This story is a long one, so pour a cuppa and read on.
I am a long time tester and supporter of DesignerStitch Patterns and so when the call went out to test* the Chelsea Cardigan (** affiliate link), I jumped for joy as the timing was perfect. You see I went about drafting my own cardigan from this inspiration long cardi below, and while the result was good, it was never as good as the Chelsea.
I saw this olive maxi cascading cardigan in a store retailing for $119.00. I thought it was a bit pricey and as I walked past it a couple of times during the week I made mental notes about the design. After all it was my inspiration and I didn’t need a direct copycat version.
I bought myself some olive rayon double knit (63% viscose/ 32% nylon/5% spandex) and set about picking a pattern. I went with Itch To Stitch Lisbon Cardigan since I have made it before and it had the basic overall shape I was after. For the sleeves I added about 7 cm to the length and for the cardigan length I added 50 cm and at the front hem and an additional 12 cm to make my handkerchief hem. I also added some pockets using my DesignerStitch Eleni Top/Dress pocket, and placed them about 30 cm down from the underarm, which turned out too low. I also added a “collar” the length of the neckline which was about 58 cm long and 15 cm wide. I also made a belt – which means I cut a strip of fabric about 5 cm wide and the length of the pieces of fabric scrap I had left over and stitched them into the side seam.
All this to say I was happy with the outcome, but not as happy as I would have been had I the Chelsea Cardigan pattern at that time. As per usual, DesignerStitch patterns are flawless in both drafting and instructions. The size range is US/AUS 6-26 and comes in 3 lengths, high hip, mid thigh or high calf and calls for light to medium weight jersey knit fabrics with at least 50% 4 way stretch. I made a AUS 12, high calf using some Ottoman Ash stretch fabric (94% polyester/6 % spandex).
This is really a quick sew although there is some hand stitching of the collar. The fit is nice and roomy but still fitted enough to not be over sized.
I’m not sure what to do with my olive version above as the fit isn’t quite as comfortable. I’m thinking of taking it apart and resewing using the Chelsea Cardigan given I bought more of the olive rayon, otherwise I may just cut off the sleeves and give it a racer back style to wear as a layering piece. Either way I will be making an entirely new one, or two Chelsea’s all together. Decisions, decisions!
Get your Chelsea Cardigan while it is still on sale for a limited time for $8.00 US (reg $10), you won’t be disappointed.
*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.
**This post contains affiliate links to DesignerStitch Patterns