Completed: Leopard Cabernet Cardigan

13 Apr

Good morning, everyone! Lots of changes happening in my world over the past couple of weeks – as you know, we moved out to the country, about 20 miles west of Nashville in beautiful Kingston Springs, TN. Our house sits on a 5 acre plot of land surrounded by woods, and wow, spring is gorgeous here! The leaves are finally starting to poke out – I can’t wait until all the trees are green! As I mentioned before, my best friend bought the house, and Landon and I are occupying the lower level apartment. We are still settling in, but making good progress. I promise I will share sewing room photos as soon as the space is ready. It’s still a work in progress – for one, I need to finish painting (I mean, Landon needs to help me finish painting because I am SO OVER painting by myself!), and I need to get some rugs because the floors are coooold. So it’s not quite ready for it’s ~big reveal~, but it is totally usable for makin’ shit! Which is what I’ve been doing since the second the space was finally unpacked. And here is evidence of my first completed garment in the new place! It’s not anything fancy, but it fills a fabulous gap in my wardrobe 😉

SBCC Cabernet Cardigan

Oh, right, that’s the other big change – I changed my hair color back to something a bit more normal! 🙂 My stylist and I have been talking about this for a few months – even before I went to London in November, we were planning. I was starting to get really sick of doing the upkeep myself – redying the roots, dealing with fading, hair color rubbing off on everything, etc etc – and I knew I wanted my hair to look relatively normal for when we go to Peru in June. I actually had all this done the day before we moved at the end of March. It took about 7 hours (woof) and we’re still not done – there’s a little bit of green showing through in certain spots. I need to go back later this week and get another fill or whatever, but my scalp was just done. I gotta say – I’m REALLY happy with how the color turned out! My stylist is seriously a hair magician. And while I’m not delusional enough to think that my hair is 100% undamaged as a result, it’s still in pretty outstanding condition, considering what we put it through. Eventually, I’d like to lighten everything up to a brighter, more coppery red (still natural, but less brown), as well as let her do some fun stuff with highlights. But that’s all in due time! For now, I’m loving this red-brown 🙂

Ok, back to sewing stuff!

SBCC Cabernet Cardigan

This leopard beauty is the Cabernet Cardigan from Skinny Bitch, Curvy Chic patterns. I was REALLY excited when this shit was released because I love wearing v-neck cardigans. I really like the way they look both buttoned and unbuttoned – which is the one minor complaint I have about my Jenna cardis – the crew neck just feels like it looks really weird when it’s unbuttoned, at least on me. Also, this pattern very closely mimics the poor v-neck cardigan I ripped up to use as a pattern (which was totally in vain, because that shit DID NOT WORK. But I guess it’s ok bc the cardigan in question was destined for the scrap heap anyway, since it was holey-er than, like, the Pope at that point), so yay! V neck cardis all day, erryday!

SBCC Cabernet Cardigan

See? Looks totally legit unbuttoned. Also, I promise I’m wearing a shirt under the cardigan – it’s just a white v-neck, and the sun was VERY bright that morning. So I look nakey, but honestly, I’m not that exciting of a person.

You can’t see much of the details of this piece due to the (admittedly fabulous) fabric that I used, but it has some nice and simple finishing. The sleeves and hem are finished with a wide band (same with the Jenna cardi) and the neckline also has a folded-over band. The difference between this cardigan and the Jenna is in the neck band – on the Cabernet, it’s one long piece that is interfaced only where the buttons/button holes go, and stretched just at the back of the neck. It’s also a wider band than the one on the Jenna, which means the button holes were a helluva lot easier to get in there without fucking them up.

SBCC Cabernet Cardigan

This cardigan also features the cutest little teensy pockets! Yay pockets!

SBCC Cabernet Cardigan

SBCC Cabernet Cardigan

Not a lot of changes went into the sizing of this pattern. SBCC drafts for petite proportions, so the length of both the body and the sleeves are pretty spot-on for me. I cut the size XXS, based on the pattern suggestion, but ended up taking about 1/2″ out of each side seam because I felt that even the slim version was still a bit boxy on me. This was totally a hack alteration – I’d already finished the cardigan at that point (and Instagrammed it, so you know that shit’s forreal), and rather than pull off the bottom band and do things properly… I just nipped in the sides with my serger and continued the seam down to the bottom of the band. Better to have a slightly subpar finish than a cardigan that I never wear, right?

