Firstly, Happy Pi Day! Science and math nerds rejoice!
Secondly, I sewed something! I had really hoped to get my first Sew Your Kibbe Challenge garment done in February after I had posted my initial plans, but a prolonged infection had me down and out for the better part of the past two weeks. Truth be told, I’m not really over it, but I’m pushing on. I’ve also got a few commissioned garments and lots of travel on the schedule for March, so I know there won’t be a lot of intense selfish sewing happening in the coming weeks either. But I really needed to do something to give the sewjo a boost, and a quick knit project really fit the bill. The cardigan from New Look 6330 was on my original Sew Your Kibbe Plan, but I decided to throw in the basic knit t-shirt that is included in this pattern on something of a whim.
I’d like to say that there was a lot of thought in the fabric choice, but, honestly, I ran across this teal ponte during my fabric organization, as well as this scrap of a t-shirt knit I’d picked up from the Michael Levine Loft. It was really more a choice of convience as opposed to anything else, but, I think it works well in the context of my overall capsule plans.
Here is the My Body Model sketch of the wardrobe item. I’d originally drawn it in purple, but since it ended up as being teal I’ve adjusted the sketch a bit.
My cardigan! I love the drape on the front!
I also really love the antique style of the button I used.
I think it works being worn open. The loops are hidden inside, which is nice. The buttons are perhaps in a slightly odd spot, but, overall, I think this works.
I like the neckline and three quarter sleeves, but I definitely need to add length to the front of this top, and maybe also take in the sides a bit.
Here is my official Pattern Review:
Pattern Description: Cardigan, t-shirt top, and knit pants. I made views A and B, the t-shirt and the longer cardigan.
Pattern Sizing: New Look sizes 10-22. I made a size 12 at the shoulders, and graded to a 14 at the bust, 16 at the waist, and 20 at the hips. Probably could have gotten away with an 18 (or maybe even 16) at the hips, but there isn’t a lot of ease in this patterns and I didn’t want to take any chances since I wasn’t making a test garment. The small amount of ease makes sense as it is designed for knits, but I wasn’t using knits with the best stretch factor (or recovery), so I went with the safer option. I also graded out to a 16 at the bicep for the sleeves, but probably should have gone to a 20 or 22 (or not been lazy and done a real full bicep adjustment).
Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were really clear, though I didn’t really use any of those techniques. As with most Big 4 knit patterns, they assume you don’t have a serger or coverstitch, or even a zigzag machine, so most of the instructions feel antiquated. I only used the serger and coverstitch to make the t-shirt top, and a combination of all three machines to make the cardigan. I followed the construction order for the cardigan, but I set in the sleeves flat for the t-shirt.
Did it look like the photo/drawing when you were done with it? I think it did. The top looks pretty much like line drawing, and I think the cardigan also looks a lot like the pattern envelope.
What did you particularly like/dislike about this pattern? I like the style and of the cardigan, and the simple shape of the top. The pattern is also pretty true to size; no crazy ease measurements and everything comes in one envelope. Dislikes: I wish all of the sizes had been included in a stacked shape to make it easier for grading (as opposed to having the patterns pieces printed twice and grouped with every other size). I also wish the pattern had accounted for more ease in the cardigan sleeve – it is quite a close fit, even with my adjustments. I noticed in other reviews that they felt the loops used to close the cardigan flopped out when it was worn open, but I don’t seem to have that problem. I attached the straps on the inside at the seam between the front and side front pieces, directly under the button. This way when it hangs open that loop is actually hidden by the fabric. It also creates a more gathered effect when it is worn closed, which I quite like.
Fabric used: I used a mystery jersey-ish knit for the t-shirt and a teal ponte for the cardigan. The t-shirt knit came from the Michael Levine Loft, and the ponte was deep stash, so I’m not actually sure where it came from. I love how soft the shirt material is, but I do worry about it stretching out, even with shoulder seam reinforcements. The ponte is a perfect weight for this cardigan; it needs some body to have the perfect amount of drape.
Pattern alterations or design changes you made: For the t-shirt the only changes I made were to grade between sizes, as stated above. For the cardigan, I also added an inch of length to the sleeves. I should have added length to the front of the top, but that’ll be an adjustment for the future. As far as construction goes, the t-shirt was made completely with the serger and cover stitch, in a different order than the instructions (I set in the sleeves flat). I also reinforced the shoulder seams with a bit of selvedge from the ponte I used for the cardigan. Why? Mostly because I was feeling really lazy. For the cardigan, I mostly followed the construction order. I sewed all the seams together, but after checking fit I serged together the seam allowances for a new finish. Why? I’m not really sure – I saw this technique on a Craftsy tutorial and wanted to try it. It does have a nice finish on the inside though.
Would you sew this again? Would you recommend it to others? I will probably sew this again at some point in the future. I think I want to tweak the top pattern a bit; I might add a smidge more length, take in the sides a bit at the hips, and possibly play around with creating a more interesting hem shape. The cardigan is great and I will definitely sew another if I find the right fabric or when this one wears out. I would definitely recommend this pattern to others – the top and cardigan are great, and the pants look like a nice bonus though I haven’t made them yet.
Conclusion: Love this pattern! This year my goal is to sew more items that I will enjoy wearing, rather than focusing on things that are fun to sew, but a bit harder to work into a really functional wardrobe. I think this pattern was a great way to kick off that personal challenge because I know I will get a lot of use from it, especially in the early spring and fall months when the weather is just a hint on the cool side.
And now a bonus question for my Sew Your Kibbe Challenge this year:
How does this fit in with the Sew Your Kibbe Challenge? Does it work as well for you as you expected it to? I originally picked this pattern because Kibbe recommends slightly long, clingy sweaters that look luxurious. He also recommends “antique” details like beading or buttons, which I thought would be easy to incorporate here. As far as tops go, for Soft Natural he says the closeness of fit should be inversely related to the amount of detail; this is a really basic top, so I probably could have gotten away with a closer fitting version. The more open neckline does fall in line with his recommendations though. Overall I think these garments are pretty good representations of the Kibbe recommendations, and I look forward to incorporating them in my wardrobe.