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Guest Post: Eddie Smock Sweater Hack

Today I’m pleased to bring to you a guest post from Bean of @sewsoybean. Bean was a tester for the Eddie Smock and she made a few beautiful versions during and after the testing process. She also made a knit cardigan hack that just blew my mind. I asked Bean if she would be willing to write up a blog post about the process of hacking the Eddie Smock into a cardigan and I’m thrilled she was willing to do so. I’m planning on making myself a version in the next few of weeks. Continue reading below to learn how to make your own. If you don’t already have the Eddie Smock Pattern, you can find it here.

Eddie Smock Sweater Hack

As cool fall breezes begin to whisper in my ear of the colder temperatures to come, they seem to usher into my sewing plans ideas for cozy garments, perfect for hunkering down or even bundling up to head out. Cue the knit Eddie Smock Sweater hack! Straightforward and simple modifications to Goldfinch Textile Studio’s pattern and design yield a unique wardrobe staple that you can throw on for any occasion.

What you’ll need: 

Eddie Smock PDF Pattern

– Stable knit fabric for the body, 8-14 oz. per square yard: cotton slub, french terry, sweater knits  

– Cotton/elastic ribbing fabric for the neckline and cuffs: ¼ yard cut of 50-60 inch wide should be sufficient; see note below if you’re shopping for your stash ***

– For neckline ribbing: (80% of finished neckline + .75) x 3 inches 

– For cuff ribbing: (Wrist circumference + desired cuff ease) x 6 inches 

– Needle for sewing knits (I like Schmetz Stretch 75/11 as an all purpose needle for knits)

– Ball point pins

– Pre-made single fold bias tape (purchased or made from your stash)

– Matching thread for topstitching

– Snaps or buttons (optional–this hack is lovely as an open cardigan too)

– Tailor’s clapper (optional–for getting a better press on bulky fabrics)

– Tailor’s chalk or marking tool and long ruler to transfer pattern to fabric

*** Your ribbing should be 80% of your finished neckline measurement. You can measure your paper pattern pieces to mathematically determine finished neckline length before constructing your garment.  Add the curved edge of back and front necklines pattern pieces and multiply by 2 as they are cut on the fold. Subtract 4.5  inches (2 inches for shoulder seam allowances, and 2.5 for placket construction). Find 80% of that quantity and add .75 inches for tapered neckline construction.   EXAMPLE: Back neckline curve 5.75 inches, front neckline curve 8. (13.75 x 2 = 27.5; 27.5 – 4.5 = 23; .80 x 23= 18.4; 18.4+.75= 19.15 inches). Neckline ribbing cut:  19 x 3 inches.

Picking out your fabric 

What I love about the Eddie Smock pattern is its panel pattern pieces, allowing you to optimize a single piece of yardage, or even better yet, utilize narrow strips of knit yardage that are leftover from past projects. If you’re like me, when you sew with knits you may end up with long narrow pieces of fabric at the edges of your fabric after cutting out your project.  While these leftovers can be challenging to reorient and use in other knit patterns that require the cross grain stretch of the fabric, because the Eddie is designed for wovens, the degree of stretch of the fabric is of little consequence when considering placement of the pattern pieces for cutting. That being said, don’t be afraid to think of how you can place your panels and pattern pieces to maximize the fabric already in your stash. I never would have thought I could complete an entire cardigan sweater from these green leftovers, but the beautiful result is a testament to how incredible this pattern can be as a knit scrap buster.

Notice how my sleeve pieces have the striations of the fabric running horizontally, but in the body panels they run vertically. In many knits you may notice these sorts of directional textures, and again, don’t be afraid to play around with placement of the pattern pieces in order to make use of fabric you already have. I recommend more stable, and not extremely fluid or drapey knits. Cotton slubs, light to medium weight french terry, or even some sweater knits that are not too bulky would be perfect. For my green version, I used a 9 oz. cotton slub sweater knit, and the camel version is sewn in a 12 oz. french terry. The sweater knit is slightly more fluid and drapey, and the french terry resulted in a more structured jacket-like cardigan.  

Considerations for sewing with knits

Some knits can be prone to stretching out as you sew, so decreasing your presser foot tension for all seams is recommended. I lowered my presser foot tension to -3 for all seams and had very minimal rippling of fabric. It can also be helpful to increase your stitch length for bulkier knits. Throughout the construction process I used a regular straight stitch, which the exception of the cuffs and the neckband where I used a lightning bolt stitch.

