Two Lisbon Cardigans by Itch to Stitch

Just to continue my pattern testing run, I did two back to back tests* for Kennis from Itch to Stitch**, the Lisbon Cardigan** and the Sirena dress. I’ll save the second for another post. Geez I’m so behind on posting, time to catch up!!

As I’m trying to tick off my 2016 winter SWAP, it’s clearly becoming evident that Itch to Stitch patterns are featuring heavily in the line up. The Lisbon cardigan** is a wardrobe staple and with a few changes can be worn all year ’round.

The Lisbon cardigan** comes with a 3/4 and long sleeve and a cropped or hip length bodice with button up front. I originally tested the long sleeve and longer length using some grey marle jacquard knit collection #1 (96% polyester/ 4% spandex). The knit is quite thin with not really great recovery but still turned out OK. I only added 5 instead of the 7 buttons because I couldn’t find another button card of the ones I picked, at the store. It’s not a real issue though because I probably won’t wear it buttoned closed, or maybe just the top button closed anyway.

Lisbon Cardigan front Lisbon Cardigan back                              Lisbon Cardigan side

My second version was particularly to cross off one of my winter SWAP 2016 items and is more of a pattern hack. This one is made from red double knit deluxe ponte (87% polyester/ 9% rayon/ 4% spandex) . I lengthened the Lisbon front, back and front band pieces by 25cm to achieve the length I was after for a “grandpa length” cardi. After some internal head debate, I decided to omit the buttons and add patch pockets. These measured 17cm x 23cm. I interfaced the top 4 cm short end and had enough for a 1cm seam allowance on the other 3 sides.

I really love this one and have worn it a tonne since I have made it, with lots of compliments too.

         Lisbon red side 2               Lisbon red side 1 Lisbon red front Lisbon red back

I usually only post the garments once I’ve tested the final pattern but the Lisbon didn’t have fit changes but the length of the 3/4 sleeve was shortened. The cardigan is actually really quick to sew up and as always the instructions are very detailed with great pictorials and of course the layered print feature is great.

I foresee lots of these cardigans in my future.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing, all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

 **Affiliate link: I get a referral fee if you click 🙂

McCall’s 6503 Denim Dress

This is another item to mark off my SWAP 2015. This is McCall’s 6503, I made view C, without the flounce, and the last minute decided to make a pleated skirt but had already cut out my pattern pieces for the view C skirt, more on that below. I used some broadmill denim (100% cotton) in indigo. Although I pre-washed my fabric, it was a bit stiff for this dress, probably better suited to jeans, Gingers here I come, but I’m hoping after some wash and wear it will soften.

mccalls 6503 front

                         mccalls 6503 side front mccalls 6503 back

I found the instructions really good as it allows for a nice clean finish on the insides of this dress. The only thing difficult for me was due to the thickness of the fabric, in some areas I had to sew through 6-8 layers (including interfacing) but my trusty cheapo machine was like a workhorse.

mccalls 6503 inside

The dress fit straight out of the envelope without major fit adjustments however I did make some aesthetic changes. I lowered the armhole about 2cm at the bottom and tapered to nothing at the sides of the armhole and these were bound with 12mm black bias binding, as instructed. I also chose to make the front placket non-functional by omitting the button holes and sewing the buttons through both left and front placket. I used silver 13mm buttons which don’t really show up too shiny in the photos but thought they were the best choice for this fabric. There is also about 5cm of the side bodice which is stitched together before the zip starts but found I couldn’t really get the dress on comfortably so decided to make the zip go right up to the armhole instead. Unfortunately due to the thickness of my fabric, the zip insertion didn’t go that well and doesn’t lay as flat as I would like but I can live with it. I added a hook and eye to ensure it stays closed. I’m not sure if an invisible zip would have been better but maybe again the multiple layers of fabric or the stress at that point may have had a similar outcome.


I didn’t want to lose any length of my skirt so I bound the hem with 12mm black bias binding which also had a functional role as it would have been very difficult to turn this fabric twice to stitch the hem as instructed. As mentioned above, I was originally planning to make view c but wasn’t sure if the gathers would sit right so just used the already cut out skirt pieces and put in 4 pleats at both the front and back. I probably should have aligned the back pleats with the darts but wasn’t too fussed. I probably should have also checked what the difference was between view c and d pattern pieces as I may have been able to use it to measure out the pleat placement on my skirt panels.

There were so many layer of denim that it was also hard to slip stitch the collar down on the inside and also the internal midriff band so I decided to top stitch both these areas. I just wish I had graded, or cut my seam allowance smaller for these midriff bands, as you can see from the photos the seam allowances are visible.

mccalls 6503 side front  2

Just for my own reference, I serged the shoulders and bodice sides before step 24 which is where you attach the front to back bodice pieces. I serged each side of the midriff bands after step 44 after they are attached to the bodice. Lack of concentration however had me attach the midriff facing to the bottom side of the already attached midriff band which I only noticed after understitching. Thank goodness this is a forgiving fabric. I also serged each of the skirt pieces prior to sewing them at the side seams.

Overall I’m really happy with this dress and the gap it fills in my wardrobe. I have worn it twice already since having been made 4 days ago. I also really like this pattern and definitely will be making it again and perhaps may make the midriff bands a little thinner next time too.