I have lots of cardigans but I’ve been wanting a light weight loosely fitting one. Most of my existing ones fit on the firm side. So I took some white pure wool rib knit fabric that I had bought very cheaply, and cut an embiggened and flared version of my Tshirt pattern. I did a few rounds of pin fitting and chopping bits off before I was happy with the shape and ran it up on the overlocker. It was still too large, but then I remembered that the rib was likely to tighten when washed. So stopping at that point felt wise.
I put it to soak in some warm vinegared water for a bit, and yes, it did tighten up. Then I had fun with a dye pot, trying for an elegant gradient effect of some sort using green/blue/red dyes. I wish I’d taken a shot of the before version laid out on the table, but I’d been too keen to get to the dyeing. Here is the result from the dyeing but before finishing, next to the leftover starting fabric. I love it!
The buttons look like they were made for it. Instead they were a serendipitous stash gift from a friend.
The label shot. I did a subtle prick stitch by hand around the neckline to keep the seam from rolling. The same trick was used at the bottoms of the arm and side seams to neaten the hem edge. Oh, the hems are done with just a zigsag stitch on a regular sewing machine, but with silk thread so it would take the dye along with the wool.
Here it is on, pre dye (see, it’s too big at this stage):
The sleeves are too long but if I shorten them now, I’ll lose the full effect of the dye job. Other than that I’m really pleased with it.
There has been quite a bit of interest in my cardiganisations, so here is a small write up on another. I vastly prefer cardigans to jumpers (pullovers/sweaters). Also, a garment that doesn’t work for you can be viewed as source material for a more pleasing thing.
An opshop sourced, slightly shrunk and felted jumper was nonetheless a lovely colour, good fit and beautifully soft merino wool. It had an unflatteringly high V neckline, but now it’s a nice cardi that will fill a sartorial need admirably.
I forgot to take a proper “before” photo but this gives an idea.
The front edges are faced with petersham ribbon, sewn lapped 5mm over the cut edges by machine. The round neckline is faced with a straight cut piece of fine merino jersey. This was pressed with the two cut edges folded to the middle, then sewn by machine 5mm in from the neckline, placed with a little tension so it supports the neck edge but doesn’t gather it in. Both facings were pressed to the inside and slip stitched down by hand, stitching only partway through the thick garment wool. This gives an almost invisible finish on the outside.
I have a new green cardi
Which started as a blue small man’s wool jumper from Sportscraft. It was on sale for $15 because it had a hole near the welt. I darned the hole and wore the jumper a few times but didn’t really like it. The proportions were wrong (surprise) and anyway, I have a few blue jumpers now.
So I dyed it green
Then I cut it into the shape I wanted (which happily removed the darned hole) and faced all the cut edges with fine wool jersey.
Then I plaited some green string, made loop fastenings and sewed on some nice shell buttons. Voila.