As one of the first posts before the end of the year and as I fully recommit to growing this community as I dream, I couldn't imagine a more fitting post. When I think of the ways of the women before me, sewing was one of the most admired ways.
Recollecting on my early obsession with older Black women, I came back to the women who I knew had beautiful sewing rooms or the stylish women who made their clothes. I dreamed of being like them. Taking trips to fabric stores, running my hands across the fabric, filing sewing patterns, pressing seams, and of course wearing what I made as a form of self expression.
As a way to preserve those ways, I would love to formally introduce you all to the sewing content that I will share. Some of the content will be in the form of pattern reviews, other content will be inspirational, and others will be tutorials and lessons. I'll begin with this DIY Fall Cardigan using a pattern by Simplicity.
It is labeled a cardigan but with a heavier weighted fabric like wool or fleece and a belt, you could call it a coat. Speaking of fabric, I went through a stash of fabric that was donated to me to make this coat. Look at me being resourceful!
The pattern has several lapel finishing options. You could do the straight edge or more of a cascading lapel. Because I wanted to always have a sleek and effortlessly put together look, I chose the cascading option. It could also be made with two different lengths. I normally always go for a shorter length. But I am enjoying playing with styles and finishes that I normally wouldn’t go for. So, the longer length is what I decided on.
The pattern was very straightforward to follow. I didn’t have any issues with the instructions or construction either. I cut the XS small size. The fit was a little big. For this look, I styled it with a simple bodycon dress. When I wear it again, I will wear a chunky sweater. I’ll need the room so the fit will be much better.
I was a tad bit careless with the fabric layout. I didn’t think about matching up the stripes on the fabric while cutting. When I finally thought about it, it was too late and I didn’t have extra fabric. I will keep that in mind the next time I make this coat. I loved it so much that I do plan on making it again. Next time, I will go for the straight lapel and lightweight fabric like a knit.
The entire time I made this cardigan I thought of the many women who made beautiful coats for fall and winter. I love browsing through vintage magazines and seeing the well made wool coats accessorized with gloves and tailored dresses.
It reminds me of how much thought and attention to detail it takes to sew the clothes that you intend to wear for seasons to come. Sewing this cardigan and styling it with the same attention to detail is my way of honoring the valuable skillset and artform that sewing is.