Little Black Cardi — Vogue 9193

Little Black Cardi — Vogue 9193 - Marcy Tilton Fabrics
The ONE item I know I will aways wear is a black cardigan, I COLLECT them in different weights for all seasons, some hand made, some purchased. The version featured in this blog is the result of my resolve to sew things I wear in everyday life (as opposed to too fancy-schmancy). After my last closet clearing frenzy, I realized once again that I have far too many 'special' garments in the closet that are much too 'good' to wear for my daily working life at home.

Three trends I saw in Paris that I wanted to incorporate are the all in one sleeve, which I love, and using knit and woven in the same garment. The final all important goal is to replicate a look I see in very expensive clothes (a la Martin Margiela); de-constructed, oddball techniques, intentionally slightly disheveled, like your new/old favorite thing that is not precious, meant to be worn in a casual way, but still special in its own way. It all came together in this little black cardi which I am wearing nearly every day. Loving this concept that of making garments that are so loved and worn that they actually wear out!

What's to love? It is soft and cozy but not too thick or toothy/sticky, big enough in the armhole so it goes on over a t-shirt or top, and has a pocket. Plus, it was fun to make as I made it up as I went along.

Vogue 9193 is the starting point. I've made it several times already, but still made mistakes in this process which lead to design tweaks. Sheesh, inadvertently stitched up the 'wrong' side of the linen so the pocket ended up on the right rather than the left side. Took a bit of re-thinking, but in the end it worked fine and I like having the pocket on the right. The sleeve ended up a bit too short (oops, neglected to add a hem allowance), so I used the same technique as on the neck to add a bit of length and stability.

This has become my summer go-to travel piece, perfect for air conditioning, as a bathrobe over my pj's in the hotel and right for wearing on the plane, the boarding pass goes in the pocket and the weight is perfect for airplane temps. In fact, I'm wearing it right now as I write, layered over my jammies on a cool Oregon morning.

As shown on the pattern envelope. On the left, French digital print on poly charmeuse, on the right linen from Armani.


  • Used a cotton knit and shirting linen, our Guy Noir Linen and Black Fox Cotton Knit which are a good color and weight match.
  • Knit on the top, linen on the lower peplum.
  • Made new pattern pieces for the left and right front,
  • Split the new pattern pieces down center front.
  • Added a 2" underlap at center front
  • Changed the neckline: raised the neckline in the back, lowered it at center front.
  • Interfaced the knit along the center edge to stabilize and prevent stretching and droop.
  • Used a wide zig zag for the topstitching.
  • Used the even feed foot when sewing on the knit.
  • Zig zagged grosgrain ribbon along the center front on the upper knit portion...saw this in a RTW garment in Paris and wanted to try it.
  • Winged it on the neckband (no instructions here...).
  • Cut a wide (maybe 8-9") strip on the cross grain, pressed it in half lengthwise and used this piece lapped on top of the neck edge, stitching with a wide zig zag down the center, and 1/2" from the neck cut edge. With a bit of tension, the raw edges curled and the fold lies flat. (Small miracle, I was all ready to rip if needed). The tension causes this band to roll along the edges. Tucked the edge under and caught it in place with zig-zag.
  • Used a combination of different buttons and a big hook for fasteners.
  • A little bit funky and VERY wearable, I'm loving this piece!


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