I think Steph over at Cake Patterns can read my mind. I swear she designed Carmine just for me (and maybe Tiramisu too)! I have been looking for something that will keep me warm in winter and will work with low key casual and dressier outfits. I really wanted something made out knit for comfort, so Carmine is perfect! It’s one of Stephs ‘Riff patterns’ which are designed to be sewn by intermediate to advanced sewers. The riff patterns have less involved instructions and are designed to be varied. I admit to being confused by how this ingenious pattern was supposed to work. Once I’d traced it off and I could make the pieces into 3D shapes it all clicked. This pic from the folded out pattern helps you understand how it works, the shaded section is the circle part and the unshaded is the body and sleeve gussets.
I made my Carnine out of a polyester sweater knit I found for $5/mtr in Spotlight. I can see why no one wanted it, it reminded me of 70′s curtains but I could see potential. I also used a poly/cotton/lycra on the collar section.I felt two layers of the sweater knit would make the whole thing too stiff and I wanted some drape. I was worried that it would be a challenge to get these two fabrics to fit together. The sweater knit has much less stretch than the lycra. It was fine except for the top stitching around the collar. It was hard to keep the lycra from buckling and pleating. In fact I’m still less than happy with the top stitching.
The sweater knit was a pain to mark, pins fell out and chalk seemed to disappear, so I used tailor tacks to mark centre back and the other markings. This worked really well for my fabric. If you’re not familiar with tailor tacks, here’s a tutorial
I decided not to overlock most of the seams because they’re kind of awkward and I didn’t trust myself to get it right. I think that someone confident with overlocking would be fine. I did overlock the main ‘circle’ seam. I think that seam might show and look messy otherwise. I pinned & basted the inner circle section, then sewed and overlocked. This shows the inner circle seam.
I decided to use a press stud snap as my closure with a big faux button. I’m not great with button holes, especially on knits and I was worried such a big button hole might gape. I have to say a big ‘thank you’ to Mummy Ask for hand sewing my snaps & button, her hand finishing is ever so much neater than mine plus she kindly offered! We didn’t have the right size snaps on hand and made a mad dash to Janome Sewing Solutions
for a card of 15mm snaps. They’re very close to where the Marion Sewing Group
will be, so I forsee more mad dash trips there!
I see a few more Carmine’s in my future, I would love a few more & both Mummy Ask and the Bestie fancy one too! I love the vintagey shape of this jacket. This sweater knit shows the shape off but I can see how lovely it would be in something with more drape. This still drapes (see below) but I can see how nice it would be in a jersey.
Carmine is super comfy and I’ve already been wearing mine! Mr Ask took these pics but didn’t tell me the back was all rucked up but you can see how nicely it sits in general. I think the curve at the back makes this perfect for wearing with circle skirts or full skirted dresses that can be hard to pair with jackets. It also looks pretty sweet with jeans.
This was part of the Red Velvet Collection
, which includes the Red Velvet Dress & Clutch, Espresso Leggings, Cocoa Shrug and Carmine Jacket & Shrug. Of course I pre ordered the set and have all of them in my stash! I give this pattern 5 stars and I suggest it to intermediate or advanced sewers. The curves can be a little tricky but I think you should definitely give it a go!