As soon as Tilly & The Buttons launched their latest pattern, The Pearl Cardigan, I knew it would be a hit and that it would become a wardrobe staple for me!
And I wasn't wrong, you just need to look on instagram for a couple of minutes to see how popular it is! There are so many fabric choices for it and you can even use a lighter weight jersey and wear it as a top! So versatile!
I knew my first one had to be made in this luscious zebra striped Jacquard knit jersey. Although it is a pattern, it is a bit more muted so can be used as a cardi over all the dresses in my wardrobe.
I don't tend to sew with stretch fabrics so this was a fun weekend project to put my overlocker to use!
The pattern states you need just over 2 metres of fabric, but I managed to squeeze mine out of 1.3m! So it is a great pattern for smaller amounts of fabric.
I went for the ballon sleeve view as I'm a lover of big sleeves so knew I needed that extra room in the arms!
The Pearl can be made using either a regular sewing machine or an overlocker which is great for those of you that don't have an overlocker.
I made my Pearl using my overlocker and my regular machine for the gathering and attaching the sleeve cuffs. Every other step was done on my overlocker.
The first step was to add a little interfacing to the neckline to strengthen the fabric and to stop any gaping. I used light weight non-stretch interfacing I had in my stash.
Next was to attach the front and back pieces at the shoulder seams. Right sides of fabric touching, just pin or clip the fabric together and overlocker/stitch together.
Attaching the neckband was the only aspect that would be a little difficult, but only because of the amount of clipping and stretching you have to do to get it in the right place!
Make sure to match all notches!! The best thing to do here, is to pin/clip the fabric at the notches and then stretch & clip the band between each notch. This will allow you to get the neckband on evenly!
Now all you have to do is overlock or stitch it in place. Just go nice and slow!
Neckband on, its time to attach the sleeves!
I went for the ballon sleeves so I had to do some gathering. I am a bit lazy when it comes to gathering and I use the string hack!
Right sides of the fabric touching, match your notches of the sleeves and overlock or stitch in place. The sleeves are inserted flat which is great for beginners, no need to faff around trying to insert a sleeve!
then, again right sides of the fabric touching, just fold the sleeve and match up the edges of the sleeve and bodice and overlock/stitch in place.
adding the sleeve cuffs have to be done on your regular sewing machine. Just turn the sleeves right side out, insert the sleeves into the cuff with raw edges touching, even out your gathers and then stitch in place!
The final steps are just to attach the ties & waist band on then you have a finished cardi!
Tilly & The Buttons have a great tutorial on their website for adding the ties & waistband. I found it so helpful to follow along the video as I had never done a seam opening before, so I would 100% recommend watching it for the final steps.
Overall, the Pearl Cardigan is such a great and easy pattern to sew!
This was my first ever Tilly & The Buttons make and I can see why they are so loved. The instructions were so clear and their instagram & website have so many handy tips for all steps of the make.
I don't tend to sew with stretch fabrics but I may just be a convert!
The Pearl took me about 2 hours max to make and now I have a really cute cardi to wear all year round.
It is a really versatile pattern and already have plans for more! I have some lighter weight jersey to make it as a top, which is already such a popular way to wear it!
Check out my Instagram - @alishaceitmakes to see the Cardi in action and what fabric is use next for it!