Monday, December 5, 2011

Swingy Cardi

The second garment in my mini-wardrobe for late autumn and winter, this cardigan is going to get a lot of use.  The fabric is terrific, and I can't say enough good about it.  It's a rayon/spandex ponte from Sawyer Brook, and it's a breeze to sew.  The hand is very drapey, not stiff at all, and it's very soft on my skin.  It's very comfortable to wear.  I've worn it a couple of times and like it so much I bought some of the purple, too.  The navy is sold out, but flame (a bright orange-red) and purple are still available here

I like a vee neck, collarless cardigan to layer over a variety of tops.  McCall's 6168 appealed to me for it's curved hem.  Rather than coming to a point at the side seams, the hemline is rounded.  I love how
nicely it falls:

The pattern was easy to fit, although these photos tell me I could narrow the shoulder width a bit, if/when I make it again.  I added the usual 2 to 3 inches to the length. 

I'm glad to be enthused about this jacket now that I'm wearing it, because I wasn't so thrilled as I was sewing it.  Despite the swingy cut and curved hem, the styling felt very plain to me.  I'm really craving excitement in my clothing these days, and would rather not make boring clothing.  To add some extra oomph, I topstitched it with a twin needle, rather than a single.  I liked the raised ridge created by the needles, as it gives some definition to the garment's lines.

The button style is a long-time favorite of mine at work, and it was great to finally let it add the perfect finishing touch to a garment in my wardrobe.  I like the simple yet distinctive styling of the button.  Notice how the curved lines arcing across the center of the button echo the curved lines in the garment.  Call me a button geek, but I like buttons to be in synch with the garment.  I actually had these buttons in mind when I chose the pattern for the jacket.  Ok, yes - I am a button geek!

What was really interesting to learn is how this fabric changes color in certain lighting.  Under the Ott light and at the window at work, the buttons looked like a perfect color match.  When I sat down at home to sew them on, I was dismayed to see the buttons looked very blue against the fabric.  They really didn't look good at all.  Even my husband agreed with me, and he's not super picky about matching buttons!  I discovered it was the incandescent light I was working under.  It changed the hue of the fabric, but not the buttons.  Knowing the combination looks great in daylight and under fluorescents, I decided to go ahead with the plan.

Yes, the styling of this jacket is a bit plain, and the fabric is plain, and the color is basic, and the buttons are quiet - but I love how I can change its look with a different top and accessories.  Here I am at work wearing a teal shell and a funky chunky necklace:

And for all of you jewelry and bead fanatics, here are images of the necklace.  I purchased it from a button maker at a fabric expo last spring.  It's a bit shiny and busy for my taste, but I've grown to like it.  It's perfect for upping the ante of a simple outfit.

This swingy jacket will look great with the bright pink tee I made a couple of months ago, and a coordinating scarf currently in the works.  I love wearing it with the teal Alice + Olive top and comfy jeans - a great combination.  You can bet you'll see more of it here as I add more tops to my wardrobe!


  1. LOVE this cardi on you! As always, your attention to detail is spot on - the topstitching, the jewelry choices.....of course, the buttons! (my sistah button freak...)

  2. Great read - love how the button came before the pattern!!! Super cardi that will be great to jazz up or down.

  3. What a great, versatile cardigan, Dixie! I especially love how you styled it in the first pic!

    The button is gorgeous and, at least in the pic, looks fabulous! I hear you on the "zuzjh it up" concept. I sometimes make basics and feel the same way - where's the funk? lol But, of course, we can always funk up the jewelry and the styling.

  4. Dixie, that is one great cardigan! I love that it has the traditional cardi look in front, but then has that great modern swing to it.

    The necklace is perfect with the outfit.

  5. You look so great in your outfit in pic #1, Dixie! I like the idea of color blocking with different garment pieces. Your example shows how pretty and energetic it can be.

  6. That's a terrific cardi. Love the color and the curvy hemline.

  7. Thank you all for your encouraging comments! I've really enjoyed wearing this, and am eager to make more new tops to wear with it. I can guarantee you'll see it worn over several future projects!

  8. Hi, Dixie...I'm so glad to find your blog! I love this cardi...I am big on stylish basics like this...

  9. Hello Dixie, Just found your blog and I love your style, compliments of the season to you. One of my resolutions is to sew a lot more for myself and I'll be looking to you for inspiration. Pamela