Oh Snap : : My Megan Nielsen Darling Ranges Dress : : But Not

Darling Ranges Dress, Megan Nielsen Patterns, A Colourful Canvas, Vancouver Sewing BlogHiya  peeps.

I’m back…with a hack. Actually, it’s not a hack at all. It’s just a different way of interpreting a pattern.

Gaaaaah….I really can’t do this without giving you the back story…

Darling Ranges Dress, Megan Nielsen Patterns, A Colourful Canvas, Vancouver Sewing Blog

When this fabric showed up at Blackbird Fabrics, I was excited. It’s fun. It’s different. It’s something I’ve not seen in brick and mortar stores.  It’s a cable quilted jersey.

I bought both blue and white colour ways. As of publishing there’s still white and black in stock.  After handling it I determined I wanted to make a long, slightly swingy sweater. The Blackwood Cardigan was a contender but ideally I wanted my cardigan to close with fasteners…more on that later. I searched my pattern stash. No luck. I trolled the Internet. Nada. I was getting frustrated…why couldn’t I find a long cardigan sweater similar in silhouette to my Darling Ranges dresses. {{{Insert long pause here}}} {{{And head smack}}} ‘Well, duh Sue…why don’t you just use your Darling Ranges pattern?’ 

Honestly…I think Megan Nielsen’s Darling Ranges Dress is the perfect pattern for this fabric. The jersey, although relatively light, is somewhat bulky…hello it is quilted…and with that in mind, I wanted a fairly simple pattern. I didn’t want to be fussing with tricky seams etc. The Darling Ranges Dartless Dress is just three pattern pieces; front, back and sleeve. It also has a narrow bias cut neckline facing, of which I used a remnant of cotton. Oh…and the pocket piece.

Darling Ranges Dress, Megan Nielsen Patterns, A Colourful Canvas, Vancouver Sewing Blog

I love that this pattern has lovely big pockets!

Darling Ranges Dress, Megan Nielsen Patterns, A Colourful Canvas, Vancouver Sewing Blog

The jersey wasn’t exactly difficult to work with, but the fabric fuzz was annoying. On the flip side, the raw edges didn’t fray. Because the sweater is unlined, I finished all visible edges with my serger. I sewed the seams with a straight stitch on my regular machine, using a 70 ball point needle. Top stitching was a bit of a beast…I ended up going with the longest stitch length on my machine to help keep things in alignment.

Darling Ranges Dress, Megan Nielsen Patterns, A Colourful Canvas, Vancouver Sewing Blog

The Darling Ranges Dartless Dress has in-seam pockets…woot…you can see that I’ve top stitched them in the top image, left, both as a practical measure….did not want the pockets flapping about {top image right}…but also for a subtle design feature. The under layer of the quilted jersey is a dark navy blue.

My one deviant from the pattern was to add a deep sleeve hem facing. The image on the left, above, shows the sleeve cuffed. I chose to lay out the facing on the diamond shaped cables so they would relate to the center fronts of my sweater. The image right, above, shows the sleeve full length.

Darling Ranges Dress, Megan Nielsen Patterns, A Colourful Canvas, Vancouver Sewing Blog

The cable pattern runs horizontally across the fabric, from selvage to selvage. I wanted a more traditional cable knit appearance so I laid my pattern pieces cross-grain. As a result, the fabric’s small amount of horizontal stretch became vertical stretch {shoulder to hem}. Good news though..I’ve not noticed any discernible degree of distortion or bagginess in the hem.

I was mindful with cable placement for the center fronts. It’s a bit of an imaginative stretch, but the diamond shape kinda mimics ribbing .

Darling Ranges Dress, Megan Nielsen Patterns, A Colourful Canvas, Vancouver Sewing Blog

At present, my sweater is without closures. I think I want to add snaps but I’m not 100% decided. Yes, buttons would look awesome…but buttonholes, not so much. The quiltiness of the fabric plus my machine’s rudimentary buttonhole capabilities…not a complaint, just an acknowledgement…pretty much rules out buttons. Snaps could certainly work. I would opt for navy blue snaps, but I have to keep in mind that the silver studded backing part would show on the garment’s left front.

