I know some of you are enjoying gloriously warm temperatures (I’m looking at you Aussies), but here in Kansas the weather has turned downright frigid of late. (I use the term “frigid” loosely. Our highs have still been above freezing and we’ve gotten lots of rain and no snow, but still. I’m cold).
With winter steadily marching towards us here in the north, it seemed a good time to review the Jalie Drop Pocket Cardigan that I made waaaaay back in August as part of my fall capsule.
I had my eye on a pattern like this for a while. I’m a big fan of the long loose cardigans, and I can only take so much of that shawl stuff around my neck. The drop-pocket cardigan seemed like a perfect fit for me.
Before I really studied the pattern pieces, I had the hardest time wrapping my brain around the construction. The pockets — were they the same piece or a different piece? If the same, how were the edges finished, did I need fabric that was the same on both sides?
Well, I’ll answer that question for you — there are two pieces. Or more specifically, you cut the front piece 4 times, and 2 of those pieces act as a lining. So, no need for fabric that’s the same on both sides, and the lining pieces folds over to make those nice big pockets (which actually don’t go all the way to the hem, btw. You sew a pocket seam a few inches up).
This cardigan went together pretty easily, but I don’t love it. And I think it has more to do with my fabric than anything else. You see, I was dead set on a mint cardigan. It would go well with the other pieces in my capsule and add a different, complementary color element. But I could not for the life of me find mint sweater knit. The best I could find was this ponte, which while it’s a very nice ponte, really is too heavy for a long cardigan like this one. It doesn’t have enough drape, and as a result, it lays a little funny.
I will give this pattern another shot. I’m pretty sure I’ll like it better if I use a classic sweater knit or drapey jersey (which would be great for summer. Ahhhh, summer…).
Until then, I will occasionally wear this cardigan around the house. The pockets are wonderfully big and I can fit all kinds of stuff in them. I love big pockets when I’m at home!
This also illustrates for me why I am a sew-as-the-spirit-moves-me kind of sewist. I love the idea of a sewing plan in general, but as I learn more about my own sewing habits, I am learning that a strict plan doesn’t work well for me. Had I not had a set plan, I likely would have been a little more flexible about this cardigan, and maybe realized that I should nix the mint cardigan since I couldn’t find the fabric that I really wanted. An oatmeal colored sweater knit cardigan would have been much more wearable in the long run. Most of my fabric stash is in a particular color way so everything I make falls more or less into a capsule for that reason. Guess I need to trust my gut and go with the flow!
(And an update on these woven pants, since it’s been a while since I made them. I’m going to refashion them into something for J. I never wear them. I’m not necessarily dismissing the idea of woven joggers entirely, but I’m not loving these. I might try again in a really flowy rayon and see if I like them better).
Pattern: Jalie 3248 Drop Pocket Cardigan
Cost: $11.99 CAD (PDF) or $12.99 CAD (Paper)
Size: I made a size T in Jalie’s funky sizing, which is the equivalent of a US size 7 and European size 37.
Fabric: Mint green ponte from Cali Fabrics.
Difficulty: Intermediate, but only because Jalie instructions are relatively bare-boned and it would be best to have a good grasp of garment construction before using one of these patterns.
Techniques Required: Sewing with knits, setting in sleeves, sewing a facing, sewing a faced binding.
Fit: The fit is actually pretty good. I may not love this cardigan, but not because it doesn’t fit.
Pattern Format: I have the paper version of this pattern, which is kind of a steal for $12.99 CAD since it includes 27 sizes from little girls size 2T all the way through women’s 22.
- You cannot beat Jalie for the breadth of their sizing. The pattern includes 27 sizes to cover just about every age and size.
- Huge pockets. I can fit everything I need in these suckers.
- Pretty easy construction once I figured it out. It’s actually a really clever pattern.
- Nice and long, which is how I like my cardigans.
- I don’t love the finish on the back of the neckline, and I think the pattern piece included is a little short. I would lengthen it and maybe change the finish on a future cardigan.
- Really does not lend itself well to sturdier knits. This pattern needs something light and drapey. Which means it will probably be a summer pattern for me.
- I kind of prefer the banded finish on the LLK Library cardigan. This finish works and is cleaner, but I like the look of bands.
Overall Grade: B-. This is a good pattern and gets an above-average score because I like the length, the pockets are amazing, and the pattern includes a huge array of sizes. But it doesn’t get top marks due to the neckline finishes.