I have been signed up to Jennifer Lauren's pattern testing group for quite some time now. I would excitedly see the announcements about the need for testers, but every time I was always too late. When she let everyone know that she was preparing a men's cardigan pattern I jumped at the opportunity hoping that I would finally make the cut. I did! So I am here today to tell you all about how amazing this pattern is.
Here is the official pattern description:
"Influenced by the classic lines and tailored subtlety of the 50s,
is the smart yet casual men's cardigan that is equally comfortable exploring the city streets as it is strolling down country lanes.
Made from cosy and comfortable sweatshirt knits and featuring a modern slim fit body and unique design lines, Auden is a deceptively quick make. Easily customisable to even the most discerning of tastes: you can mix and match fabric colours and prints on the body, sleeves, cuffs and neckline for a truely unique garment.
is perfect for those new to making menswear, gently easing you in while building on current sewing skills — you'll always end up with a garment that is sure to impress.
Saddle shoulders offer a unique perspective on this dapper cardigan. Perfect for the weekend gentleman."
From start to finish, this pattern was a delight to work with. And I don't say that lightly. It is so obvious that Jennifer put an enormous amount of work into producing the best possible product. I have been dealing with several pdf patterns recently. To say that I was less than excited to work with yet another one is an understatement. I will not mention any pattern company names, but I have struggled quite a bit with getting all the different lines on pdf patterns to line up perfectly. That is probably my biggest beef with pdf patterns. (It isn't a printer error or anything, just something about how everything is laid out.)
Surprisingly enough, the Auden cardigan went together so easily and smoothly, that I just couldn't believe it. The layout was fantastic, the lines lined up correctly almost without trying, and in the end it was nearly perfect. I had to sit and stare at it for a second!
I used a non-stretch sweatshirt knit that I found at Joanns. It is super soft and warm. I had never worked with something like it before, so it was a new little sewing challenge! Since there are only about seven pattern pieces, it was pretty simple to cut out. Due to the almost fluffy underside of the fabric, I ended up having to use a standard marker to trace around the patterns but since it was all in the seam allowance, I didn't mind.
I have to say, I didn't know before I signed up to test the pattern that it didn't have set-in sleeves. After being sent the line drawings, I got super excited. (As in, "explained it all to my forbearing, uninterested husband" excited.) I LOVE raglan style sleeves! I find them way easier to sew than trying to get that perfect amount of ease on the set-in style.
All in all, it was a very simple sew. The hardest part was sewing the buttonholes. My machine decided it didn't like the loftiness of the button band, and started being really weird about making nice buttonholes. It made me so mad! I wanted the cardigan to turn out absolutely perfect and here was my machine, getting temperamental at the worst possible moment. Somehow, I managed to make it work well enough that you can't see the slightly wonky spots.
I used some brown buttons from my stash. I initially thought that I didn't have anything that would work, but when I laid these out on the cardigan, I discovered that I actually liked it. I am normally pretty bad about picking buttons or trim that doesn't match the fabric exactly. I can't always tell what makes a cool design feature and what just looks bizarre.
I found using this pattern to be an adventure. It wasn't my normal style of sewing project, but I truly had a fun time making it up. Since it started cooling down, my husband wears it almost every day for work. It's a great layering piece that he can wear when it's chilly, and easily take off when he gets to the office. I would even go so far as to say that this is my favorite garment that I have sewn for him so far!
Jolly day to you!
*Disclaimer: I was not asked to write a blog post review about this pattern. I received a free copy of the finished pattern in exchange for my honest feedback during that pattern testing period. All opinions expressed are my own.