The “Backing Black” Cardigan

The Facts

Fabric: about 1 metre of some wool blend, a gift a few years ago (free!)
Pattern: self-drafted raglan sleeve top
Year: drafted back in 2001
Notions: scraps of woven interfacing for the button placket; ric-rac from my stash (no idea where it came from), 7 buttons from my Great Aunt Chris’ button box
Time to complete: about 2.5 hours (due to my buttonhole foot not playing nicely)
First worn: running errands, and going to high tea with friends
Wear again? yep
Total cost: free!
Bump: 34 weeks

This week’s Sew Weekly challenge was to make something inspired by the Olympics. I’m not feeling overly sporty at the moment (for some strange reason, haha), so instead of making sports gear, I took my inspiration from the New Zealand 2012 Olympics uniform:

Aren’t we lucky? Black, white and silver – it’s kind of hard to not have a decent-looking Olympics uniform with that colour palette. The designs this year were inspired by the 1948 team uniform (which, if I remember correctly, was the first year we sent people to the Olympics. 7 athletes, by boat. That’s quite a commitment, considering how long it would have taken to get there and back!)

My first plan was to make a boxy jacket in black with white trim. But due to lots of stash-busting over the past couple of years, and a dearth of black fabric in my stash to begin with (all the bright and patterned fabrics attract my attention rather than black. I’m like a magpie that way), it turns out I couldn’t find any black fabric in my stash suitable for a jacket. Or a cardigan, for that matter. So, please squint your eyes, put the tip of your tongue in the corner of your mouth, and work hard to imagine that this cardigan is, indeed, a black blazer. Can you see the inspiration? Good.

Instead of straight white trim, I unearthed some white ric-rac from my ribbons drawer. I have no idea where this came from – if you gave it to me, thank you! I think it really makes this cardigan work. :-) I hardly ever experiment with trim on cardigans for some reason. I really like how the ric-rac makes this one look though – I foresee more experimentation with trim in the future.

The buttons came from my Great-Aunt Chris’ button box. That box is full of all sorts of intriguing things – most of the buttons look like they’ve been cut off garments in the past. Some look really old. I wish my Great-Aunt was still around, so I could ask her the story behind a lot of the buttons….. I love looking at old things and wondering what their history is, don’t you? Anyway, there were quite a few of these white buttons, so seven of them made their way onto the cardigan.

Not that I can do it up past the third button at the moment – the bump is 34 weeks now, and not overly conducive to things like jackets and cardigans being fully buttoned. Maybe in a few months I’ll be able to see what this cardigan looks like when it’s done up properly….

This cardigan really should have only taken me about 1.5 – 2 hours at most. My buttonhole foot and I got into a few arguments along the way. It wanted to only sew one side of each buttonhole, for reasons known only to itself. Funnily enough, I disagreed with it’s decision. (Have you ever tried unpicking a buttonhole from a knit fabric? It’s not-so-fun.) I gave up disagreeing after a while, and just used a tiny zig-zag stitch to finish off the other side of each button hole. Which means they’re not as neat as I’d like them to be, but at least they work. *sigh* I added some iron-on woven lightweight interfacing to each side for stability, and just turned the front of the cardigan over the interfacing and overlocked it down, so it’s all nicely hidden inside.

It was a reasonably nice day in Wellington today, so Steve and I went for a drive and a short walk. (Only a short walk though – it involved lots of stairs and a muddy path, which made for rather slow going for rather-pregnant me. We’ll go back in summer and do the full walk to the top of the hill.) We got treated to some lovely views over part of the Wellington harbour area.

Can you spot the two snorkellers (sp?) in this photo? Our car was parked just out of sight down on the road there.

And here’s a photo of the bay in the top photo, from right next to it when we climbed back down to the car. ‘Scuse the squinting – I ended up looking straight into the sun. Whoops.

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5 responses to “The “Backing Black” Cardigan

  1. Oooh, is that the path up to Massey Memorial? Great views! And you look radiant! Are you now on parental leave then?

    • It’s near there – on the other side of the Chocolate Fish cafe area though, but same side of the hill. :-)

      Sadly not on leave yet – I finish up at the end of August. (This post should have read ‘Saturday’ – oops!)

  2. Lovely cardigan! The bump is looking good too. ;)

  3. I love your cardigan! The ric rac trim is perfect – the little pop of white is great against the dark background

  4. Pingback: Me-Made-May ’13 – part 1 | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

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