're having fun sewing!)

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    1. I so agree with you in loving the Betsy Johnson and Willi Smith illustrations. I still have some of their patterns, purchased in the '70s but never made: purely aspirational, because I didn't have the sewing chops then and probably never will!
      -- stashdragon

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  22. Hi Peter,
    I made the in-print cardigan for my boyfriend for christmas this year. I loooved how it came out. The pattern envelope made it look downright dumpy so I was a bit nervous. I think the fabric might make or break it- I splurged on a really nice wool/silk sweater knit from mood. I stabilized the hell out of the button placket with interfacing, but i think the buttonholes still looked all ripply and disappointing. Next time I'll try a strip of cotton in there as suggested above.
    xoxo maureen

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