My first make of the year is the new Itch to Stitch pattern, the Paro Cardigan. It was love at first sight and I was more than happy to be chosen as a tester. The Paro is a long cardigan with a feminine touch.
I used a lightweight sweater knit as main fabric that I purchased some years ago at a local fabric store. It is a cotton, and it may also have some poly in it, but I am not sure. It has a nice texture nad drapes very well. For the band I used an organic single jersey from my stash which is a shade darker than the main fabric. This adds a little bit of contrast.
I cut my usual size 2 with a size 4 at the hips. I thought about going one size up to make sure that the cardigan would not be too small in the shoulder area, a problem that I often have with Itch-to-Stitch patterns. However, the Paro Cardigan is designed to fit over garments, so I went with my usual size and the fit is just right as is.
I made a small bust alteration as after basting everything together I had too much fabric across the bust. This pattern does not include different cup sizes, so this is a normal adjustment for me.
The instructions are clear and detailed as always. I planned to sew all seams with my serger, but then I suddenly decided to finish the seams with Hong Kong binding. Kennis has this included in the instructins as an option, and as a dutifully tester I tested this seam finish also….Of course this put me in some time pressure. Especially as I used the Hong Kong finish for the hems too, but then had to unpick everything again as it was too stiff and the fabric could not drape anymore. I used my coverstitch instead. This is an inside view:
I changed the order of construction a little bit. I used a second layer for the waistband. The single jersey was a bit thin, so I thought it might be a good idea to have it reinforced with a second layer. This gave me also the opportunity to have a clean finish on the inside. I tried to use the burrito-method (the same method you use for sewing shirt yokes), but it was not possible to have the whole cardigna rolled up in the waistband, so I ended up sewing the inner layer by hand.
Another change is that I hemmed the cardigan before attaching the front band. Also, I sewed the front band in two steps, first I sewed the outer band to the cardigan. Then I folded the seam allowance of the inner band under and handstitched everything in place. I tried to stitch in the ditch, but somehow this technique is just not for me. I never get it nice on the inside. After I took the pictures I unpicked everything and sewed it in place by hand. This just works everytime
I found the button in my stash. Years ago I inherited a box with buttons from my grandmother. Often I think I will never have any use for them, as there are a lot of single buttons, and usually you need more than one button. But for this project I found the perfect button. The topstitching on the button has the same shade as my fabric. I could not have found something better.
I am sure I will make another one. The pattern is very versatile. Have a look at the other testers’ versions, there is so much inspiration. Just keep in mind that the fabric should have enough drape and is not too thick, else the pleats might become too bulky. Unfortunately, it is too cold at the moment to wear my Paro Cardigan right now, so I need definetively a winter version. I already have some fabric in mind.