Bertha Cardigan(s)

As soon as I saw the new Tilly and The Buttons’ Make It Simple book I knew I needed to make the Bertha Cardigan! I love the unusual shape and giant pockets – because every garment needs pockets! And I’m a sucker for a cosy cardi so I couldn’t resist…

When we visited The Stitch Festival I went on a search for fabric … and I stumbled upon a wonderful range of sweatshirting from Sew Me Sunshine. I instantly bought the navy as it was one of the colours on my list … It has little multi-coloured specks on the navy which adds a bit more depth to the fabric. I also bought it in another colour as a gift.
I made the navy cardigan up and proceeded to live in it ! So I went online and ordered the ecru version of the same fabric ready to make another one…

I cut a Size 4 which is the same size I always use for Tilly’s patterns. It seems to fit perfectly and although I have considered making the Ecru version in a size down I actually think I’m going to stick with the size 4 as I quite like how it sits on me. I was also going to shorten it but forgot ! And actually it seems about the right length … I’m 5ft2 for reference.

The pattern pieces seemed really strange as they are crazy shapes … so I made sure to mark all the notches (not something that I always do … sorry!!) and keep the pattern pieces with the fabric so I knew what piece was which.

I made it in an afternoon and was amazed at how quick it was to construct. I did most of it on the overlocker and it was so easy! I suppose that’s the point of the book !!

As I mentioned I made the version with the pockets which is amazing … they are huge and so cosy. However it is one thing I’ve changed for the Ecru version. The pattern tells you to sew two pocket pieces together so they are lined, but as my fabric is pretty thick they have turned out quite bulky. So for the Ecru version I’ve not lined them and have just used 1 layer of fabric to avoid the chunkiness! I definitely prefer the look of it in this fabric – I expect a thinner fabric would work fine double layered but this fabric was a bit too thick for that.

Another issue I had was that the band running from one hem, round the neck and down to the other hem seemed a bit short. On my navy one it seems to pull up a little and turns out to show the inside a bit. It’s not a huge issue but it’s something I’ve tried to solve on the Ecru version by making the band slightly longer. I added about 2 inches (if I’m honest I just guessed!) and it has worked much better. I might unpick the band on my other one and add 2 extra panels on the bottom of each side.

Of course I had to finish them with some Kylie and The Machine Labels … I love how each of them look again the fabrics!

I definitely recommend making yourself one of these cardigans as it’s super cosy, comfy and looks really great. It seems to go with everything … particularly jeans and a top! I love the idea of colour blocked versions but decided to go with plain ones to start with as I thought they would be more versatile. Who knows maybe I will make one of those next !

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