Hey look! It’s my mom! Isn’t she the cutest, most beautiful person? She was visiting us from Minnesota this weekend and we decided to go out for a fancy-ish dinner but she had nothing to wear. I grabbed this color-blocked Julia cardigan (literally pulled it fresh off my sewing table) and I soon as she put it on I knew it belonged to her. I hadn’t even worn once it myself but it was obvious it was fated to be hers. She just looks great in it, don’t you think? Honestly, meant to be.
I love the Julia Cardigan pattern. It’s one of the few women’s patterns from Hayley Crouse at Welcome to the Mouse House and it’s so comfortable, casual, easy to make and versatile. I pulled this color-blocked version together in an afternoon! Quick and simple to make, the Julia is also super cozy. It helps that I’ve made many Julias before and I’ve taught it as a class but I still think it’s a great starter garment for people learning to sew and a satisfying project for more advanced sewist. That’s my plug. I’m not even an affiliate or anything, just a Julia lover.
Enough about the awesome pattern, though. Let’s talk about fabric and color-blocking for a bit. Because, there are times when a pattern is what pulls you in and you decide on fabric based off your pattern. It’s all so logical and linear, no?
There are other times when the fabric seduces you and it decides what it wants to be. It’s more passionate. This was one of those times.
The full story is this. Rachael from Imagine Gnats and I got into a conversation online about sweatshirt material and other fabric dorkiness and she asked if I would make something with sweater knits for her to showcase. I agreed and she sent me the silver and charcoal grey sweater knit. Before it arrived I had plans to hack a Tallinn Sweater into a tee shirt. When the fabric did arrive, I washed and dried it and set it on my sewing table so it would be ready for me. It looked like this:
I walked away and when I came back and saw these greys sitting together looking so stunning, I knew I had to scrap my plans and find a way to put these two together. The Julia was an obvious choice because the great swooping lines of the yoke show off the two colors so well without looking choppy or overly 80’s-style stark. Know what I’m talking about? I knew that I would need to deepen the arm cuff to complete the look, though.
BTW, these sweater knits from Imagine Gnats are on sale right now! 25% off! Check them out here.
To create the color-blocking look, I didn’t need to change very much. I cut the front and back body pieces out of light silver grey and the yoke out of the charcoal grey. To create the sleeve I created a long lower sleeve cuff pattern and adapted the upper sleeve by shortening it 5.5″.
In case you want to make the same adaptation, I threw together a quick tutorial on what I did. A few things to note: I made the sleeve purposely long enough to cover a portion of the hand because I like that look but if you are shorter or don’t like that style, you might want to shorten the included pattern. Also, I made a size L, you might need some adjustments if you try to use this on other sizes but it shouldn’t require too much adjustment.
Here we go:
1. Draw a line up 5.5″ from the hem of the original sleeve and fold that bottom portion out of the way before you cut your upper sleeve fabric (this portion is light silver grey).
2. Print out the accompanying pattern piece and cut with folds assembled as shown below in the charcoal grey. Note the double folds means this piece is folded over itself! This will result in one long piece.
3. Unfold the lower sleeve cuffand place the long side right sides together, stitching with the same seam allowance as the pattern. This will create a tube.
4. Press the seam open and fold one open end of the tube to meet the other such that the raw edges of the tube are aligned with each other.
Now you are able to attach this lower sleeve to the upper sleeve in the same manner as you would attach a cuff; align the raw edges of the lower sleeve with the raw edges of the upper sleeve and sew. Beau-oot-iful!