Saturday, May 13, 2017

Driftless Cardigan and Paola Turtleneck Tee with Nosh Fabrics

This is my fourth time making The Driftless Cardigan from Grainline Studio and it is finally making it to the blog. Kind of crazy, especially since I think I'm considering it my ultimate favorite adult pattern...I think!

I just realized this is actually also my fourth Paola Turtleneck Tee from Named Patterns (this one slightly modified) and I have never blogged about this one before either. I guess I'm really playing catch up here.

And wouldn't you know it, it is also my very first time blogging about Nosh Fabrics but also my very first time sewing with them. Certainly not the last though! Oh boy, talk about fabric extravaganza!
The fabric in this post is partly sponsored by Nosh fabrics but as I'm sure you already know, there is really no reason to sugarcoat the quality of this product to keep the sponsor happy. It really IS amazing quality. 

For the cardigan I used striped blue/vanilla jersey (95% organic cotton / 5% elastane) and for the tee I used jersey in the color Pheasant. I'll talk a bit more about them further down in the post.

So what's so special about the Driftless Cardigan that I call it my favorite adult pattern?
Well, a good start is simply the fact that it is a cardigan. I wear those all year around and it's for sure my favorite type of clothing. But I also think it's the effortlessness of the style. It's looks like a fairly basic cardigan but when you start looking at the pattern, you realize that there are reasons for the effortless look. 

Dropped shoulders and an almost diamond shaped bodice plus the awesome high low band hem which is so easy to sew but looks so good.

I made a size 8 and I think that is the perfect oversized but not too big size for me.
The sleeves are too narrow for me so I added 2 cm total to the width of the sleeve all the way down. Luckily dropped shoulder sleeves need no armscyes, and therefore no adjustment of those when adjusting the sleeve, so it's a very very easy operation.

I also cut the sleeves for this version 3/4 length because I knew it would be a summer edition (...that I'm probably going to use year round).

The stripes in the fabric help you see the one of the pattern's features (the diamond shape). You can see that it is widest at the dropped waist seam and then tapers slightly by using moderate curved lower pattern pieces. Super cool!

There are more technical details that gives me instant heart eyes. Like the fact that the pattern is drafted with a seam allowance that fit a 4 thread serger seam (1/4" / 6 mm).

And prepare yourself...we are having another lesson about notches, because the notch game on the Driftless Cardigan is perfection!
Notches is like a language. Yep, I'm not even kidding! Notches tell you things! 
They not only helps you keep 'the balance' in your clothes (you know matching up the center of pattern pieces you sew together). If the person who drafted the pattern knows how to speak Notch (and they do at Grainline Studio) then it also helps you sew your garment together without (or minimal use) of the tutorial.

Whenever I hear people say that they just skip over all those notches, then I know that they also skip over a great help. It's a small extra step (yeah, that snip in the fabric can take up to one whole second to cut and no please don't cut out those triangles in your fabric) that will help you avoid both seam ripping and stopping to check your paper pattern pieces or written tutorial. Not to speak of the limitations. I see more and more patterns that come with limited or no tutorial at all. Those type of patterns usually lean heavy on the language of notch, so I REALLY urge you to start using them. No, not for my sake but for yours hahaha.

Let me explain with an example from this pattern. I normally don't show other people's pattern pieces in my blog posts but I feel okay about this little part I'm showing.

So look at the notches. I have circled them in pairs where they match up, and pointed a big blue arrow at them. Notice how the placement of the pair of notches (A) is different than the pair of notches (B). That way, there is no doubt about which seams go together and there is no risk at accidentally turning that lower back part upside down. (unless you just ignored those notches while cutting of course, ha). And there is no need to check the tutorial or the paper pattern pieces. You got these notches right on your fabric pieces, right there at your sewing machine.
Of course you still need to orientate yourself at how the whole thing goes together. I do that before I even start cutting fabric by looking at the paper pattern pieces and this is where I start pairing the notches. And if they have 'helper' notches like above then I always do a happy dance.
And yes, there is such thing as too many notches. They have to be there but they have to be placed right. You need them to mark the center of certain seams, for placement of details or aligned seams or for helping you sew the right seams together. 

The one who made the Driftless Cardigan did a perfect job. Bravo!

If you follow me on Instagram you already know that I gave it my all in the stripe matching department. That's what good quality fabrics will do to you. You know this cardigan will last for a long time.

I love the 'hidden' pockets in the front dropped waist seam. Super easy to sew....a little bit harder when you are also stripe matching them, but I can only blame myself for that idea, ha.

This photo cracks me up. I look like a salesperson showing off my more obscure items from the inside of my jacket, haha.

