I had a much worn boyfriend style cardigan from Boden that recently had to be retired (so sad!). It was a lovely slate blue colour, fairly close fitting, long-line length, long sleeved, had front pockets and had a deep v-neck. It was such a great wardrobe staple that I knew I wanted to replace it with something similar. I bought the Grainline Driftless Cardigan last April and have sat on the pattern until I really squeezed every last bit of wear out of my Boden cardi. The Driftless is pretty much an exact replica and has all the same features – it really couldn’t have been more perfect.
The Driftless Cardigan from Grainline Studio is described as a casual, yet polished, cardigan that is perfect for layering. It comes with two options – view A has a straight hem and view B has a split hem. The only difference to my Boden version is that the Driftless Cardigan has a slight dropped shoulder. I used the PDF pattern.
Knowing I wanted something loose but not too over-sized, I went with a size 10 using the finished garment measurements to pick my size (this is one size down from what my body measurements say I am). I liked the split hem of view B so that is what I cut.
To keep it neutral and as wearable as possible I stuck with blue. I used our Art Gallery Knit – Deep Dark Ocean which is a really lovely shade of navy blue. The Art Gallery jerseys are a total dream to work with & wear. I managed to get this out of 1.6m rather than the 1.8m stated.
The instructions from Grainline are very comprehensive and it was a surprising quick sew. I think part of the reason I had put off sewing one was that I was sure it was going to be fiddly…it wasn’t! My only gripe with Grainline’s patterns for jersey is that they use a tiny 1/4″ seam allowance. I know they do this because they expect you to sew it straight on your overlocker, but I like to sew the seams on my machine first and then finish them. The problem I have with a 1/4″ seam is that both the sewing machine and the overlocker struggle to get started, and the beginning of each seam can end up a bit of a mess.
The pockets are a particularly neat feature and I love how they are constructed. This jersey is fairly lightweight and I wonder if a little interfacing to support the top edge of the pocket might be useful? I’ll have to see how it wears.
The fit is pretty much exactly what I wanted. There seems to be some shaping in the back with the curved lower back seam giving it a bit of a cocoon shape. To be honest, I’d be quite happy for the back to be straight and I’d be tempted to remove this seam on any future versions. It is worth noting that the arms are quite close fitting which makes it a bit harder to layer up over a long-sleeved top. I left the buttons off since I’d never use them.
I was tempted to machine sew the neckband down, but in the end I stuck with the instructions and hand-stitched it. I’m really pleased I did this as it didn’t take long and gives a really polished finish. I’ve still got the chains to sew to hold the pocket bags in place…who knows if I’ll ever sew them!
Having worn this a few times already I’m really pleased with it. The Art Gallery jersey is so soft to wear and has a lovely drape. The overall length of the Driftless is great, especially with the split hem, as it adequately covers my bum which is good for wearing over leggings/jeggings. I’m pretty tempted to make another; I’ll probably keep it neutral to make it as wearable as possible.
Total cost: £38.25
Fabric: 1.6m Art Gallery Knit Deep Dark Ocean @ £17.00/m = £27.20
Pattern: Grainline Studio Driftless Cardigan PDF ($12.00 USD) = £9.30
Pictures are taken at the Loch Ken Marina – I drive past Loch Ken every day on my ‘commute’ to the shop. My top is a Sew Over It – Ultimate Shift Top in a cotton lawn. This is one of my oldest handmade items and I love wearing it when the weather warms up.