The thoughts, sewing projects, and fabric oglings of a dedicated sewist.

Nothing Fancy: McCall's 6408 in Black


I made this ponte cardigan for myself a couple of weeks ago now.  I had just decided to abandon the Elisalex dress until spring (I couldn't make myself do the work of picking things apart and redesigning the skirt when I wouldn't be able to actually wear the dress for another 6 months), and I wanted a quickie palate cleansing project.  I've made this pattern up twice before for clients.  Since the weather has turned cold, I've found myself looking in my closet for a black cardigan and the only one I had was a mangy cotton one I bought from Target when I was pregnant.

The pattern is McCall's 6408.

The fabric is a yummy ponte knit from  I started out making View D but decided I didn't like the asymmetrical hemline so chopped it off to make View B.  View B turned out to be way too long for my body shape, so I chopped another 5 inches off the length and gave it a 1.5" hem, and this was perfect for what I wanted. Chopping the length meant that the ties were now disproportionately long, so I chopped 5" off each of them.  I didn't make any alterations to the fit - this garment is not fitted and looked fine as is (apart from the length that is - before I took it to the chopping block it looked like I was wearing a bathrobe).

I had to lighten these photos so that the cardigan details would be visible.
This left me so washed out I decided B&W was better.

The only other modification I made was to add a bit of elastic to the back since the ties come from the side seam and don't really shape the back on their own.  This is a simple technique I've used in the past to give shape to t-shirts or other loose-fitting garments.  I simply cut a 3" piece of 3/8" elastic, drew a horizontal line 4.5" long in the center back, and used a zig-zag stitch to sew the elastic to the line, stretching as I went.

When I make this again, I might add length to the ties so that I can wrap them around to the back and then to the front again, or I might use a wider elastic to gather the back a bit more.

While this seemed like a super boring project at the time, I've probably worn this cardigan 2-3 times a week. Boring, but useful!  At this rate, I'll wear the cardigan 60 times this winter (pretty good price per wear rate).   I'm thinking I might need another one in gray just to mix things up a bit.

I also made the scarf I'm wearing from leftover ponte knit (the taupe pieces are from the McCall's 6408 I made for a client and the purple pieces are from the Cake Tiramisu I made for a client).  I find I almost always have a strip of fabric about 6-8 inches wide left at the end of my yardage when I make up a knit/jersey project.  I've been turning these into fashion scarves (not to be confused with the kind of scarves you wear outside during a Midwest winter).  I'm pretty sure this is what Cora's teachers will receive as their Polderman present this year.

What's the best boring garment you own?
3 comments on "Nothing Fancy: McCall's 6408 in Black"
  1. This looks like a definite winner! Love the idea of the elastic ~ might have to borrow that idea from you ... J

  2. Oh I really like this! It's such a great, elegant cardigan. Sometimes the most boring projects are the best in the long run :) Also, adding elastic to the back is a great tip!

  3. I think all my clothes are boring, but best boring -- a have three black cardigans in varying stages of dressy that work with everything, so those are very handy elements to have.