Breaking Ground Tour: Mustard Mouse House Julia Cardigan and Checkered Love Notions Sybil Swing Skirt

I am thrilled to join Melissa of Mahlica Designs‘ Breaking Ground Tour.  The premise is that we are “breaking ground” by sewing up a pattern by a “new to us” designer and/or project. Taking that guidance in earnest, I decided to create a version of the Mouse House Julia Cardigan in my leftover mustard double brushed poly (DBP) from So Sew English (previously used for this tunic). 

Armed with a Pinterest board filled with mustard, black and white inspired outfits, and even more inspiration from Style Pantry, I created a look that struck just the right cord for me.

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Let’s start with the Julia Cardigan.  I believe this is likely to be something I put into heavy rotation given that I made it in a color that brings me pure joy (and that I’ve already worn it at least once a week since I made it).  However, this pattern was not without its challenges.

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I have a couple standard adjustments that I applied here, but I think that I should have just made a muslin first (without so many changes), so that I could understand exactly what was happening with this garment.  When I attempted to complete a 1″ full bust adjustment on this garment (which I would strongly caution against given that the bust point is on the collar and NOT the front bodice piece) – I think I just exacerbated the fabric pooling at my front underarm area.


For the back of the garment, I made no changes.  However, having sized down the garment to fit my high bust, did me no favors for obtaining a good fit in the back. 

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In trying to gain clarity on what’s happening here, I believe it’s because the pattern is drafted using a drafting block not favorable to my figure.  It is rare that my mid-armhole back measurement is an issue, but it is for this sweater.  (See this link for an explanation of the visual below)


The pulling is fairly pronounced in this extremely stretchy fabric, but in a fabric with less stretch – I would imagine it might not fit at all!  My strong recommendation would be to flat measure that pattern piece to ensure that you fit well into the size you’ve selected.  I keep telling myself that one day I will complete that Craftsy Bodice Sloper Class I own and become a fitting ninja – but alas my friends, today is not that day.


Another thing that I will point out on this garment is that the shoulder seam is set further back on me than on some other garments I’ve sewn recently.  I feel it’s in the same place as it would be for a Big 4 pattern, but just not what I’ve typically experienced in a PDF pattern.  So, if you have any sort of forward thrust in your shoulders (I’m talking to all you computer users and mommas who have hunched over babies for years for feedings) – you will likely want to pivot that shoulder seam so that the shoulder point aligns with where your shoulder actually is.


 I almost feel like it might be best to just overlay a t shirt pattern that fits well in your shoulders and back, including the sleeves. It would potentially save you some headaches in fitting this sweater well.

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As far as silhouette though – I adore it.  I do need to be conscious that on the profile view, it does angle in such a way as to potentially highlight a protruding post-baby belly.  However, with this high waisted skirt – it’s a great way to draw attention to the skirt, and allowing each garment to get its time in the spotlight.

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Now for my retro inspired skirt, the Sybil Skirt by Love Notions (affiliate link), was the PERFECT pattern to turn my vision into a reality.  I did the swing version in midi length, and am pleased as punch at the outcome.  I had 2 yards of this checkered fabric that I’ve somehow allocated and reallocated to projects more times than I can count.  I believe it’s a polyester doubleknit (aka Liverpool), and is fairly heavyweight.  This is the first time I’ve made the swing skirt, but I see more in my future for sure – I mean a nice high waisted skirt with POCKETS??? What’s a girl not to love?

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Thank you so much for stopping by!  I hope you found this helpful – leave a comment and share your thoughts below!

If you want to check out some other  awesome bloggers, see the links to their sites below:

Monday March 20- Anne-Mari Sews, Sewing By Ti, Musings of A Seamstress, Tenille’s Thread, Couturious, Embrace Everyday, Sewing A La Carte

Tuesday March 21- mahlicadesigns, Kaleidothought, Ronda B Handmade, Elizabeth Made This

Wednesday March 22- Rainy Day Sewing, Anne-Mari Sews, Sprouting Jube Jube, Sewing A La Carte, Tales of a Tester

Thursday March 23- mahlicadesigns, Lulu & Celeste, Very Blissful, Sprouting Jube Jube, Ronda B Handmade, Adventures with Bubba and Bug

Friday March 24- Anne-Mari Sews, Tales of a Tester, Sewing By Ti, Musings of A Seamstress, Harper + Lu, Sewing A La Carte

20 thoughts

  1. I LOVE this outfit, and you are wearing it very well! You look beautiful! My own summer capsule has more of a retro vibe. The fabric and fit of the skirt is perfect. I’m feeling inspired. 😄

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  2. I think you discussed the fitting issues with this pattern well and I know others have had these same issues. Frankly, after having these problems I just put the Julia on the won’t make again list, but now I think I can redeem it with your suggestions.

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    1. Thanks! I’m glad I could help – I really don’t think its a “bad” pattern – I just think it needs some tweaking – most people can work with a known (or understood) issue. 🙂

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  3. This mustard is just a joyful color and it’s positively glowy on you! I think your instinct about finding a t-shirt pattern that fits well in the back is right on. I know I have to grade things down often in the shoulders for my narrow frame, and nothing gets out of the gate without being compared to my tnt t-shirt (which in effect is my sloper at this point). I love how you’ve styled this as well. The cardigan drapes so well on the sides and highlights the skirt in a flattering vintage sort of way.

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  4. Great colors. I personally found that my biggest problem with that shoulder seam was actually that the back neckline was too shallow. If you scoop out the neckline and then extend the collar, it’ll bring the shoulder seam to where it belongs. That doesn’t fix the shoulder width though.

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  5. Can you be my stylist for a day or five? Seriously…I love how you put things together. This is a great combination, and you look fabulous. Love it! I have both of those patterns in my stash… maybe one of these days I’ll actually make them LOL

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    1. Haha – I PROMISE you, the hardest part is actually forcing yourself to get over whatever hump is keeping you from making it (be it life in general or fear)… Glad to be able to inspire and encourage – you can do it Ronda!

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