Thursday, June 24, 2021

A Tale of Two Cardigans

 A long time ago when I used to sew only outfits for my kids and not for myself, I relied on store bought clothes and my favorite outfit was a twinset paired with denim jeans. I was particularly enamored with the classic J. Crew cardigans labeled Jackie--crew neck with buttoned front opening, ribbing on the sleeve cuffs and bottom hem. I had a small collection in different colors that worked for different seasons of the year. Then when kids left the nest, I started sewing for myself and it opened up my wardrobe to a wonderful world of uniquely me items. I hardly wear those RTW cardigans anymore, preferring to don my me-made ones. 

In this post, I'd like to highlight a pair of cardigans I recently sewed. These two are the total opposite of each other. One is really long, what one would call a duster cardigan and the other really short, what one would call shrug. 

This is the Blackwood cardigan from Helen's Closet patterns. I used a panel print sweater knit purchased from Marcy Tilton and used a solid contrast sweater knit purchased from Emma One Sock. 

This one is the Marcy Tilton shrug pattern Vogue 9190 and I used a cotton/lycra panel print also from her store. 

They're the total opposite in length yet somehow I thought they worked well for my petite height. 
If you'd like to read more details about the patterns, check them out at Pattern 

How to Install Aglet on Drawstring

 I recently posted a review of a cropped cardigan I made using a Marcy Tilton pattern Vogue 9190 which you can read at I received a few inquiries about the aglet I used to secure the ends of the drawstring that I used shown below:

So I thought I would post a simple quick photo tutorial on it. 

But first what is an aglet? I first learned about the term when I was searching for something to secure the ends of my shoelaces. Back then I didn't know what it was called. Aglet may be made of plastic or metal. It is a hollow sheath that is used to encase the ends of a drawstring or shoelace to prevent it from unraveling. 

1. Where to buy? 
Nowadays it is easy to find a source for notions such as this just by the simple act of browsing online. The one I used for my recent project was purchased from Amazon and it was available in bulk. It was not expensive but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. I have a couple of aglets purchased a long time ago from Botani Trimmings and it was sold by the piece. A little more pricey but the quality was way better than the bulk ones from Amazon. See comparison photos below.

The one on the left was from Botani Trimmings and the right from Amazon. 
The former was longer and more substantial in thickness. The latter was really thin and easy to bend and deform. 

View of the open side. 

2. To use the aglet, just insert the end of the drawstring or lace through the opening.  If your aglet is a bit narrow, you can always gently pry it open with a hemostat. 

3. When you have inserted the drawstring to the closed end of the aglet, gently clamp the open edges together. 

4. Some like to secure the drawstring further by sewing a thread through the holes in the aglet. 

There you go, a quick and easy way to secure the raw edges of a drawstring or ribbon. One can always just  tie a knot but with the different colors of aglets available, it's a nice finishing touch!