Monday, August 22, 2011

Goldilocks Draped Cardigan

Remember those Three Bears and Goldilocks?  I have a lot in common with her in the past month while I was working on Pamela's Patterns Draped Cardigan.  The first one was too small, the second was too big, the third was just right.   I'm a happy girl in this final version

I started out using the same sizing process for this Draped Cardigan as I had for Pamela's Patterns Perfect T Shirt earlier this summer.  But the 1/2" petite upper chest adjustment was a squeeze too high  under the arms in version one.  OK, for version two I made only a 1/4 inch petite adjustment but the loosely woven knit was too long on my torso.  This 3rd version is 1" shorter and has my usual  center back seam, swayback adjustment and slightly widened/lengthened sleeves.  

Once I was satisfied that I had the fit, then I sewed this one up in a heathery olive green wool knit from Fabric Mart.  I adore this fabric and have more to play with this fall.  Since fall was on my mind, I just couldn't leave it alone, however, and wanted to add some tone on tone embellishment to make it all mine.   Knowing that sewers always have opinions I thought I would play with a few ideas, take some pictures and ask what you, my lovely dear readers, thought I should do.  I hope you don't mind, but I made the decision without you.  Those digital cameras really work wonders . 
Looks like green spiders are attacking my face and neck
I cut out some leaf shapes one evening while watching "Memphis Blues," stitched them into some odd flower shapes and came up with this terrible idea.  In my head it was sort of cute.  On the cardigan it is a big, leggy mess.  No need to ask you your opinions, it was remarkably clear.  Ugggh.
What to do with all of these petal/leaf shapes?  I started arranging them on the cardigan and liked the overlapping, slightly falling look.  But then I had to decide how to attach them.  I considered hand stitching leaf veins down each one with embroidery floss but even I , who enjoy hand sewing, wanted to get this cardigan done after a month of failed versions.  Too much time.  Glue would be a lot faster although it probably wouldn't work well on this wool knit fabric or would leave it bulky and uncomfortable around the shoulders.  Ah ha, thanks to cleaning up my sewing space the previous week for a dear friend's visit, I spotted my Viking ER10 Embellishing machine just sitting on a table looking very unused. Viking ER10  Those five needles worked together to quickly mesh together the shapes I had cut to the jacket body.  In less than thirty minutes I had roughly attached all the cut leaf shapes and could decide to alter the arrangement or add more details.  
The petal pieces have been lightly felted onto the cardigan to check for placement

The 5 needle head
I could have stopped there and been satisfied with what I wanted to accomplish but I went one step further.  I have some rovings that I've collected from various sources over the years and decided to add some subtle color and more texture to the leaf shapes.  The needles again just punched the loose roving into the fabric shapes.  Now the jacket has some greens, grey and brown texture which echoes the tones that are in the jersey itself.  
The roving piece on the left has not been felted yet.

Thanks to Pamela Leggett for another wonderfully easy pattern to sew Pamela's Patterns and it's officially now part of my JAM count.  In the heat of the summer I lost my motivation for jacket sewing but now that there's a hint of fall's arrival I'm interested in pursuing that goal again.  Another one of these cardigans and I'll be back on the right path.
Oh, you wanted to see the cardigans for the other bears?  
Too little....but I'm working on adjusting it.  
Version two...too big.  And please, don't make Goldilocks wear prison stripes even though she did break and enter.  What could I have been thinking when I bought this fabric?

Speaking of fabric, thank you for the correct info about and their free return shipping and guarantee.   You've convinced me to give them a try again.  


  1. The petal details are awesome and good on you for your persistance in making the perfect draped cardigan!

  2. Your perseverence and resourcefulness paid off big time!

  3. Oh that's lovely! I can see a use for a needle felting machine now :-)

  4. A cute cardigan and I LOVE your felted leaves!! An inspired addition!!

  5. I love your cardigan - just right for the fall season. The fabric is beautiful - I'm looking forward to seeing what you make from what you have left. I do hope that you get some wear out of the first two cardigans - personally I really like the 'prison' stripes, sorry, but I do!

  6. Oh how funny. Your cardigan does fit just right. I love the embellishment. If needle felting machine sales go up this month it just might be your fault ;).

  7. Your cardi is terrific. I really like your embellishment. Makes me want a felting machine!

  8. I love all three versions! Yes, the 'prison' stripe is nice, too. Your embellishments are impressive.

  9. Love your leafy cardigan! What size did you end up with? I am about to cut one out!

  10. What a beautiful new jacket. I really love what you did with the leaves around the shoulders.


Love your comments, opinions, advice and questions. I just ask that we all "play nice."