Saturday, August 8, 2009

Hot Patterns Riviera Bouldevard Jacket/cardigan

One UFO finished! If you remember back when I started this blog I was making a knit cardigan, the above mentioned Hot Patterns jacket. I finished it before I tore my studio apart, but it's been just too hot to put on a wool jacket! Today it's in the mid 70's. Perfect for an outdoor photo session.

Pattern Description:
Cardigan jacket designed for heavy knits. Unlined, cropped single breast jacket has a gentle A line shape and a classic collar and rever. Faux pocket flaps at the yoke and vertical seam pockets.

Pattern Sizing:6-26 What size did I make? Several, starting with a 10 or 12 in the upper body. But, honestly, I don't remember, this is a ufo from last winter that I just finished.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, other than I left off the faux flaps.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Pretty much. It's recommended for intermediate sewers and I'd agree with that assessment. The illustrations now included in the instructions are only marginally helpful.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked the lines of this and I thought that a cardigan sweater would be cozy and comfortable and take simple pants and top up a level. It's not fitted, but it isn't too boxy either, which is not becoming on me.
I don't like the separate hem facings because I think that it contributed to the flaring out at the hem that I had. I understand why Trudy designed it like this, because it's an a-line shape, but I think that I could reduce the hem width like a pair of pants and one, make it simpler to construct and secondly the bottom edge would be softer and drape better, something I think that would benefit this jacket. I did use a heavier interfacing than was recommended and that might have contributed to the problem.
I do not like the method of sewing the collar and lapels that is used in the instructions. Most of the jacket patterns I've seen lately have you attach the upper collar to the facings, the under collar to the jacket and then attach the collar and facings as a unit. I think that there is a lot less control with this method. Maybe it's just that I've been making jackets the old fashioned way for so long and making a change is hard. I did do it as per the instructions and I think that while it's ok, I could have done it better my way.
The bottom line is that none of the patterns these days have good tailoring instructions and I'd use other sources for tailoring jackets, which I did.
Fabric Used: Wool cashmere heavy knit from Michaels Fabrics. It fit the description of a heavy knit without much stretch.
It is not a double knit. It's a gorgeous quality and I bought during one of their half price sales.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I left off the faux flaps. I didn't need added bulk at the bust. I cut this by the sizes on the envelope and didn't make an fba, but I should have added to the length if not the width. It hikes a bit in the front.
I added shoulder pads instead of altering for my sloping shoulders because they are flattering on my pear shaped figure. I did a forward shoulder adjustment, but I was very surprised when I did a tissue fitting and didn't have to make any other changes. I ended up taking in the hip quite a bit as it was flaring out too much, more than a gentle a line. I touched on this above, I don't know if it is the fault of my interfacing or the hem seam, or it was just too much ease for me. I also don't like how the neck facing shows through at the back of the jacket. I did cut it a bit smaller to accommodate being on the inside, but it still ripples a bit. I'll try giving it a better steaming and pounding and see if its any flatter. I may have not taken enough out of the seams to match my shoulder alterations.
The other change I made is using a technique that is in a lot of sewing books. The interfacing is seamed in a 1/4" seam right sides together at the outer edges and then turned to the inside and then fused to the facing creating a nice finished edge. You can do this with a sew in interfacing of course, which is how I learned to do it in the dark ages before fusibles.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?I won't sew another one I don't think. I tend to sew multiples of tops and pants, but jackets I like to be different. If I find another interesting knit with a different look I might be tempted. I will say that the fitting on this was one of the easiest jackets I've ever fitted and I am picky, so yes I highly recommend this, especially to the fuller busted women. But, do add at least length to the cf if not a complete fba.
A bit of advice, do not make this with a double knit with lycra. You'll have trouble with some of the details because of the stretch.
Conclusion: One ufo down, and I haven't counted how many more should be finished or just chucked. But, I am pleased with this jacket. It is exactly what I wanted: a comfortable, but more structured sweater to pull an outfit together. I will be sewing other garments to co-ordinate with this jacket. There are lots of coordinating fabrics in my stash.


  1. Nancy, this is a fabulous jacket. It looks so good on you. I'm sure that you will wear it a lot. Thanks for the details about your construction and the fabric to use. I have this pattern. Now that I see your version I may just do it. BTW, I ordered the magnifiying light from Rockler's. It is worth every penny that I paid for it.

  2. I love that jacket. I have the pattern, in wait. I'm thinking of making it in a fabric without stretch though, and measuring the pattern beforehand to get the right amount of ease.

  3. There is plenty of ease in this to make it without stretch I think. You might have to ajdust the sleeves a bit.

  4. Looks great on you. A versatile piece for the wardrobe. The twist top in the next post is flattering too. Good work on finishing two UFO's :)

  5. I'm glad you left off the faux flaps, nothing irritates me more on clothing. It's like, either give me pockets or don't! That blue dress I bought has pockets and I thought of you, always adding clever pockets to clothing. Why doesn't more women's clothing have useful pockets???
    ...end of ramble

  6. I love the jacket. I've just rediscovered a couple of swing jackets in my wardrobe by taking off the pockets from the bustline. You have no idea how much better they looked!

  7. What a fantastic jacket! It looks wonderful on you!

  8. Fabulous cardi/jacket! I'm sure the fabric you used is incredibly soft and cozy!

  9. This will be a great jacket to transition into late summer/early fall! And gray is one of the "hot" colors for fall!

  10. Great jacket, Nancy! Congratulations on knocking off that UFO!