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So .....What to Make With a Cool, Geometric, Knitted Fabric?

I had been eyeing this quilted, black Neoprene Fabric for a few days, you know when you just can't get something out of your head? All kinds of ideas were whizzing around in my brain about what I would make with it, when the opportunity came up to review it, I was so excited!  It's a really eye catching fabric, quilted in a geometric diamond pattern, heavier than a double knit or scuba, with a squidgy, foam layer sandwiched in between the outer black layers.  It's quite sturdy, there is not a lot of drape going on here, I knew that whatever I did make would have quite a structured look.
So .....what to make with a cool, geometric, knitted fabric?  My thoughts turned immediately to Wendy Ward's book, A Beginner's Guide to Sewing with Knitted Fabrics.  There are loads of great patterns in here.  I have been keen to try the Kinder cardigan for a long time, my search for the perfect cardi has been a long one.  The Kinder has 3 length variations, 2 sleeve length options and pockets!  Oh yes!  Got to have pockets!  Indecision struck at this point, it had all been going so well!  I procrastinated for most of December about the length I wanted.  Did I want short, just skimming the hip?  Mid length to cover my bum or full length, this one is just below the knee?  I eventually ruled out full length because I thought it could end up being slightly reminiscent of a dressing gown with all that quilting.  I love the short length and thought it would look fab in this fabric but I am prone to bum freeze in winter, so after many changes of heart, I went for mid length.  
With the fabric pre washed and dried (it didn't need ironing, I was liking it more and more!), I was ready to trace off the pattern.  I DO NOT like tracing!  I always do it but it's really not my favourite sewing task.  It's essential with the patterns in Wendy's book as they are all over printed on 3 pull out sheets.  You simply trace off the one that you need, it's honestly not that difficult and only took me about an hour to trace the five pieces I needed.  Leaving me wondering why I ever moan about it!
On to the construction.  I used my Janome Sewist with a ballpoint 80 needle for the top stitching and hems.  The rest of the seams were completed on my overlocker.  It came together really quickly - in about three hours I would say - and I am a slow and careful stitcher.  I love the way the pockets are sandwiched between the side seam and the front band, it feels like a very neat and tidy finish.  The pockets are my favourite part of the Kinder, they are so roomy, space for all of my beach treasures!
The neoprene was a pleasure to work with.  The only tricky part was pinning more than two layers together, it is a bit bouncy because of the squidgy middle layer, pins were not holding it in place very well so I used my little wonder clips, they kept everything in place just fine.  It doesn't fray at all which means you could leave seams unfinished if you don't have an overlocker.
I am thrilled with the finished cardigan, as expected, the neoprene gave it a more structured look so it feels a little more like a jacket .... or a coatigan? It is quite a warm and cosy fabric too, that middle layer does provide some insulation from the cold.  My procrastination paid off as I am completely happy with the length but I do now have plans for longer and shorter versions, this is a really versatile pattern.  The star of this make is, without doubt, the neoprene!  It was fun to work with, great to wear and it looks really interesting.  Thanks so much Minerva for the fabric.  
Until next time  .....Nicola x

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Jane Dixon said:

Your jacket looks amazing. I am beginning to be inspired. Perhaps I will be able to post something one day. Happy sewing. · 9th Feb 2019 11:59am