Darling Ranges Dress, Megan Nielsen Patterns, A Colourful Canvas, Vancouver Sewing Blog

Today I’m also wearing Sasha Trousers by Closet Case Patterns and a Rise Turtleneck by Papercut Patterns. My Rise Turtleneck is made out of the yummiest knit…also from Blackbird Fabrics….but sadly out of stock. This is twice that I’ve given you but a glimpse of the fantastic Rise Turtleneck pattern. I love it. I’ve made three. 

Okay. Two things I’d love to hear your thoughts on. I’m eager to begin sewing the white colour way….using the same pattern, but running the cables horizontally. What do you think? And what about the snaps? I can buy some snaps and do a mock up before committing to the look. My hesitation is that the snaps will make the garment look less chic. I mean…I feel a bit like a boss Audrey Hepburn and I don’t want snaps to ruin the effect.  

Thanks, as always, for stopping by and reading.


Darling Ranges Dartless Dress : : Megan Nielsen Patterns

Darted versions seen here and here

Sasha Trousers : : Closet Case Patterns Also seen  here and here

Rise Turtleneck : : Papercut Patterns Also seen here


  • Reply Sheila (of Ephemera) April 4, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    Do you really NEED fasteners of any kind on it? What about big hook and eye ones (in black or navy) that wouldn’t show as much, right lined up with the edge.

    Regardless, once again, broken record here, you are AMAZING as a sewist. I love this wonderful swingy coat. I also covet your shoes. Been looking for a pair like that…

    • Reply Sue April 4, 2018 at 6:45 pm

      Nope…not really. LOL…may just go without fasteners of any kind..although a large navy hook and eye might be cool. May have to google that option. 🙂
      Shoes are Aldo, like almost all my shoes are.

  • Reply Alison April 4, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    I love the coat! I think if you add snaps or buttons it might make the coat look like a dressing gown which I don’t think is the look you’re going for!

    • Reply Sue April 4, 2018 at 7:33 pm

      LOL…I love that it feels like secret pyjamas…but no way I want it to look like pyjamas or a dressing gown. 🙂 \

      Yep, I’m beginning to think that there is a reason that I’ve not sewn fasteners on yet. Thanks so much for your input Alison!

  • Reply Linda (ACraftyScrivener) April 4, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    How about frog closures? I liked your idea of snaps at first, but agree that it would make it a little more casual. A sensational make and so creative!

    • Reply Sue April 4, 2018 at 10:17 pm

      Hey Linda. Thank you!

      I’m not a big frog fan….BUT, you’ve got me thinking about a decorative closure like a brooch for example. Thank you for this!

  • Reply Sew Sarah Smith April 4, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    I love what you did with this Sue!!!! Would a belt in the same fabric work? I like the button free look!!! Xx

    • Reply Sue April 4, 2018 at 10:20 pm

      Aw…thanks so much Sarah!

      Such great suggestions rolling in. If I made a self fabric belt, I would make one with a decorative buckle. Maybe a wooden one? I think a tie belt would be too close to a robe closure.

  • Reply Marianne April 5, 2018 at 12:34 am

    I love the look as it is but if you really want to add fasteners, how about one large button and a loop? Lovely fabric, looking forward to see what you make with the white colour way!

    • Reply Sue April 5, 2018 at 11:34 am

      Ooooh…I can picture what you’re suggesting Marianne, thanks. That could be a chic, and slightly retro look.

  • Reply Berbadette April 5, 2018 at 1:31 am

    Hi there, I live in France and have found very decorative fasteners. On the hook and eye principle, but much more decorative. One set navy blue and another in metal more like mini wrought iron work. I am using the blue ones for a coat and the metal ones for a velvet jacket. It certainly saves on button holes. Your coat if fabulous, but I would not do a white one with the cables running horizontally.

    • Reply Sue April 5, 2018 at 11:39 am

      Hi Bernadette! Your hook and eye sets sound amazing. You’ve inspired me to include the word couture in google search!

      Thanks also for your thoughts on the vertical versus horizontal layout. Surprisingly, just this morning I saw a garment with the layout horizontally…I appreciated seeing it sewn up to give me some perspective on my next make. I think it worked well for the pullover sweater, but I am feeling more inclined to keep my white one also vertical!

  • Reply Elisabeth April 5, 2018 at 3:53 am

    Love the coat!

    If you want buttonholes but your machine won’t make them, maybe you could make bound buttonholes (only straight stitch required), or hand-sewn ones?

    • Reply Sue April 5, 2018 at 11:40 am

      Thanks Elisabeth. I have seen some gorgeous hand sewn buttonholes…but eep…not sure I have the skills to pull if off. Now…bound buttonholes I actually enjoy doing {weird, I know}. I may play around with this idea for the white one!

  • Reply Suzanne April 5, 2018 at 5:17 am

    Bravo for wearing ALL items sewn by you! You’re so darn crafty next time you’ll be making your own shoes like Anne.

    This look is very chic.


    • Reply Sue April 5, 2018 at 11:45 am

      LOL…I’ll dip my toes {see what I did there} into the shoe making pool after I buy all the Anthro and Free People shoes….

  • Reply Anne April 5, 2018 at 5:30 am

    You could use the decorative sweater closures like you sometimes see on Nordic sweaters. Fabricland used to carry them….not sure if they still do.

    • Reply Sue April 5, 2018 at 11:46 am

      Thanks Anne! It’s funny how when something isn’t on your radar…you just don’t see it. I bet when I next go to Fabricland, I’ll see all sorts of cool decorative sweater closures!

  • Reply Rhonda L Russell April 5, 2018 at 7:08 am

    How about a decorative button with a thread chain? I agree that it looks very chic now and you wouldn’t want to change the look too much.

    • Reply Sue April 5, 2018 at 11:47 am

      Thanks Rhonda! Good thought. If I did a very tight thread closure, it wouldn’t even be noticeable when the sweater is open.

  • Reply Elisa April 5, 2018 at 8:05 am

    Love love! Minimalist, beautiful color, and looks great on you. I would not want snaps, and I personally like the cables vertically.

    • Reply Sue April 5, 2018 at 11:49 am

      Thanks Elisa! Eep….you’ve brought up an important issue. For me anyways. This weird urge to do more when more isn’t necessary. I’m good at going just one step too far, LOL.

      Whew! Helpful advice thank you again!

  • Reply Priscilla Bettis April 5, 2018 at 8:49 am

    I like Linda’s frog idea, but if you don’t like frogs, how about (gasp!) hand sewn button holes? I’ve done them before and wasn’t pleased with my work but then realized you can’t see the work when the garment is buttoned!

    Gosh, that’s a lovely blue!

    • Reply Sue April 5, 2018 at 11:51 am

      Thanks Priscilla. Hand sewn buttonholes sound scary, LOL. But I have scraps of fabric I could certainly play around with. I guess my question for myself is will the sweater be worn most often done up or left open…that’s providing I had any closures at all.

      And…maybe it’s time I checked out frogs. I haven’t looked at them forever and I might surprise myself.

  • Reply Jenny April 5, 2018 at 9:36 am

    You could also look into have professional buttonholes done.

    • Reply Sue April 5, 2018 at 11:52 am

      I’ve read that people in NYC can get buttonholes made on the spot. I don’t know if there is such a service in Vancouver???

  • Reply Jenny April 5, 2018 at 9:39 am

    You could also google crochet or knit buttonloops to add on by hand. They aren’t difficult and can easily be removed if you don’t like them

    • Reply Sue April 5, 2018 at 11:53 am

      Brilliant point…the loops could be taken off…so no reason to be afraid! Thanks bunches Jenny!

  • Reply No Fear of Fashion April 5, 2018 at 9:42 am

    I agree, this garment looks so good, I think snaps will spoil it. And they will compete with any necklace or scarf. Leave it as it is. It is not a coat ehich you need to close for warmth, is it.
    I love the attention you give to the details. The way the print runs, the pattern is matched on all points. The way you did the cuff (horizontal on the inside and in line with the pattern of the rest of the sleeve when you keep them long. Brilliant.
    I would have thought that this stretchy material would be hell to sew, but you have done a lot in this area, haven’t you? T-shirts and such.
    As to horizontal.. hmm. I wouldn’t risk it. Can’t you “hold” the fabric in front of you and have hubby take a picture? I am afraid I might look odd or boxy. Photos are always more honest than our reflection in the mirror,
    As for the turtle neck… cannot see much of it.

    • Reply Sue April 5, 2018 at 11:57 am

      Thanks Greetje! Yep…I am finally able to let go of the snap obsession. LOL, I think because I recently bought the Snap Source tool kit I’ve had this idea of adding snaps to everything. 🙂 But. That is not the way to go here!

      I have been sewing knits A LOT. I am so looking forward to sewing some beautiful summer woven fabrics! I don’t find knits hard to sew. But, I find them kind of boring to sew. I think I’ll chat about this in a blog post.

      I’m swaying towards vertical placement again. Will try the mirror and photo test. I guess I wanted the white one to be a little different, but…meh…why mess up a good thing?

  • Reply Barbara Crisp April 5, 2018 at 9:47 am

    This is a gorgeous garment! I’m in agreement that the cables should run vertically. Also, if you’re going to add a closure, I’d suggest perhaps a small toggle (or two) just at the top, using a little piece of black leather for the anchoring part.

    • Reply Sue April 5, 2018 at 11:59 am

      Aw…thanks so much Barbara! OH! You know what? I have some ultrasuede leftover from my Bonnie bucket bag and it is pretty close to identical in colour to this knit. Having said that, I’m leaning towards leaving this make as is. I’m starting to feel like I try to do too much sometimes, to the detriment of the garment even.

  • Reply Diane Kaylor April 5, 2018 at 10:04 am

    How about sewn-snaps? I’ve seen them on couture garments. There is a size that would be perfect, and you could cover them with fabric , too, if you want. Threads did an article: http://www.threadsmagazine.com/2009/10/19/how-to-cover-snaps-for-that-touch-of-couture

    • Reply Sue April 5, 2018 at 12:01 pm

      Squeeeee! I always love a helpful link, thanks Diane! I remember seeing another blogger finish a coat with fabric covered sew on snaps….of course, I can’t for the life of me remember who it was. 🙂

      The wheels are turning for the white sweater…

  • Reply Charlotte April 5, 2018 at 10:34 am

    I would use hooks/eyes. Sew them under the front facing so they would not be visible from the front. This way the front would meet or miss together with no overlapping. Nice,clean, modern look! If the fabric is bulky use furrier hooks, otherwise just a large size regular ones. You can use an enamel paint to get the same color or cover with thread.

    • Reply Charlotte April 5, 2018 at 10:36 am

      Kiss together not miss! Why would auto correct not know the word kiss?

      • Reply Sue April 5, 2018 at 12:04 pm

        Gotcha! 🙂

    • Reply Sue April 5, 2018 at 12:04 pm

      YAAASH! Although I have enough room to have the opening overlap as it would if it were the dress, the kiss together is very chic and modern! AND…with the bulk of the fabric and that resulting play in light and dark…I could imagine the hook and eye basically disappearing open or closed!

      Thanks Charlotte!

  • Reply Pursuit April 5, 2018 at 10:58 am

    What a beautiful piece! I gotta go with No Fear on this and the other’s who agree nothing more is needed. A scarf or lovely necklace would be perfect. Plus this cover looks so versatile – it will go with so many of your patterned pieces. Your work here is done….!

    • Reply Sue April 5, 2018 at 12:07 pm

      Thank you for your thoughts! I’m learning that the simplicity of the garment is a good thing. 🙂 I’m just having a moment, thinking of some of my fun coats….and although I wouldn’t change them….I do find that I can’t often wear scarves etc with them because they are already adorned to my max. xo

  • Reply Sheryll April 5, 2018 at 11:25 am

    What fabulous fabric! And you’ve chosen the perfect pattern for it – even if it was for a dress!
    Personally I like closures on a coat – nothing drives me crazier on a windy day than having to hold garments closed! What about covering some sew on snaps with matching lining/silk? That way the side that does show blends into the fabric. I did this once on a pink jacket and was very happy with the result!

    • Reply Sue April 5, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      Thanks Sheryll! I know! Wind, an evening chill…I’m going to have to make a choice one way or the other, LOL. And. I’m going to have to make decisions for my white one too, HA! I’m definitely going to check out hand covering sew on snaps. It might time I learned a couture technique.

      I bet your pink jacket is AMAZING! Feel free to add a link to it in the comments!

  • Reply PsychicSewerKathleen April 5, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    I have the Tessuti Megan Longline Cardigan pattern which looks a lot like yours but I like the shaping of yours down the front. I’ve also seen this beautiful cable knit on blackbirdfabrics and been SO tempted but I’m REALLY trying not to buy any fabric right now…and how is that going? you might ask…well not the greatest but I’m doing better 🙂

    • Reply Sue April 5, 2018 at 2:50 pm

      LOLOL…how is that going Kathleen? I don’t need to ask…I know…I’m there too! 🙂

      I did see the Megan Longline Cardi but decided against it due to the flair. Looking again, just now, many of the google images show the cardigan to be pretty sleek. I wonder if the line drawing is a bit exaggerated? Hurry, hurry. Make yours so I can see and read your review. I know a good place where you can buy some fabric, hahahaha.

  • Reply Annie April 6, 2018 at 4:29 am

    No snaps! It looks so lovely just as you have presented it. If you need a closure, what about a hook and eye (or a couple) at the top if you need to close it.

    • Reply Sue April 6, 2018 at 11:25 am

      YAAASH! Snaps are definitely non-contenders, thanks Annie! Last night I was looking online at dark blue hook and eye closures. I think that might be the ticket!

  • Reply Caroline April 10, 2018 at 10:52 am

    I vote no closure! I love the way it looks just as it is. Love what you did with our quilted knit Sue! 🙂

    • Reply Sue April 10, 2018 at 10:52 pm

      Hi Caroline! GAH…I’m so happy you stopped by! I love my fabric, thanks…looking forward to whipping up my white version too. There’s a teeny tiny part of me that thinks I should make my white sweater somehow different than the blue one…but I’m pretty sure I’ll end up doing exactly the same.

      If…and I mean if I do a closure it will be a barely visible hook and eye. As it turns out, I haven’t found the lack of closure to be an issue at all.

  • Reply Sherry - Petite Over 40 April 11, 2018 at 11:34 am

    Audrey Hepburn is EXACTLY who I had in mind as I looked at your outfit photos! ::sigh:: To change that up with fasteners seems almost a crime. Having said that, you’ve gotten some great suggestions from others so maybe the crime really is with my limited imagination! 🙂

    And speaking of limited imagination, I can’t see horizontal on the white. I love how lengthening the lines are for this coat and I’m kind of stuck there. Can’t wait to see what you do!!

    – Sherry

    • Reply Sue April 11, 2018 at 11:52 am

      Hi Sherry! It’s funny…in my head I originally envisioned a long cable cardi with chunky buttons. Then I accepted that buttonholes would be too risky and my thoughts strayed to snaps. Then I completed the sweater and was really unsure about those snaps. Which was a good thing…I actually listened to my intuition, he he. I’ve been wearing sans closures and it’s working out beautifully.

      Similar story with the horizontal stripes. I haven’t cut out my second make, and I think it’s because my intuition is telling me not to do the stripes width-wise. I think it could look good, but maybe not so much good on me.

  • Reply Melanie April 12, 2018 at 10:49 pm

    How about belcro (can’t write the real words because, you know). Or maybe that would stick to everything… I like it without anything but I understand how you might want to close this. I just had to suggest something because everyone else was. Hahaha.

    AndI really like your idea of the white with horizontal stripes. I think it would have a very chic retro vibe. I think it would look good on you too. I hope you haven’t dropped the idea already.

    • Reply Sue May 25, 2018 at 1:28 pm

      Hee Hee. Wouldn’t want to be sued…hmmmm what does that mean for me…a real honest to goodness Sue?

      This fabric is much warmer than I thought it would be….it’s good. It’s great but I haven’t even started the white one yet for this very reason. It might be better as an early fall make?

  • Reply Shelley@ForestCityFashionista April 15, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    I don’t think it needs fasteners at all! I’ve been wearing a lot of black and that shade of blue together lately so this outfit caught my eye. I like the choice of fabric – who knew there was quilted jersey? I am discovering that the world of home sewing is a fascinating, frustrating and kind of scary place 🙂

    • Reply Sue May 25, 2018 at 1:26 pm

      LOL…yeah sometimes scary, sometimes frustrating…mostly fascinating.

      No fasteners so far and it’s been getting a lot of wear. It’s surprisingly warm. The quiltiness really adds to the warmth factor I think.

  • Reply Dee April 23, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    Lovely colour! I’d definitely go with a hand stitched fabric covered snap closure. It would be almost invisible. That was my first instinct when you posted your dilemma. The other option would be a decratve brooch, than you have an unadorned look whenever you like.
    Either way it’s a lovely sweater. I’m sure you will enjoy wearing for years to come.

    • Reply Sue May 25, 2018 at 1:25 pm

      Thanks Dee. I’ve seen fabric covered snaps and I wonder if I would do a neat enough job with them??? I do have a collection of brooches that aren’t getting enough wear…they could totally be a fun addition.

  • Reply Flo May 9, 2018 at 3:54 am

    I love this–and it’s not even pink!!! 😉 That is some seriously awesome fabric, I can see why you were excited about it. I think I’d look for some decorative closures for it. Definitely not snaps or buttons. And perhaps just one at the top, just enough to break up the fabric, but not interrupt it too much. I can’t wait to see what you do with the other piece of fabric!

    • Reply Sue May 25, 2018 at 1:23 pm

      LOLOL…I know. I have all the love for pink too Flo. I just made two, TWO, pink button up shirts!

      So….to date…I’ve added no closures. I do find myself sometimes hugging the fabric to me if I feel chilly, but I haven’t been able to make a commitment to a closure. Visible snaps, and buttons are off the table for sure though.

  • Reply Grace June 29, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    I love what you did with this fabric! How about some nice frogs of some style-y type instead of buttons or snaps. Or how about some great big, funky snaps? Or a nice frog on one side and inside of the frog on the other side, a big funky button (in the number needed, of course).


    • Reply Grace June 29, 2018 at 7:37 pm

      “instead of the frog” not “inside of the frog” Oy! 🙂

      • Reply Sue July 8, 2018 at 12:03 am

        Gotcha! 😉

    • Reply Sue July 8, 2018 at 12:04 am

      Thanks so much Grace. I’ve been wearing the sweater as is. No closures at all. Although it’s working out fine, I think my not having done any closures is more laziness, or indecisiveness than anything else, LOL. Your suggestion of a half frog/half button closure is pretty ingenious. Thanks for sharing. I’ll definitely keep this in mind.

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