Judi's Pearl Cardigan

Judi's Pearl Cardigan

We all love a good scroll and a browse through fabric shops online, and I am no different. One day my searching led me to find a beautiful light-weight jacquard knit (235 gsm) at Jenny Stitches Fabrics.  I just did not have a need or reason to buy the fabric.  Well at least I thought I didn’t.

Jenny describes the fabric as being good for …… “any garment where an added dimension is required” with Modelo Fabrics (who made this material) as having a sustainable ethos while creating fabrics which “reward your sewing time with a great finished garment”. 

I was certain from the photographs and the description posted by Jenny that this fabric would indeed create an eye-turning version of this cardigan.  That said I love something just a little different and this fabric provided it.  After hovering over the purchase button for a few days I finally succumbed the following week – well, being off work sick I decided I needed a fabric treat.  On its arrival the fabric did not disappoint, being a delightful blend of viscose, polyester, nylon and elastane with an excellent balance of structure, drape and fluidity making it an excellent choice for the Pearl Cardigan.

With pattern printed and stuck together, it was swiftly traced and the fabric washed ready for the project to begin.  With this project I decided that I would follow the instructions to the letter to be able to fully review the pattern.   The instructions are incredibly clear making them easy to follow for a sewist of any ability, however, there are some areas of the pattern where I would say it is essential to follow these with extreme care.

I am referring to the use of ‘forming tape’ and easing the front and neck band, waist band and cuffs.  These parts of the pattern through careful easing and stretching of the fabric as outlined in the instructions will result in the pieces coming together perfectly.  The tight easing of the neck band aids for this piece to sit closely to the body.  The forming tape on the body pieces is to ensure their stability. Should both pattern pieces be unstable, the garment will not sit correctly on the body at the point of wearing.  I did find that the neck and waistbands required a lot of easing, but this was clearly outlined in the instructions.

Do not be tempted to cut this bands longer to help with the fit as this will result in gaping along the front opening!

In aiding the bands to lie flat I decided to top stitch the seams down.  I folded the seams towards the main body and tiered the underlying seam allowances to create a graded seam.  This will aid a bulky seam to be as flat as possible. 

After grading the seam I re-ironed the area and then tacked the seam to be top stitched flat using a hand sewn stitch of 5mm long. A tacking stitch of this length and spacing will give extra security to the seam. Tacking a seam prior to top stitching will prevent the top layer from gathering or pulling as you sew.  If you choose to topstitch these two seams (front/neck band and waist band) they will benefit from the additional stability tacking will provide. 

I am unbelievably delighted with my cardigan.  Whilst Tilly and the Buttons patterns are incredibly popular, a pattern will only work well if it is paired with the right fabric.  In this Modelo Jersey I found exactly what I was looking for and, I am sure you will agree with me, I have the most delightful cardigan which always receives wonderful comments when I wear it.

Would I recommend this fabric?  Totally.  It gives back at every stage of garment construction.

Jenny Says...

Judi's Pearl cargigan is so elegant and really suits her so well! It's a great example of the perfect pattern and fabric pairing coming together to make a really versatile garment. I've recently made my own Pearl and can attest to it being a great make! I love that Judi has included some tips and tricks for us too, how helpful!

Inspired to make your own version? Here's what you'll need:

Pattern : Pearl Cardigan by Tilly and The Buttons

Fabric : Jacquard knit by Modelo Fabrics, available in 3 colour ways:


Soft Gold

Soft Green


Judi purchased the pattern and materials with her own money (before becoming a member of the blog team), she has since received a gift voucher in recognition of the time spent on her project.

1 comment

Lovely make, the fabric suits the pattern. Both Judi and Jenny’s versions of the Pearl have inspired me to make this.

Sharon Bishop

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