As soon as I finished my first Madison cardigan, two things became clear: 1) I loved it, and 2) the black wool jersey, while gorgeous and yummy, was going to have to be reserved for at work wear, since the abundance of cat hair and random baby goop in our house means that anything actually worn at home needs to be easy wash.
I immediately began fantasizing about my perfect “lounging around the house” version. Like most of the world I’ve spent most of this past year at home being very unglamorous—leggings, nursing tanks, and a few RTW hoodies have featured prominently. One of my goals (largely unrealized) has been to create loungewear that still feels fun and stylish. A version of the Madison in French terry or sweatshirt fleece would be utterly, utterly perfect.
Alas, I was pretty sure I had no pieces of those precious fabrics in stash in sufficient quantities. The Madison is not a scrap busting piece. And both French terry and sweatshirt fleece are expensive enough that I rarely have the opportunity to just “stock up for later.”
But then as we were digging through some bins I haven’t touched in years, looking for tester fabrics for Syo’s grad gown, we stumbled upon the motherload. A 3m cut of glorious marled grey sweatshirt fleece. The skies opened up and choirs of angels sang, and I knew I had found my next Madison cardigan.
The only real tweak I made to the pattern this time around was to narrow the sleeves by another inch or so. I may have overdone it, at least in the not-overly-stretchy sweatshirt fleece, but I do like how they look.
The pockets are slightly different only because I couldn’t be bothered to pull out the Blackwood Cardigan pattern whose pockets I used last time—this time I just cut rectangles big enough to house my phone and hemmed the top edge. Oh, and I didn’t turn the edges under. I may never turn the edges under on knit patch pockets again.
For my black wool jersey version I left the cut edge raw, which is working well for that fabric, but though I love the drape and softness of the raw edge on the sweatshirt fleece, it was already starting to stretch and curl in less-than-ideal ways. So, after much testing, I settled on a three-needle coverstitch along the edges, with the differential feed raised the slightest bit to counter any stretching. I love the look, and if it does end up needing hemming in the end, I can do that later. Since I went with the three threads for the edge, I used them for hemming the pockets and sleeves as well. (And it is still curling a bit after the first wash, as you can see in the photos, but not enough to make me unhappy.)
In the end the result feels like a wearable blanket that actually looks elegant. I can throw it over leggings and a tank top and actually feel pretty and put together (well, assuming I can manage to do my hair as well, which is a bit of a stretch. Hence the headless photos). Which is exactly what my life is calling for these days. So I’m putting this one in the “win” category, even if it did take me almost two months to take even these poor photos.