Sunday, 10 January 2016

Seamwork Wembley Cardigan in Blush Shrug Knit

When the new addition of Seamwork arrives in my email inbox, I eagerly look forward to the patterns.  If you need a quick sewing fix, the Seamwork projects are all designed to be sewn in a couple of hours.  I've hit a wall with the jacket I'm sewing and needed a break from it so on Saturday afternoon I started on the to the Wembley cardigan.  It is a semi-fitted cropped shape, perfect for dresses and skirts.  I had the pattern cut out and ready from when I bought it in November.

I've seen a lot of Oslo cardigans on sewing blogs- an earlier Seamwork pattern- but very little on the Wembley and I really like how it turned out so I thought I'd share the details.   The fabric is from Plush Addict and its a Karen Millen wool blend mix originally used for shrugs so perfect for this design.  The wool content is 12%, sufficient for warmth but not itchy and I will be wearing this with layers.   It was a pleasure to work with- it stretches but not in a crazy way and it presses well with a warm iron and using a damp cloth.

There was an excellent post on Indie Sew a few month's back Four Tips for Serging Bulky Knits, and I referred to it before I sewed any seams.  I used two needles and four threads and I changed my settings exactly as recommended in the blog post and checked a few test seams- no ripples or waves- before I started:   
Differential feed 1.5 (usual is 1)
Stitch Length 4 (usual is 3)
Stitch Width 6 (usual is 5)
The cardigan was sewn on a serger and for a knit fabric like this with lots of space between the fibres, I don't think you could get away with doing it on the machine instead, there are too many bits that would unravel.

The only challenging aspect of using the fabric was that marking the many notches for matching up the bands was pretty much impossible so I marked them with pins as I needed them. 

The cardigan is designed to have a little swing so there is room at the back which you could remove for a close fit on the side seams.  I have lots of close fitting crop cardigans so I like the variety of this little swing!

The front hangs nicely.  The band was a good fit.  It was pressed into place and I did consider top stitching the seam allowance to the cardigan front on my sewing machine but the risk of it stretching and rippling was to great so I've left it as it is.

I lengthened the sleeves my a couple of inches (see alterations at the end of the post).  On colder days, I'll probably cross the front points over and pin them together for extra warmth and as a style variation. 

I finished the inside neck seam off with some lightweight twill tape.  This does two things: it acts as a stay on the back neck and stops stretching and it is adds a little extra neat finish, you often see this in ready-to-wear knit garments. 

I hand basted the tape into place and then used different colour threads on my sewing machine so it was sewn invisibly in place.  I sewed from the tape side and you can see the reverse stitches blending into the fabric in the pic below.

Details and Alterations:
  • Pattern size XS
  • Sleeves lengthened by 2".  The original sleeves are slightly cropped at a bracelet length.  I added a lengthen line on the sleeve pattern piece 4 ¾" up from the cuff end and inserted an extra 2" at that point and even the side seams out with a ruler.  I left the cuff unchanged and it fitted well. 
  • Forward houlder alteration: shoulder seams altered by ⅜" to allow for forward shoulders.  I followed this tutorial by Maria of Denmark- very easy!
  • Lightweight narrow twill tape used instead of clear elastic to stabilise the shoulder seams.
  • Lightweight twill tape added to cover the inside neck seam.
I am very happy with the cardi, it is warm and will see lots of wear.   Definitely a pattern that I will come back to and sew another.

sib blog


  1. I love this sweater--it's the kind of thing that I think you'll get a lot of wear out of.

  2. A pretty cardigan and an interesting shape. Love the colour.

  3. This is lovely and that fabric is such a find! I wish home sewists could source more quality sweater weight knits like that! Tell me please - did you do anything to the sleeve when you did your forward shoulder adjustment? I've only just started doing them myself (using Maria's tutorial) but only on kimono-like short sleeve tops. Thanks!

  4. Hi Sarah, you are so right, I wish I could find more sweater knit fabric of this quality- very hard to find. I did nothing else on the sleeve apart from the adjustment on the shoulder seams- it was exactly like Maria's tutorial. I am looking forward to trying it on other garments, it seems to be a good adjustment for me

  5. It's gorgeous. I've keen fabric like this before and it almost looks like you knitted it yourself! ;-) Colour is very pretty on you.

  6. You write such helpful reviews. Thank you - and for the link to the fabric, I might be tempted.!

  7. What a fabulous cardigan! I had no idea 'we' (i.e. not the clothes trade) could buy knit fabric like that!


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