Cropped vintage-inspired sweaters are a big trend in the sewing world right now – my theory is that it all got started with sewists envying knitters like Dolly Clackett and Lladybird for all of their cute cropped handknit cardigans layered over full-skirted dresses! (That’s how it started for me, at least.)
It seems like a distinctly sewing-trend – I see plenty of cropped tees in RTW, but not sweaters as much. Vintage-y dresses are eternally popular in the sewing world though, so it makes sense that we’re all looking for ways to layer and change things up.
Here are the current options:
(Photos belong to the patterns designer. Click the text link to see a google image search for blogger versions of each pattern, because I think it’s so interesting to see how they actually turn out!)
There’s the Blue Ginger Doll Bonnie, with optional bias-cut front and flutter sleeves…
…Or the Muse Jenna Cardigan, which is adorable but I’ve sewn two times and can conclusively say is meant to be worn buttoned up, which means it’s not my ideal cardigan shape)…
… And most recently, the Deer and Doe Ondee, which has a collar for those who like twee! (I’m not judging!)
Then, of course, if you are like me you just shorten a pattern you already own! (From left to right, McCalls cardi I cut short before work during MMM, Maria of Denmark Kimono tee, and Plantain tee with ties.) One thing I’ve learned is that when you crop an existing jersey top (like the blue and purple ones above) the jersey springs up once there is less weight below – As a result, both tops turned out a bit shorter than I intended, so beware!
My summer sewing plans include at least one cropped sweater, to be made with khaki green french terry and (I think) a modified Renfrew pattern, and maybe a robin’s egg blue cropped tee as well (but how many cropped tops can a person really wear?)
It’s got me thinking about proportion and fit though:
- How short?
- How fitted?
- How long should the sleeves be?
For my khaki sweater version, I *THINK* I’d like to try a higher neckline (partly so it can be layered over anything, and partly just to see how a crew neck looks on me). Since I’ve made some too-short shirts, I’m going to try to make the body fit down to my true waist, then a 3″ band below. Snug, but not tight? I’d like long sleeves, but I’ve only got 90cm of fabric. I might be dreaming to think I can fit it all! I’ve been staring at finished versions of all the patterns mentioned above to try to figure out what makes the silhouette work. What do you think?
Trends are always an odd thing – fun to try, but sometimes it feels like they are over before they begin. If there are so many cropped sweater patterns, does it mean they are almost out of fashion now? Does it matter? Part of the fun of sewing is experimenting… but is it a waste of resources to sew something I might not want to wear in a year? Then again, if a trend is flattering, who cares when it’s “over”? I’ve read so many posts where bloggers say “I’m late on the bandwagon” or “Peplums are so last year, but here’s one anyway.” I’m trying to egg myself on to get an asymmetrical haircut for summer – gotta live a little, even though I think the trend was 5 years ago. What’s a girl to do when trends change quickly?