SBCC Cabernet Cardigan

Since this was my first rodeo with the pattern, I followed the instructions as written. I topstitched everything with a straight stitch, as recommended – I was afraid it would look kind of homemade and tacky, but I think it actually looks really nice! Since the cardigan is an easy fit that doesn’t reply on much stretch (unlike, say, a tshirt), I don’t have to worry about the stitches popping. Everything else was finished on my serger, and I used regular lightweight fusible woven interfacing for the neckband. All in all, I think this took maybe 2 hours to sew, start to finish. It’s a quick little make and it’s already getting very regular rotation in my wardrobe.

Also, speaking of instructions – the booklet that comes with the pattern is super cute! (well, the printed version, which I’m totally glad I sprang for the couple of extra dollars because yay for not having to print and tape PDF patterns!) It’s about the same size as a standard piece of paper, and the pages are stitched together along one edge. The illustrations are large and very clear, and the instructions are very much direct and to the point. There are no cutting layouts included, and not a lot of hand-holding involved (i.e., no beginning section telling you how to work with knit fabrics, for example. Kind of refreshing, honestly! I think there’s enough of that out there as it is, ha). So if you’re a super beginner and want to try this pattern, but need some help with sewing knits – definitely research beforehand. It’s an easy pattern, though, and I think it’s totally doable for the beginner knit-sewer.

SBCC Cabernet Cardigan

SBCC Cabernet Cardigan

The super fabulous leopard print ponte was one of my scores from when I was in NYC last month. It was one of the very few things I had specifically on my list to pick up – leopard print ponte, yellow stretch twill, and stone washed stretch denim, to be precise (sadly, I did not find the stonewashed stretch denim. Everything available right now is dark indigo or black – wtf? Do y’all seriously not want me 90s-mom’ing it up or something?). I actually met up with Renee during my first shopping expenditure that weekend (who is just as awesome in real life as she is on her blog – maybe even more so, actually, because she came bearing a selfie stick), and while we were in Metro Textile, I asked Kashi for leopard print ponte and everyone laughed at me for being way too specific. Well, joke’s on all y’all because I found my damn ponte the next day – in Mood Fabrics, no less! (although I did get some amazing shit from Kashi. Just wait for it.). This ponte in particular is a bit more lightweight than usual, which is nice for this warmer weather. It’s stretchy, but it’s really easy to work with. My scissors did not particularly enjoy trying to cut through all the thickness, but I’m pretty sure it’s because they desperately need sharpening.

I also realize and completely acknowledge that this v-necked leopard print cardigan kiiiind of makes me look like one of those Ladies Who Lunch, but I’m totally ok with that. I like eating lunch with my lady friends.

SBCC Cabernet Cardigan

So yeah! So much newness up here today – new cardigan, new hair, new background in mah photos. I am LOVINGGGG these woods; it’s so quiet and serene out here, and you can actually see the stars at night. And we’re still a relatively short drive from Nashville, which is nice for when I need my hot chicken fix 😛

One last thing – the Sewing for Fashion Designers giveaway winner!


Congratulations, Vickie C! I will be in touch to get that book mailed out to you ASAP 🙂 The rest of y’all – as always, the book can be pre-ordered on Laurence King’s website and Amazon 🙂 Thanks for your support, y’all are the best!


68 Responses to “Completed: Leopard Cabernet Cardigan”

  1. Thimberlina April 13, 2015 at 7:40 am #

    Looks fab! I bought the lemoncello from SBCC and was a bit disappointed – looks great but not very wearable, where as I’d get more wear out of this style, Maybe not in leopard print for me, but it looks stunning on you! Might just have to head on over and have a peak….

    • LLADYBIRD April 14, 2015 at 9:20 am #

      Ooh, I love Lemoncello but I could see how that wouldn’t be wearable for me (I like to have the option of actually closing my cardigans). This one is super wearable; I’ve worn it almost daily since I finished it! I love it 😀

      • Thimberlina April 14, 2015 at 12:53 pm #

        I’ve ordered the pattern in hard print – the manhattan pants and lemoncello were bought as PDFs but this time it came up as free postage to England so Yay………hopefully it’ll be here in a week or 2!

