Plan B cardigan | Simplicity 8217 Review

Having a plan B is always my way of dealing with difficult situations. What’s the worse that can happen and how can I deal with it? Sure helps to take care of anxiety.

And I have to say I was getting a bit anxious about making this pattern already. This is part of a collaboration with Simplicity, who kindly sent me a few patterns to review. No pressure, Alex! When I chose the patterns, I thought I’d be clever and choose a coat, to give me the impetus I needed to stop procrastinating and make a darn coat already. I started early January, with all the goodwill in the world, but I kept running into all kinds of obstacles. I had planned to publish a post at the end of January and here we are, beyond mid-February and still no coat. And I’m afraid that, for various reasons, that one might be a write-off. Funny thing is that I realised just what went wrong only when I made it again in cardigan version.

Anyway, I had to figure out a really quick project with that pattern, with fabric from the stash, preferably, as I’m trying not to buy any more unless I must. I had used a bit of this grey jersey fabric to make a cardigan for my little niece and it’s been delivered and loved instantly three weeks ago when I was in Denmark. So I had it on my mind and, as it usually does, it clicked and plan B came together (plus inspo from Michelle at That Black Chick). It was a bit of a dash to sew and photograph it at the weekend, – man, I hate winter short days – but thanks to my long-suffering husband, all is well that ends well.

So let me tell you more…

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Simplicity 8217 Cardigan-12

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As I mentioned, the pattern is part of a set sent to me by Simplicity Patterns UK to review. I, of course, got to choose them and all opinions are my own, so watch out for more exciting projects in the near future.

I fell in love with this pattern when I saw the beautiful and ever so stylish Paula model a coral coat based on this one last year. So I decided to make it my first coat, but it’s turned into a cardigan.

This is the pattern description: Misses’ lined coat and vest can each be made in two lengths, and have side pockets. Coat has unique ties that come from front seams for a chic look. Pattern also includes instructions to Fit for Petite.

So, quite a simple pattern, but with nice details, like the ties coming out of the fisheye darts on the front.

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This is some mystery poly fabric, maybe some acrylic in it too, that I picked up from the kilo baskets in Abakhan. This was actually a sort of repeat purchase, as I already got some in a different colour the year before and I knew I would love it. The previous one got turned into one of my favourite projects from last year, the V9075 jumpsuit.

However, I didn’t remember it being quite so annoying. It curled and rolled and snagged in pretty much any slightly raised surface in my sewing room. It really needed a lot of stabilising, in spite of sewing with the overlocker and coverhem machine. I pretty much used a whole roll of stay tape and my precious stretch tape, and it still it was not enough.

Alterations & Fit

I used the same traced-out pattern pieces as for my aborted coat attempt, so the changes I had made for that still stood, as I decided not to recopy. I had removed 1.5 cm (5/8”) from the armhole and so I added 1.5 cm (5.8) to the sleeve cap to compensate. I cut a size 10 (view A), and made no other changes. I omitted the lining and the pockets, as per the advice of Michelle from That Black Chick.

The sleeves ended up a bit long, as I used overlocked SA instead of the 1.5 cm of the pattern, so next time I’d raise the shoulder seam a bit and/or shorten the sleeve.

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It’s a pretty easy construction, but you need to make sure you stabilise pretty much all the seams (except side seams), with particular care to facings. I should have really interfaced both the facings, but I had run out of nice quality iron-on interfacing so just ended up using tape. Not very happy with the slight stretching of the facing edges, so I’d definitely interface both facings if I were to make that again.

Also, it could really use pockets. I think not having them in the side seams was a good idea, but I am half tempted to go back and put some patch ones. The only thing that’s stopping me is the memory of how hard it was dealing with them on the version I made for my niece.

Simplicity 8217 Cardigan-6

I sewed all the seams with the overlocker, but I used the regular sewing machine to topstitch the facings down. The bottom hem and the sleeve hem were finished with the coverstich machine.

Style & Wear

This one has not been for a wear test just yet, so I can’t really tell you how it behaves in the wild. It definitely feels warm, as it was pretty nippy when we took the pictures outside. In terms of style, probably a casual vibe is the best way to go about it, though I was hoping for a bit more of a work-suitable option as well.

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Simplicity 8217 Cardigan-11

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Not too bad. I really wish that I could have finished my coat, to get that coat bogey behind me. But it’s ok, I have some more ideas on the table. Hope that they will materialise before the winter ends though…


Details recap:

Pattern:  Simplicity 8217 Size 10, View A

Disclaimer: Pattern was sent to me for free by Simplicty for review. All opinions my own.

Fabric: poly/acrylic knit from Abakhan

Alterations: Removed 1.5 cm from shoulder seam; added 1.5 cm in sleeve cap

Next time:  Interface both facings

Other versions: Paula Loves to Sew on IG; Michelle’s from That Black Chick version in medium knit; Maggie Elaine’s version in chunky knit




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    1. Thank you! It is cosy, have been wearing it for a few days in a row now, with this cold snap, and it’s been keeping me warm! Hope it’s not too bad up North.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Whatever works 😬. Someone pointed out yo me that it’s quite similar to a Seamwork pattern, Alameda, which is actually a purpose made robe. I think my version looks a bit robe-y, but if it was in proper coating fabric, it looks quite nice.


  1. I really like your “coatagan”! I love the styling, the length and high/low hem – it’s like an interesting looking Kimono (almost like the one Seamwork has) and I couldn’t help imagining in silk as a statement piece 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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