I’m Kealy from Voice of a Creative. I am excited to share my recent Lamazi blogger team make. This time I wanted to make something perfect for the summer, so selected a beautiful rib knit to make a lightweight cardigan.
This rib knit is beautifully soft and drapey, it has plenty of stretch but also recovers easily. The composition of this fabric is 55% Viscose, 38% Polyester and 7% Elastane which is a great mix to create a durable yet drapey and soft fabric. It comes in a massive 12 colours including some greys, blue, navy, red, pink, orange, yellow and sand.
I love making cardigans especially in a rib knit fabric and was glad to see a fabric which would make a perfect summer weight cardigan. I decided to go for the blackwood cardigan by Helens Closet as I have made this pattern many times before and know that it fits me well. I wanted to make a few hacks to it this time though to make it fit the floaty summer vibe better. I decided to shorten the sleeves to ¾ length as well as lengthening the cardigan and adding side slits. I am so pleased with the finished garment, so I am glad my plans turned out so well.
Cutting out the fabric was the one tricky part of this make. This fabric is quite stretchy and light weight, so I did have to pay extra care and attention when cutting out my pieces. I had no problems at all sewing with this fabric which is fantastic. If you can I would make sure to lay out the whole piece of fabric at once rather than having some folded up or hanging off the table. Also, if you are cutting on the fold make sure your fabric is perfectly flat on both sides.
I would also recommend that you stabilise the shoulders of your garment using cotton tape or ribbon, as this will really help your garment last for longer and prevent it from stretching out. When I stabilise the shoulder seam, I pin the tape or ribbon on, then leave the rest of the ribbon attached, then cut it off at the end. This way you don’t have to worry about it ending up too short.
Unlike other rib knits I have worked with I had no problems whilst sewing. It didn’t ripple or wave at the seams and the sewing machine flew through it like a dream. I will be buying some more of this fabric to make some more summer cardigans.
I did two hacks to this pattern, firstly I altered the length and allowed for side slits. Helens Closet has a tutorial on her website for how to do this. To work out how much to lengthen the cardigan, I compared the sewing pattern piece to one of my dresses. I needed to add 8 inches to the bottom of the pattern to get it to the right length. With this hack all you need to do it lengthen the pattern pieces and then not cut out the bottom band of the cardigan.
To sew the side slits, I stitched up the side seam and sleeve as normal but stopped 10 inches before the bottom of the cardigan. I added a bar tack here overlapping the seam to give the top of the slit strength and then folded the slit sides over 1 cm to hem them. After doing the slits, I hemmed the bottom by folding over 1.5 cm, using a double fold hem.
The only challenge I had was where the neckband and hem meet, I pinned the neckband on then stitched the neckband just at the bottom where it met the hem. Then I flipped the neckband backwards right sides to together and stitched along level with the hem. I could then turn it back the right way which meant the hem and bottom of the neckband met up perfectly.
Secondly, I adjusted the sleeves, so they were ¾ length. To do this I simply folded up the sleeve pattern piece as shown in the photo and cut the sleeves out, then sewed as normal. I did add 1cm to the width of the cuffs just to make the allowance to the wider part of my arm.
I love the finished sleeve length; this will be great for work as well as for cooler summer evenings.
I didn’t make any adjustments to the actual sewing pattern other than the hacks mentioned. The blackwood cardigan is such a versatile pattern to work with, I would totally recommend it.
I love my finished make and plan to make many more of these, I love the side slit hack and the ¾ sleeves. This fabric was great for this project and sewed up so easily, I will be buying a few more pieces over the next month or so to add to my stash. The cardigan also goes with so many outfits, here I tried it with my Reeta Shirt Dress by Named, Jeans and a T-shirt and my self- drafted jersey Dress.