21 January 2019

StyleArc Nina Cardigan in bold leopard print

Hi there, I hope everyone had a lovely weekend, did anyone get up to any sewing? Have you heard the amazing news that Sewing Bee is back on British TV on Feb 12th? That's less than 3 weeks away, I couldn't be more excited! But anyway that't not why I am here, I am here to tell you all about this StyleArc Nina cardigan which is my most recent make and a big tick for the first project in my #makenine2019 list. If your not sure what this is head over to instagram and have a little goosey.

Its the first time I have ever made a cardigan so its nice to add a new skill to my repertoire, and this fabric has been in my stash for at least 12 months so I am happy to finally give it a lease of life. I have a bit of a love hate relationship with this make and I will go into more details about that below.

first off lets talk a bit about the pattern. This is a large part of why I really hated this make due to the instructions in the pattern being the vaguest I have ever seen. I've never used a StyleArc pattern before and I am not sure how convinced I am to try another. All you get is a bullet point list of instructions, and probably 50% of these were just how to print and assemble the pattern, helpful I suppose if this is your first PDF download. There were a couple of illustrations but I don't really feel like they added to the process and they didn't obviously tie in to which part of the instructions they referred to. I have mentioned before how I am much more of a visual sewer, so I really like my patterns to have some sort of diagram or image to help me along. Having said all that it really wasn't complicated to sew up. I did however use terms that might not be familiar to a novice and didn't give any suggestions on how to go about the sew without using an overlocker. Because of this I would be cautious in recommending one of their patterns to a beginner sewer. 

That being said I chose this pattern because of the shape. There are other draped/waterfall cardigan patterns out there but none I have seen that include the fitted waist at the back, something which I was really drawn to given my figure. As well as that the way the cardigan is constructed, essentially a set of carefully placed rectangles, is very clever and the final look of this cardigan I am really impressed with as it hangs beautifully. This has helped to significantly redeem the pattern in my eyes.

The fabric is from Minerva crafts, I bought it over a year ago and there was only 2m left so I just snapped it up. I loved the colours and anyone who knows me knows I am a sucker for any kind of leopard print and this oversized print really struck me. I had imagined I would make a dress out of it but when it arrived its a very thin jersey and the stretch recovery isn't that great so as a result I just tossed it in my stash hoping that one day I would find something to make from it. I am absolutely over the moon I choose this pattern for this fabric, it suits it really well and I can see me wearing it often paired with a pair of black trousers (hello to having something to wear with this amazing faux leather pair!)

As you can see from the picture below this fabric is only printed on the outer side so because of the way the draping falls there is a bit of the inside showing through which isn't ideal, but this is just something I will bear in mind the next time I use this pattern, it certainly wont put me off wearing this one at all. 

So in summery; the pattern annoyed me and the fabric wasn't very nice to sew with so I ended up just whipping this together just to get it out the way really and I felt no joy from it. That feeling was however completely reversed when I tried it on and actually saw how this clever little pattern comes together to make a really gorgeous cardigan and now I really really like it. I will definitely be revisiting this pattern. I have ideas about using some lovely quality moda jersey to make a really luxurious version or perhaps some black stretch lace of some description which would really tick my goth boxes! 

Fabric: Oversized leopard knit from Minerva Crafts (no longer available)
Extras: Some Elastic for shoulder seams (though I used ribbon)
Version: Only one version included
Modifications: I used my coverstitch for the hems instead of babylocking
Fit: Size 8 (you buy this pattern in 1 size only but get the 2 corresponding included), the fit was spot on. 
Difficulty: Intermediate, the construction is actually pretty simple but because the instructions aren't clear I don't think it would be so easy for a beginner.
Make again?: Despite the vague instructions I will definitely make this again. 

I am pleased to have made some headway already in my #makenine2019, I decided this year that everything in the list was going to be using something from my stash, and using a pattern I already own but haven't necessarily made yet. I am actually really pleased to have this focus and hopefully give some of those long forgotten fabrics a bit of love.
Have you made a make nine pledge? Give me an insta link I would love to take a look at your plans for the year.

Thank you for visiting


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