It’s taken me a heck of a long time to finish this project. I started this last year and had a bunch of ideas to make it more complicated than it needed to be (binding all the seams and hems with a contrasting fabric). It got abandoned and then put on my finishing list a few months ago. (still have work to do on that list!)
Since the cool weather has come around again. I got it out of the pile and finally hand hemmed the sleeves and bottom. For the neckline I made a bias tape trim from the scraps of my Stylish Dress Book ‘O’ Tunic. Rather than have the ties loose, I make buttonholes and added buttons so that it would fasten in the back to cinch it in a bit. This pattern is really simple and it’s very satisfying to make a cardigan, especially if you don’t knit!
The fabric for the cardigan is a lovely Virgin wool/metal blend, so there’s a bit of shimmer to it. I purchased the fabric at the Lida Baday Fabric Showroom last year. I’ve been meaning to tell you about this place for ages. This is an incredible local source for designer fabrics that we normally would not have access to. Lida Baday is a Canadian fashion designer who produces a beautiful line of women’s clothing. After each collection is produced the remainder of the fabric (all European) is organized and swatched into a small showroom. If you’d like to visit the fabric showroom, you simply need to get in touch to make an appointment. The experience is very different from shopping in a regular fabric store. When you arrive for your appointment, you are brought into a small sunny room which is lined with rolling racks of swatched fabric organized by type (knits, wools, cottons, linens, metal blends, silks). When you find a swatch you like, you look at the tag to read what type of fabric it is, where it is from (France! Italy!), and what pieces are available. The fabric is sold by the piece, so you must take the entire piece that is available. The pieces range from 1 metre to 30 metres. When I was there I found lots of amazing fabrics that were in the 1 metre to 3 metre range. As you find fabrics you like, you cut a small swatch of it and attach it to the fabric request form, writing in the fabric number, colour and price. I spent over an hour there, leisurely looking through the fabrics and feeling like an actual fashion designer shopping for fabric for my ‘collection’. When you’re done, you give your sheet to Cara (who runs the showroom) and leave. Cara will email you later on with the complete pricing details (the pricing is incredible, a fraction of what you would expect to pay). You respond with your final fabric selections and when your fabrics are ready for you a few days later, you can go and pick them up. I’m probably due for another visit to stock up. My first t-shirt was made from a jersey that I got from the showroom and I’ll be posting up a dress made with another one of these special fabrics shortly too.
I’ve been wearing my cardigan with an embroidered button I bought from Leah at last year’s City of Craft. It perfectly matches the purple floral bias binding and works like a charm to button the front closed.