Saturday 31 March 2018

'A Beginner's Guide to Sewing with Knitted Fabrics' Blog Tour: The Kinder Cardigan

Pack your bags, grab your passport and ask your neighbour to feed the cat; we're going on a blog tour! Wendy Ward (my IRL boss, FYI), has written another fabulous sewing book, this time all about sewing with knit fabrics. As well as MASSES of information about choosing and working with knit fabrics, this book includes graded sewing patterns to make 6 basic projects with heaps of additional variations. The pattern pieces are printed on the three double-sided pattern sheets at the back of the book.


It didn't take me long to decide on the Kinder cardigan pattern to try out. The weather can vary a lot during one day in the UK, plus I'm usually feeling cold anyway, therefore I have a deep appreciation for a good cardigan for layering up. The kimono-style Kinder cardigan pattern includes three lengths (short-, mid-length and full-length), two sleeve lengths, optional cuffs for the long sleeve length, AND optional pockets for the mid- and long-length cardigans. Having chosen the design elements you want, you then need to trace the pattern pieces off the pattern sheets. 

Tracing the pattern pieces off was probably the most time consuming part of this project. Because most of the Kinder cardigan pattern pieces are larger than the pattern sheets included in the book, most of them are extended over a couple of sheets. It was a bit annoying that all the cardigan pattern pieces were spread over all six sides of the pattern sheets, rather than all located on one sheet, but I'm sure there was a spacial/financial reason for designing the pattern sheets in this way.

Confession time: I messed up the tracing. I was aiming for the mid-length cardigan, rather than the short length that you see here. I got confused and read the 'hip line' that is marked on the pattern as the hip-length hem line (duh), and didn't realise what I'd done until I started construction so ended up making the short length instead. Entirely my fault. Anyways, after that blip, this cardigan came together in the blink of an eye. It would be an excellent confidence-building pattern for a beginner sewer/sewist, and a satisfyingly quick make for a more experienced one. 


For this review, I was lucky enough to be able to choose what fabric I wanted to make it in from the massive selection on the Minerva Crafts website. Queue: hours upon hours searching through their site. Eventually I requested some Atelier Brunette sweatshirting, annoyingly I can no longer find it on their site so I'm guessing they've sold out, but they do have this slightly different design in alternative colour-ways in the same weight. 

I've seen these Atelier Brunette sweatshirt fabrics used on blogs and Instagram many times before but couldn't really justify shelling out £20+ a metre for sweatshirt fabric myself. But now I have had the opportunity to feel, work with and wear it, I can totally see what all the fuss is about and why it is so special. My goodness it is soft and lovely, and washes really well without the sparkles coming off. 

So after making and loving my first version, I knew I wanted to make another, and fast. I found this lovely quilted/embossed ponte de Roma at Fabric Godmother at their recent open day, and I can't recommend it enough for making a snuggly cardigan like this. Having found the right fabric, I then went back and traced the *ahem* correct length pattern pieces for the mid-length cardigan, and two evening sewing sessions later (one for cutting, one for construction), my new favourite garment was complete. 


This is exactly the style of cardigan that I feel my wardrobe needs right now. My style has moved away from the retro/rockabilly look that befits little, round-necked, vintage-y type cardis, and my  jeggings-and-tops Mum uniform that I'm permanently found in these days works so much better with this looser, open front cardigan style. I've also found that the sleeves of this pattern are the perfect width: wide enough to be worn with ease over all my long sleeved tops but narrow enough to also fit under my jackets and coats. I've been layering my Kinders over fine knit jumpers during the horrible, chilly weather we've been having recently, and I can't wait to use them as jackets over short sleeved tops and T-shirts once the weather warms up. Oh, and I have at least two more Kinder cardigans planned...

Blog tour and discount code: 

This post is the first stop on the 'A Beginner's Guide to Sewing with Knitted Fabrics' blog tour, and there's some other fabulous sewers lined up along the way. I have been provided with the handy image below (handy for me because it means I don't need to type them all out) to show you when and where else you can see Wendy's new knit patterns in action. If you like what you see and fancy snapping up a copy of this book, then are offering a sizeable 25% off the price by typing in the code BLOG25 at the check out until 21st April.


Anonymous said...

I like your cardigans so much that I have ordered Wendy's book so that I can make one myself. Thanks a lot Zo!

Mother of Reinvention said...

What lovely cardigans. Your fabrics are just brilliant and I really like both of the lengths. I pre-ordered this book on Amazon and while I am not really knits-sewing person I loved all the detail and the really good sewing advice. I am determined to make the lovely draped skirt in there as it is a bonkers shape. and very stylish. Xx

Fabric Tragic said...

They look great! I am tempted as I too love a good cardi. I’ve a similar AB fabric to that and agree it truly is a lovely knit to sew with and wear.

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