Friday, September 10, 2010

The 'trench' cardy

Burda 04-2010-117

This cardy has sat on my dress form all week, awaiting buttons - that's all that was required to finish it. I've always said that sewing takes free energy, not free time, and my spare time is more "energy free" than "free energy".

At any rate, here it is. I've been playing with the idea of working with how the fabric wants to be made. I sit with the fabric in my hand and close my eyes and say "fabric, speak to me, how do you wish to be sewn."Actually I don't, the truth is worse than that. I hold it to my forehead and let it talk straight to my third eye. Pa ha ha had you for a second, no it's just more of a gut feeling thing.

I had a gut feeling to make this into a 'man cardy' - it's the shade of green, I think. My original idea was to use leather buttons but once I'd worked out how to draft a self fabric band I realised that my buttons were the wrong size for it, so I decided to turn into a 'trench style' cardy with a belt, wrist band and epaulets as nods to the trench, as well as some trench style buttons I scored at a second hand shop.

To make the self band I borrowed the instructions from this 1986 Vogue pattern, which I picked up from the Red Cross shop. Funny how those big shoulders are back again, personally I think they should have stayed in the 80's where they belonged.

Still, the pattern had its uses.


  1. Wow, those pictures on the pattern envelope are soooooo Miami Vice. If fabric really could talk I bet it would tell great jokes- the fabric from Nick's could, anyway. The fabric from spotlight would probably just ignore you while it chatted to its mates.

  2. Your cardigan is very smart, but I have to agree with Miss Smith, the pattern envelope steals the show on this post. Did people really look like that? Did I look like that? Scary.
    I was also admiring your cunning plan to fatten up other bloggers. I am featuring on your side bar (very kind, thank you) as a fun fair mirror image. Snort and giggle. I wonder if my computer screen is just peculiar? I must show my husband.
    I might stop putting photos at the top of my posts. Vanity.

  3. I love it! Such a lovely shade of green

  4. Another winner. You just keep on producing them.

    I was thinking today that I'd like a discussion about how people choose what they sew. I know some people make plans, some let the fabric decide, some choose the pattern first. Some on the colour thread that is on the boobin. I woke up today and thought that I needed to sew something with nice straight seams that could be easily pressed. Preferably a nice crisp cotton. And then I had to look for a project that fit that requirement. Is that another interpretation of you "gut feeling"?

  5. Wonderful cardigan. You look great in it. I think I might have had that pattern way back when. The shoulders didn't look weird then; they looked normal. EVERYONE (as teenagers say) had shoulders.

  6. You had me rolling in the aisles with those discarded options of communing with fabric.
    Me next reaction was: would that it could tell me exactly what to do with it, for I can never make up my mind.
    Shoulder pads may have been awful to look at, but they were so practical! They prevented handbags from slipping down my sloping shoulders.
    Trench cardy sounds fun and looks even better.

  7. So I'm not the only one who talks to her fabric then? Is asking your fabric what it wants to be odd? Looooooove that green. (Cardys are the best too!)

  8. I find the fabric does not reliably speak the same language - it may yell at me but I don't always understand :)

    Love this cardigan - well sewn!

  9. I don't know about fabric, but those shoulder pads are speaking to me - actually, they're mocking me.

    Help! I already have big shoulders.

    Anyway, I like your delicate shouldered cardi - the tabs are much more appropriate on small shoulders.

  10. I was a bit lost for words over the burda number with the crotchet garnish; admiring your fashion nerve and settling back into my own conservatism. Now the cardigan I understand. Lovely.

  11. It's cardi weather, I have just made one too!

    Love the details on your version.

    Fabric talking to you is an interesting concept. I think mine have been telling me a few lies!

  12. I love a good man cardi, especially in the op shop. I have seen a few older (shall we say) men wearing them. My husband was a little worried when I said I wanted to rip them off, before adding "and add them to my cardi collection".

    The shoulder pads are divine. I was sooo very proud of my first shoulder padded item - a skivvy at the tender age of 13. Damn we were all so hot in the 80's

  13. I wanna make one too now. Super cute!

  14. Love the cardi. I have a similar pattern from the same vintage. Tell me did you have to adjust it to leave out the shoulder pads? Like you - I did shoulders and perms in the 80s and am not going there again.