Tested: Sew Altered Style Dionne Duster

Judging by the number of completed sweaters on my table waiting for a break in the rain for photographic documentation, this season  is truly shaping up to be the Fall of Cardigans- I just can’t get enough of them! Cozy, easy to layer, and pretty simple to make, they check alot of boxes for me, and I’m happy to expand my current collection, replacing some older ready-to-wear items as I go.

Fortunately, I had just enough time before the Thanksgiving hoopla to add a new, unique piece to my collection with the new Dionne Duster by Sew Altered Style. Led by DIY fashion mavens Mac Harva (who I had the pleasure of meeting a couple years ago in San Francisco, during a fabric shopping meetup, that was blogged here) and Katie Lee, Sew Altered Style is shaping up to be a pattern company powerhouse, offering patterns in a wide range of sizes (from 00-30) and classic, wearable styles.

The Dionne caught my eye for the princess seams, the various length and sleeve options, and the cute angled side pockets. I chose to test out View A, the princess seam version, in the “long cardigan” length- but added the sleeves from View B (I love the look of balloon sleeves, but I didn’t have enough fabric to include them).

There are even cup size options included, which is something I haven’t seen on a cardigan before, and it makes for a really nice fit! For reference, I made a size 00, with the A/B cup, which was consistent with my measurements.

I chose a mauve brushed waffle knit from Knitpop for my cardigan, and the results are somewhat akin to wearing a lightweight bunny around town- incredibly soft and warm. The pockets are decently sized, and fit my standard Iphone with ease- or my hands, when I’m trying to keep them warm against a cold wind!

The fabric was pretty easy to work with, and I used all three machines for construction- my sewing machine for the pockets (to reduce bulk), my serger for the main construction, and my cover stitch for the topstitching (pockets, front band, princess seams, and hem).

My only deviation from the instructions was to add a bit of interfacing at the back shoulder (I use this knit stay tape)- a small detail that can make a big difference in the longevity and integrity of the cardigan. The instruction booklet that accompanies the pattern is really comprehensive, and I especially appreciated how the bust, waist and hip were marked on the pattern pieces- this makes it really easy to make adjustments if you find the need.

I’m really pleased with how this little number turned out, and I’m hoping to add a true duster-length version to my collection soon. I rarely order 3 yard cuts of fabric, so I’ll have to whittle down my current stash a bit first, but I think a nice vest style in a rib knit would be perfect for wearing over a turtleneck this winter.

How about those Black Friday sales?

Speaking of fabric and patterns- what did you pick up (if anything) in the Black Friday sales? I tried to exercise restraint, but treated myself to some soft shell and bamboo fabric from the Fabric Fairy, a few colors of hacci from Surge, and some wine chenille and leopard print yoga from Knitpop, plus a few Sinclair Patterns I’ve been eyeing- the Demi Raglan, Nova Sweatshirt, and thumbhole cuff add-on pack. I’d love to hear what you snagged!

Not related to sewing, but fun anyway- I also got myself and the boys each a Kindle e-reader, which I hope will come in handy while we travel in keeping up our bibliophile obsession without having to purchase/donate/store a bunch of space-consuming titles. It was a close tie between the Kindle and the Nook, but in the end, the Kindle edged out the competition by virtue of its easy integration with our existing ecosystem (we have audible, and multiple Echo Dots around the house), the lower cost of books, and the lower price point.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t conclude this blog post by saying how thankful I am for you, as a reader- the interactions, opportunities and enjoyment I get from writing this blog wouldn’t exist without your readership and support- so thank you!

Note: This post contains affiliate links. I was provided the pattern free of charge in exchange for help with testing, but all opinions are my own!

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  1. Glenda Bell on December 2, 2019 at 8:52 am

    All of your sew-ups are wonderful! Love your blog – I always find inspiration and practical tips. I simply love your version of the Dionne – thank you for the construction details. I just got a coverstitch machine and am looking for ways to incorporate it into my sewing routine – so that I use it for more than just hems

    • Sarah on January 2, 2020 at 11:19 pm

      Thank you so much Glenda! You’ll be putting that machine to use in no time!

  2. Dana on December 7, 2019 at 6:48 am

    Head to your local library and ask if they have Overdrive. If so, you’ll have be able to check out books for your Kindle. Overdrive has audiobooks, so you can sew and read at the same time — it’s the only way I get either done these days.

    • Sarah on January 2, 2020 at 11:18 pm

      GREAT idea!

  3. JS on December 9, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    Love the clothes, but also Kindles FTW! Please check your library. Ours has a huuuuuuge library of digital books and yours likely does, too!

    • Sarah on January 2, 2020 at 11:18 pm

      Yes! Will check that out- thanks!

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