Monday, December 7, 2015

Shades of Gray Wrap: Papercut Coppelia in Cashmere Knit

As soon as the cold weather hits, all I want to make is cozy sweaters! 

I've sewn all sorts of wool knits- merino, felted wools, angora, etc, and I love the warmth, breathability, and texture of wool of all sorts. I am pretty sensitive, and I generally wear my wools with a long sleeve rayon or cotton top or shrug, or in rare cases I make a lined sweater. The one exception is cashmere, which I love wearing right next to my skin, and it is oh-so-cozy and warm. I once found a fabulous piece of cashmere knit (on that I made into a cozy wrap that I wear all the time. In fact, I'm wearing holes in it, and it is looking a bit ragged, but I wear it all the time anyway.

I've been on the hunt for another piece of cashmere knit fabric, but it is oh-so-rare. Especially the really good stuff, in my favorite winter colors-- black and gray! Then, I was in the thrift store seeking items to refashion, and wandered into the sweater section just in case there was any cashmere to be found... and struck gold. Or cashmere.

I found two sweaters in shades of gray, and I knew almost immediately that I wanted to make a Papercut Coppelia wrap with them. I've made a Coppelia once before, with a merino knit, and I wear it pretty frequently. It was one of the first indie patterns I every purchased... I have a real soft spot for wraps. There is something about a cashmere knit that seems like it would be fabulous as a slim wrap.

Previously I made a Medium, but this time I traced the Large. I thought it would give me a little more room with the bulkier knit, and quite honestly, I'm a bit larger than I was when I made my first Coppelia. But I sort of screwed up the back piece and cut the Medium with it. I tried to compensate by making the seam allowances narrower, and I think between that and the forgiving nature of the knit, the fit is pretty okay.

I decided to make the wrap tie at the side, so one tie is longer than the other. 

I should have taken before pictures, but I'm not so good at that, I just jump right in. The lighter gray sweater was a women's XL, so I made the back and one of the front pieces with it, and managed to get a sleeve by pieces together the scraps. I managed to line up both the back and front pieces with the bottom edge of the sweater so that I could incorporate the ribbing, and for the sleeve, I sewed a saved piece of ribbing back onto the sleeve.

This is a closeup of the front bottom edge of the sweater. The ribbing on the bottom. I used the ribbing from the original sweater as the hem of my sweater, and left the right edge unfinished. The ribbing that makes up the neckline and continues to make the ties is topstitched with a double needle.

In this pic you can see some of the crazy piecing I did to get the raglan sleeve. I used a zigzag stitch to join the pieces, than topstitched the seam allowances down with a zig zag. 

The darker gray sweater was a very small sweater, probably slightly shrunken in the wash also, so I barely managed to eek out the front piece and most of a sleeve. But I still managed to line up the front piece with the bottom of the sweater, so once again I used the finished edge of the original sweater.

After cutting the main pieces of the pattern, I had a pile of tiny, tiny scraps, so I was back at the thrift store hunting for something to make the neck band and ties with. I found a gray angora blend sweater that had a thick band of ribbing at the waist. I had intended fold over the neckline as called for in the Papercut pattern, but after sewing on one edge, I liked the extra width.

I borrowed a tag from one of the repurposed sweaters to designate the very special fiber content!

Since the ribbing was finished on the unattached side, I decided to just leave it like that. I also used some ribbing from the angora sweater to finish the dark gray sleeve, making what looks like an oversized cuff from part of the sleeve.

I can wear the wrap either way-- dark side out, or light side out. Either way, I tie it at the right side. Initially I made both straps long enough to tie in front, but I prefer it tied at the side, so I took the extension off of one of the straps, it was dragging on the floor.

I love my new sweater, so very cozy! I almost had it done for my birthday, but refashioning definitely takes a bit longer than just working with yardage. So I'm going to just give myself an extension and call this my birthday sweater.


No comments:

Post a Comment