I finally finished assembling the pattern pieces, cutting out, and sewing my cardigan. I used Kwik Sew Pattern 3721 (aka Kwik Serge). I’m ridiculously pleased.
And the back.
This sweater included firsts, and probable firsts. Which is to say, it would seem I would have used tailor’s tacks, since I knew exactly how, but don’t remember. (Faulty memory can be useful.)
Sewing Sweater Fabric
I’ve never sewn sweater fabric into a garment. Just the odd blocks that I used in DD8’s quilt. I felt very paranoid that it would unravel before I could serge it. But it was fine. It definitely needed the serging at the end. But it holds together well enough for assembly.
Laying out the pieces for cutting was weird. The front piece is very unwieldy, since it is both the front and the sleeve. But I eventually managed it after repeatedly consulting the cutting diagram.
I reinforced the shoulder seams with clear elastic, Sewology brand. I’ve never used it before. I’ve noticed it in better quality ready to wear t-shirts and sweaters. And I was both keen to try it and anxious that it would tangle in my serger. I immediately cut my hand on the internal plastic packaging. The clear elastic is wrapped around an H-shape plastic that is very sharp. Actually sewing the elastic was easy. The serger blade trimmed it right into the stitches and made a very flat, strong seam. I’ll use it to reinforce horizontal seams in all my knits now, preferably a brand that doesn’t use sharp objects in packaging.
Kwik Sew Pattern
The instructions for Kwik Sew K3721 Cardigans Sewing Pattern call for a quarter inch seam allowance. And I am accustomed to 5/8th inch. So I’m glad that I was paying attention. Often, I just assemble a garment without reading the instructions. But I hadn’t used the Kwik Sew brand before. So I wasn’t expecting the more narrow seam allowance.
The sewing instructions and layout diagrams were clear. They recommended the clear elastic, and to mark the pattern with tailor’s tacks or safety pins. I like that I can serge right over the tailor’s tacks. I used yellow embroidery thread, which was easy to see.
There is an odd note on the pattern warning against cutting between or blending sizes, which is opposite of what I’ve learned. The link given for more instruction about the warning doesn’t work.
I used Sandra Betzina’s solution for full-bust-gaposis from Fast Fit: Easy Pattern Alterations for Every Figure, my favorite fitting reference. Full-bust-gaposis sounds silly, but it’s nice to have a cardigan that hangs straight. Basically, you add more fabric in the front at an angle so that your girls don’t skew the line of the garment. I wasn’t entirely sure that it would work with a modern, flowing, design. But it does.
Now I have this cardigan that fits really well, but doesn’t meet all of my requirements. I was seduced by the nice fabric in the clearance bin. I should have purchased a thicker fleece fabric, to replace my coat that has become ratty from constant washing. But instead, I have this lovely, great for indoors, hand washable sweater. Oops. Now I’ll need to buy that fleece anyway. It will be interesting to see how the pattern sews up in a more low maintenance fabric. It’ll certainly be faster, since the edges won’t need serging.