27 December 2013

McCall's 6844 (cardigan): Complete

Everybody loves McCall's 6844.  Well, maybe not everybody, but those who've made it seem to really like their finished garment. My first go at this pattern ended in the scrap pile.  

Back?  Check.  Collar?  Check.  Front and back peplums?  Check.  Sleeves?  New back with seam allowances? Done and done.  Front?  Front?   Da' hell?

Not having front pieces pretty much will ruin any bodice, right?  There was no way to cut the front pieces out of the scraps that remained.  I thought about using the first set of back pieces as the front.  Bad idea.

Take two.
Sorry for the crappy mirror-selfie.  It was late and I was tired.

Fabric & Notions
  •  2 yards of grey ponte knit
  • scraps of muslin selvedge to stabilize the shoulder seams
  • serger, coverstitch machine, and thread
  • 1/4"-wide steam-a-seam for the peplum hem
  • 1/2"-wide steam-a-seam for the sleeve hems
Adjustments & Alterations

I started with a medium and made a 1-inch FBA using the slash-n-spread method.  In looking at how the cardigan fits, I probably could have sewn a straight medium with no FBA.

I also made a 1" swayback adjustment and, as mentioned before, cut the back with a seam allowance.

I read that the sleeves on this pattern are like sausage casings.  So I made a 1-inch bicep adjustment to give myself a bit more ease.  Even though the sleeve looks tight in the photo, it doesn't feel tight.


Shoulder Seams
To stabilize the shoulder seams, I stitched a piece of muslin selvedge to the back seamline and proceeded to use my serger to complete the construction.
Peplum Hem
Since the peplum is rather curved, hemming presented a bit of a challenge.  I ran basting stitches 1/4" from the edge and then fused 1/4" steam-a-seam between the stitching and edge.  Some of the fusible ended up covering the stitches, but this didn't pose any problems.  As I fused the hem in place, I gently pulled the thread to help ease the hem.

I don't know why the hem looks uneven.  It isn't.

Sewing the Sleeves
The sleeves had too much ease for my taste.  I shaved off about 5/8" tapering to nothing at the notches.

Coverstitching the Hems
I am not a lazy sewer - despite my repeated affirmations of the opposite.  I am just lazy about some things...like measuring for coverstitching.  I have a "method" that works for me and that consistently produces good results.  

To coverstitch a hem, the right side faces up.  It can be hard to gauge where the hem is if it's not visible from the top.  Some people use Post-It notes as a fixed edge to help guide their sewing.  I tried this and, for some odd reason, could not get it to work.   

Instead, I guide the fabric under the foot carefully feeling for the "hem bump" through the fabric.  On the clear (see-through) presser foot are two raised marks to denote the left and right needles.  I make sure the "hem bump" is just to the inside of the left needle.  Here are my results:
The coverstitch just skims the raw edge of the hem.  I could not get anything close to this using Post-It notes.  Lazy?  Yes.  Effective?  Highly.  Win-win. =D

To end a coverstitch, I use Debbie Cook's method.  It works beautifully; I've never had a coverstitch to ravel or pull apart.


I like the top and wore it out to dinner with my second mom last night.   She was impressed and really thought it was cute.
I will probably sew this again, but without the FBA.  It looks as if the bodice is too big with all of the wrinkles and pulls.

Up next:  I have one more review to do before posting my 2013 Year in Review.  Those posts are near completion, I just need pictures.

I hope everyone had a happy holiday.  Until next time, peace!



  1. That looks cute, especially with the belt!

    1. Thank you. It's quite comfortable to wear as well. I will probably wear it belted most of the time.

  2. Glad your cardigan turned out nice and that you loved wearing it! Happy New Years L!

    1. Thanks Faye! Happy new year to you as well!

  3. Super cute! I'm sorry the first go round resulted in missing front bodice pieces. Hey, you could start a new trend! No? ;-)

    1. Bwahaha. Yes, that trend would definitely get a lot of attention. =)

  4. Love your version of this very popular sweater!

    1. Thanks Carolyn! I really like it, too. I might make one more out of this crazy leopard print.

  5. Lovely top / cardi L. Looks fab on you. Great tip on the coverstitch. I use tape and it doesn't always work well so I will try out your method.

    1. Thanks BeaJay. Isn't it weird how the simplest things make all the difference? I hope this method works for you as well. If so, please blog about it!

  6. Lovely Cardi. I just made this few days back.

    1. Thanks Aminat! I can see more in the future. =)

  7. I love your cardigan. This is my favorite cardigan pattern, no 3 is waiting to go under the needle.

  8. I think it will be one of the best patterns of 2013. So many people have made multiple versions of this cardigan. I'd like to see your parade of 3. =)

  9. Your cardigan turned out really cute, love the styling with the wide belt. I have a seam guide for my coverstitcher that I purchased separately - worth every penny. Your method looks effective!

  10. I agree with your second mom, very cute! Grey ponte...great fabric/color combination! There is definitely room for more grey in my life! Very nice!

  11. Very nice jacket! I have not made this one yet. I need to !

  12. Gorgeous! This is my favorite way to find new patterns. You rock this one.

  13. Cute jacket. I just cut the medium and tissue fit, but seeing an fba is in order. However, everyone is saying it runs big...mmm wondering if I should sew the medium as is and determine thereafter if I should do an fba.


Thanks for commenting! I appreciate and read them all - even if I can not personally respond.


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