I stumbled upon the Porto Cardigan from Hummelhonig by pure chance – Hummelhonig is a German indie pattern designer that normally does kids’ patterns, and I had never seen any of their women’s patterns in the online sewing community. But when I went to a sewing weekender last October in Würzburg, Germany, one of the girls had brought two different Portos and was wearing them during the weekend. And I totally fell in love with the pattern!
Even more so when I found out that the whole cardigan is constructed by using rectangles – what an interesting idea! One rectangle makes up the “body” of the jacket, one rectangle each is used for the sleeves, and two long rectangles sewn together function as neckline, hem and side borders (if that makes any sense).
I downloaded the pattern on the spot, and I even found the perfect fabric right there at the sewing weekender’s “fabric trade table”: a slightly glittery houndstooth (is that really the word???) stretch fabric. All other projects got pushed down the list, and when I was back home, I got started straight away on Porto. The girl that introduced me to the pattern was significantly taller than me, so I knew I would have to shorten the cardigan by about 10cm.
Turns out that having a pattern made purely of rectangles instead of the “normal” bodice shapes makes figuring out shortening lines quite complicated! It took me a while to find out at what side I had to take out the length in order not to distort the neckline or the sleeves… In the end I took out a 5cm sliver each below and above the marks for attaching the sleeves (if you ever want to make up the pattern and have the same problem, just message me, I will show you how I made the change).
It’s worth noting that you have to add seam allowances to the pattern yourself (quite common in German patterns). Since I am not used to that, I promptly forgot adding the allowances at the sleeves – I can still manage to pull the cardigan on, but not much wriggle room ;-)! The instructions call for a simple “fold-over and hem” solution for the sleeves, but I really did not like how that looked on my fabric. So I decided to add little cuffs – I just cut two more rectangles, folded them in half and attached them. I like the finish, and I think I will use it again if I make another Porto.
All in all, Porto is one of these projects that really make me appreciate sewing: I would never have bought a cardigan like this, because they were always way too long for me – now that I know how to sew I can simply make the length that suits me. And it opens up a whole new world of style! On to the Flying Needle sewing blog summary:
Pattern: Porto Cardigan by Hummelhonig (ebook, only available in German, but the instructions are with pictures)
Fabric: mystery stretch fabric from a sewing weekend – I am thinking polyester blend, but not sure
Changes made: shortened the pattern by 10cm and added cuffs to the sleeves
Summary: Porto turned out to be my most-worn me made this winter. I just love the “cool” style, and it is SO comfortable!! I don’t think I will make another one shortly because there are only so many cardigans you can wear – but I will definitely re-make it once this one is worn out!
What about your “spur of the moment” projects? Anything that you stumbled upon by chance and that’s now a wardrobe staple?