Edited to add: Thread Theory very kindly emailed me the updated version of their pattern. They have fixed all of the issues I have outlined in this post and updated their diagrams and their instructions layout.
This is my headless boyfriend modelling my newest sewing project. It’s the Newcastle Cardigan by Thread Theory to keep him snuggly warm… except I finished it right at the beginning of spring here, and i’ve actually been wearing tank tops and getting away with it. Such is sewing life.
The cardigan is made of cotton jersey knit and it actually was not as hard to sew as I had imagined. The edges of the jersey did curl up like crazy, but I found that basting seams with fusible tape before sewing did the trick. It is time consuming though.
You know what was difficult? I had accidentally sewn the front seams of the cardigan as side seams to the back, leaving the actual side seams down the front. It took me four days to figure out why the placket wasn’t fitting the front. It didn’t help that I had never sewn a placket on anything before, so I thought maybe it was supposed to not match exactly. I spent days googling and consulting books for a solution before I finally realised what had happened. Then I spent the next few days being very embarassed.
So, some thoughts about the Newcastle Cardigan pattern:
- $8.50 is a seriously affordable price for a pattern as involved as this! They unfortunately only have the pattern available as pdf, but that is still cheaper than most other patterns and their pdf options.
- Aside from my idiotic error, the cardigan is actually fairly simple to sew up. It’s a good project for intermediate-beginner who wants to dabble in knits. The pattern includes ‘beginner’ in their skill level but I wouldn’t recommend it at all for a beginner unless you’re very brave and patient!
- The instructions for this cardigan are pretty clear, although if you’ve done a fair bit of sewing (and I suggest you do before you launch yourself into this) it’s pretty obvious where things go. I caught a few typos and unclear wording (e.g. page 7, step 8 – ‘with right sides together, [sew] the under collar and upper collar…’ – the word ‘sew’ is missing), but it’s nothing major.
- The one thing I did hate about this pattern was the lack of clear line drawings for fabric-pattern layout. Unlike most patterns i’ve used, the pieces were not labelled on the layout picture and for some reason the picture had multiple sizes on it too which made it very unclear. I do rely on the fabric layout picture a lot when I sew as a final checklist, so without it I did end up missing some pieces in the end.
As for the cardigan itself, it’s a really easy style to wear. I’m really grateful to Thread Theory for their menswear patterns because it’s so hard to find stylish menswear patterns right now. I know I am probably making several feminists rattle in their graves right now by saying I love sewing for my boyfriend, but well, I love sewing and I love him, so it makes sense doesn’t it? I’m just glad that there’s something out there for me to sew him.
For anyone who is interested, I just noticed you can buy three of their awesome patterns in a package for just $20. I would be all over it if I hadn’t already got the cardi.