Great news! Early yesterday Sabine of Suncoast Custom emailed me to announce that she had finished drafting the medium size of the Newcastle Cardigan. It was ready for me to mock up to approve the fit before she grades it to all the sizes! We met at my school (The Pacific Design Academy) because she had an appointment there regarding an evening patternmaking course that she will soon be teaching and she handed over the big white roll of paper that represents the beginning of the Parkland Collection.
This morning I got right to it and cut out the pieces from 1.5m of a 150cm wide olive knit called Oslo Plain (85% Acrylic, 15% wool). I bought it from Gordon Fabrics Ltd. in Vancouver as a good mock up material because, as far as knits go, I thought it was pretty cheap, a medium weight, and had a medium amount of stretch. After completing the sample though, I think the cardigan will look better in a heavier weight and maybe in something with a little more stretch to it.
I sewed up the sample and made notes on the process which will eventually become the instructions. I concentrated on accuracy of seam allowances and simply serged all the raw edges for now because for the first mock up, I am mostly just examining the fit and style.
The arms and shoulders fit Matt very well which is good because he has medium sized shoulders but the body was quite snug. Matt has a size small body so, seeing as the mock up was supposed to be a medium fit, the width of the garment will have to be increased quite a bit. I’ve let Sabine know the fit adjustments I would like and next time I mock the garment up I’ll test it out on as many size medium men as I can get my hands on
Before sewing the next sample I’ll be brainstorming different finishing techniques to use – should I add stabilizing elastic at the shoulders? Should the collar be interfaced? Should the main seams be french or maybe flat felled seams? All those answers are still to come but for now, I’m really happy with the appearance of the cardigan.
For this sample, I haven’t added the button placket as Sabine, my patternmaker, chose to include a full width body piece which could be cut narrower to make room for the placket. I think I’ll continue to use the placket I designed though because it will provide options for stitching the facing firmly in place so it doesn’t flap around (which, I’m sure you can agree, is the most annoying thing for a facing to do!)
Next step – finalizing the pattern, writing the instructions and sending it out to pattern testers (for free!) – anyone interested? Leave a comment or email me at email@example.com.