Have you ever sewn with a Style Arc pattern? This is my first time, with the Nina Cardigan. There are loads of online reviews out there if you need help or guidance. And you might need help and guidance. The instructions are sparse. (Though I loved the swatch detail.)
Style Arc patterns come in single sizes only, and this one’s fit was bang on. Ostensibly a series of rectangles, I found the drafting to be a touch more sophisticated than that, and the construction was intriguing. I love being intrigued by a construction process – see here and here. Curiosity is the friend of creativity.
The fabric you ask? Good question. It’s a New Zealand merino gifted to me at least two years ago by Mrs C. Maryann must surely have assumed that I’d ruined this fabric, such has been my silence since receiving it. No. It was just waiting for the perfect pattern. Maryann knows my colours, doesn’t she? Thank you, my darling!
This pattern is mostly constructed on the overlocker and the guts will be on occasional show, so it’s worth finding matching thread. I also urge you to follow the instructions when it comes to applying clear elastic to the shoulders and back neckline.
Before overlocking, it’s worth basting those areas where key seams meet. There are quite a few. There’s also a really interesting pivot point, which helps create the cascade effect.
My biggest challenge was finishing my raw edges. The pattern suggests overlocking a blind hem, but my practice attempts were awful. Nor could I get a decent finish on the sewing machine. In the end, I used Steam A Seam and left the edges raw on the collar. We’ll see how it stands up.
I really love my new cardigan. This is a pattern I’d return to again and again. It needs just the right knit fabric, combining drape and stability. Not the cheap stuff I might buy on Walthamstow market. The Nina Cardigan is a class pattern and it deserves an equally quality fabric. Oh no! I feel a visit to the fabric shops of Soho coming on…