About Me

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Newcastle cardigan for ME!

Hi all,
It's been a while...
Thing here are argg... complicated. The rain had washed away memories of war but the violence here hasn't stopped and it appears like difficult times are ahead. I must have started this post a million times but each time I feel like a party crusher, writing about the bad stuff in a community devoted to the beautiful parts of life. We don't get to choose our circumstances, and I have no control over other people's behavior, but I cannot ignore the reality, this simply isn't me, so here we are. Needless to say all the bad stuff happening around me kind of killed my mojo, and my thoughts were all over the place so I couldn't concentrate on sewing "appropriate" stuff. More specifically I couldn't even imagine sewing wovens, and I've already gone through most of the knits I had, so my choices were limited. I hate when this happens, especially when I really need to sew! Luckily I found the world's greatest and softest fabric (the fiber content of which is unknown, but it looks like wool from the outside, and is brushed from the inside). I made D a  Necastle cardigan (in grey) from the same material last winter and he wears it all the time, it's soft and cozy and perfect for cold winter days. When I spotted the same material in one of the stores I bought enough for two cardigans, one for me and one for my dad (this will take some time, I'm putting off printing the pattern again and cutting a different size). 

While this is undoubtedly a Newcastle cardigan In addition to the Newcastle pattern I also used the Strathcona pattern, a pattern I've used before, as a template for the shoulders and sleeve seams. I figured it will be easier than messing around with sleeve curves, and will probably produce better results (as I know from trying on D's cardigan that the shoulders were too big but the side seams were fine considering this is a loose fitting cardigan anyway). 

I placed both pattern pieces on the fabric, cut around the shoulders according to the Strathcona, and around the side seams according the the Newcastle pattern.

I wanted to do the same with the sleeves, I can't remember what went wrong but I must have made a mistake while cutting because the sleeves were up too narrow (and narrower than the original Newcastle pattern). Next time I'll know better...

Next I interfaced the required pieces. I don't know were I read about this technique, but for the interfacing instead of simply fusing it and then binding the exposed edges, I first sewed the fabric and interfacing right sides together:

Then turned them right side out and understitched to make sure the seam will roll towards the interfacing. 

Then fused them together making sure the seam line rolls inwards.

The interfacing is completely invisible from the right side, with no exposed edges!

This fabric is extremely thick and the width of all layers at the shoulders is about 1.2 cm. After breaking two (!!) Bernina stretch needles I went back to a universal needle and it worked well for the remaining seams. I used stretch stitch on my regular machine and didn't use the overlocker.
I took extra steps to stable the shoulders, by attaching a strip of woven material to the pressed open shoulder seams:

I did the same with the previous cardigans and it adds some structure that I like on this type of a garment. 

The last extra step was taking off about 0.125" around the undercolar, to account for turn of cloth.

While I put a lot of effort making sure the seam line will be invisible by understitched the undercollar as well as by trimming it, at the end I prefer wearing the cardigan with the collar up, so the understitching is visible but I'm sure nobody notices.  I think next time I'll re-draft the collar for a properly standing collar.

Despite all the hiccups this cardigan is one of my favorite makes. The fabric is soft and cozy, the color is surprisingly flattering, and the slightly androgynous silhouette is right up alley. 

The only thing that really bothers me is the fact the left front appears longer than the right front, even though they are exactly the same length! (the cuffs, however, are not even close to being the same size, I have no idea how this happened but after hand-stitching them I couldn't bother taking them apart. BTW I didn't use the Newcastle pattern for the cuffs so this mistake is totally my fault).

I have more of this material in dark grey, which will turn into another version of the cardigan someday soon. For the next make, I'm thinking of adding a curved band at the bottom to add length, a standing collar and... lining. I still need to figure this one out because while I don't need the stretch at the back, I do need it at the elbows. Suggestions?

fabric: ~two meters, 35 ILS per metter = 70 ILS (~17.6$)
two broken needles: 10 ILS (~2.5 $)
5 buttons: 4 ILS each, so 20 ILS total (~5 $)
thread: 3.8 ILS (~1$)
pattern (cost per make) : (that's a bit complicated, but:)
I bought the parkland PDF collection for 70 ILS (17.6 $). For this make I used 2 out of the 3 patterns, so it's 2/3*70 = 47 ISL (11.8$), but this is my 4th Newcastle and the 4th time I use the Strathcona, so I'll divide it by 8 to get: 5.9 ILS (~1.5$).

Total cost: 109.7 ILS (27.6 $)

Money well spent :) 

Happy sewing!

P.S. I thought long and hard about the entire Photoshop thing, and decided I will not edit my photos (apart from (strategically) cropping them). Since I don't have a camera all pictures are taken with my phone by D before I go to work, so this is as real as it gets :)


  1. Hi Roni!

    I've been following you blog for a while and I thought the blog silence meant something like you had suffered some severe war accident... I glad you're (kind of) ok...

    I loved the neat and crisp interfacing technique and the detailed cost allocation!

    As for the future lining, may I suggest pleated elbows? I never tried it, only seen it in some outwear RTW clothing, but it looked like a good solution for non strech fabrics...
    And the misterious case of the aparent mismatch in the front pieces, can it be something related with the buttons placement?

    All the best sewing 'mojo' from Portugal :-)

    1. Thanks for following! Fortunately, I'm all well :)

      I never heard of pleated elbows but it sounds like a fantastic idea.
      I searched a bit around the web and couldn't find anything specifically for this, do you know a source that explains how to draft this kind of lining?

      Regarding the buttons placement: I think you are right! the lowest button should be raised a bit. I used toggle buttons but without the traditional attachment and that caused some problems. My plan is to find some better thread and attach them properly. I'll pay closer attention to the placement once I find the thread.