Basic black

After last week’s realization that I owned a sole cardigan, I requested pattern suggestions from the Me-Made-May flickr pool. Then I remembered I already had one, Butterick 5398. I made it once in 2011 but it had since fallen out of favor. I wore it a lot when I first made it and then grew displeased with the basic cotton jersey I used. This time, I branched out into a lightweight rayon knit. It was really squirrely to sew with, but I think it looks decent!

Unfurled! You can see the texture of the fabric here.

I zig-zag stitched the seams and then trimmed and overlocked them. Basically, I’m a slow, manual serger.

The bottom and front hems are rolled and the sleeves are finished with folded bands. I strongly prefer finishing knits with bands since I don’t have a serger/coverstitch machine.

I added 3″ length to the bottom hem and took in the side seams dramatically (3/4″ from the sleeve graded to 2″ at the armpits, then 2 3/4″ at the bottom). This is after cutting the XS size (I’m pretty solidly a Medium). This pattern is huge! It’s better than too small, but it’s still an irritating waste of fabric.

This piece is really a child of Me-Made-May and the Seamless Pledge. Trying to wear my self-made sleeveless shirts for MMM revealed my lack of cardigans, and the Seamless Pledge prevented me from purchasing any. (I rarely have luck thrifting them, which would be my go-to solution.) I wouldn’t mind making another in a linen or cotton sweater knit, which seem a bit hard to find! But having doubled my cardigans this week, I’m not in a hurry.

Have you located any holes in your wardrobe recently?


20 thoughts on “Basic black

  1. Very nice! I had this conversation in my head about what key pieces I’m missing- skirts and tops for winter. I’m on my way making a couple of moss mini skirts but need to find some good basic knit patterns for merino.

    1. Thanks, Jane! I really like the Moss Minis I’ve been seeing in the sewing blog world, I’ll bet yours will be great winter basics.

  2. This fabric looks really interesting. I’ve noticed I need simple neutral and dark pieces because everything I make is from a crazy fabric that I fell in love with. I can’t wear anything together! Loving MMM but taking the photos in the morning is hard work 😉

  3. This cardigan looks absolutely gorgeous (with those amazing leggings). The fit looks great after your adjustments. I definitely have a cardigan hole as well -I may well check out B5398 as I love the drape and I definitely have a Me Made pants hole:(

  4. love the cardigan! that’s definitely a hole in my wardrobe as well. it’s just so hard to buy solid colored knits…

  5. This cardigan is super cute, and I love the details on your dress too! I’m in the same boat with lots of sleeveless shirts/dresses, hardly any cardigans, and an aggressively air-conditioned workplace. I can never seem to find any “nice” cardigans in stores, so perhaps I should start making my own!

    1. Thanks, Carolyn! I think you should definitely take a crack at making a cardigan!

      I don’t get why offices are so air-conditioned! It seems like a waste of money on the building’s part.

  6. I am very much in favour of making basics. It’s nice to wear things you have made yourself every day. I guess you will get lots of wear from your cardigan, especially as it’s long enough to be worn with your dresses and tunics. I have discovered a lack in quite a few areas of my wardrobe this May. Some I knew about (lack of smart clothes) and others surprised me (I don’t own any short sleeved t-shirts or vests!). I think a few things must have been worn out at the end of last summer and I haven’t yet replaced them.

    1. Thanks, Philippa! I agree, it is really nice to wear things you’ve made on an everyday basis. Instead of a cost per wear analysis, it would be interesting to think about time spent sewing per wear for self-made garments.

  7. Oooh, what a great basic cardigan! I don’t have any me-made cardigans either (well, I have two wool hand-knits, but they’re both too hot to wear unless it’s really cold), and I’m noticing that I don’t have enough woven tops, skirts, or casual dresses. I have several knit tops and some great party dresses, but I really only have two dresses casual enough for every day and not a single skirt that I want to wear! Whoops!

  8. It looks great, perfect fit and length! I have a couple of pretty worn out looking cardigans that I only wear around the house and I really want to make a few- I think I may just try to trace them. I am not buying any clothes this year and I really need some jeans, so I am going to try and tackle that next month-I am a little scared!! I have some great fabric but no experience making pants-eeek. All of your outfits are great, I just found your blog through the MMM Flickr pool.

    1. Thanks so much, Kelly, and thanks for stopping by! I’d love to try the RTW tracing method sometime as well. Good luck with your jeans! I’ve been procrastinating on an almost-complete pair of pants myself, maybe you will inspire me to get back on the wagon!

  9. Your cardi is great! So glad I found your blog. I have found gaps in my me made wardrobe as well. Like Kelly, I would love to try to make some jeans…

  10. What an interesting texture in the fabric – it looks like it´s lovely to wear. The cardi is just perfectly drapey and nice, and I bet you´ll get lots of use for it!

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