Elizabeth Street

Wardrobe Building Case Study: Shawl Collar Cardigan

Wardrobe BuildingLiz TubmanComment

I love seeing the process other knitters and sewers go through when planning a project, so I thought it would be interesting to share my own process in an ongoing series here (Wardrobe Building Case Studies) whenever I'm working on a major piece for my "core" wardrobe.  

This week, I'm diving into the process of replacing a well-worn shawl collar cardigan in my closet. I've actually spent a good deal of time looking at patterns, and narrowed my choices down to three top contenders:

My criteria for this sweater were: 

  1. warmth!
  2. good size shawl collar
  3. relaxed, but not oversize fit

The top choices were from left to right: Bellows by Michele Wang; Bartlett by Michele Wang;    and Rosemont by Hannah Fetig.  In the end, I decided on Bellows (although I had sudden second thoughts after seeing this Rowe cardigan on Instagram - to die for!).  I can customize the fit to be a little less oversize, I love the simple cables and textures (interesting without being overwhelming) and I really want to add some of those leather buttons!  Seeing versions knit up by Jen of Grainline Studio and Karen of The Fringe Association was a huge influence on my choice too.  Honestly, I'm not sure I would have picked out Bellows for my own closet until seeing  versions knit up by makers I admire.  However, after seeing their finished sweaters, I haven't been able to get Bellows out of my mind.  I took a few minutes to sketch out a couple outfit ideas in my Fashionary notebook and I'm pretty convinced that this is going to be a great wardrobe addition:

 I'm still debating about yarn choice.  I'd love to use the recommended BT Loft, but since it's held double that would mean spending a medium-sized fortune on yarn.  Since I have two more BT sweaters in mind, I'm thinking about trying Cascade Eco Wool; it's been used a couple times for other Bellows sweaters according to Ravelry and I wouldn't have to double it since it's a bulky weight yarn.  

Cheers to more #slowfashionoctober making and planning!