I have been on the search for THE perfect cardigan and THE perfect woven tank for years. I've tried several different cardigans which were all just okay...but something wasn't quite right with each one I tried. The closest I came before the one in these photos was a modified Oslo from Seamwork Magazine, but it required quite a bit of modification because even the XS/S (I graded in-between) came out quite large in the arms and hips. Then, I tried the Jalie 3248 Drop-Pocket Cardigan. And I can't get enough! I have hardly taken this garment off since sewing it! I even slept in it the other night when I was too tired (and chilly) to take it off.
The construction on this cardigan is super smart and very ready-to-wear. I absolutely adore the pockets! Although there are some nice details to the garment, it sewed up quite quickly. I traced and cut it one night and sewed it completely using all three of my machines the next.
I started with a regular machine for the back neck binding, sewed most of the body with my serger and then finished the bottom hem (back only - the front doesn't need to be hemmed) and sleeves with my coverstitch machine.
The directions were very straightforward, well-explained and illustrated. A beginning sewist might get a little confused on the pocket construction, but if you take it step-by-step and simply follow the instructions, you'll do just fine. (Also: Did you know that Jalie patterns start at size 2T and go all the way up to women's 22??!! All in one envelope?! YES!)
I made a size S or US 6 based on my normal, non-postpartum measurements, and it's perfect. It will be slightly slouchier when I lose weight, and that's just fine by me. The sleeves were also nice and long (but not TOO long) for my 5'6" figure.
The fabric is an amazingly soft, lightweight and comfortable French terry that I purchased at Mood Fabrics in Manhattan last year. I ALMOST didn't have enough to make this sweater (it takes quite a lot of fabric!), but through some creative cutting, I made it work. I'm so glad I did because it's PERFECT for this top.
Coincidentally, Allie at Indiesew did a post this week about French terry on the Indiesew blog. If you've never sewn with it, you should definitely check it out. It's my all-time favorite fabric.
The tank is the Cali Faye Collection Basics Tank and I LOVE IT. Like I said, I'd considered several other woven tanks and never quite found the perfect one. I love the low-ish neckline and back, the gently curved hem (front and back) and the simple construction of this one. Plus, it fits great. It is currently a little tight across the back, but I'm sure losing a few more pounds will remedy that.
I made a size medium based on my regular measurements, and it will be perfect soon. It works just fine right now, too, especially with a cardigan.
The fabric for the tank is a metallic, textured cotton from Yellow Bird Fabrics back when it was a brick & mortar store in Salt Lake City. It had been sitting in my stash for quite a while, so I decided to give it a go as a wearable muslin for this tank. While it is a lovely fabric and it works well for this top, I don't love that it wrinkles a bit when sitting and driving. Oh well; it's certainly wearable.
I'm still working on my bias binding technique. I've followed all the tutorials and tips, and I've tried so many things, but I can't seem to get it to lie flat all the time. The next thing I'm going to try is to make it more narrow - 1/4" instead of 1/2" as you see here. I'll let you know how that goes as I already have another one of these tanks cut and ready-to-sew.
Do you have a favorite cardigan and tank pattern? These are already in regular rotation and are both going in the TNT (tried-and-true) file for me. I can't wait to make more of both of them!