Although this September has been amazingly warm, I’m still preparing for the cold months. I found this stripy knit fabric at the factory remnant bin of Eurokangas and the colours were exactly something that I knew my daughter would like. Burda style 8/2017 had a nice oversized cardigan for girls that my daughter and I selected together. However, I immediately decided that I wanted to use the lovely fringe from the edge of the fabric:
The cardigan is pretty boxy in shape and it has two big pockets. Instead of normal facings, it has bands that are sewn on top of the front opening.
The pattern comes in sizes 110 – 134 cm. I chose to make the largest size although I knew that would be slightly large since my daughter is a bit shorter. This way she could wear it for several years.
Sewing the cardigan – how to handle thick knits
My fabric piece was perfectly sized for the job. I had to pay close attention to the stripe pattern so that I could align the stripes at the side seams and at the centre-front bands.
The pattern instructions suggested interfacing almost all the edges using Vlieseline seam tape interfacing. For some reason, this is the second pattern in a row asking for the stuff even if I have previously never encountered it before. I didn’t have it so I used edge interfacing tape but only for the shoulder seams and the neckline edge. I was a bit lucky that I did not use any more interfacing and I’ll explain the reason for that a bit further down this post.
The most important thing when sewing knits this thick is that you pay close attention to the thread tension so that you do not end up stretching the fabric. At the same time, you will have to use stretchy stitches. I took a little piece of fabric and tested my sewing machine and my overlocker stitches. I ended up loosening the needle thread tension of my overlocker to get a seam that was stretchy enough.
With jersey, I often sew and finish my seams at the same time by using my overlocker. This knit was quite thick and had pretty large stitches, so I had to sew the seams with my sewing machine and finish the seams separately. This also allowed me to press the seam allowances open to reduce the bulk.
I realised the with the edging band, the hems and the pockets the best outcome could only be achieved by hand. On one hand, I could avoid having (possible uneven) seamline showing at the edges and on the other hand, my hand-stitches practically disappeared to the thick fabric. This wasn’t so cumbersome as you could imagine since the fabric allowed quite large stitches to be made.
Once again I encountered seams and edges that didn’t lay nicely flat, even after pressing. Luckily I had already an answer, my trusted tailor’s clamp. I wasn’t exactly following all the steps of tailor’s pressing since I only used my steam iron, but I used my clamp to soak up all the excess moisture after every pressing with my steam iron. This made my fabric behave nicely and I achieved those neat bands and edges that lied flat.
Adding the fringe and the pockets
Adding the fringe and the pockets were the last stages.
I cut the fringe out and overlocked/serged the non-fringe edge of it. I was still a bit worried about fraying so I sewed a zigzag stitch line to the other edge, just next to the fringe, to keep the edge from unravelling.
After some thought, I placed the fringe at the wrong side of the hem so that only the fringe part was showing to the right side. Then I hand-stitched it in place leaving the lower edge of the fringe loose on purpose:
After doing this, I still had some fringe left I added a piece of it to decorate the pockets:
I split the pocket into two parts and added the fringe between those two. Then I sewed the pockets onto the cardigan front by hand.
I was pretty happy in how the cardigan looked at this stage. There was only one thing that bugged me. Remember what I mentioned about interfacing the neckline edge (just like the instructions told me). I did not realise that the instructions told to put the interfacing tape on the right side and I fused it onto the wrong side. Well, as the “facing” goes to the outside the edge of the interfacing was visible at the neckline and that looked ugly. I was just happy that I hadn’t put interfacing to the edges of the front opening, too! To cover the interfacing I sewed a piece of blue bias tape to the neckline. The bias tape also then allowed the placing of one of my labels. The label also doubles as a nice loop when my daughter want’s to hang the cardigan to a hook.
The finished cardigan
Here is the finished cardigan. My daughter started stealing the cardigan from me already before it was finished since it was so soft and cuddly!
I’m happy with the size I chose. The sleeves are a bit long but they can be easily wrapped if the extra length gets in the way:
I wish I knew the exact contents of the fabric. In any case, it drapes nicely which is important as this is such a long cardigan.
The multitude of colours in this knit makes it easy to combine with practically every garment S has in her closet.
S says that the cardigan feels lovely and she likes the long length of it. In fact, she thinks it will work also as a dressing gown in the cold mornings. What could be better than cuddle in bed with all the beloved plush toys in this cardigan!
All in all, I liked this pattern. I did not exactly follow all the instructions to the letter but the result is nice. So if you are looking a girl’s cardigan pattern, this is a good choise.
I used to knit a lot but my shoulders’ can’t take the strain of knitting anymore. Every time I have tried in the recent years I have got a terrible headache. Anyway, I have missed making knitted garments. For a long time, I thought that I couldn’t really sew anything nice enough. There’s always the problem of edgings since you usually can’t find ribbings of the same type. I think that I have finally found a way to use thicker knitted fabrics. The combination of facings/edgings, hand-sewing and trims such as the fringe in this cardigan is the way to go!
I hope you liked this post! More posts are coming soon! In the meantime, happy sewing!