I Love a Versatile Pattern!
A couple of years ago, Jen at Grainline Studio published a cardigan variation for the Lark Tee pattern. By adding approximately twelve inches to each half of the front of the tee, the variation allows you to turn your favorite tee (the Lark, of course) into a simple cardigan.
Great for Beginners
I decided to use the Grainline Lark cardigan variation in my latest Learn to Sew with Knits class. It was a big hit with all the students. Each student selected different weights of knits, and their cardigans all turned out great.
I have made three cardigans in the recent past: Angela Wolf’s Rachel, a Style Arc one, and the Lark. The Lark was the easiest. I made mine out of our lightweight wool-cotton blend knit, which is easy to sew with and provides just the right amount of warmth.
The pattern was a good choice for learning to sew with knits because the only tricky part is setting in the sleeve on the flat. But, all my students successfully sewed their sleeves with no puckers. I’m such a great teacher! (JK…the students were already good at sewing!).
Stay-Tapes for the Win
For my hem, and the hems in the class, I used a couple of my favorite stay tapes. My students and I all turned our hems half an inch twice. The Grainline instructions say to turn up the hem 3/4-inch once, but the cardigan swings open, and we didn’t want a raw edge to show.
To accomplish a perfect double-turned hem in a knit, I first iron on half-inch single-sided knit stay tape to the edge of the fabric. I turn up the hem along the edge of the stay tape. Then I iron on quarter- or half-inch double-sided stay tape to the turned up edge, and then turn it up one more time, letting the glue of the double-sided tape hold the hem in place. Finally, I stitch the hem from the right side, using a twin needle and a walking foot. So pro!
Grainline Lark Cardigan Conclusion
As I said before, this is a great first project with knits, especially if you use the stay tapes and go slow when setting in the sleeves!