Perhaps you have already run your eyes over my me-made outfits on Days 3 and 4 of Me-Made-March? Perhaps you have noticed a new, previously undisclosed, addition to my me-made wardrobe? Perhaps not.
Anyhow, I'm all about the thin layers due to my inability to retain a decent core temperature, and wear cardigans all the time. I knew that if Me-Made-March was to be a success, then a cardigan of sorts would have to be added to my arsenal. I had some black knit fabric in my stash from when my mum came to visit me last October and bought me some birthday fabric. I umm'd and ahhh'd over what style to attempt to create. It had to be able to be worn under a coat (so sadly no wide kimono sleeves) and could ideally be worn open or buttoned up for maximum versatility. Eventually I found inspiration in the style of the light weight jacket pattern in Cal Patch's 'Design-It-Yourself Clothes' book, pictured above.
To make the pattern, I started with the pattern I created for my jumper. I altered the neckline and drafted a button stand, then figured out my preferred dimensions for the 'skirt' section. I strengthened the button stand with interfacing (entretela in Spanish, I'm DOWN with the vocab!) to give support for the buttons and buttonholes. This fabric actually has very little stretch, so didn't behave in any wild and stretchy manner during construction. I did make a couple of little fluffs, the ins and outs of which I won't bore you with, that included making the sleevs too tight and having to completely recut them!
Now on to the best bit: the BUTTONS! I bought these at Britex Fabrics in San Francisco when I visited a few years ago. I bought a lot of buttons on that trip, but I hadn't done much sewing of anything other than skirts and trousers at that point, so only bought one, two or four of a kind, not realising perhaps six or seven would have proven to be infinately more useful! Part of my reasoning for creating this style of cardigan (with a 'skirt' or peplum that didn't need to be closed) was to finally use some of my California button stash. Until very recently I thought the picture on these buttons was of a nun but my boy, who knows more than me about these sorts of things, informed me that she is actually a saint (note: the halo round her head, apparently nuns don't have that). Saint Cardigan, the holy saint of handmade garms perhaps?