But I just wanted to show you how the pocket bag is part of the front top bodice and front bottom bodice pattern piece. Great pattern drafting there!

And you can't see it on this photo (unless you look reeeeaally hard) but you are suggested to make a little thread chain from the bottom of the pocket bag to the hem band to hold the pocket bag in place. Such a cool detail.

The neckband is also in two parts and drafted so that it follows the angle at the dropped waist seam of the front piece. It has a seam where my one snap button is although it might be hard to see?!

I was pretty happy when I realized that the width of the neckband was equivalent to two blue stripes and one wider white stripe, giving it a very structured look.

I did something on this cardigan that I would never in a million years give as an advice. In fact if someone asked me if they should do this, I would give them a big fat nope.
And I can't believe it actually worked out and I actually think I can thank this fabric.

So what did I do? I sewed on one side of the neckband RTR (the tutorial is suggesting this as well) but then I went rogue and I stitched in the ditch from the front and caught one millimeter of the folded in seam allowance on the back. And that is not even what I meant was crazy because I have done that before on this style. No, the crazy part is that I did it without fusible interfacing to stabilize the whole thing.
But that's the cool thing about this fabric. Even though it is soft and has drape and the perfect medium weight, it is still at the same time rather stable. I'm so hooked!

Now to the Paola Turtleneck Tee from Named Patterns. It's an extremely simple pattern. Four pattern pieces, end of story. Front and back bodice, long sleeves and a turtleneck. But I mean simple in a good way. It's a fast sew and I have used my charcoal grey one a ton and I already know this one will be just as popular as a summer edition. 
I also made my sister a dress from it. See it HERE.
The fit is great. Although when looking at this photo I definitely want to do a few pattern alterations to fit my wide shoulders. But it's not the pattern's fault that I'm no standard size. My bust and waist can fit into small sizes (this is a size 38) but my shoulders cannot.
The fabric is the same type of knit as the stripy one but here I think it's the tad more stable element that is causing my shoulders not having room enough. I don't remember having this problem in the other ones I have made? But I will have to have another look. Sometimes we can overlook things right in front of our eyes until we actually notice it. And sometimes photos really help you seeing it in a different way.
I'm going to lengthen the shoulder seam a tiny bit plus I'm going to raise the sleeve cap a bit too.

So I did a few alterations to the pattern. One thing was to lengthen it a lot. I have done that to them all because well, I'm tall. I also added a bit of width from the waist and down so it was not so tight right over the stomach.
For this summer edition I also made the sleeve short.
The biggest change is the turtleneck though. On the original pattern it's made with the same fabric as the tee and it's long and folded when worn.
I used this awesome 100% color coordinated ribbing from Nosh Fabrics and made this high rib neckline. I totally love how that looks.
I could actually use this pattern to make swim rash guards. How awesome is that! 

I also really think it fits so perfectly under this cardigan. I need more of this 'set'.

A quick look from the back. Clean and simple.
And doesn't it look nice when the center seam in the ribbing is not placed at center back, hehe. Those of you following my Instagram knows what I'm talking about. Otherwise see HERE.

Wow, congrats if you made it through. I'm sorry for the photo and text overload but hey, this post has been a long time coming and I guess I had a lot to say.

Get Your own Driftless Cardigan HERE.
Your Paola Turtleneck Tee HERE.
And your Nosh Fabrics HERE.

Thank you!


  1. I have soooooo much love for that cardigan!! It's so perfect in every way! And love the ode to notches. I have come to rely on them so much since my early days, even with a good tutorial. I too have the same shoulders issue with all my tops (I'll have to study up to make some adjustments now). Love the color of that turtleneck!

  2. I think when I skip notches it's because I'm in a hurry to get to the sewing! But I'll probably be more careful about notches now.

  3. So glad you had fun with the fabric. Your makes are gorgeous 💙

  4. Eeeek! Cardigan perfection!!! The way you cut the neckband 🙌 I have no words for your geekiness that I love so much! I want to be like you hehehe love the tee too, another perfect outfit! I'm thrilled that you're happy with Nosh fabrics, you'll be addicted like me heheh xo

  5. This is really beautiful on you. I love the combination of the peach top with the blue and white stripes. You are so chic, Mie! Gorgeous flowers in the background!

  6. You would have killed me for not interfacing the button placket hahaha Gee the cardi turned out amazing! It shows your outstanding craftsmanship. Has Emi claimed it yet? If not, I will hahaha The top is perfect just because it can go with everything! Love this outfit Mie :)

  7. What a lovely combo. I love all the special details of the cardigan. Perfection!

  8. That cardigan is so awesome! Love the back so much! The tee fits perfectly too! And not interfacing? 😱 I think it says a lot about the quality of the fabric and your sewing machine!


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