Sunday, April 22, 2018

Bits and Pieces Cardigans.

During my extremely busy period I did not want to sew anything that I felt I could concentration was low and time limited. So, I raided my scrap box and found that I had enough in the way of leftovers to make two teeny cardigans. The fabric is a combed cotton (Spotlight)  medium weight, no spandex, and being so short work well to just keep the air conditioning chill under control. Too fitted and too long would defeat the objective - it's hot and humid here, but when airconditioners are on at work, I tend to just need a little something. These little somethings fit the bill. I also find them handy at home, just to throw on when the temperature drops. Being so small they are easy to carry around in my work bag.  Also, the fabric is pretty indestructible, unlike some of the rayon cardigans that can be purchased - I always find that I pull threads on them very quickly. And some I manage to tear holes into quite easily if I catch the cardigan. Give me a hardy homemade cardigan anyday!

The cardigan shown above is made from purple and black scraps, and the neckband is a navy piece.  I really like this little cardigan, and I think it looks very smart, for what it is.  I used Butterick 5760 as my base pattern:

This pattern is quite a few years old and is OOP.  You can buy it on ebay, etsy and Amazon, presumably second hand.  I bought it because I liked the cardigan and dress.  I have not yet made the cardigan "properly". This is because I have never made a cardigan before and am still a bit of a knit novice, so I thought a scrap cardigan would help me to overcome my learners block and get me on the road to being able to make knit cardigans nicely one day.  I was also unsure of sizing, so a scrap cardigan also helped me assess fit. Adn the length of the bodice and sleeves were dictated by the size and length of my scrap pieces.

As far as fit is concerned, this cardigan is quite fitted, unusually so for a Butterick pattern. So I settled on size 14 as I did not want this cardigan to be tight as it is just a summer throw on.  I thought the front bands were too narrow for buttons and buttonholes so I widened them. I did interface the bands, as instructed, but I think the interfacing I used was a little too thick - but then, as a knit novice, I am still learning these things.  In the end I decided against buttons, because I was worried they would stretch out on the knit fabric.  Andd I was tired, so a new adventure in making buttonholes on knits did not appeal.  I used snaps instead and covered one side with navy buttons (see picture below).  It sort of looks symetrical when worn open, so I was rather pleased with my cowardly choice!

I did think the neckband was a little too much along the lines of how you would stitch a woven neckband, and I sort of played around with it a bit, to see if I could do better.  The pattern suggested stitching the band on and then trimming back the seams.  I thought this would form a ridge, so I did not trim back the seams but let them fill the neckband.  It seems to have worked.  The pattern also suggests turning the band to the inside and handstitching in place, which seems a little old fashioned and a technique more suited to wovens to me, so I applied the band the other way around and then finished on the outside with a row of small zig zag stitches.  I could have used my coverstitch but was unsure if it would handle the bulk, so settled on zig zag stitch on my industrial machine - I knew that would handle the bulk.  My method seems to have worked well enough and somehow goes with the overall look of the cardigan.

 I am not sure I did, and it is a bit thick and bulky, but somehow it seems to go with the overall look of the cardigan.

The hems were coverstitched in place:

So that is my first little cover up. The second is a little black cardigan, made out of a few more black combed cotton oddments:

For this little cardigan I used (OOP) McCalls 6708:

The first thing I did was check the pattern against Butterick 5760. The McCalls cardigan had a lot more shape through the sides, which I did not need or want for my little summer cardi.  Otherwise it was much the same size as Butterick 5760, so I just went with the new neckline (Version A) and neckband.  The front band was already wider, so I left that as it was.  I overlocked the neckband to the garment neck edge and then did a small zig zag topstitch on the right side to hold the overlocking down in place.  I did find that my finished neckband did not sit well, so I think a small modification may be needed to the neckband - it looks like it needs a bit nipping out (see below). However, it is not so noticeable when worn.

 I chose not to have buttons on this cardigan, being quite happy with the almost cape like appearance of the finished cardigan.  This was a choice though, because in the interim between my colour block cardi and making this one, I had made some knit buttonholes!  

Time for the pictures and then it is time for me to go for this week:

(I am not sure why the back is kicking up, I suspect, as per my norm, I just did not arrange the garment before the photo. The t- shirt also looks a bit that way...)

I have to admit these two cardigans made with leftovers have been much worn garments and are very useful, and also quite indestructible.

 Take care everyone, and I will be back with another post next Sunday...

Sarah Liz