Grand’Ourse cardigan

My first make of 2020, and it was a lot of fun! This is a kids cardigan/coat pattern from Ikatee and I made it for my neice as a post-christmas present. I ran out of time and wasn’t able to make her anything before Christmas so instead I gave an IOU as a present. I asked her parents to choose a sewing pattern for her and this is what they went with. I’m absolutely delighted with how easily it came together and I thought it was so much fun I made a second one for her!

1. The fabric

I bought the fabric from Higgs and Higgs and my neice’s parents helped me pick it out. I went with a jumbo beige cordrouy for the outer fabric and a cute printed cotton for the lining with lots of woodland animals. They asked for the version with bunny ears, and so for the inside of the ears I used up some scrap white cordrouy that I had left over from my Burda Summer ‘Pants’.

Because I enjoyed sewing this pattern so much I decided to make another one, but this one would have little bear ears. So for my second cardigan I used up some scrap fabric left over from the red Robert Kauffman flannel I used to make my Pippi Pinafore. I had to put a seam up the back of the cardigan to use my scraps most effectively, and I left the selvedge rather than finishing the seams – I think it worked quite well.

2. The pattern

This pattern comes in a wide range of sizes, and after measuring my neice I estimated that she’d need the 3 yr pattern. As she has a little bit of a belly I decided to add a little bit of width. I did this by adding an inch at the base, zero at the top, and then drew a straight line up to the original armhole making a triangle. 

It is a versatile pattern which lets you choose whether you want to include a hood or not, whether to keep the coat long or short,  whether to use a lining or bias binding, which ears to use, and where you want the buttons to be. For the first coat I made it with a hood, with a lining, long and with bunny ears. I decided to put three buttons along the edge and used three poppers in a line to hold it up further inside. For the second coat I made it without a hood, using binding instead of a lining, short, and with bear ears. I created just two ‘buttons’ for eyes at the top – but these were actually poppers in disguise (see below), and I sewed on a little black sequin button for a nose.

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3. The challenges

I had very few issues with this pattern. It has a great video tutorial which guides you through the pattern, the instructions have clear photographs and it all went together as intended. I used several pins with the cordrouy to stop it from walking about and that worked fine. 

For the buttonholes I decided to do these by hand because I wasn’t confident enough using my buttonholer. I considered making bound buttonholes but I wasn’t sure how to do it through the lining. Plus I actually quite enjoy doing the buttonholes by hand!

The only thing I found difficult was getting the bias binding smooth for the second coat. I’m not very practised with bias binding and I wasn’t sure what was the best way to get it to lie flat around the corners. So I took my time and did an okay job – the iron figured out any inaccuracies.

4. The final result

Below are some photos of the first coat with the hood. I’m absolutely delighted with it, the cordrouy is lovely and soft to touch, and lining is cute and I love the ears! The hood is pretty massive, I’m slightly worried it might swamp her.

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The second coat/cardigan also went well, see pictures below. The flannel is really soft, and I think the bear’s face works well, even with the binding disrupting it slightly. Overall I’m delighted with this pattern, and I can see myself making a LOT more of these.

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