Nikki Cardigan Review
I was so honored when Athina Kakou asked me to make one of her patterns! I was like….what??? Of course! I had already bought her Rachel jumpsuit/trousers pattern so I decided to make her Nikki Cardigan first! I cannot say enough about this pattern! It was so simple and was a super quick make. It doesn’t require much fabric at all and the best part is that the instructions are superb. I had no problems and didn’t struggle with the pattern at all. I know she has video tutorials, but I did not need them. It was such a satisfying make! And of course, I had to make a patterned printed cardigan, because why would I make something that goes with everything. That would make way too much sense! Haha!
This review will cover fabric used, pattern layout, pattern construction, modifications, pattern fit, and styling your cardigan!!
I had some ponte from Sewing Studio that I had purchased several months ago for $4 a yard! It was so cheap!! I had no idea what to do with it but I just bought it and saved it for later. When I was thinking of making a cardigan, I thought to myself, this is the perfect fabric! I mulled over it for a few days. I thought that it was maybe too brave. Maybe I need to make something versatile and plain, to match with everything. Um, when have I ever done that! I think all I do these days is #sewfrosting and push boundaries. Keeps me feeling creative and invigorated! This fabric worked well for the pattern. There was not a lot of stretch, but it had enough.
You need to be mindful of the direction of greatest stretch when you cut out your fabric pieces. If you are cutting the bottom band piece on the grain and your fabric has more stretch on the crossgrain (horizontally), as it says you should, just know that it wont have as much stretch around your body if your fabric has only 2 way stretch. Same with the cuffs as well. This is actually a good thing in my opinion, because it will keep its shape well. I also loved how the patterns were contrasting and changing directions.
I love how she recommends stabilizing the shoulder seams at the very beginning. I don't think enough people recommend this step. I used clear elastic, as it is readily available in my sewing area and is super quick to get out. I just sewed it right on the back shoulder seam, inside the seam allowance as shown here.
Since I was using a serger to construct most of my garment, I went ahead and made sure the elastic wasn’t completely cut off by the serger blade when sewing the shoulder seams together. It was still inside the seam allowance but not cut off by the blade.
The assembly of this pattern was so easy there is really not much to say! My only advice is to be mindful of your seams when attaching your cuffs to your sleeves. I know better than to just sew them on without double checking this. But my seams were not lining up like they should have and I had to redo them twice on one side. I should have been more careful to start with!
On a side note, since I was working with a stable knit, I didn’t really use many pins. I just lined up my fabric pieces and used my serger to make the garment. I find you don’t really need to sew with pins as often as one might think.
She also recommends that you top-stitch the seam down connecting the bottom band and the body of the cardigan. I definitely completed this step as I felt it made the cardigan more tidy!
I did not make many modifications! The only thing I left off, which was optional, is the belt loops. I did not include them because I thought it would be nice to wear it with other belts as well. I would love to make a velvet cardigan, and when I do this, I may use a belt because velvet is more slippery and the belt may not stay on!
I made the garment according to my measurements and the fit was absolutely perfect! The pattern has some room wiggle room too just based on the fact that it is a cardigan. If your shoulders are wide, you make want to make a larger size and if you need smaller arms or side seams you can take care of this easily. You can also just wrap it more to make it tighter!
I think there are endless possibilities when styling this cardigan. Although my cardigan is very busy, I think it could be worn with so many outfits. I think any fall color underneath or black would be suitable. It would even go well with red! I think it would look nice with the included belt, which I did make, or another color belt (worn in my pictures). I think that it would look nice over a dress or tucked into a skirt. It looks great wrapped as I have it shown, but would also look great left open! There are so many possibilities!!!! Go and check out the Stitch Sisters vlog to see how they styled theirs! I am thinking of making a velvet one next!
Fabric: Sewing Studio Ponte de Roma Broken Feathers
Pattern: Athina Kakou Nikki Cardigan
Her vlog and videos to help construct garment
Shoes: ABLE @livefashionable
Skirt and shirt underneath: I don’t remember!?!?!? They are so old!
Necklace: Once again I am wearing my me-made necklace from Pink Coat Club
Hat: Hand crocheted by me!