The Cut Above Collection – Cardigan Jacket Part 1

I’m very keen to trial this pattern that I acquired from eBay recently. It’s good to find vintage patterns that I can still have a go at making that just fall within the limits of my measurements so will need grading up to have the intended ease of the design, it doesn’t seem to work just looking at the measurements on the back and thinking OK yes, this will fit because I know I’ll always have to do something by way of a FBA and adding darts, rotating darts, dartless FBAs (my new fave for knits)

It’s a very simple pattern in construction, I like the vented back and oversized look though won’t be incorporating shoulder pads, no no. It’s made by a pattern publishers called Odhams Leisure Group in England and this is the 3rd pattern from the Basic Wardrobe series in The Cut Above Collection from 1986. I have memories of many hairdressing salons being called similarly around the country, along with other dull gems like Head Quarters, Hair To Eternity and Shear Genius ad infinitum.

I like a woven cardigan and wear layers most of the time and was looking forward to having a go at this so yesterday I checked the contents of my pattern and to my horror it had been butcher cut and lots of the cut lines were missing, it stated it was factory folded (my arse) in the listing but never mind, I set out repairing it.

As I realised on holding the pieces against my body for a quick reccy that I’d have to add more room across certain areas I wasn’t too perturbed about giving the pattern the cut and splice treatment seeing that it was damaged anyway so it saved me a bit of time on the tracing which I always usually do. If the pattern turns out to be a good one, I’ll transfer it onto my florist’s wrap (Swedish tracing paper substitute) So armed with bits of saved tissue and offcuts of aforementioned wrap I added length around the middle and bottom sections of the front and back:

And though the pattern looked like it might be OK sleeve wise my gut instinct told me that I needed to add width to the sleeves so that it would be good to wear over layers. I usually do a full bicep adjustment using a different method but opted to add width to the seams this time as the style is off the shoulder.

Last night I decided to cut out my first attempt using some deep stash silk jacquard, there was just shy of two metres in total so I’m having to make it a lot shorter than my pattern modifications show. More like the original length in the illustration. It sounds a bit around the houses but sometimes these things are just what they are. The fabric is in two colour ways, the off white and a red. There were equal amounts of both offcuts but I decided if I made it red with white accents it would look a bit Santa Claus’s missus so have gone for the reverse Santa effect. So shown below 2 ( the reverse of 1) would be the main and I opted for 3 as the cuffs and facing accents with 4 (the reverse of 3) for an odd pocket. The bias tape is from a pre-made roll I have as I like to crowbar a few dots into most things.

So that’s where I am basically up to with it. The instructions are quite basic which is good because it encourages thinking about method, especially where the seam finishing is concerned. I’m using a mixture of French and Hong Kong seams and am opting to reverse the facings as a feature because though the pattern illustration suggests they are visible, they aren’t. The instructions says to turn them to the inside so the chick in the polo neck is wearing a reversed facing version which isn’t shown but is what I’m aiming for.

I’m a bit nervous about working with the fabric as my last foray with jacquard was a real shitstorm:

I think where I’d gone wrong with the above is that I’d not used a small enough stitch length so having learned from this I’m going to be doing some test swatches this afternoon to avoid this horror.



A little making update. I got to the front facings stage and decided to try it on. I noticed that the bust dart sits curiously high and is set within the armscye so I’m having to unpick all the bias bound seams to get to it to reorientate it. It’s something I should have checked from the outset but thought because the pattern was a certain size that the bust dart wouldn’t sit under my chin but no, it was ridiculously high. The next time I work on it I’ll rebind the armholes with fresh binding and alter the other side to match.


Just a photo update showing the jacket in use:

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