Friday, 2 February 2018

Kinder Cardigan Review from The Beginners Guide to Sewing with Knitted Fabrics by Wendy Ward

Ever since getting wind of a new book in the pipeline from Wendy I’ve been excited about its release.

My husband very kindly bought me a signed copy for Christmas and it arrived at my house on publication day. I already had decided I would make the Kinder Cardigan first, as it’s a classic wardrobe staple that I’ve been missing. I was so eagerly anticipating the arrival of the book that my fabric had been pre washed and ironed in readiness.

I have all 3 of Wendy’s dressmaking books now, as well as some of her sewing patterns. I really like her succinct written instructions and hand drawn diagrams. Everything is explained logically and the construction of all the garments is as simple as possible.

I don’t have a huge amount of time at the moment, so I had to split the making of this cardi into 3 separate stages to make it manageable.

Stage 1 was reading through the instructions, checking what size to make and tracing off the pattern in the right size. I have to say, the tracing was really easy! It was much more confusing in Wendy’s other books, where there were more patterns overlapping each other. The patterns do overlap, but are really clear to see and are colour coded. This stage took me about an hour.

Stage 2 was cutting out my fabric. I had been saving this lovely, drapey, striped loopback jersey for over a year - just waiting for the perfect project. It was from Girl Charlee UK and is long sold out, but they have just got a new range of cosy jerseys in that look lovely. As I was stripe matching, this stage took me about an hour too.

Stage 3 was sewing. I have my sewing machine and overlocker in an Ikea bureau, which means they are out of sight and reach but already plugged in and ready to go. This really speeds up my sewing time and allows me to start and stop much more easily. I actually managed to get a rare evening where my daughter fell asleep before 9, so I was able to sew the entire cardigan in a single session, it took me 1 hour and 40 minutes in total. I took my time because I wanted to match my stripes well and it was my first time sewing this pattern. I think if I made this again without any pattern matching it would be under 1 and a half hours.

The reason I’ve included all my timings is because I find it really useful, before I embark on a new project, to know how involved and time consuming it might be. As I don’t have much time to myself, I like to plan it quite carefully to make the most of it.

I’m very pleased with the finished cardigan. The length is perfect for me and those big pockets are lovely! The fabric I used is probably a little too loose and drapey for this pattern. It doesn’t look as structured as Wendy’s samples and the pockets gape open. I might add a little button or press stud at the top of the pockets for when my hands aren’t in them!

I’m looking forward to trying more patterns from the book and will definitely be making more of these cardigans!

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