Today I'm going to give the low-down on my second version of the Jenna cardi pattern, which also happens to be second garment I made from Girl Charlee fabric that I gots to give a review of.
Having thought pretty hard about what would be the most useful fabric to select from the Girl Charlee website, I managed to navigate away from the fun prints and planned on making a garment that would be layer-able and in a solid colour. I sent my request for 2m of this navy Ponte de Roma and was very pleased with what showed up. I had to use the flash on the modelled shots in this post because my bedroom is pretty gloomy, but the deeper, biro-ink navy shade in the pictures of the cardigan on my dress form is a more accurate representation. It's not the thickest Ponte de Roma I've ever encountered, which I think would make it appropriate for a wide variety of types of garment. It is, however, very soft and very stretchy with a slight sheen.
I wear cardigans pretty much every day, as anyone who has seen my outfit pictures from the Me-Made-May challenges and cared to notice will already know. My long-term goal is to inch closer to a fully self-made wardrobe, so more handmade (rather than secondhand) cardigans are going to help achieve that. After the relative success of my leopard print Jenna cardi, I decided to visit the Jenna pattern again with this Ponte de Roma.
Having another bash at the Jenna gave me the chance to try out the cute gathered-shoulder variation that I had decided might get a bit lost in a patterned fabric when I used the pattern last time. Before I could start cutting out the navy fabric however, I had to make a number of alterations to the pattern that I had noted down after my first attempt. I made all the changes that I wrote about in the leopard print version's blog post, which helped a lot to get a better fit first time. However, my mid-point fitting session showed me that even more needed to be taken out of most of the seams. I ended up removing another centimetre or so around the whole armhole/sleeve-head, and the same amount all along the sleeve and side seam. I feel I could have taken even more out of the shoulder area, but I wanted to keep it loose enough to fit over t-shirts and jersey tops.
Something that I'm finally beginning to take in about sewing knit fabric, is how much the amount of stretch in the fabric effects the fit of a garment: and that a pattern that has been perfected for one knit fabric may produce a very different outcome when made in another knit. Because this Ponte de Roma is thinner and far stretchier than the leopard print double knit I previously used, I was always going to need to remove more of the Ponte de Roma fabric for comparatively successful outcomes. That said, I do think I need to remove more from the pattern around the shoulders area in whatever type of knit I use next time, probably by removing that centimetre permanently from the armholes and sleeve-heads.
Funnily enough, despite this being the Girl Charlee garment that took the longest to make, it is the one I have worn the least so far (although I am wearing it as I type this, in fact). It could be because it's still quite warm so I've been reaching for finer knit cardigans instead. But I fear that the main reason I haven't worn it yet is because the navy colour doesn't work very well with my current selection of skirts and jeans, most of which are also some shade of blue. I put on my yellow skirt for some of these pictures to give more of a contrast, but I never wear that skirt in 'real life' and am actually thinking about donating it to a charity shop in my next clear out. I need to work on finding successful outfit combinations to get the most from this garment.
I can definitely recommend this Ponte de Roma, however, if you're in the market for some fabric like this. It would definitely be appropriate for other types of tops, like the Bronte perhaps, as well as for bottoms (which I'll talk about more in my next post). Don't forget, there's still a week to enter my Girl Charlee fabric giveaway, if you haven't already...