Wednesday, 22 August 2018

The Kinders Keep Coming

At the start of 2018, I already had a solid selection of handmade cardigans, all made using either the Jenna and Cabernet cardigan patterns. However, over the last couple of years, I've been experimenting with looser style tops that have different amounts of volume than my previous rockabilly-casual style tended to have. I've often found it a struggle to fit those Jennas and Cabernets over the top of a lot of the tops and dresses I usually wear these days. Therefore, it made sense to include a slouchy, 'boy-friend'-esque cardigan in my then-forthcoming #2018makenine project plans. 


After some poking about, I discovered that I already owned one that I thought might fit the bill. An old copy of Burdastyle magazine that was nestling on my shelves contained a slouchy looking cardigan pattern, it's this one that can also be bought via the Burdastyle website (spoiler alert: I wouldn't bother). I traced out the pieces and combined the lower sleeve piece with that weird extra band that formed the top part of the sleeve to make it into one pattern piece. I requested and was kindly granted a sample length of this fabulous mustard french terry from Girl Charlee UK, and got to work. (Ironic) Ta da!

So hideous. I want to blame the way the cardigan is obscured in the shot on the Burdastyle model, but equally I could blame my own eyes for not seeing that this cardigan pattern is pretty horrid (IMO), and has also been made up in a much sturdier knit than what I had tried it in. Either way: FAIL. The project got thrown into the corner of my sewing area, promising to return to salvage the fabric when I felt less rubbish about the whole debacle.

The mustard success:

Whilst the fail-cardigan resided in the corner of shame, I was asked to take part in the blog tour for Wendy Ward's 'A Beginner's Guide to Sewing with Knitted Fabrics'. As part of that, I made her Kinder cardigan pattern, and liked the result so much I went on to make another. Having worn the living shizzle out of both AND knowing that they were able to worn over looser tops, it didn't take me long to work out what to do with the mustard french terry, once I'd salvaged what I could of it. 

After slicing up the failed Burdastyle cardigan, I realised I wouldn't have quite enough fabric, so I begged Girl Charlee for an additional metre, which they were swift to supply me with, the legends.  However, even with the extra fabric, I didn't have quite enough to make the mid-length option (as per my black ponte version). So my new mustard version ended up precisely half-way between the short and mid length pattern options. I even remembered to alter the neckband pieces as well! 

Let's talk more about this fabric. In short: it is AMAZING. It's soooo soft and has an amazing drape, perfect for a flow-y cardigan plus I bet it would work fabulously for a knit skater-style dress, if those are your bag. Because of its softness, I decided to opt for the cuff-less sleeve option of the pattern, and the whole this has worked perfectly. I LOVE wearing this cardigan so much. I knew that a mustard coloured cardigan would work well with the rest of my clothing selection because of how much I have worn my mustard Cabernet cardigan (and the mustard hand-me-down RTW cardigan I made the Cabernet to replace). However, I must admit that I have barely worn my mustard Cabernet now that I have this Kinder one. It fits over all my tops and dresses much more easily and feels so lovely to wear that I can't resist reaching for it first.

I've learnt the hard way to always reinforce the shoulder seams of knit tops. For this project, I added an extra cute little detail by overlocking some narrow rainbow grosgrain ribbon into the shoulder seams of. It makes me very happy when I see the rainbows as I'm popping it on. With the remains of both the original fail-digan and the extra metre that I was sent, I was able to squeeze out a pair of joggers and a T-shirt for Frankie. The joggers are currently covered in yogurt so I couldn't get a photo, but I used the same Ottobre magazine 'straight stripes' joggers pattern that I used for these pairs because they were such a success. For the T-shirt, I used the free Ringer tee pattern by Brindille & Twig, that I previously wrote about here. This time, I omitted the bottom band and added a little woven ribbon detail, in part to help distinguish the front easily when getting the squirmy little guy dressed. 

The navy version:

After creating such a successful cardigan, I had an eye out for other fabric that the Kinder pattern could work its magic on. I ended up with an end of roll length of this interesting navy and white knit (sadly no longer in stock) from Fabric Godmother whilst working at one of their open days earlier this year. I really loved it, and it certainly fit within my usual colour palette, however, with less than a metre of it, I just wasn't sure what to do with it. Then I remembered this image (see below) from my Pinterest boards of a cardigan/jacket-hybrid that I believe came from Anthropologie that used a fabric with a similar look. I didn't think a cardigan like this would use much fabric, so with the Kinder pattern in hand, I attempted a vague recreation of the Anthropologie garment. 

I opted for making my version 5cm longer than the short-length option on the pattern. The sleeves ended up a bit shorter than the 3/4 length I was aiming for because I was was working with very limited fabric. However, I think overall the proportions work ok, and there's definitely a passing resemblance!

I didn't use anything cute to reinforcement the shoulders in this version, but I did add a little nautical back neck hanging loop. It's something that I wished I had included in my mustard version to keep it from slipping off the hanger.

Despite being completely my colours and style, I decided to make this version for my amazing and inspiring friend Harriet, who lives in Barcelona. In our correspondence, I had offered to make her a garment as she reads my blog from time to time and is always very complimentary about my creations. She had mentioned that she liked my cardigan/jacket creations, and although I think she might have been referring to my La Trop Facile jacket, the Kinder has a similar kimono-y, fastening-free look so I hoped that she would appreciate this project. She's received it and says that she loves it, and it truly gives me more happiness to know that she wears it than it would if it lived in my wardrobe, particularly because I already have three Kinders and three navy cardigans already in there.


Wendy W said...

Zoe these Kinders are gorgeous!! I'm so glad that pattern is working so hard for you! It must've been a wrench to part with that navy one though......

Fabric Tragic said...

Winners! Love the blue one especially. If it helps I tend to add my hanging loops after finishing in knit garments. I top stitch them to the seam allowance at the CB of the neckline as I find then the strength of the seam bears the weight of the hanging garment. Does that make sense? If not let me know and I’ll send you a pic xx

Annabellouise said...

I really like both of the cardigans. After a very hot summer, I am looking forward to autumn dressing. These look perfect for cold rooms in our old London house. I'm thinking of one in red or burgundy and another in charcoal grey (if I can find the fabrics).

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