Thursday, 12 July 2018

Retro Cardigans Revisted

When I'm reading blogs or catching up on my Instagram feed, I'm fascinated to see which patterns sewers return to and make multiple times. Some people may feel reluctant to post projects made with TNT patterns, instead of some completely fresh new pattern/project perhaps, maybe thinking that their readers don't want to see a repeat, or not knowing what fresh thing to say about it. As a reader/follower/viewer though, I feel the opposite; I really want to see which garments clearly got so much use IRL that more versions were called for, and therefore which patterns other sewers have found to be excellent value for money.


Having recently posted (again!) about the Made by Rae Geranium dress pattern, today I'm going to share another kids' pattern that I've posted about previously that had another outing on to my sewing table. So, tell me, who doesn't love a cardigan?! They're a useful layer all year round; they give extra warmth when it's cold and are a jacket substitute in the summer. The Retro cardigan pattern by Brindille & Twig is such an easy project and can be made in a variety of fabrics. I went on this particular cardigan making binge in the spring to hoover up some fabric scraps that were floating around in my stash, and turned them into useful garments for both Frankie and Dolores.

As I've mentioned before, I've found that B&T patterns come up large if you use the age to pick a size. If you use their height guidelines instead, or just pick a size/age smaller, I personally find you get a more successful fit (e.g. in the picture at the top of the post Frankie is 18 months old but wearing the size 12-18 months).

As for alterations to the pattern, after the first four I made (the three from the previous post and Dolores's anchor cardigan in this post), I decided to make the cuffs and waistband deeper. Whilst making the last of this batch of four (Frankie's anchor cardigan pictured above), I decided to make the curve of the front piece where it joins the neckband less exaggerated, and the result is a neckband that sits much flatter than the others (check out Dolores's anchor cardigan above that one for a comparison). I'll definitely make this small alteration a permanent one going forwards.


As I say, these cardigans can be made in a variety of knits to create garments with different degrees of warmth. The fleece backed sweatshirt fabric version I previously made Frankie was great for winter, and the lighter interlock (like a thick jersey) provided a great layer for milder weather. Ponte de Roma hits the spot in between. When I 'accidentally' ended up with both the navy and white colour ways of the anchor ponte that I used to make this Cabernet cardigan, these joggers and this Freya top, the leftovers were screaming out to be combined into one garment. I pieced together Dolores's cardigan (the version with the white sleeves) and used some gold buttons from my stash. Shortly after, I realised I could squeeze another Frankie-sized one out of the remains-of-the-remains if I used some solid navy ponte (also from my scraps tub) for the sleeves and back piece. I love that these two garments are similar but not exactly the same. Much like the kids themselves!

I made the black version pictured above (apols for the blurry image) using the size 5-6 (proving my point about this pattern's age-based sizing coming up large!) for Dolores to wear in a year or two's time. It's made from the leftovers of my quilted/embossed ponte Kinder cardigan, which I've found to be very snuggly and soft. I hate buying buttons for projects when I have such a large button stash already. I picked out this set of red fabric-covered buttons, but I may change them in the future if something better shows up.  

And the final version I have to share with you started life as this mint green, faux-wrap, loop-back French terry top I bought in a charity shop for 50p (pictured above). The colour IRL looks in between the above pic and the finished cardigan pictured below. I bought this top because the fabric felt incredibly soft, and had excellent stretch and recovery. I wished I'd smoothed off the curve of the front piece (as described above) on this version, because, as you can see, the neckband doesn't sit very flat when it's buttoned up. I had to cut-n-shut the sleeves together because of the restricted fabric I could harvest from the original garment. However, I like the additional seams on the sleeves. I think it gives the garment a sportier vibe, although I never would have thought to add the extra seams unless I was creating a colour blocking effect. It may not surprise you to learn that Dolores helped pick out the buttons and the unicorn patch from my stash. 


These projects have made me so happy because A) they were almost free in terms of financial cost, B) they used up some leftover fabric that I might have otherwise have chucked in the textile recycling bin (better to reuse than recycle), and C) they have already seen a lot of wear, keeping my babies warm without restricting their movement at all. 

What are your favourite patterns for kids that you have made multiple times? Have you discovered any that are also useful scrap busters, either woven or knits? Spill the beans...


Vancouver Barbara said...

Adorable! And you did such a beautiful job. The kids are gorgeous Love the suit in the first pic.

Natasha said...

Your children are so beautiful. I hope you get a picture of the two of them together in their sweaters. You can use it to torture them later on when they are teenagers. Happy sewing!

Unknown said...

Lovely cardigans but what cute children:!

Metalmom37 said...

Those are great!!! how cute!

Let's Get Sewing said...

These are so lovely. I really like the contrast between the fabrics!

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