Back 2 Basics, Pattern Review

The Julia Cardigan … Finally

Wow, it’s crazy that I’m just now getting around to blogging about these cardigans.  I made them during my Back 2 Basics week back in June and I have worn them a lot since then.

This great basic pattern has been making the rounds of the blogosphere the last several months and likely needs no introduction: The Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations.

Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations sewn by Katie @ Creative Counselor
Every girl should have a bright pink cardigan.

I have made both the long-sleeve and cap-sleeve versions of this cardigan, and I love them both!  Not surprisingly, I’ve been wearing my cap-sleeve version a lot more lately since it’s summer, but as the weather gets cooler, this long-sleeve pink number will be appearing a lot more often.

I wish I had something cool and fun and innnovative to say about this pattern, but I really don’t.  It’s a great pattern and the kind that gets a lot of use in my wardrobe.  I particularly love this style of cardigan.  It is undoubtedly work-appropriate, but doesn’t feel so buttoned-up that I don’t reach for it on weekends.  In fact, I probably wear one of my Julia Cardigans almost every day.

Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations sewn by Katie @ Creative Counselor
Cap-sleeve Julia in mint.

I made size M in both the long-sleeve and cap-sleeve version, and I think the fit is great.  It’s perfect across the shoulders and fits great in the hips.  The only change I made was to narrow the arms in the long-sleeve version.  I had read somewhere (can’t remember where now) that the long-sleeve cardigan has a bell-sleeve and it gets pretty wide at the wrists.  I would annoy the bejesus out of me, so I took affirmative steps to narrow those puppies when I traced my pattern.

The mint cardigan is made from a basic cotton/spandex jersey from Girl Charlee.  Nothing earth-shattering, but it’s a good neutral color.  This goes with almost everything.  Cotton/spandex jersey is great to work with — no surprises or difficulties and everything goes together really smoothly.

Super comfy Papercut Patterns Anima Pants sewn by Katie @ Creative Counselor
Repeat photo, but I love how this cardi turned out!

The pink is a sweater knit from Michael Levine.  The color is gorgeous (it’s basically the color of Pepto Bismol — I love it), and it’s very soft.  It was really stretchy though and sweater knit can be a pain to work with.  And for some reason the band ended up with funny wrinkles in the back.  I’m pretty sure this is due to the fabric because I’m sure I didn’t stretch it at all while sewing.

Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations sewn by Katie @ Creative Counselor
Funny wrinkles on the butt. Don’t know how to get rid of those.

But I don’t mind it enough to not wear the sweater.

For all of my Julias (there’s a third not pictured here), I made the “doubled-over” version, which basically requires you to make a band that you sew around the bodice pieces to create the shawl collar.  This version is kind of a fabric hog.  The pattern calls for 2 yards of 58″ fabric and you need it.  I really don’t think you could squeeze the banded version out of much less than 2 yards.  But I really like the finish with the band, so I just made sure I had plenty of the fabrics I wanted to use.

Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations sewn by Katie @ Creative Counselor
Paired with my Anima Pants, of course.

These are very quickly becoming my go-to cardigans that I reach for nearly every day.  I think my closet may need a couple more before winter!

Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations sewn by Katie @ Creative Counselor
Julia Cardigan

Pattern: The Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations

Size: M

Fabric: Cotton/spandex blend from Girl Charlee (mint) and flamingo pink sweater knit from Michael Levine (pink).

Modifications: I narrowed the sleeves on the long-sleeve version since the pattern is drafted with slight bell sleeves.  Too much width at my wrists really annoys me.

Fit: Great.  Fits perfectly across the shoulders.

Pattern Format: PDF pattern, and the pieces are pretty large.  It was kind of a pain in the rear to piece together.


  • Easy construction.  I can sew the entire thing on my serger.  And no closures to worry about.
  • Great style for work and weekends.
  • Easy fit.  With no closures, you don’t have to worry about it fitting over a bust — the shoulder fit is definitely most important.


  • Fabric hog.  You really can’t get away with much less than 2 yards if you make the banded version.  And there is a lot of fabric waste in that 2 yards.  It’s kind of inevitable with how the pieces needs to be laid out.

Overall Grade: A. I wear cardigans a lot, and this is a fabulous option.  Easily some of the most worn handmades in my wardrobe!

0 thoughts on “The Julia Cardigan … Finally

  1. these look great! funny how some of the most worn items have a hard time making it to the blog–better late than never! (says the person who has 10+ unblogged items… oops!) i’ve only made up this pattern once, but i certainly plan to make more. it’s just so versatile and comfy!

    1. Couldn’t agree more! I have a ridiculous backlog of unblogged projects. I’m going to make a concerted effort to get most of them on here eventually, but I’m sure there are some that will never make it. I still haven’t blogged my Netties from early June! (Which I have since cut off into t-shirts :/ ).

        1. It was a little bit of both. I must have a short torso because the bodysuits were several inches too long on me. And when it came right down to it, the bodysuits were just too reminiscent of my middle school days! Not a complete loss though because Nettie does make an awesome close-fitting t-shirt.

  2. I made a version of the Julia cardigan and didn’t blog about it because I actually don’t care for the fit around the hips…it seems to “pouch out” in a funny way at the rounded hem. Did you have this problem? I like the idea of the cardigan a lot, but the ‘pouchiness’ issue has been bugging me. I’ve been chalking it up to a problem with my own version, since no one else has mentioned it…. 🙂

    1. Hmm, I didn’t have that problem with mine. At least not with my green one, which is in a pretty stable cotton/spandex blend. The sweater knit did some funny things at the rounded back hem, but I just chalked that up to the fabric not working well with this hem style. Too bad yours didn’t work out!

  3. Your cardigans look great! I love your detailed reviews. I’ve been wanting to make some of these since I saw yours during back to basics week, and it’s so good to know how much fabric it uses and that there are lots of pieces to tape together. At least I know what I’m getting into if I decide to buy it. I might just try to do a Renfrew hack or self-draft something similar instead – anything to avoid taping!

    1. Haha! Glad to know I’m not the only one who detests taping! Can’t tell you how many times I’ve shelled out more $ and paid shipping for a printed pattern just so I didn’t have to tape together a PDF!

  4. All your cardis look super comfy. I’ve been eyeing this pattern because of your makes. I have one pattern in my stash that I want to make before I jump and buy this one.

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