A couple weeks ago, my family and I took a quick trip to San Francisco to visit friends and pre-plan our wedding, which will take place inside the awe-inspiring San Francisco City Hall. My fiance and I both lived there during college over a decade and half ago, so we figured it would be meaningful to marry in the city we met.
Knowing all too well the ever fluctuating temps of the city, I had to pack with layers in mind. Not only that, but layers that I could easily breastfeed in, as my clothes need to offer that type of functionality these days. And just like any sewist with an upcoming trip/event/any reason really, I decided to sew a new make! One garment that came to mind that would serve as the ideal foundation to build a layer-able, breastfeed-able look was the Abbey cardigan.
I chose the longest length with short sleeves and the braided wrap belt. Sure, I could have saved a little time by making the flat belt, but what type of last minute sewist with the clock ticking away would I be if I didn’t choose the slightly more labor intensive option? Besides, I work more efficiently under pressure. I used one of Fabrics-Store’s recently released colors, Desert Sand, in the midweight linen. Desert Sand is an earthy warm rose color, a beautiful match to other earthy tones like brown, tan, or olive.
Based off the sizing chart and finished garment measurements, I noticed that the Abbey has quite a bit of ease. Normally I am between a size 10 and 12 in Fabrics-Store patterns, but for this make I chose to sew a size 8, and I quite like the results. There is still ample ease for a relaxed fit, but it’s not as oversized as I think the size 10 or 12 would have been on me. The shape of the drop shoulders and the construction of the cuff on the short sleeves gave a professional RTW finish, and I love the way the collar and front placket come together so neatly; it’s actually the same type of collar and placket construction as on the Riva button up shirt (which I’ve also made and adore). From tracing the pattern, to cutting out the fabric, to actual sew time, the Abbey cardigan came together quite quickly for a garment with a collar! I love quick makes with effortlessly put-together results! The braided belt probably ended up taking the most time to complete, as it’s comprised of several long bias strips that you first have to piece together to create three even longer strips (like over 120 inches long), which are then braided together. I saved the braiding for our road trip up to SF from LA, and it proved to be a perfect little ride project as it made the time pass by.
I think the one modification I would do for my next iteration of the Abbey is to add belt loops on either side of my waist along the side seams to help keep the belt in place as I move around. Otherwise, this Abbey cardigan is such a welcomed addition to my seasonless wardrobe thanks to its versatility and ease of wear. I can already imagine making the long sleeve version in either the Il097 or IL090 linens for a more heavyweight duster style. The possibilities are now swirling in my head!