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 MarcyTilton.com) 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.
|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.