So I'm going to be completely honest now, when Team Tilly brought out the Pearl wrap cardigan pattern I thought "Nah, not for me" - there's nothing wrong with it but I'm not too keen on anything cropped. But then Philippa suggested that I make a sample for the shop, so has my opinion changed? Well, you'll have to read on to find out, but first the details!
Designed for knit fabrics, the Pearl wrap cardigan has 3 sleeve options; long straight or long balloon with a deep cuff & short straight with a narrow cuff, has dropped shoulders a V neck & a deep hem band which sits on the natural waist & unsurprisingly, wraps around to tie at the side.
The paper pattern is available in 10 sizes ranging from UK 6-24 (30" - 48" Bust), with a maximum waist of 42".
Pearl requires medium-weight, drapey knit fabrics with at least 20% stretch, such as; jacquard knit, ponte or a lighter weight French Terry & the only other thing that's recommended is something to stabilise the neckline to prevent it from gaping. I used this Vlieseline seam tape, which worked perfectly.
For mine, I used this Crinkle Polyester, which is similar to a seersucker in that it has puckered lines running parallel with the selvedge, it's quite sheer & has lots of stretch. Philippa thought it would be fun to try out on the Pearl to make a nice cover up for an evening dress for example, especially with the balloon sleeves to add a bit of drama.
This pattern is aimed at confident beginners & has the usual thorough easy to follow instructions that Tilly always has. There are no buttons or zips or buttonholes to make in this pattern, which makes it a great pattern to try if you're new to working with knit fabrics. Just make sure that you stabilise that neckline to stop any gapage & make sure you know your right from your left, as this is important for when the ties are attached at the end.
If you're new to working with knit fabrics, you may want to read our little guide to stretch fabrics.
While the fabric I used was probably much lighter weight than the recommended fabrics, I think it worked out really well for something to chuck over your shoulders on a summer evening & I would think it would also work well for a single cotton jersey too. If you're using a fabric with no obvious discernible right or wrong side such as mine, try & find a way to mark which side that you want to be the right side clearly. I had a few head scratching moments, as I used post it notes which just fell off but I got there in the end!
Since this was a sample for the shop, I just sewed up a straight size 5 without any adjustments, (I generally find Tilly's patterns need an inch or 2 adding to the length for me). I was pleasantly surprised when I tried it on & the sleeves were plenty long enough without any adjustments.
So, the burning question is, do I like it? Well actually, yes I do! I don't think I'll be wearing it with jeans so that my midriff is flashing every time I reach up but over a dress I think it makes a lovely cover up.
It can be made in so many different fabrics to create vastly different looks. A French Terry would emphasize the balloon sleeves more than the fabric that I used & you could have fun with using a contrast colour on the neckband & hem.
So overall, Pearl's a winner! A versatile easy sew, that I will sew again.
And if you're wondering what Rita is wearing underneath her Pearl, it's the Etty camisole, a free pattern from Tammy handmade, which we featured in Free Pattern Friday in April & the fabric is a White Vinca on Cobalt blue crepe.