Friday, February 3, 2012

Kwik Sew 3693: Something I Like, But Not A Whole Lot

Pattern Description: 

Open front cardigan with no closures. View A has angled hems and no pockets, View B has pockets and a hood. I made View A.

Pattern Sizing:

XS through XL

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

It looked like the pattern envelope photo, which was good in terms of Kwik Sew doing a good job of depicting their product, but maybe not quite so good in terms of being rather bland.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Excellent instructions. As usual, Kwik Sew does not overcomplicate things. Unlike some other waterfall-type cardigans, the neck and shoulder construction was straightforward, well-explained and unfiddly. The construction of the pointed tips of the angled fronts was also easy and perfectly illustrated.

Great tip for creating fusible stay tape
Sorry I can't seem to link only to the post on making fusible tape, but Pam Erny featured a great way to use her Pro-Weft fusible, torn into strips on the crossgrain, as a tape. I happened to have some of this interfacing on hand and it worked great! I have a three step process: 1. Before sewing the front points, but after sewing the side seams, press up a 2" hem all around the fronts and back. 2. Serge the fusible tape to the wrong side of the hem, fusible side up. With Pam's method, you can make any width of fusible tape. I made mine about 3/4" wide--not the whole depth of the hem, just enough to stabilize the stitched edge. Stitch the front point miters and press that short seam open carefully. 3. Press the hem into place. Topstitch. On the brown knit, I used a twin needle. On the boiled wool, I used my industrial edgestitch foot to just catch the inner edge of the hem. 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

Really like that it is so easy and quick. Also, it is warm and comfortable. The high neck and generous front overlap make it a cozy garment when made in a warm fabric.

Fabric Used:

The brown and gold stripe is a poly lycra knit from Hancocks. It has a bit of a crepe texture. Although it was inexpensive and it certainly isn't warm, it feels pretty good to wear and it was very easy to sew. I have been very inspired by many of the recent stripe trends, but I find it a bit challenging to find stripes in good colors for me. The very graphic black and white stripes (which I love the looks of) seem too harsh for my coloring. So I have been on the search for lower contrast stripes. I bought two yards of this 60" wide knit and I have enough left over to make a camisole to wear with the jacket. 

I could have done a better job with matching the stripes at both the side seams and on the sleeves. I need more stripe layout experience, it appears!

The second version is in a fairly stiff, but surprisingly light in weight, boiled wool knit bought from FabricMart two years ago. I think I also got some in burgundy, which I enjoyed wearing in a different sweater style but which did not flatter me! I had in mind to make this fabric into a more structured jacket, but then I wondered if it would have a kind of Eileen Fisher vibe in this simple shape. I guess it does, somewhat.

The navy wool version really is warm. A little scratchy around the top of the neck just at my hairline, but I can wear it with a mock turtleneck for cold days at home to eliminate that problem.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I didn't change much. I cut out an XS, then removed 3/8" at each of the following places:
-Top of back armhole (tapering to original seamline by midway down the armscye)
- Top of front armhole (tapering to original seamline by midway down the armscye)
- Inner edge of back neck (redrawing curve)
- Inner edge of front shoulder
- Center back neck seam

Basically, I reduced the neck and shoulder area by another size, creating an XXS. No need to do that through the torso and hip area, I'm afraid!

I also shortened the sleeve slightly.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I'm not sure. It is a nice, useful, quick and comfortable garment. But I'm not sure the angled front idea suits me too well. I am small in the shoulders but larger through the waist and hips. What's more, I am bigger front to back. That is, I have a "deep" figure. I am not sure this shape, with its trapeze-like projection to the front, is such a great idea for me. But I might try the other version, leaving off the hood. Maybe straight fronts would work better. And I would love the pockets!


I like these two jackets and I know I will wear them, but the shape isn't my favorite. Nonetheless, a well-conceived and executed pattern from Kwik Sew.

1 comment:

  1. beautiful cardigans. Thanks for sharing your hem interfacing tips.