If you grew up with siblings, you may have doubted it when your parents said, “We love you all equally.” You were all different – how could you be equally loved? Well, McCall’s 7204 cardigan has helped me understand.
7204 is one of my favorite types of patterns – a wardrobe pattern! In fact, it’s a knit wardrobe pattern – even better! Tons of bang for your buck (wardrobe), and really fast and easy to sew up (knit). Also, it’s a full range plus size pattern, going from 18W-32W (40″-54″ bust). To put that in context, there are currently only 9 such patterns on the McCall’s website, and all of them are old. So this pattern is a real gem! It’s also sadly out of print, but you can usually find old patterns on eBay. Also, I have an extra copy…more on that later.
This wardrobe contains a cardigan in two lengths, a pair of pull-on pants, and a scoop neck top that lengthens into a dress, with sleeve options. So far, I’ve only made the cardigan in the shorter length – but I made three very different versions!
Design, Size, and Fit
I cut the size 26W for everything except the armholes and sleeves. For those, I cut the size 30W. I did this because my biceps are generally larger than what the pattern allows for, and it was easier than doing a full bicep adjustment. I also added a center back pleat to the peplum to create extra room for my derriere and hips. I suppose I could have cut the peplum as a 32W or graded up to a 34W, but adding a pleat was easier, and created a nice design feature. Finally, I removed the handkerchief hem on the peplum in favor of a gently curved hem.
I also made small aesthetic changes for each cardigan. Gotta keep things interesting, amirite? For the striped version, I narrowed the neckband and added flounce cuffs. For the solid black version, I added circular pockets, and for the black and white version, I added folded-over cuffs. The striped, and black and white, versions also feature contrast neckbands, and all three feature contrast stitching.
Cutting & Sewing McCall’s M7204
The pattern pieces were quite straightforward – upper front, upper back, front peplum, back peplum, sleeve, neckband. I did reorient the grain on the front peplum for the striped version, so I could match the stripes at the side seam. Also, to narrow the neckband for the striped version, I pinched out width from the pattern piece, then laid it on the fabric like normal. To make the flounce for this version, I pulled out a throwback to high school geometry – a compass – and drew a circle that matched the size of the sleeve opening. Then I drew another circle a few inches outside that to form the bottom edge of the flounce.
I also used the compass to create the circle for the pockets on the all-black cardigan. It took several tries to draw the perfect sized circle, then position it over the side and waist seams of the peplum in just the right way. Whew! But worth it. I topstitched the pocket to the front peplum as a design feature.
For the black and white version, I traced off the bottom of the sleeve and mirrored that tracing to create a pattern piece for a folded over cuff. I didn’t want bulk, so I serged off part of one side and tacked the cuffs in place after attaching them to the sleeves. I then sewed the sleeves as normal.
To construct this trio of fabulousness, I stitched everything on the sewing machine, finished the seams with the serger, and twin needle hemmed everything on the sewing machine with varying combinations of contrast/matching thread.
I think you all can tell how much I love all three cardigans. They’re incredimazing!!!! They’re literally all my favorite. And I have a fourth one in the works, PLUS an extra copy of this pattern. Do you want it? Leave a comment on this post saying so! (I’d love it if you commented on the post, too :) ) I’ll do a raffle to pick the winner this weekend. I highly recommend this wardrobe pattern for plus size women who sew for themselves, and anyone who sews for plus sized women and wants an easy win.