  2. Angela April 13, 2015 at 8:14 am #

    LOVE the hair!!! LOVE LOVE. And, I like the cardigan. That print might not be great on me, but you make it look good!

  3. bayeaston April 13, 2015 at 8:34 am #

    You and the cardi look beautiful.

  4. Rebecca April 13, 2015 at 8:35 am #

    What a great little cardigan! I’ll have to check out that pattern-love the v-neck. I think your hair looks fabulous. I used to dye my hair constantly too and it’s such a relief to have it back in great shape.

    • LLADYBIRD April 14, 2015 at 9:23 am #

      Well, mine has been in pretty good shape since I cut off the excess length last year (I re-bleached the entire thing, against the advice of my stylist, and fried the ends a bit. On the flip side, it held a curl reeeally well haha). Since then, I’ve kept the bleach only on the roots and the dye itself wasn’t harmful. It feels really good, but the downside is that it doesn’t like to hold a style – typical for my hair, wah!

  5. womanmdsguide April 13, 2015 at 8:38 am #

    Love your hair!!

  6. ellegeemakes April 13, 2015 at 9:29 am #

    Great fabric! I love a cute little cardigan. They’re such a great thing to have in your wardrobe, buttoned up or down. the pocket are nice too. Your hair is cute — and coordinates beautifully with the fabric. Score!

    • LLADYBIRD April 14, 2015 at 9:25 am #

      Thank you! I agree, everything is better with a cute little cardigan 😀

  7. carlalissa April 13, 2015 at 9:32 am #

    Nice cardi….I can see best sewn pants those Jamies! Miss your blue hair though!

    • LLADYBIRD April 14, 2015 at 9:25 am #

      I miss it too, but I was soooo ready for a change! 😛 haha

  8. mertxelasierra April 13, 2015 at 10:08 am #

    A house in the woods???!!! How awsome is that??? Now you’re provoking serious envy!! And your hair looks better that way than the blue/green of the past. So, weel done!

    • LLADYBIRD April 14, 2015 at 9:27 am #

      Ha, well, flattering or not – I really loved the blue and green. I have no hair dye regrets 🙂

  9. Evie April 13, 2015 at 10:44 am #

    That cardigan is adorbs! And congratulations on the new digs. I can’t wait to see pictures!

    • LLADYBIRD April 14, 2015 at 9:27 am #

      Thank you! I can’t wait to share pictures – just need to get the space finished out first 😀

  10. hashigal April 13, 2015 at 11:03 am #

    Love it! Even if the pockets are waaaay too tiny, in my humble opinion.

    Can’t wait to see the new stitching studio 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD April 14, 2015 at 9:29 am #

      Ha! Well, that’s the beauty of making it yourself – no one is stopping you from making those pockets as big as you like 😀

  11. Leslie April 13, 2015 at 11:26 am #

    Love it! Both the cardigan and your hair. Congratulations on your new home. What a beautiful setting!

    • LLADYBIRD April 14, 2015 at 9:30 am #

      Thank you! It is indeed a beautiful setting, I’m so lucky to be here 🙂

  12. Lori April 13, 2015 at 11:34 am #

    Gorgeous cardigan, you are breaking my pattern budget. I bought the Jenna after seeing yours and now I need this one, too! So happy you like your new place.

    • LLADYBIRD April 14, 2015 at 9:31 am #

      Sometimes budgets are made to be broken! If you love v-neck cardis, you neeeeed this pattern! Promise 🙂

  13. whofilets April 13, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

    This looks great! With your near-natural hair (I totally understand wanting to be more tone it down when traveling to certain places) you have a kind of petite Peggy Bundy thing going on, which I hope you’ll take as a compliment because I really dig it 😀

    • LLADYBIRD April 14, 2015 at 9:31 am #

      Are you kidding me?! That’s like the biggest compliment ever – I love Peg Bundy!

  14. Michelle April 13, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

    Ooo! I could totally use this pattern to fill gaps in my closet. I have the Manhattan trouser pattern from SBCC, but I haven’t sewn them yet. If all goes well, I’ll have to pick this up. I hope you’re having fun in your new digs! It looks serene.

