Last year I snapped up the Wendy Ward Beginners Guide to Sewing with Knits, as I was very drawn to a few of the patterns in the book, particularly the Kinder cardigan. I had a few heavy knits in my stash that would suit, but in particular wanted to use an unusual quilted cotton knit I’d purchased a few years ago from Rathdowne Remnants. This was a remnant from Oishi M, a local children’s clothing brand. It was a beautiful indigo blue, and needed to be washed twice to ensure all the dye came out.
I actually attempted to make up this fabric a couple of years ago, into a simple windcheater pattern but managed to cut it horrifically off grain and petulantly balled the thing up with the leftover fabric in the hope that one day I’d be able to refashion it into something wearable.
The Kinder is a simple pattern – neckband, sleeves, front and back. But then I realised that my fabrics asymmetric diamond pattern would be a nightmare to try to pattern match around the neckband, and I just couldn’t be dealing with it. Once I remembered this cardigan McCalls 6996 I made a few years ago, with a shawl neckline, I was back on track with my plans.
A little bit of frankenpattern razzle dazzle and I had my solution – the drop shoulders and boxy fit of the Kinder teamed with the chic neckline of the MCalls that eliminated the need for a separate neckband. It was pretty simple – I traced the shoulder line of the Kinder, then used the CB of both patterns to line up the shoulders, and traced off the shawl neckline of 6996. I love that gathered detail at the back of the neck.
I believe I made a size small in the cropped length after trying on Anna’s lovely boiled wool version. It’s very roomy and for future versions I will be slimming the sleeves slightly. I’m sure I made a forward shoulder adjustment and I left off the pockets. I did a pretty good job of pattern matching at the front, but the side seams are a fail that I choose to pretend don’t exist.
I finished the hems and neckband by hand, as the double layer of the quilted fabric allowed an invisible finish. It’s a lovely light but warm layer. I’ve struggled to find the right top to wear under it at times, and this Autumn my sewing will focus on making a few slim fitting basic layers to wear with it. I’ve got some black wool ponte earmarked for another Kinder this winter, with the standard collar as drafted. But you know me, there’ll be some sort of pattern hackery if I get the time to make it! I did notice when writing this up that the Kinder is now available as a separate PDF pattern – a smart move by Wendy I think!
Also worn is view B of Kwik Sew 3801, a definite post pregnancy winner. The scooped slightly V-neck in a cotton Lycra is very elegant and deep enough for breastfeeding access, and I love the tight sleeves and loose boxy fit. The fabric is a Stoff cotton Lycra, from The Cloth Shop in Ivanhoe. This pattern is out of print, but a real winner for a breastfeeding wardrobe – I’ve made view A twice now (verson one here), and in a warm merino fabric it’s great over a feeding tank or other nursing top.
Thanks Anna for the pics and lovely garden backdrop. Smiles courtesy of my small person cavorting on a trampoline for the first time.