Jennifer Lauren Handmade contacted me back in May to see if I wanted to review her latest pattern release, the Juniper Cardigan. The pattern was supplied to me in exchange for my review, all thoughts are my own.
I wear a cardigan or jumper every day, I appreciate having different styles and colours in my wardrobe to create different looks. I agreed to review this cardigan as the design is quite different to others I’ve made in the past due to the way the sleeves are designed.
I enjoy the process of pattern testing or reviewing as it helps me to evolve my style. I no longer find joy in clothes shopping so I don’t get the same opportunities to try new styles.
This cardigan is the shorter length of the two style it is a straight size 12 It works well with dress, skirt, and jeans. Lots of my cardigans are a longer length so it’s great to have one that hides under a jacket.
I chose a solid blue merino knit from The Fabric Store for my Juniper. I think this cardigan would have been better in something more drapey Jennifer reccomends 200gsm merino and mine is more around 230gsm. When the buttons are done up the fabric strains across my tummy it isn’t a good look. As I wear my cardigans open this isn’t an issue but it is worth noting. I would consider going up a size on the hips if I made this pattern again with fabric with a similar stretch percent.
My friend Kat also reviewed this pattern and made two wonderful version using different remnants. She has done a number of hacks to her versions of the pattern which are inspiring. The shape of the sleeve is beautifully emphasized when using different fabrics.
I found the instructions confusing in the section where the sleeves attach to the body. I followed my instincts and the notches and it all worked out perfectly. I didn’t realise that Jennifer has a wonderful tutorial on her website check it out here.
I was really unsure if I liked this pattern when I was making it but I’ve worn it heaps! Lately, I’ve been wearing more boxy dresses so having a fitted cardigan emphasizes my feminine shape. It’s a classic shape and the sleeve adds interest to the design.
My second garment is the Mila dress pattern by Style Arc. This is a simple pull on dress with a slight cocoon shape which is simple to make. The flattering bodice seam allows you to colour block or use different textures to suit your individual style.
I’ve made two versions one a woven /knit mix and this one which is a mix of different knit fabric. The lower fabric is heavier textured knit with low stretch and the upper is a Liberty textured t-shirt knit.
The pattern comes together really quickly. I do recommend stay-stitching around the front section of the dress around the ‘v’ as the fabric can stretch out I’m speaking from experience.
One thing I don’t like about this pattern is the length of the sleeves. I think the sleeves hit my upper arm at an unflattering height. I may try adding cuffs or increasing the length of the sleeves if possible.
These are two garments and patterns that I will get a lot of mileage from. I’m enjoying wearing more knitwear it works well for my lifestyle.