When Project #SewMyStyle announced the Named Saunio cardigan as its February pattern, I was kinda underwhelmed. It looked too simple. It looked too boxy. It looked too “meh.”
You know whenever a blog post starts out like this what comes next.
I was wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
Thanks to the Named Saunio cardigan, I worked with a new-to-me fabric and slowed waaay down while pressing. And I discovered a powerful sewing tool. Nearly a surprise around every corner.
Keep reading to find out what I loved about this versatile pattern, how I put my own spin on it, and tips for successfully sewing your own Named Saunio cardigan!
What I loved about sewing the Named Saunio cardigan
State of relaxation
It’s the dropped shoulders that make the Named Saunio cardigan relaxed. Let’s get that out of the way right away. Yes, the garment is oversized, but its high chilled-out factor is thanks to the shoulders.
It’s a crafty topper, this cardigan. Flip the front edges, and you have a relaxed blazer. Bam! Lapels! Want a slightly less-relaxed look (i.e., something that acknowledges your waist)? Tie on a belt.
So maybe it’s not the relaxed vibe that I dig. Maybe it’s the versatility.
State of minimalism
This may be the first time I call out joy experienced while printing and assembling a PDF pattern. And the source of my joy was overlapped pattern pieces (see above).
The overlapped pattern pieces meant there were only 12 (!!!) sheets of paper to print, trim, and tape together. Less waste, less time spent on a tedious sewing chore.
I always trace off pattern pieces, so I was fine with the overlapping. You have to concentrate a bit more to ensure you’re tracing the right lines, but I’ll take it if it means I don’t have to print and assemble as many sheets of paper.
Along with the pattern printout, the directions also are minimal. They take about one-and-a-half pages.
Construction notes on my Named Saunio cardigan
I made the cardigan with royal blue ponte (a rayon-nylon-spandex blend similar to this ponte de roma) from Mood. It’s stable with modest stretch. I interfaced the front facing with iron-on Pellon EK130 Easy-Knit (affiliate link) from Jo-Ann.
I pressed with the wool/silk setting, steamed with distilled water, and used a pressing cloth. I tried to be somewhat gentle with the ponte, because I had never sewn with it. Unfortunately, some of my pressing shows. I hope that it’s less obvious after I wash the cardigan and the fabric relaxes.
I sewed a size small and added three inches to the length to improve its looks while belted. After seeing Little Miss Lorraine’s belted Saunio,I knew I had to make a belted Saunio, too! What can I say? I like a defined waistline.
Tips for sewing the Named Saunio cardigan
Hot to sew your own Named Saunio cardigan? Check out these tips:
Pay attention to detail
The solid color and minimal design of this cardigan called for extreme attention to technique. Misshapen edges and poor stitching would stick out like a sore thumb. When I write that this pattern is harder than it looks, THIS is what I’m talking about.
I took my sweet time pressing seams, especially the front facing/neckline seam. First I pressed the seam allowance to the side, and then I turned the front edge right side out and pressed again. I used a tailor’s ham (affiliate link) around the neck curves.
I did blind hems on the sleeves and bottom hem. A zig-zag stitch or twin needle stitch would have looked too casual on smooth blue ponte. Also in the interest of invisibility, I hand stitched one of the short ends of the belt and front bottom edge of the hem.
Baste your way to success
The directions read:
“Stitch the facing to the bodice from the front side, following the edge of the facing.”
At first I thought I was going to have to draw a chalk line on the front to guide my stitching. But then I realized I’d get better results if I basted from the wrong side and straddled my basting stitches on the front with a twin needle.
Named could improve these minimal directions with that useful tip! Even if you don’t use a twin needle to sew down the facing, the basting stitches would be a crazy-helpful guide for topstitching.
Go ahead and freestyle
The neck facing bottom edge and front bottom edge don’t line up. If you compare the length of the front facing and the length of the front bodice from the neck point down, you’ll notice the bodice is longer.
The directions, however, call for you to “sew the facing and bodice together at the bottom edge.”
This business was a head scratcher for me. The facing and bodice are don’t line up! How can I sew them together at the bottom edge? These were my thoughts.
So I didn’t sew the bottom edges together. I assumed it was a typo. After I sewed the facing to the bodice, I turned up the bodice hem and sewed it, hiding the too-short bottom of the facing.
The thing is (and I didn’t get this until I was done with the cardi), after you sew the facing to the bottom, you’re supposed to roll this seam to the inside. The illustration (above) is confusing, and it’s not explicit in the written directions.
I’m glad I did it my way. I really enjoy the blind hem.
Use the right needle
If you follow me on Instagram, you might remember that skipped stitches were bringing me down. I did all sorts of stuff to troubleshoot. I vacuumed out my machine. I monkeyed with upper thread tension. I rethreaded my twin needles multiple times. Nothing doing.
You guys, it was the needle! I was using a universal twin needle, not a STRETCH twin needle (affiliate links)! If you use Schmetz needles, the stretch ones have blue plastic and the universals have red plastic.
A new needle: It’s the cure for skipped stitches. Now I think I’m going to buy stretch twin needles in bulk! By the way, my neighborhood Jo-Ann did not carry stretch twins; you may need to hit up a fancier sewing store or shop online.
Think through pressing
The directions didn’t have a lot to say pressing seams. For the record, I pressed the shoulder and side seams to the back. In a departure from the instructions, I pressed the sleeve cap seams toward the sleeves. Honestly, I don’t know why you’d ever press the sleeve cap allowance toward a bodice when your arm pushes in the opposite direction. Maybe there’s a wise sewist out there who could enlighten me?
I bring up pressing because a newbie sewist might not have those iron-welding instincts — yet. The more patterns you sew, the better you understand how to best press seam allowances.
Over to you, gentle sewing compadres: How do you feel about a belted Named Saunio cardio? Does it bring too much structure to a relaxed pattern? What insight can you share about pressing ponte? Please sound off in comments for the benefit of everyone! Thanks!
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