    • LLADYBIRD April 14, 2015 at 9:33 am #

      I really want to try the Manhattan trousers, but I keep putting it off because I’m not sure if I would actually wear them (since trouser-style pants aren’t a necessary part of my dress code). But they look like they are really fun to make, and I really trust Betsy’s pattermaking skills. Now you have to try them so I can live vicariously through you. We can compare notes on trousers vs cardigan hahah 🙂

  15. Grace April 13, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

    20 miles from Nashville??? Maybe its becuase I live in little old NYC, but that seems so FAR!! Does this move affect your commute?

    • LLADYBIRD April 14, 2015 at 9:42 am #

      Haha yeah, it is far – but it’s not far for Nashville! 🙂 You have to remember that we tend to have cars here (there is public transport, but it’s fairly inefficient – mostly because no one rides it. Catch-22!), and a 20-mile commute – for me, anyway – equals about 20-30 minutes, since it’s primarily interstate. In contrast, my 6 mile commute when I lived in the city still took about 20 minutes! Also, where I work is east of where I now live, so my commute only takes about 10 minutes longer than it did when I was in West Nashville – I just take a different route (which is BEAUTIFUL and totally worth it). I’ve lived here my whole life – I grew up in Gallatin, which is 30+ miles north of Nashville, so I’m pretty used to commuting 🙂

  16. Pootle and Make April 13, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

    I’m a cardi addict, I wear them with everything. The thought of being able to sew my own is mind blowing. I love that fabric.

    • LLADYBIRD April 14, 2015 at 9:43 am #

      It’s pretty awesome! Cardis for everyone!:D

  17. Betsy April 13, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

    Ooooh, I love it! A leopard in the woods! You did an awesome job with the Cabernet and I am so happy you like it. Congrats on the new hair and the new digs! Can’t wait to see your new sewing space and be totally jealous!

    • LLADYBIRD April 14, 2015 at 9:51 am #

      Yay! Well, I’m happy that you made the pattern – you have fulfilled my leopard print cardi dreams 😀

  18. Sarah - Fabrictragic April 13, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

    Loving the ‘pard.

  19. Charlotte April 13, 2015 at 5:39 pm #

    Leopard print cardigan – best idea ever! Those woods do look amazing, glad you’re almost settled in & done painting. Decorating a new place is so fun at first, but gets boring pretty fast!

    • LLADYBIRD April 14, 2015 at 9:53 am #

      Oh, no, I think it’s fun the whole time! The boring part is when it comes time to pay for whatever you’re buying 😛 hahahah!

  20. Kyema April 13, 2015 at 5:44 pm #

    Lol at a lady who lunches! (I was thinking that while admiring your ability to pull off a leopard cardi /Jealous!) You make it look distinctly rockabilly without looking like Housewives New Jersey. Really beautiful! I wish I had the patience to buy actual patterns instead of Pdfs because they are so annoying to put together.

    • LLADYBIRD April 14, 2015 at 9:54 am #

      See, I ALWAYS am willing to pay the extra for a printed pattern. I hate taping PDFs together! Takes way too long (precious time when I could be sewing 🙂 haha!), so having it pre-printed and ready to cut is totally worth it to me.

  21. Jet Set Sewing April 13, 2015 at 6:55 pm #

    Congrats on your new digs! (Do people still say that?) I know how you feel having given up sewing for a couple of weeks in the interest in closet cleaning and general “home management,” AKA listening to male family members complaining. As for the jacket, embrace your inner “Ladies Who Lunch” because it’s an excuse to wear complete impractical heels and whine about stuff.

    • LLADYBIRD April 14, 2015 at 9:55 am #

      Ah, I like the way you think! 🙂

  22. rebecca April 13, 2015 at 7:24 pm #

    That jacket looks so perfect on you, especially with those pants and sandals. And your hair looks great, too. Thanks for the pattern review and info.

    • LLADYBIRD April 14, 2015 at 9:55 am #

      Thank you! I’m glad you find it useful 🙂

  23. Jackie Shepherd April 13, 2015 at 8:12 pm #

    Love the cardi and love your hair! Good luck in the country.

  24. opalspeacock April 13, 2015 at 9:46 pm #

    Love the cardi, the hair and the country view. Your hair coordinates with the cardi and the scenery and completes the look, very cool. A suggestion, if I may, would be to try the cardi with a shirt that has a scoop neck rather than 2 v’s together.

