Sunday, 5 February 2017

Lace jacket - completed UFO

Bias cut dress and lace cardigan with  patterned selvedge used at edges. 
This is a photo of the pattern envelope I took at the time - last year. It's a fairly old pattern, a Style pattern I seem to remember. Update - I retrieved the pattern and it's Butterick 5416 (an old version; the latest is a dress. I'll post an updated photo later). I thought the lace cardigan and bias cut dress on the envelope looked nice together. I saw my cardigan going nicely with a large floral summer dress of blue flowers on an ivory background - indeed I have the fabric still. I can’t find the pattern - I think I may have given it away (I traced it). Or thrown it out. I didn’t like it. I remember that the pattern was smaller than my size, so I graded up and lengthened. I got help with fitting in my sewing bee at the time; it was tissue fitted but I didn't make a toile as this cardigan was really meant as a wearable toile

I used the pattern to make a lace cardigan, potentially for my MOB outfit , or for one of the surrounding occasions (there were a few) for Helen's wedding, last year. I didn’t like the result. Partly fit - the sleeves were too wide by a lot (and I have mega biceps!) and there was too much sleeve cap ease, leading to problems with sleeve insertion. Neither of these issues were the result of me grading up.

I felt the fabric was probably too fine and floppy in weight for what I was after - I did have heavier lace but decided against moving on with that as I wasn’t pleased with the result of this. This was also partly style. I felt it wasn't dressy enough for what I was after. The sleeves were too long (I had lengthened the pattern too much - I have long arms) and needed turned up more; I’m just not a push the arms up although that’s what the photos show! I actually tacked the sleeves shorter before I abandoned this. I hadn’t added a fastener. The original pattern photo shows the lace trim used as an edging - I wasn’t able to do that with the fabric I had. One of the advantages of using a different lace would be that this nicer edging would be possible.

The photos I include are from March 2106 when I last touched this. I ended up going down a RTW route for my outfit and was so busy sewing my daughter’s wedding dress and associated wedding outfits that this was totally abandoned.

I was looking through my UFOs, of which there are more than I thought, found this and thought I'd finish it. I took it to my sewing bee for a second opinion - abandon or continue. Everyone voted continue and thought it was quite nice. All it needed was a fastener at the neck and the sleeves sewn that bit shorter. I thought it would probably be fine with a summer dress.

Options for fastener at the top - hook and eye hidden behind edge or pearl or similar button sewn on and thread loop to close (as shown in the original photo).

Also, trim the cuffs shorter and restitch where marked.

March 2016. No closure

March 2016 cuffs turned up
Here are photos before I started the addition and changes. I think the cardigan is overall a bit too big and the floppiness of the fabric doesn't helpI hoped this wouldn't take me too long as I was not sure about this cardigan!

I looked at pearl buttons and a little diamante button that I had in my stash but they weren't right. They imposed too much of a particular style to the cardigan and not necessarily one I'd  want. I decided to go with the hook and eye - but then found a perfect navy button in the sewing bee button stash. This would perform the function without imposing. I sewed on the button and Lyn showed me the way to add a fabric loop from matching thread, in the best way. It looks rather nice.
Excess fabric turned down to show the amount

Hem tacked to correct length
I then cut off the excess fabric from the sleeve ends and double turned the lace to the point I had already decided. I tried it on at this stage but felt the sleeves were still a little long. The other students disagreed so I decided to go with it as is.

I could no longer find the original thread I used. I took a reel of thread the correct colour,  wound up a bobbin and prepared to sew my double turned cuffs with stitching at 1/4".

First I had to test  my machine. The other day my foot pedal crashed to the ground and came apart and wasn't put  together properly so didn't work. David sorted it with advice from my dealer but I hadn't had the chance to test it in case there was any other problem.  Fortunately,  it worked.

However,  when I came to test my new thread,  I had no end of difficulty and dreadful thread nests. I threaded and rethreaded. Long story short I found I was using silk thread and it was too thick for my chosen needle. Dan also thought it might be too smooth. I rethreaded with ordinary thread and had no further problems.

I sewed the cuffs without too much difficulty.  I think the sleeves are still too long but my sewing group didn't agree,  so I left them.

This UFO is finished.  I  still don't like it. I think it is too big in parts and not just because I've lost weight though that contributes. One of the others in class suggested I'd  like it in the right circumstances say over a nice camisole.

The next photos are taken of the finished garment over a nice silk camisole. I don't really think it helps! We were in a hurry to take some photos though, as we unexpectedly had to visit my mother who was ill (fortunately a little better now) and I wanted to post the PR entry. The photos are poor and need retaken - one day, perhaps!

I'm holding the bits of sleeve cut off. I need to retake a photo with me standing straight - but that will have to wait.

The excess fabric at the back is fairly clear
I like the concept of a lace cardigan. Heavier lace,  patterns used as edging rather than double hemming - and cut much slimmer. Part of the issue is that the shoulders are wide and fall off my shoulder.

Rory pointed me in the direction of her UFO pile. I not so politely declined. She then suggested maybe she should hold a UFO class. That's not a bad idea,  is it?  Except maybe I won't have any! And pigs might fly.


  1. I tried a lace jacket for a wedding, it ended up in the bin, never mind the UFO pile! Well done for persevering, it could be a pretty useful cardigan for the summer

    1. Thanks, Margaret. It was 'this' close from the bin.. and it may not yet have escaped the charity shop trip. I'll try it out in the summer with a dress and we'll see.


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