Use some of your fabric scraps from squaring up your fabric to test out your stitching before you get started. If you do have some stretching or rippling while constructing your garment, be sure to give your seams a good blast of steam at the iron which should bring them right back into shape. Do this between each step of the construction process over each new area that you have sewn. 

Cutting out your pattern pieces

Once you’ve decided on your fabric, you will need to cut out the body panels, side panels, and sleeve pieces of the pattern view that you have chosen. For my versions, I have based my pattern layout on View 3, but adjusted the length of the body and side panels to accommodate my available fabric. Since View 3 is the short sleeved version of the pattern, I have used the long sleeve pieces from View 1. You may consider drawing out your layout on a piece of paper to map out any changes that need to be made before cutting.

For this camel version, I decided to rotate my pattern pieces so the fold of the fabric is along the top of the panels and the selvedge edges are at the hem. This means that the stretch of the fabric runs vertically, and not horizontally as it usually would in a knit garment requiring stretch. Again, this is not a problem with Eddie. Also, this placement means that the width of my fabric dictates the length of my finished garment.

Cut the garment pieces according to the pattern, omitting the woven cuff pieces and the bias binding rectangle. We will be using rib knit fabric for a neckline and sleeve cuffs and pre-made (purchased or made from your stash) bias binding. You can choose to incorporate the pattern’s pocket pieces into your cutting layout if you would like too. For my camel version,  I used the entire piece of 56 inch wide fabric in my cutting layout and was left with a 16” x 20” square after cutting the sleeves pieces to length that I could potentially use for adding patch pockets to the front, or save for a future project or mending.

Sewing your Eddie Smock Cardigan Sweater

Using the above tips above for working with knits, construct the garment per the pattern instructions, except for the following steps: 

Back panel pleat and neckline facing (starting on page 20) 

Step 6a (pattern instructions page 20)

When attaching the back neckline facing, the pattern calls for a pleat in the facing piece. I personally love this design detail, and have included it in both my versions. However, it can be quite bulky depending on your fabric choice. To omit this for a bulky knit, follow the instructions already written into the pattern on page 20 for removing ¾ inch along the curve of the neckline facing.   

Step 6b (pattern instructions page 22)

The pattern calls for folding your back neckline facing under ¼ inch (.6 cm). With my stable french terry, I was able to fold under and finish the facing as written. 

With my green version, I opted to finish the facing edge on the serger to reduce bulk. Keep in mind that if you go this route, you will want to either trim your facing down the ¼ inch (.6 cm) before serging, or adjust your topstitching about ⅜ inch in from the serged edge so your stitching line crosses right where the pleat on the back begins. 

Step 6f (pattern instructions page 23)

The Eddie Smock has this great little hang loop feature that I avoided including on my green version due to bulk; however, I figured out a work around for my french terry version that is simple and lovely. Construct the hang tag as written in the pattern and instead of folding raw ends under by ⅜ inch when attaching to the facing, simply lay it flat and use a wide yet short length zig zag to completely cover the raw edge. On my machine, the appliqué stitch worked wonderfully here.    

After fully constructing your garment body per the pattern instructions, it’s time to finish the sleeves and neckline—sweater style!  

Gathered sleeve with ribbed cuffs

Follow the instructions on page 30 for View 1 to gather the sleeves. I started and stopped my basting stitches at the underarm seam where the two sleeve panels meet. Be sure not to overlap the gathering stitches.

Cut your matching ribbing for the cuff to your desired width by 6 inches tall. I like a tighter cuff so I usually add 1 inch to the circumference of my wrist which is 6 inches. My rib cuffs on this version were 7 inches wide by 6 inches tall. A snugger cuff is my personal preference, and I feel like it creates a dramatic pouf that I’m really like on a sweater sleeve. A cuff with more ease will have less pouf. Fold your cuff rectangle in half widthwise and sew the 6 inch edge, right sides together, with ⅜ inch seam allowance. Press the seam open.  Next, fold your cuff wrong sides together lengthwise and press. It should now resemble the finished cuff. 

With the sleeve inside out, slip the cuff inside so the right side of the cuff and the right side of the sleeve are together. Align the cuff seam and the underarm seam of the sleeve. Adjust your gathering so the sleeve circumference is flush with the cuff circumference. Pin in place. With the presser foot inside the sleeve cuff, sew the cuff to the sleeve with ½ inch seam allowance making sure you do not sew over the basting stitches. Remove the basting stitching. Finish the seam allowance with a serger or zigzag stitch and press the seam allowance away from the cuff towards the sleeve. Repeat with the second sleeve.  

