Monday 16 January 2023

Scrappy Knit Cardigan

This is a recently completed project that is the result of an idea that I just couldn't shake. Inspired by the success of Pat's scrap busting Apollon sweatshirt (which in turn was inspired by the success of these scrap busting jersey tops) the thought popped into my brain that I could apply the same idea to actual knit fabric.     I am very interested in clever ways to reuse old garments, and am always looking to bulk out my chilly-weather clothing selection, which is pretty limited. So I cleared the decks of other projects and decided to have a play. 

I have a big bag of old knitwear garments and scraps: items that are moth eaten, felted, misshapen or badly pilled, plus scraps of knit fabric that can be bought by the metre. Some of the knit garments I've had in my stash for over a decade, that I've harvested bits from for other projects, mainly mittens over the years. I was keen to reduce the volume of my knit stash and claw back some space in my airing cupboard. 

I started out my selecting pieces that made a fairly pleasing colour palette. The chartreuse colour is my favourite. I previously used some of that moth-eaten jumper to make myself some mittens. I made sure to use include every last scrap of that garment in this project. There's quite a lot of pink in this project, which is NOT a colour I ever usually wear, but with the other bold colours, I think it looks ok and the over all effect is graphic and fun. 

As for the piecing, part of my goal was to try to be as economic with each piece as possible and be left with very few unusable scraps. I cut along the seam lines of some of the knit garments to access as much of the fabric as possible. I let the resultant shapes guide the forms and I jigsawed them together over the course of a few evenings until I had sections large enough to fit my pattern pieces on. 

The pattern I used at the base of this projects was the Jamie cardigan by Ready to Sew, which I adapted slightly to my preferences. I used some black Ponte Roma for the neck band, and black ribbing for the cuffs and waistband. I like how the solid black of these pieces creates a kind of frame for the colours and patterns within. 

As you may have noticed, this cardigan features some basket weave type knit that I also used to make the polo neck top I'm wearing here. I'm enjoying the 'alternative twin set' look! It's also nice to have a bold, fun garment to wear when the weather is freezing. Any addition of colour in the winter is welcome. 

Friday 6 January 2023

Free Pattern Friday: Kids' Movie Night Pajamas

Welcome to my monthly 'Free Pattern Friday' feature, where I road test a free sewing pattern or tutorial: sometimes a children's one, sometimes an adult's one . I publish these posts every first Friday of the month, timed to provide inspiration for those who plan to get their sew on over the weekend. I firmly believe that, if you pick your projects carefully, sewing doesn't have to be a crazy-expensive way to clothe yourself and your family. I also firmly believe that pattern designers deserve to be properly paid for their work, so if you enjoy using a pattern and can afford to do so, make sure you support that designer. Some designers' websites offer the option to make a donation, alternatively you can buy one of their paid-for products. If you can't afford to do so, you can support the designer by sharing your project via social media to help draw more attention to their work. Thanks to all the amazing pattern designers who have offered up their hard work for us to enjoy for free.

Hello and Happy New Year!!!! This is the first blog post of 2023, which will see this blog's 15th birthday! Wild, eh?! This Free Pattern Friday blog feature has also been running for a fair while. I just counted and I've written 54 blog posts road testing free sewing patterns and tutorials, starting in the Autumn of 2017. Phew! I've actually decided to put this feature on pause for a few months. I never want to be sewing for the sake of it. Up until recently, I've had a backlog of free sewing patterns and tutorials that I want to try that I believe will be genuinely useful for myself, my kids or my home. But right now, there aren't any that I can say with honesty we could really do with right now. And with my sewing time being very limited, it seems pointless, not to mention unsustainable, to make things for the sake of having something to post about. I'm definitely going to return to this feature and post more road tests towards the summer. However, for now, this'll be the last for a while. Good job this pattern is a good one! 

Nearly a year ago I road tested and posted about the men's version of the free Movie Night Pajamas pattern by Sew A Little Seam. Today I'm posted about the kid's version of this truly excellent pattern. There's also women's version and all three versions are available for free by joining their Facebook group. That will give you access to a code that you can use at the checkout on their site. If you don't have a Facebook account, or wish to support Sew A Little Seam with a purchase, this pattern is only $5. As always, massive thanks to Sew A Little Seam, and all designers, who make their work available for free.

(image source: Sew a Little Seam)

Pattern type:

The Movie Night pyjamas are a close-fitting set designed for knit fabrics. There are lots of style options. There's long and short sleeves for the top, plus long, Capri or short versions of the bottoms, so it's a great pattern for all seasons. You can personalise them further with the other style options included: gathered sleeve, neckline placket and yoga or elasticated waistbands. That's a lot of options. 

Sizing info:

These pyjamas are graded to fit 12 months to 12 years, by which point your kid might start fitting into the smaller sizes of the adult versions! I made the size 10 for my 9yo who is on the large side, and the fit is great. I think I also added a few extra centimetres to the length of the bottoms for extra room for growth. 

Fabric info:

The pattern recommends cotton/spandex (AKA Lycra or elastane), rib knits or thermal. For this pair I used a cotton pointelle that I picked up at the Ukraine fundraiser fabric swap I organised in 2022, which may or may not be what they refer to as 'thermal'. I also used ribbing for the neckband and cuffs. If you're being critical, you might say the the rib I used was a shade too thick for this pointelle, but it functions well enough. 


As with the men's version, this pattern was a joy to work with. It includes both A0 and print-at-home versions of the PDF files, both with layers which I really appreciate. And there's a projector file too, if that's your jam. The instructions are clear, and include photos of the steps to help you along. 

The PJs themselves have come out really well. I was working with limited fabric and I wanted to squeeze out a vest as well (using this pattern), so I had to add a centre back seam to the top. To prevent the seam allowance feeling annoying, I added a back neck facing, which gives some nice solidity to a project anyhow. 

Customisation ideas:

There are heaps of customisation options included in this pattern already, but there is a distinct lack of pockets! 

Would I make this pattern again?

I'm sure I will, now that I have downloaded it. You could get a similar look to these, however, by using a leggings or slim joggers pattern and a basic T-shirt pattern if you already had some in the correct size. I'm not sure I like the feeling on these slim fit PJ bottoms, but I might use the top of the women's pattern for myself at some point in the future. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...