StyleArc Nina Cardigan

StyleArc Nina Cardigan Belted vs Unbelted

I bought the last 2 yards of this printed jersey fabric over the summer and was looking for the right pattern for it. Unfortunately for someone my size, 2 yards doesn’t give you a lot of options and I wanted to make something a little more interesting than a t-shirt. I had the idea of making a waterfall cardigan because I liked the way the black lines looked when the fabric was bunched up a bit, but with two yards that seemed impossible. When I was riffling through my StyleArc patterns and I saw this cardigan only required 1 3/4 yards, I did a double take!

Here’s the pattern illustration. You can’t quite tell from the drawing, but almost all of the pieces of this pattern are nearly rectangular which makes it super fabric efficient. The handkerchief hem in the front is created by a simple rectangle whose top edge goes from the back center seam to the front and down the front band.

StyleArc Nina Cardigan Illustration

For comparison, this McCall’s pattern I looked at takes 2 5/8 yards for my size (almost a full yard more!) because the front pieces are cut as one piece.

M6084Here’s a shot of the handkerchief hem. I really like how it hits at the front of the hip instead of the side because it doesn’t add as much bulk around the hips.

StyleArc Nina Cardigan Handkercheif Hem

See? Doesn’t poof out around the hips from the backside.

StyleArc Nina Cardigan Back

I was trying to be all professional and added clear elastic to the shoulder seams and the back of the neck so it wouldn’t stretch out. (Okay, I only remembered because the pattern instructions told me to.) Usually I use thinner gel elastic but I didn’t have it on me at the time so I used this wide elastic which I think is supposed to be for swimwear. I actually rather liked the wider stuff, it didn’t move around as much while sewing. And yes, I know how crappy that neck serging looks. Putting my mistakes on display for you!

StyleArc Nina Cardigan Elastic Shoulders and Neck

My only second thoughts on this pattern are that it probably isn’t intended for knits which are only printed on one side because you can see the reverse side a bit along the handkerchief hem. I like it enough that I don’t really care, but someone else might. All in all I really like this pattern – I didn’t do any alterations besides shortening the sleeves. Next time I stumble on some luxurious sweater knits I think I’ll be buying 1 3/4 yards to make another!


  1. Nice thanks for sharing getting ready to cut mine out. I want a matching tank top. Your tips on needed fabric will help make that happen. Looks great on you. Like the drape of the fabric.


  2. It turned out really nice. And your neck seams are no big deal. If they’re looking that close they are looking too close (or should be kissing you).

    This would be a great addition for anyone. I’d make one & leave it at the office to put on when the AC was too cold.


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