The Castillo cardigan hits the mid thigh and features slits on the side seams, an unlined hood, patch pockets and raglan sleeves with cuffs and a center front band that includes the hood. The fit is semi relaxed and it’s designed for knit fabrics with 25-50% horizontal stretch and vertical stretch. I think medium weight knits with some structure work best for this style.
I chose a medium to heavy weight double knit jacquard with an interesting black/white print. The stretch is appropriate and the look will be more structured, like a coatigan. Be mindful that due to the unlined nature of the hood, the wrong side of the fabric will be visible. Make sure you like the wrong side too!
Available in sizes 00-20 US, it caters up to a bust of 46″ and hips of 48″. I chose size 12 at the bust and blended to a 14 at the waist and hips. The pattern is drafted with approx 7″ of positive ease at the bust and 4″ at the hips. I used the shorten and lengthen line to add 1″ below the hips to account for my height of 5ft8″. Had I had more fabric available, I would’ve added 3″ in total.
The overall construction of the Castillo cardigan is enjoyable and not complex. There is one aspect that requires some precision and an extra notion that I have never been able to source: Twill tape.
Why twill tape? If the hood were sewn and serged onto the neckline without stabilizing, the neckline of the cardigan would stretch and sag resulting is a very sloppy look. You might equate stabilizing the neckline as similar to the concept of stabilizing the shoulder seams of knit garments. The twill tape, in this case has a triple purpose:
- sew the hood to the neckline
- stabilize the seam
- finish the raw edges of the seam
Twill tape that is 3/8″ or 1/2″ wide can be used. There is a specific length to be used for each size and it’s clearly stated in the instructions. The length of the seam that unites the hood and the neckline of the cardigan must match this length. If the fabric chosen is too stretchy and stretches out, it can be tad more difficult to ease the length into the length of the twill tape . In my case, my fabric choice was helpful. Being a structured knit, it was easy to match the length to the “twill tape.”
I made my own stabilizing tape from light weight zero stretch denim, grey in color, that would match the color of the wrong side of the fabric and it worked beautifully, both functionally and aesthetically.
I grabbed my nifty 12mm bias tape maker and cut a long strip 1″ wide. ON THE GRAINLINE. I am not making bias tape, just using the gadget to create the double fold required to have both long edges folded in neatly. The 12mm bias tape maker produced a double fold tape exactly 12mm wide….just like the 1/2″ twill tape required.
To see more details of how the twill tape or twill tape alternative is used and sewn onto the cardigan, check out the video on my channel. It also features a step by step sew along that can be helpful if you are new to sewing. See below:
One detail I will change the next time I make the Castillo cardigan, is the hem allowance. The seam allowance for the side slits is 3/4″ and the hem allowance is 1″. This is fine and the finishing here is neat, but I’d LOVE to do mitered corners here. For mitered corners to work, both the seam allowance and the hem allowance need to have the same measurement. Next time I will adapt the hem allowance to be 3/4″. The difference is only 1/4″, so will not adapt the length of the neckband for such a negligible difference. It is a huge difference when it comes to mitered corners though.
An enjoyable sewing time was spent making the Castillo cardigan. Who does not love a well fitting raglan sleeve? so simple to sew and fit. This style is a classic and the details would be seen more in a solid, of course. I just couldn’t not make it with this fabric. The Castillo Cardigan is the perfect coatigan for my upcoming mild winter.
DISCLAIMER: I was provided the pattern without cost, as a pattern tester, in exchange for sewing a muslin, providing feedback on instructions and fit. I Purchased my own fabric.
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