Tapered Ribbed Knit Neckline

Measure the finished neckline with a fluid measuring tape, taking care to not stretch the neckline. Then cut a rectangle of ribbing that is 80% of that value plus ¾ inch, by 3 inches. My finished neckline was 23 inches, I cut a rectangle of ribbing 19 x 3 inches.  (.80 x 23 = 18.4; 18.4+.75= 19.15)  

Press the 3 inch edge of the rectangle in half wrong sides together so you have a ribbing piece that is now 1.5 inches wide by your specific length. Fold neckline ribbing half lengthwise and place a pin at the center. Fold the side edges in to meet at the center point and place a pin at each fold. You now have your neckline ribbing quartered. 

To find the quarter points of the neckline, place the center point of the front neckline where the two front plackets meet directly on top of the center back neckline, and line up the neckline curve. Place two pins where the neckline folds in half (yellow pins). When you let the neckline fall naturally at the shoulder seam you will see that those pins fall a bit to the front of the shoulders. 

Align the pinned center point of the ribbing with the center back of the neckline, at the pleat seam on the back panel; then align neckline ribbing quarter pins with the two yellow pins, or quarter marks of the neckline. Gently stretch ribbing so it lays flush against the sweater neckline and finish pinning ribbing between the second and third quarters.

For the quarter of the ribbing that aligns with the front plackets, mark a ⅜ inch seam allowance down from the neckline on both sides of the placket edge, and ⅜ inch in from the end of the ribbing strip along the folded edge. Align these two marks. There will be ⅜ inch of ribbing that will overhang the front placket on both sides. This will get folded down and secured when you topstitch the finished neckline. Continue pinning the rest of the ribbing to the front neckline, again only stretching the ribbing, not the sweater’s neckline. You will have a triangular portion of the raw edge of the ribbing that will not align with the raw edge of the neckline. This will create the tapered ribbed neckline finish.  (See video below for more info on inserting the neckline.)

Sew the ribbing to the neckline from the wrong side of the garment so that you can follow the raw edge of the sweater neckline with your presser foot, not the raw edge of the ribbing, which will not align with the sweater neckline the whole way. Once the ribbing is attached, you can trim the excess triangle of the neckline ribbing. 

Where the ribbing attaches at the back neckline facing, there will be substantial bulk, especially if you’ve included the neckline facing pleat like I did. Grade the seam allowance, trimming down some of those layers to reduce bulk. Then, finish the seam allowance and press away from the neckline and towards the body of the sweater. From the right side of the garment, topstitch ⅜ inch away from the neckline seam, catching the neckline seam allowance below. 

Hem Sweater

The only thing you have left to do is hem your Eddie Smock Sweater. On my green version I used bias binding from my stash in quilting cotton weight fabric. I followed the French Bias Binding method as outlined in the pattern on page 35, Step 15. I do think the double layer of the quilting cotton provides a bit more structure than the garment fabric, making the hem bow out a bit. For the camel french terry version, I opted for a pre-made single fold bias tape which functioned as more of a narrow facing to finish the hem. This was a much softer finish and doesn’t affect the drape of the fabric at the hem. Both options produce lovely results, it will just depend on the look you are going for and the type of fabric and bias you use. 

Optional Closures

I think the Eddie Smock Sweater is perfect with no closures and left flowy and open in the front as in my green cardigan style version, but the copper snaps on my tan french terry iteration give it a sweater jacket feel that I cannot wait to style this fall. If you would like to add snaps or buttons and buttonholes, you can do so now at your preferred spacing. Either way you can’t go wrong with this garment. It is a workhorse piece that you’d never know you needed until it’s in your closet and you catch yourself reaching for it again and again. Enjoy!  

Thank you, Bean! I’m looking forward to diving in and making my own Eddie Smock Cardigan Sweater. If you make your own version we would love to see it! Share on IG with the hashtag #EddieSmockSweaterHack and be sure to tag @sewsoybean and @goldfinchtextilestudio.

2 thoughts on “Guest Post: Eddie Smock Sweater Hack

  1. Such a great pattern hack. An excellent demonstration that zero waste can be versatile.

    1. I couldn’t agree more. I’m so grateful to everyone who sews my patterns and comes up with new ideas to stretch the zero-waste concepts.

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