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PIN & SEW MAKES: French Chic Polka Dot Elmira Cardigan

Adding Your Own Style Cotton Jersey Fabric Review How to Sew with Knits Pattern Review Review You Can Hack It

Hello, Samantha (@theruralsewist) here bringing you my first Pin and Sew blog post for May.
I do love taking inspiration from a French clothing company called Sézane, they have a very feminine and flattering collection and I particularly love the little details they add to garments.
With this in mind, I chose the polka dot jersey that I could imagine as a wrap cardigan and I immediately thought about adding some lace details to the sleeves.

elmira seamwork
I had the Seamwork Elmira Cardigan pattern in my collection and with the lovely belt detail I thought would be perfect for this make. With a bit of vision and a sewing machine you can make something ‘Sézane like’ at a fraction of the cost. That’s the beauty of sewing your own clothes 😊
The fabric arrived from Aga in recycled packaging and a lovely cotton branded ribbon. The quality of the fabric is great, really soft to touch and the polka dots don’t distort when you stretch it. They are not scratchy and don’t look like they will fall off after the first wash. When you are taking the time and effort to make yourself clothing you need those items to last and have the confidence in them that they will wash well.

I pre-washed the fabric at 30 and once it was totally dry I cut it out. After reading other reviews on the Elmira pattern I knew it would be very cropped and so I added 3” to the length of the front bodice and back pattern pieces.

The cutting
I am lucky to have a nice big kitchen worktop with breakfast bar which is at a nice height for cutting out which my back is very grateful for.
I am a traditional scissors and weights girl and this jersey behaved very well and did not insist on curling up when I wanted it flat.

Pattern pieces cut – onto the sewing

The sewing
With all knit fabrics you need to sew with a zig zag stitch to keep the movement and ability to stretch the fabric when you are taking garments on and off. I like to use 2.5 x 2.5 stitch length.
It’s a simple construction and came together quickly. The front pieces are doubled which gives it a better finish but adds that extra amount of fabric required.
There are 2 buttons on the inside that are used the anchor the left wrap piece in place. The instructions say to do a chain stich, but I added some fine elastic instead.

Adding the lace to the sleeves
Because the main fabric is a stretch I made sure to add a stretch lace so it behaved the same way as the main fabric when moving over my arms. I simply added the lace trim to the bottom of the sleeve piece before I sewed the sleeve seams. That way the hem of the sleeve wouldn’t stretch out or distort the lace and also the seam allowances would both be pressed and finished the same way.

Sew the lace with right sides together and then press the seam up towards the sleeve and then top stich over the seam allowance so you don’t see it pocking through the lace and this gives the sleeves a nice finish.

The finished Elmira
It’s a great all-round cardigan that I can wear for work with smart trousers or would be nice for casual with jeans or a denim skirt.

emira top cardigan pattern seamwork

I am very happy with how it has turned out and I added a simple ‘me made’ label to finish it off. These labels are also available in the Pin and Sew shop.

I think this fabric would also make a lovely wrap dress with some colourful accessories will be great for a summer outfit.

Thanks for reading
Samantha x

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