Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Pattern Overview: Ficus and Fern Cardigans from Sew Like My Mom

Hi! I recently tested a couple of patterns from Sew Like My Mom, and I wanted to share them with you (plus a cute little surprise!)

Melissa is one of my favorite designers (style, but personality too - so nice to buy from someone who is so helpful and sweet!) and I knew her Fern Cardigan would be perfect for my girls. The first one I made in testing used this hacci sweater knit from Girl Charlee; soft, not overly stretchy, and the perfect amount of drape. It is a lighter fabric, so the peplum isn't weighing down the top. We found the long sleeves to be a little tight, and Melissa ended up widening them. I cut these down to elbow length, and they're perfect.

The second round I used a stretchier (and a bit heavier) interlock knit from - well, from the thrift store! I don't know the fiber content as a result, but I really wish I knew where it had originally come from, because I LOVE IT! The floral print is just beautiful (I'm a sucker for florals, I really am); the colors are so bright and pretty, and it's thick, stretchy, and soft. If anyone knows where it came from, please tell me so I can buy ALL OF IT. 

I made a size 6 again; my girls are two years apart, but wear basically the same size (Sam, here, is just a bit shorter and has slightly narrower shoulders than Nat, but their chest measurements and waists are the same).

As it so happens, the size 6 is generally the right size for printing at 50% to make doll clothes for 18" dolls! It doesn't always work perfectly - here, the sleeves were a bit long, and usually it is the length that is an issue and requires a little tweaking. The peplum and bodice came out perfectly this time, and I am in love with this sweet little dolly version. I used the ties for the doll, but cut the piece in half and sewed them directly into the side seams for a simpler style for little hands (no danger, either, and no risk of losing it somewhere else!)

Finally - Melissa released Ficus! I was able to test this Mama version as well, and I love having this in my wardrobe. I'm not a small person ;) and have always avoided peplums, since I've never thought they were particularly flattering to my body type. Upon testing the subtle curve on Ficus, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually really like the look, and the length keeps it from being a poofy mess around my waist and hips. The sleeves were narrowed this time (Exhibit A, the crazy chevron print, has the initial wider sleeves). I made elbow sleeves for myself; my favorite length.

That colorful print is - I believe - a poly rayon blend. Incredibly stretchy, fantastic drape, and though it's thin it was surprisingly easy to put through my serger. My sewing machine didn't like it quite as much. Where's it from, you ask? Oh...the bargain lots at Walmart! $1.50/yd - can't beat it for a muslin! And you know? I really like it. I've worn it several times now, and I just love the feel of it. It's so soft, and though the colors are crazier than what I usually wear, it looks great with a black tee underneath. (And don't mind those pictures!! My husband thinks our garage and sundry items make a great background!)

My second cardigan was my final, and I used a beautiful cotton blend jersey from Girl Charlee (you can find it here). Not nearly as much stretch and drape as the poly blend before it, but the new structure it provides to the pattern is lovely. Still colorful, but in a different way, and I can wear any number of my rainbow of tank tops from Target underneath! Perfect.

I'm thinking of making myself a third right now, if I can squeeze one out of the rest of that floral interlock...(psst. You can find Fern and Ficus bundled here.)

If you'd like to order a custom doll cardigan, please find me on Instagram @elliandnels, or on facebook (http://facebook.com/ellinels.institches); or contact me via email: ellinels.institches@gmail.com. Thank you!

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