I’ve been knitting jumpers for my (step) great grand-daughter who lives in Ohio. While browsing through some vintage magazines I came across the enclosed pattern from a November 1956 (I was eight then!) Modern Knitting magazine. The instructions looked intriguing, but proved to be a lot less complicated once I was actually knitting the garment. I decided to do the hem as a 2×1 mock rib. I use mock rib as I don’t have a ribber. I was using a Bramwell acrylic yarn to knit the waistcoat and although I love the colourful fabric it creates, blocking with a hot iron over a damp cloth is a definite no-no! Hence I wanted a hem which would lie properly.
The original waistcoat is plain and designed for a small boy, but in these unisex days I simply used pink, added a simple single motif of bunny rabbits and swapped the buttonhole band over to the other side to make a neat little top for a small girl. With the brown top, I used a sheep border all the way round the bottom. Instead of having it as a waistcoat with a front opening, I stitched up the front seam, added a false placket and half a dozen clear buttons to make it look like a waistcoat, but it simply pops over the child’s head. I also finished the armholes on the brown one with two rows of double crochet as I thought it looked better, being unable to press the armholes flat.
So, I thought I’d share it with you. There’s a wealth of inspiration from the 50s and 60s , beautifully neat collars, tailored jumpers and so on that can be adapted to today’s fashions. These are particularly useful, I think, to those of us who have older, more basic machines and no ribbing attachment.
Vivienne Fagan in Hanwell, London