Every once in a while a pattern comes along that is just so useful and clever you know right away it is going to be a winner. Jalie's Hélène cardigan is a pattern like that.
Last Tuesday I went to my local sewing guild meeting and quickly realized that half the women there had already made this pattern. I was on my own to-do list so the next day I cut one out.
Of course the recommended fabric was for something soft and flowy but I didn't have that, so I just went ahead and cut it out of some cotton ponte just to try it out.
This is an exceedingly interesting pattern, a cool inseam pocket, a sort of peplum at the back and a high neck shawl collar with a simple turned and topstitched edge that I cover hemmed. Since I am tall I added 1" to the body and 2" to the hem.
The sleeves were narrow below the elbow, fine for me because I have thin arms but if you don't, or want to wear it over another top, I suggest you just widen the sleeve below this point, essentially eliminating the distinct taper.
I was super pleased with this cardigan but when I showed it to my husband he said, "very nice but it looks like a lab coat" - due to the fabric of course. I tried to talk him out of this opinion. He retreated of course as husbands do with a "well what do I know?" but of course he had made a point.
A few days later my daughter who is a nurse, a care coordinator in oncology at the children's hospital, and my niece who is currently living in my basement while she studies nursing, looked at it after Easter dinner and they both said to me,
"Great lab coat."
And of course my daughter wanted it to wear to work. The fact the style and the fabric were somewhat tailored, but that as a knit it was comfortable and stretchy, were perfect for her work with the kids and parents.
So here my cardigan is in its new life as a lab coat on Katrina at work today.
I am pretty proud of it. And of her:
Maybe not the fabric and use the designers intended but a great result. Katrina now wants three more and said she could have taken orders for 10 more from her colleagues.
So I will be making more of these for my daughter but not before I make a few for me.
Wonderful pattern, just wonderful.
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- I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon