Scandal: Wine Cardigans & Other Patterns for Our Girls

Today is Thursday and that means one thing: Scandal is on TV tonight! We’re playing our little game of matching our patterns with TV characters, having previously looked at Girls and Downton Abbey. It’s Scandal’s turn! Grab a big glass of red wine and let’s start with our star, Olivia Pope.


Wine cardigan patterns for Olivia Pope, as picked by the McCall Pattern CompanyWe have a gazillion woman-in-power patterns that would work well on Olivia (see: capes, fitted jackets, sheath dresses), and many of you have pointed out patterns that remind you of Ms. Pope. But let’s focus instead on what Olivia wears after she hangs up her Gladiator hat for the night: the wine cardigan. I love that phrase and wish I’d coined it, but the credit goes to the Fug Girls of Go Fug Yourself:

“It speaks to a genre of cardigan that is particular good for drinking wine: large, soft, swingy, rarely with buttons; just something you can tuck around yourself, almost like a blanket and a robe together,” GFY co-founder Heather Cocks explains. “An end-of-the-day cardigan is such a regular person touch, because sometimes we all just want to bury our stresses in something snuggly that won’t judge our fourth glass. When Liv has on her Wine Cardigan, it’s go time and a bottle of Cabernet is about to die.”

For Olivia’s wine cardigan outfit I chose McCall’s M6658, a comfy-chic ensemble if there ever was one. Sew the sweater and pants out of tissue-weight cashmere for uber comfort and luxury. And don’t stint on the wine either.


First Lady Mellie of Scandal looks great in sheath dresses with little details. Pattern from the McCall Pattern CompanyMellie, Mellie, Mellie. We love every crazy bit about you, and we were 100% behind you during your Smelly Mellie phase. Yeah, we’d vote for you as president, you nutty vixen. Just keep wearing those sheath dresses. I think Vogue Patterns V1369 by Kay Unger is perfect for Mellie, with its pleats at the waist and the asymmetrical neckline. Make it in a shade of power red.

Rumor has it that Bellamy Young, who plays Mellie, is actually a sewer herself. She visited Mood Fabrics a year ago and tweeted this: “Few more soothing places than a fabric store.” Word.


Abby on Scandal sticks to politically safe dresses and jackets, now that she works for the White House. Pattern by Vogue Patterns.Can I just say how bored I am with what the writers have done with Abby’s character? She is a walking advertisement for not going into politics. I mean, just look at the boring clothes she has to wear now: plain sheath dresses and bland jackets in mousy colors. When she was a Gladiator she wore sexy DVF wrap dresses or silk blouses and pencil skirts. Abby was hot! Let’s hope she forsakes her dull job to save Olivia and returns to being a Gladiator. In the meantime, I think Vogue Patterns sheath dress V9050 is a step up from her on-the-job sheath dresses of late.


Quinn would rock a bomber jacket. Pattern by McCall's.I love Quinn. She’s the most real of the Scandal women. She actually uses contractions when she speaks! (Olivia Pope hates contractions.) Quinn gets the job done, and she dresses casually, just in case there’s dirty work involved (and maybe a little blood too). Moto jackets are so her, and we can also see Quinn wearing a bomber jacket for the spring weather in DC. I’ve chosen McCall’s pattern M7100, and I think Quinn would rock it in butter-soft black or tan suede.

Wow, we’re so excited about your enthusiastic reception to the wrap dress sewalong. Have you been thinking about patterns to sew? I’m actually deciding between a few myself. Next week we’ll talk more about testing out RTW wrap dresses before choosing a pattern, so don’t feel you have to rush into anything. There’s lots of time…

We’ve been sewing since 1863.

  1. I just wanted to say that even though I don’t watch Scandal, I found this highly entertaining! Please keep going with this series…Thanks!!

  2. I enjoy when you do these 🙂

  3. I agree, these are entertaining and interesting!

  4. Next can you take a look at the show Once Upon a Time? I like the regular looks in Storybrook and I like the costumes in all the different lands!

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