    • LLADYBIRD April 14, 2015 at 9:57 am #

      Hm, interesting! I quite like the v-neck shape of this one, but I’m curious to see how it translates with a deeper scoop neck.

      • Aura Oriano April 17, 2015 at 10:45 am #

        I agree on the V-necks together. Can’t stand mixing a V with a U, whether it is a V-neck shirt or dress with a U- sweater, or vice versa. It irritates me to do that! That said, I bought two U neck sweaters on vacation and having to pair those with V-necks until I get home. That won’t happen when I return!

  25. Smucky April 14, 2015 at 8:12 pm #

    You sold me on this pattern! I hadn’t order edit when it was released because I thought it was kinda “grandpa” but now I’m convinced I need it. I just ordered the paper version. I am obsessed with SBCC’s free tonic tee and have made a zillion, so it’s the least I can do really.

    • Smucky April 14, 2015 at 8:12 pm #

      *ordered it

    • LLADYBIRD April 16, 2015 at 7:58 am #

      Yay! You are gonna love it 😀

    • Aura Oriano April 17, 2015 at 10:51 am #

      Agreed! The tonic tee is a fave but I’ve yet to spring for a pattern. I’m in a knits only phase, so this cardi (minus grandpa pockets) really should work! Was on the fence but woke up from dreaming about acquiring lace notions to embellish cardis. This pattern is going into the basket!

  26. Marguerite April 15, 2015 at 12:40 pm #

    I love the woods, the cardi and your hair…not necessarily in that order. But I had to laugh at the Peg Bundy comment….not because I don’t love her…I do! But I thought you looked like a young Elizabeth Taylor in the last picture!

    • LLADYBIRD April 16, 2015 at 7:59 am #

      Hahaha! Well, that is a HUGE compliment and I will totally take it – but I think you’re reaching, as I can’t hold a candle to the beauty of Liz Taylor 😉 But thank you!

  27. Susan April 15, 2015 at 8:36 pm #

    Hi! I saw you at Christmas in Nashville at the Biscuit House and your friend took a pic of me and my mom and sister for us. Just wanted to tell you that stone washed jeans are washed that way as a full garment, so you won’t ever find stone washed denim sold as a fabric. The dark denims are made up into jeans, then washed, and that’s how they get the finish! If you wanted to experiment with it yourself, you could make a little blanket of swatches of different denims with some flat felled seams and wash them in the washer with some pumice stones and a little bleach and some Vaska softener. That is a super ghetto way of doing it but it might work! I’m in textiles at FIT and we have a class where we do denim washes, that’s how I learned all this. There’s different ways of dyeing denim too so even if two are the same color unwashed, if you wash them down they might look totally different!

    • LLADYBIRD April 16, 2015 at 8:01 am #

      Oh hey!!! 😀 Thank you so much for the informative comment – that is super interesting and I just might try that! Didn’t even think about the washing making them “stone washed,” but now that it’s all written out, of course it makes perfect sense 🙂

  28. Veronica Darling (@veronicadarling) April 18, 2015 at 11:09 am #

    Thanks for all the cardi making detail! VERY interested as I too love V Necks.

  29. Amy April 18, 2015 at 1:03 pm #

    Where did you get your shoes? I have been looking for something like that forever! The placement of the ankle straps is key- I hate ones that come too high on the leg.

    Fab outfit too! Those pants are perfection.

    • LLADYBIRD April 19, 2015 at 11:47 am #

      Wellll I bought them at DSW Shoes last summer on mega clearance, so I idk if you will be able to find them again 😦 But the brand is GH Bass & Co, if that helps!

      • Anonymous April 19, 2015 at 4:37 pm #

        eBay! Thanks!

  30. Kelly April 26, 2015 at 1:31 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this pattern – I love v-neck cardigans for the same reason! Yours looks great 🙂

  31. Emma July 21, 2015 at 8:09 pm #

    I totally do all my pattern hunting on your blog. I am loving the McCall’s button-down you use, and I am totally stealing this cardi pattern.

    • LLADYBIRD July 22, 2015 at 7:03 am #

      Do it! Both of the patterns are great wardrobe staples :DDD


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