SEWING

ESME MAXI CARDI IN MERINO JERSEY

November 21, 2016

I’ve been loving the trench look that has been trending this fall. As so many other trends that I like, it’s secret pjs that you wear out of the house. Who doesn’t like that? I have to admit that my husband asked me if this was my new bathrobe when I was sewing it up (which had me laughing), so I think you have to be careful how you style it. But I think I am pulling it off for everyday wear. You be the judge.

The Fabric Store asked me if I would like to try out some of their online fabric. I had the hardest time choosing (they have some gorgeous liberty prints guys). But I have a closet full of exciting prints that I just don’t wear because they are not me. I have been trying to focus on making wearable basics so I went with some quality solids that I knew would get worn instead. Merino jersey was an easy pick after that.

I decided on two different colors. This gorgeous burnt orange (such a great color) and this really pretty forest green (which is my go to color in the colder months). They are medium weight knits that I can vouch for as they wash up really well and sew up so nicely. This was my first time sewing with merino jersey and I am such a convert. They are stable knits that are still thin and hang nicely. Not too stretchy and slinky to cause headaches while sewing. I can’t wait to sew with them again some time.

Now for the pattern, it’s the Esme Maxi Caridigan from Named Patterns. It was my first time sewing a Named pattern for some crazy reason. They have so many really cool patterns that now I am eyeing a ton of them (this one especially). One thing that was different than what I am used to, was that the pattern pieces on the pdf are layered on top of one another. So even though it’s a pdf, you still have to trace the pattern pieces. I’m not sure if that is true of their paper patterns as well. Some people prefer this (less taping), some don’t. But something to be aware of.

As for sizing I cut a size 8/10 US which is standard for me. I could have gone down a couple of sizes I think. It is supposed to be oversized and it is supposed to be sewn up in a much thicker knit than I used which is probably why it fit so big on me. I ended up taking a couple of inches of width out of the sleeves, shortening the sleeves by 2 inches and taking about 6 inches off of the length (I am 5’3″). On the green version, I also took and inch out of the top portion so that the pockets hit at a better place for me.

I really like this pattern. So comfy, such an easy sew, and something that will get a lot of wear in my winter wardrobe. I am on the lookout for a really thick sweater knit to do a chunky version more like the pattern intends. Let me know if you have spotted any such fabric.

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15 Comments

  • Reply Katie November 21, 2016 at 11:59 AM

    Love them, especially the forest green! I’m looking out for nice sweater knit to make this pattern up in too – chunkier ones are hard to find.

    • Reply True Bias December 7, 2016 at 11:11 AM

      i know. im still trying to find the perfect chunky knit for this one.

  • Reply Marta November 21, 2016 at 12:03 PM

    They’re both gorgeous but I like the orange one more because green isn’t really my favourite colour… I still remember when I was in fashion school and designed that kind of cardigans for a project and my teacher told me they were horrible. Fast forward a few months and they’re a trend! hahaha fashion is funny sometimes

    • Reply True Bias December 7, 2016 at 11:12 AM

      fashion is so fickle. you were just ahead of the game.

  • Reply Fiona November 26, 2016 at 1:05 AM

    You can absolutely pull these off for everyday wear! What is husband talking about?! You look stunning in the red in particular. I’ve just used some of the fabric store merinos too and I’m in love. You look stunning in the red in particular

    • Reply True Bias December 7, 2016 at 11:13 AM

      thank you fiona. arnt the merinos so nice to sew with and wear? love them.

  • Reply Heather December 3, 2016 at 7:36 PM

    These both look fantastic and I love how you’ve styled them. Both those colours are great! I hope you make the Helmi tunic too – I bet it will be awesome on you!

    • Reply True Bias December 7, 2016 at 11:13 AM

      im planning on the helmi. love the look. just looking for the right fabric.

  • Reply Jessica December 6, 2016 at 3:23 PM

    Late to the party, but you look great!! The skinny jeans, nice simple top and long(ish) cardigan- combo is my favourite!
    I’m thinking of using this merino to sew up a Driftless cardigan, but i’m wondering two things: how stretchy is this100% merino? Would it manage 20%? And how true did you find the colours irl? I’m eying the deep turquoise as it seems to be a deep slighly blueish green, but am a bit scared it’ll be way more bright blue… which i find quite horrifying 🙂

    On a side note: my next project will be the Ogden cami, can’t wait! Will be sewing it up in some nice basic black rayon the first time, but i’m already looking forward to finally losing my “silk-virginity”. Since you’ve been posting really nice silk ones: how do you take care of them? Religiously dry-cleaning? Or sneakily handwashing or wool-cycle?

    Sorry about the gigantic comment 🙂

    • Reply True Bias December 7, 2016 at 11:16 AM

      i think this merino would be really great in a driftless. go for it! and i found the colors to be very accurate. i was scared with the red because i thought it might be too orange but it was perfect.
      as for silk i never dry clean. hand wash only and hang to dry. good luck losing your silk viginity! you will love sewing with silk crepe. its my absolute fav.

      • Reply Jessica December 7, 2016 at 12:17 PM

        Tnx!!! And cutting my first Ogden as we speak!

  • Reply alexie December 28, 2016 at 8:49 AM

    Great article, love it. BTW I’ve just written this post about how to wear a fedora 5 ways and thought you might like it :O)

  • Reply Keeping Warm with the Esme Maxi Cardigan – Style Maker Fabrics January 8, 2017 at 2:28 AM

    […] love to try a lighter weight knit, like a jersey or lighter sweater knit. Maybe try something like True Bias’ recent make. Anyway, definitely check out the Esme Maxi Cardigan, it is perfect for this mid-winter […]

  • Reply Sarah Turnbull February 8, 2017 at 5:20 PM

    Hello Kelli,
    Named Patterns have a cool option to switch the size lines off and on with layers in Adobe Acrobat – it’s explained in the pattern instructions somewhere. This means you can print as many of the sizes as you want, from one to all of them.

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