StyleARC offered the Abby Cardi as a free pattern with purchase a month or two ago (they have a new free pattern with purchase each month which is then added to their regular pattern selection). I whipped it up last week in some mystery jersey – probably cotton/viscose/lycra or similar – from the Darn Cheap $2 per metre table.
This was a fast and simple sew. Just three pieces – front, back and sleeves. The front has back collar extensions. I modified construction methods slightly from the instructions. And miracle of miracles, I remembered to take some construction photos, although these are taken at night with a flash.
My first dilemma was choosing a thread colour. This fabric is a weird green/yellow/mustard colour (“baby poo” coloured, according to my husband). I didn’t want to buy more thread especially for this project, because that would have necessitated a trip to the shops and it was well and truly after hours when I started to sew this cardi. I eventually selected from some yellow threads that were in stash – I think I chose the centre one in the above photos. The instructions suggested a babylock hem for the fronts and bottom of the cardi. Because of my thread matching problems, I ended up just leaving them raw. I did hem the sleeves with the same yellow thread I used for some of the construction, and it worked out fine.
I stabilised the shoulder seams by sewing on some stash bias binding remnants that astoundingly were the exact same colour as the fabric! I sewed these just inside the stitching line of the back piece, with the bias binding folded in half lengthwise to stop it stretching much. The back collar extensions (part of the front pattern pieces) were sewn together, then the front shoulder to the back shoulder.
Once the front and back shoulder seams were sewn together, I pinned and sewed the back neck to the collar extensions.
So now the shoulder seams were sewn and the back neck sewn to the collar extensions from the front. Then I deviated from the instructions by using the “burrito method” to sew the front self-facings down and clean finish the back collar and inside neckline. To do this I rolled up the back of the cardi right up to the neck seam, then wrapped the facing around it and pinned it into place.
Then I stitched it down. You can see that there is a little sausage with the jacket rolled up inside it and the seams sewn right sides together, collar to collar and front facings to the shoulder seams. It’s easy to do because you can stitch right on top of the previous stitching lines.
Then I pulled the jacket out through the ends! This photo shows the back collar with centre back seam, and you can see where it angles to form the shoulder seam.
It looks neat on the inside too.
And from there I continued construction as per the instructions, setting the sleeves in the flat on the overlocker, sewing the side and sleeve seams in one pass on the overlocker, and hemming the sleeves with two rows of stitching once I’d stabilised the sleeve hems with double sided fusible Vilene tape (I love that stuff). As I said earlier, I left the cardi hem and front edges raw.
I enjoy this style of Cardi – relaxed but still not super casual. I wore it to work as well – it coordinates beautifully with my Vogue 1250 dress!
It looks good tied at the front, too.
I made this in size 10, and I think it runs pretty true to typical Australian clothing sizing (I’m mostly a 10 in Target/Sussan/Jacqui E clothes, for comparative purposes). Another winner from StyleARC, and for those of you used to sewing from Burda or Ottobre, you should have no problems with the instructions.