To be honest, I bought this pattern against my better judgement. It was in my first order from Style Arc, so I've felt guilty as it languished. I just loved the design, but I was not sure that the style would work on me. And yet, now that it's finished, I think it does. At least I hope so. :)
This cardigan has shoulder tucks and ties to close the front. As designed, the ties are sewn into vertical darts. I changed this detail a bit.
- Organic bamboo double-knit in slate blue. 98% bamboo, 2% lycra. As of this writing, they have 46 yards remaining. One side is a small rib and the other is smooth. It is a double fabric - you can actually separate the two fabrics. It is very soft and I machine washed and dried it. It came from the dryer a little worse for wear. I think that this fabric might pill over time, so it might last longer if it's not machine dried. The following pic shows the ribbed side, but I used the smooth side for the cardi, which seemed a bit less distressed. I would almost describe this fabric as a fine sweatering.
- Black tricot knit interfacing to reinforce the back neck and the two buttonholes.
Alterations and modifications:
- I started with the size 16. As usual for a size 16 Style Arc pattern, I added a 3" y-shaped FBA. However, this time I did a "normal" FBA, where the fullness extended to the front hem. I did this because I suspected I might need the fullness for the tied front, as my waist is much larger than a size 16 indicates. I think this was the correct decision. I rotated the dart fullness to the shoulder, where it translated into additional tucks.
- I didn't mark the location of the ties when I cut out the cardigan. I knew that if I used the ties, I wouldn't place them where the pattern indicated. Once I had the garment on the body, I decided I liked the fullness gathered at navel height. But I didn't want to use the ties. I liked how it looked when I secured the fullness with a safety pin. When I was talking to Chloe (about something else), I mentioned that I had to figure out another way to secure the draping, and she suggested inserting the tie between two buttonholes. I loved this elegant but simple solution. I put the garment on and marked where I wanted the buttonholes. I reinforced the area with fusible tricot.
- I widened the upper sleeve 1" (1/2" on each side) and tapered that to nothing.
- For the tie, I wanted a thin tie. I cut over 3 yards of fabric from the selvedge. It was approx 1-1/4" to 1-1/2" wide (I didn't measure it.) I sewed 1/4" from the fold for the entire length. I didn't trim the 3/8" raw edges so when I turned the tube inside out, the tube was slightly "stuffed." I trimmed the ends to clean them up and tied them into a knot.
- I didn't hem this, but I might need to if the fabric starts separating on me. To be honest, I used this fabric because I didn't mind if the project was a wadder. Now I want to make it up in some favorite fabrics.
ConclusionI love this top! It is more flattering than I expected. The gathers at the waist detract from the bust and also detract from the belly. I love the shoulder tucks. I plan to make this again, maybe even several more. :)