Lulu Cardigan Sewalong, Part 1: Inspiration
When I got the idea to design the Lulu Cardigan, I was looking for a cardigan for my own wardrobe and couldn’t quite find what I was looking for. I wanted a fitted and cropped style that could go dressy or casual. Most of the cardigans I was finding were more boxy and oversized (which is also a great style!) but, as it usually goes with my pattern or clothing hunts, I had a very specific style in mind that I was determined to bring to reality!
I also wanted to provide options for other sewists making the pattern. So I started looking at ways to switch up the style easily, while allowing the sizing to be custom fit on multiple bodies for that snug fit. The addition of the princess seams make it possible to easily adjust the bust and fit (and they also make it a great scrap-buster by breaking the pattern into smaller pieces, which also reduces the amount of total fabric needed. Win!).
Below are a few ideas for making your own Lulu Cardigan (and a few that inspired the direction of the pattern during the design phase)!
My ultimate inspiration for the pattern was the white lace bomber (below) that I saw on Anthropologie earlier this year. I loved it immediately and made myself one in a stretchy knit lace from Joann Fabrics as soon as I had the pattern drafted. I have been stopped by total strangers to ask about it on several occasions! It’s my current favorite piece in my wardrobe.
The thing that (I think) makes this pattern so special is the ability to pair a more structured silhouette with more feminine fabrics and detailing. A match made in fashion heaven!
Another important feature that I try to work into all my patterns is scrap-busting, which inevitably lends itself to COLOR BLOCKING! I know I’m not the only sewist with a stash full of barely usable scraps from previous projects. If you love thrifting, color blocking is an awesome way to repurpose vintage sweaters and t-shirts, too. Use them up and create something unique!
And as much as I love pairing feminine details with structured silhouettes, I also love the idea of leaning fully into the modern styling and lines of a fitted jacket/cardigan with more stable, structured fabrics and bold details (maybe you have some leather scraps to use for shoulder patches, or a modern burnout knit for the bodice?). Scuba knits are also great for creating uber-sleek garments and are perfect for this pattern.
FUN PRINTS AND TEXTURES
Last but not least, you can really mix things up by incorporating bold prints and touchable textures into this pattern. For busier prints, the style lines will fade into the background, letting your prints shine. Maybe you have a double-sided knit that you can switch front to back for some of the pieces for a funky color-and-print blocking technique. Or maybe you have a luxurious quilted knit or faux fur—easily size the cardigan up a couple sizes for a looser, more casual (and cozy) fit!
In the next post in this series, I’ll be sharing tips for sourcing fabrics and notions for your Lulu Cardigan project. Thanks for following along!