Something New: Oslo Cardigan

The Oslo, a great cardigan from Seamwork Magazine | The Inspired Wren

I tried something new this month! Two new things! First, I used my brand new, Christmas-present, Brother 1034d Serger! Then I used it to sew a seriously drape-y sweater knit! A sweater knit! Yes, this deserves all these exclamation points! These are exciting times!

Stephanie of Swoodson Says is challenging herself and fellow bloggers to Try Something New Each Month (#tsnem) in 2015. I love the idea. However I'm already committing myself to play along each month with Project Run & Play and to a monthly crochet-along afghan (more to come on that in another post). So for 2015, let's just say I'll #tsnem when I ...remember.

The Oslo, a great cardigan from Seamwork Magazine | The Inspired Wren
Out from behind the camera -- that's something else new.

I'm also excited to Sew My (Pattern) Stash, when I can, as encouraged by Bethany of Sew Not Perfect. Just like I only purchase fabric with particular projects in mind, I also only purchase patterns with particular projects in mind. But sometimes my patterns (and fabric) pile up -- those plans never make it off the paper and onto my machine(s).

The January challenge for Sew Your (Pattern) Stash is "Women." That made it easy to also try something new. I subscribed to Seamwork starting with the first issue, December 2014. I promptly went out and purchased two different sweater-knit fabrics for the Oslo Cardigan. And then it was Christmas and I was burnt out from sewing and how was I going to sew these sweater knits without a serger AND suddenly I remembered I'm not a fan a sewing for myself anyway AND I'll just put this all aside for now, thankyouverymuch. And then! Mr. Wren gave me a Brother 1034d Serger for Christmas (good man) so I had no excuse; I had the pattern, the fabric, two challenges, and, finally, the proper machine. It was time.

The Oslo, details of a great cardigan from Seamwork Magazine | The Inspired Wren
Details: comfy cuffs; side-seam stripes aligned(!); clear elastic at the shoulder seams

There was definitely a learning curve going from my 20+ year-old basic Singer sewing machine to the Brother serger. I practiced a bit, adjusted the differential feed to compensate for the thin sweater knit, and was good to go. Until the itty-bitty spools that came threaded on the machine ran out.

But I soldiered on and can now confidently thread that sucker, too! I rock! More exclamation points necessary!

The Oslo Cardigan is a great pattern. A classic. A basic. A simple sew with only four pattern pieces. I foresee it to be a fast sew once the serger and I become better acquainted. I spent more time lining up the stripes while cutting it out and re-threading the machine than I did actually constructing the cardigan, even with the fiddly, thin fabric. It's super comfy and I think it has a decent fit considering I didn't do any alterations.

The Oslo, a great cardigan from Seamwork Magazine | The Inspired Wren
Usually when I sew for myself I have trouble with too-tight upper arm sleeves: plenty of room to move here.

I got the pink striped knit from huge piles of bolt-less, deep-discount fabric at a local fabric store. Perfect for trying a new technique and a new pattern without worrying about ruining "good" fabric. But pink isn't exactly a color I naturally gravitate toward so now that my wearable muslin is wearble, I don't really have anything to wear it with. I see the next issue of Seamwork includes Savannah, a layering camisole, that might work. I also have another sweater knit fabric, a less-drape-y black, that I look forward to using on a second Oslo Cardigan. And just like that, the 2015 projects already pile up. But first I have to go re-thread the serger. Again. The second spool to run out magically gave up its last thread just as I completed the final stitch. Love it when that happens.


Oslo Cardigan Seamwork, December 2014


Sweater knit, unlabeled pile of deep discount fabrics (G Street Fabrics)


I didn't change a thing; I sewed the pattern exactly as written. I think if I would want to make a version that actually buttons in front without laying unflatteringly close across my backside, I would need to grade the hips out to the next size up. But, to be honest, I don't see a need for that, I don't usually button up this kind of sweater anyway.


It worked! On the first try! This was just a wearable muslin to check if I could sew with sweater knits on a serger to create a garment that actually fits. And it's comfy. Bonus!

Ren Murphy writes for The Inspired Wren.

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