Wendy Ward is a UK pattern designer who caught my attention earlier this year on Instagram. Wendy designs sewing patterns and sells them in her shop, MIY Collection, in both digital and print formats, has a great blog, and has written The Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking. She also owns MIY workshop where she teaches garment sewing classes and workshops that look really amazing. The MIY pattern that first caught my eye was her Drapey Cardigan; it has all of the elements of a comfortable draped cardigan with enough finishing that it doesn’t end up looking sloppy. When Wendy first reached out to sponsor this blog, I decided this would be a great way to feature her pattern shop so I ordered it immediately (I also ordered her book but haven’t had a chance to try anything yet). At roughly the same time, Allie of Indiesew released a fall fabric collection that included this awesome aztec-inspired knit and I was lucky enough to purchase 3 yards of it before it sold out in like 5 minutes. So I’m exaggerating, but it did sell out wicked fast.
The knit did end up being much heavier than I anticipated, so the result is less a “drapey” cardi, and more almost of a structured jacket. But I still love it. It’s incredibly flattering in the back and I love the waterfall effect and fold-over collar in the front. The construction is clever — you use double-folded bands to finish almost all of the edges, which makes sewing much easier — and I love how finished it looks from both outside and inside. This was the first time I had ever used the triple step zig-zag stitch on my machine and it worked great.
The only thing I didn’t totally love about the finished result was the sleeves. In this fabric I think the sleeve would be nicer if it were shorter, or even 3/4 length. The sleeve pattern pieces are incredibly long (and I have crazy long monkey arms), but I think if it had been sewn up in a lighter/drapier fabric, they would work nicely because they’d scrunch up more and contribute to the overall drapey effect. I also ended up lowering the sleeve cap because, again, the fabric was too stiff and pointed out at the shoulders. Again, an issue that using a normal weight knit would probably solve, but it still looks fantastic in this heavier knit.
I really want to try this pattern again (and again and again) in a lighter weight knit; I can see this being a closet staple in grey, black, navy, and a stripe. Ah, for more time in the day.