Considering this, I surprised myself when I was looking at SBCC patterns and found myself intrigued by the Limoncello cardigan. I had a physical moment where my mind stopped me and asked, "Wait! Why do you like this? You dislike cardigans." I didn't have an answer for myself, but I was drawn to the style.
I let the thought simmer and a tiny bit of my brain thought about how I could adapt a t-shirt pattern to make something like this. I thought the look was achieved by an extension to the center front, but didn't know exactly what or how. I didn't remember seeing this style in stores around here, either. Besides which, when I go shopping, I forget any fun stuff I might want to do - all I want is to get in and get out and get home to something I actually want to be doing.
Then I saw the promise of a cardigan alteration for Grainline's Lark. Even though I felt guilty using her tutorial when I had no intention of buying the pattern, I was so excited about the upcoming cardigan tutorial that I actually spent $30 (on sale!) on fabric. I know in the realm of fabric, $30 isn't that much, but it is too me, especially for an experiment. I would never spend $30 on a ready-to-wear item unless there was something special about it. This fabric isn't even cotton; it's all polyester. It's very hard for me not to feel like I overspent, but I love the end result.
I was hoping for a navy or cranberry fabric, but when I saw this grey, I knew it was perfect. I walked around the store for a long time, trying to find something better, but except for the fiber content, this is everything I had in mind. There was just enough on the end of the bolt for me to get what I needed.
I debated if the front extensions should be 12 inches because I am short, but decided to go with it and shorten them later, if needed.
Held straight out, this insert gives the sleeve a baggy elbow. I think in the wearing, it isn't noticeable. I don't stand around often with my arms stretched to my sides. The make-it-right part of me wants to try to fix this but the part of me that hates alterations and mending usually wins these battles, so I suspect the baggy elbows will stay.
I forgot that this pattern has a lower back neck and I keep meaning to raise it and keep forgetting. After I had cut the back, I realized I didn't want the neckline that low for a sweater. So I added a "design feature." I'm quite proud of myself for lining up the "stripes."
I also successfully lined up the "stripes" at the shoulder seam.
I feel good wearing this cardigan, even though I haven't figured out why when I dislike the typical style. In general, I prefer structured to unstructured, but the flappy parts are the appeal here. The only part I dislike is that the fronts slide to the side and frame my breasts in a way I would rather they weren't.
Over all, I'm very pleased with this project. I remembered to use a jersey needle. I took my time and referenced The Colette Guide to Sewing Knits. I loosened the tension on my pressure feet. I tested stitching on a scrap piece of fabric. I used ribbon at the shoulder seams to prevent stretching. No seams stretched out of shape. The "stripes" lined up. Except for a small inconvenience with the sleeves and back neckline, everything fits perfectly as an overlayer. It doubles as attractive, warm lingerie. All in all, well worth the $30 plus my time. After the confusing problems sewing knits this summer, once again I feel confident sewing my favorite fabric to wear.