GENEVA CARDIGAN x COFFEE & THREAD
This review is my honest opinion of a pattern I received free of charge as a pattern tester for Coffee & Thread.
I've been working on a lot of projects this spring but this tester of the Geneva Cardigan from Coffee & Thread is hands down one of my all time favorites. I hadn't used a Coffee & Thread pattern before because Mars doesn't fit the size range for Olga's dresses yet, but when I saw the tester call for the Geneva I knew it would look so smart on Ren.
The Geneva Cardigan is designed for medium weight knits (think cotton interlock, ponte de roma, french terry) and makes for a perfect lightweight jacket. Ours is certainly going to get a lot of use here in Monterey where its generally barely 65* throughout the "summer". I picked up this awesome mid-weight grey and white grid knit from Joann's and the more I look at this cardigan the more I love it. The knit section at our Joann's normally leaves me less than impressed, but this fabric was definitely a gem and I'm probably going to have to go back for more to use in future projects.
This right here is the kicker for me. The instructions include an option for a bias bound placket as well as the seam where the collar meets the body, and its one of my favorite details on the Geneva. You could use woven bias binding but I had leftover knit binding from Mars' newborn knotted gowns so I just used that to add a pop of color to the inside. I also figured since I was doing the neck and placket, I might as well trim the bottom hem in the binding too, but that's totally optional. How lovely is that mustard yellow with the grey? That's a combination that's never going to go out of style for me. And look, see how the bottom of the pocket gets caught up in the hem? So nice. Olga really made this pattern so thoughtful.
Speaking of pockets, they also boast a neat cutout design. I think it helps little hands find the pocket but it also provides an opportunity to add another creative detail in addition to the bias binding. Its hard to tell here but I used scraps of some Art Gallery Pug Ville Vert cotton/lycra from the Joie De Vivre collection for the pocket bags, and I love that its a sneaky, quirky detail that, once you know there's little pugs hanging out in the pockets, just makes it.
The Geneva Cardigan has four collar options--a frilled collar, peter pan collar, shirt collar, and ribbed collar, which is the one I chose for Ren for a classic look. The frill collar can be made of lightweight wovens and is super sweet with the optional sleeve frill to match. I love the ribbed collar but am interested to see how the shirt collar looks on him as well. And of course I can't wait for Mars to grow in to this pattern so I can make up a frilled collar Geneva for her as well.
The pattern calls for a button placket but I just wasn't in the mood to do button holes so I went with some white KAM snaps for the closure. KAMs can also be covered in fabric which would make for a really nice finish but again, I was looking for the fastest and easiest option. And for that I always love my snap presses.
Not only are there some great options in the Geneva Cardigan pattern, but its also a great basic that can be interpreted and modified in so many ways. Other testers (see them all here, here, here, here, and here) included ribbed cuffs on the sleeves and hem, set in a zipper instead of buttons or snaps, finished the peter pan collar with an adorable tie, added a flutter feature over the long sleeve... There really are so many ways to make the Geneva your own, and I love a pattern like that. Next I think I'm going to try a lined version to make it a little more cozy for the more chilly weather we'll have after we move to Virginia in the fall.
How would you make the Geneva Cardigan your own?