Transformable easy cardigan: dressing in layers

easy cardiganDressing in layers with an easy cardigan was what was on people's mind the day I took the survey on our Facebook chat group.  With almost 22,000 members, it's sometimes hard to find a consensus, but this time, I happened to agree with what the group seemed to be saying.

There are a lot of things to like about cardigans.  It can be a very functional garment and suitable for many situations.  It's also very nice to wear when just hanging around the house.  Wearing a cardigan to protect the lining of a coat is one of the best money saving tips on dry cleaning bills.  Based on the feedback, I decided to design a pattern for a short, easy but transformable cardigan.  I decided to call it Kalinda.

easy cardiganI haven't lived in a cold places for very longtime, but I still remember the feeling of nakedness after removing my coat when I enter a building.  It is almost always too warm to keep the coat, but then I feel I am not dressed enough if I am not wearing a cardigan.  This easy cardigan is transformable, and depending on what fabric you use, it can be casual or elegant.

easy cardigan

This transformable easy cardigan can be worn medium-long or tied up short.  The collar/lapel becomes a hoodie for an even more informal, yet exceedingly practical look.  The sleeves are long with elegant thumb notches to keep the sleeves all the way to your wrists, or the sleeves can push up.  This is an original design of mine and I think it covers a lot of ground which is why I say it is transformable.  Please free to explore with different fabrics, it is truly an easy cardigan to make and wear.

easy cardiganeasy cardigan

We also have a few other options for cardigans if you are looking for a longer version.  Here is one we originally published in 2014 called the Cuddle Me Cardy, or a long cardigan we published back in October this year called the Easy Long Cardigan.

Key Features:

  • Front drape doubles as a hoodie
  • You can tie at the front
  • You can cross it over and tie at the back
  • Elegant of casual depending on the fabric you use.



Recommended Fabrics:

I am using a bamboo knit in blue a super soft great drape fabric and a jersey knitted fabric in military green.  The jersey knit will be a challenge because it unravels very easily.  I don't recommend this type of fabric to a beginner but it is beautiful.  This is not because I think beginners are not capable of making this cardigan.  I say it because beginners are afraid to try diferent fabrics.  So please try and with whatever fabric you choose.  Just make sure it's a four-way stretch knit fabric.  There are a couple of good fabric recommendations below.easy cardigan

See next page for free pattern download.

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54 Responses to Transformable easy cardigan: dressing in layers

  1. rach says:

    Hi, I am confused on how to assemble this cardigan. Why is there only one Side Front and where do I sew it to? The pictures are too zoomed in for me to comprehend. 🙁 I am pretty sure I have the back done; the four pieces; however, I am completely suck after that. Please help! Thanks!

  2. Sara says:

    I cannot find a 4-way stretch knit fabric locally (I prefer to handle my fabrics rather than buying online). Can this be used with a 2-way stretch knit?

  3. gardenrealm says:

    I love the idea of this cardigan but am struggling to following th instructions and am pretty much guessing as i go. Did anyone else have any problems instructions?

    • Sarah says:

      Yes, I am not finding any instructions for this pattern, as to, which pieces should I sew together first? Why am I only cutting one “side front”? What am I supposed to do with the “Back ribbing”? I am a beginner and though I got the patterns printed out, I see no directions. I would love some help too. Thank you!

    • Sarah says:

      Oh yeah, and also, where do the two strips go that we are supposed to cut out that do not have a pattern? I would appreciate your instruction. Thanks so much!

      • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

        Hi Sarah they they become the binding for the front and neckline, please see the picture.

  4. Vera says:

    Hi there, I couldn’t find the info whether I have to add seam allowances to the pattern or if it is already included?

    Many thanks!

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Vera, the seam allowance on this cardigan is already added for you. The patterns that do not have any seam allowance is because we will be using them on a new series of tutorials soon to come out.

  5. Andrea Letourneau says:

    Just completed making up this pattern using some sweaterknit fabric I have had in my stash for a very long time (more than a decade). I did a full bust adjustment to make it fit better on me. I think for next version I’ll make it from a lighter knit with a bigger “hood” & an additional 3″ length.

  6. Rachie Bull says:

    Hi there!
    Just a couple of questions. What is ‘stretchable fusible interfacing’? We don’t seem to have that here in Australia but I thought it might be called something else?
    And could you please explain about the ribbing on the back? Is it in place of hemming? Is it folded over and serged? It’s not very clear.
    Thanks for your time and all your beautiful patterns ?

  7. LeeAnne Bradley says:

    There is not an option to go to the second page, where the pattern is !

  8. Pingback: Transformable easy cardigan - Sewing 4 Free

  9. Pingback: Free pattern: Wrap cardigan you can wear many ways – Sewing

  10. It said to cut two pieces 4×22 inches that werent in the pattern. What are those for? I didnt see them mentioned in the directions for sewing.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Where in the instructions did you see this? Are you sure you are in the right tutorial?

      • Karen Taylor says:

        After downloading the pattern, it’s at the end of the printing instructions. It’s been left from an old pattern. It confused me a few downloads ago. Now I ignore it.

        • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

          HI Karen, finally I found what you meant, yes there is that line about the 2 straps. Please disregard. I thank you for bringing this to my attention.

  11. Damjana says:


    this cardigan pattern is just amazing. So versatile, love the design. And just can’t believe you are giving it away for free! This one could easily become the new most popular pattern here at So Sew Easy. Thanks – and happy holidays!

  12. designbysue says:

    Is this a free pattern? I do not see the link to get it. Thanks!

  13. Hey Mayra, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
    It’s my first time landing on your blog and I really like the pattern you shared. Going to try it soon.

  14. Kate says:

    Thanks so much for another excellent pattern. Just what I’ve been looking for with some great bonus features built in. I’m in Canada and always looking for good layering pieces when the cold weather hits. Not only will I make this in the suggested light bamboo knits, I’m thinking light/medium wool sweater knit and also light/medium stretch polar fleece. This is going to the top of my selfish sewing list!

  15. kathy says:

    Love it! Will be perfect with a dress that needs a jacket of some sort. And these are so stylish right now.

  16. Donna Gamble says:

    This pattern looks great. I think it would be great for mums with bubs who’d like to snuggle their babies in close when feeding or simply cuddling. The only problem is that I can’t find the link to download it. Can you help, please?

  17. carmen says:

    thanks for the lovely pattern, it’s perfect when you need to hide some extra pounds as I do !
    where can we find the actual bust/waist measurements corresponding to the sizes ?
    thank you,

  18. Juli Simpson says:

    Never mind. I just found it. I guess I need larger numbers. Thank you.

  19. Juli Simpson says:

    Where is the next page for the pattsrn? I would love one of these! Thank you for sharing.

  20. Jennette says:

    I love the pattern, but cannot get to the tutorial.I’ve tried Mozilla and Explorer and don’t see how to get to the next webpage.

  21. Marlette Louisin says:

    Very current. I’ve seen similar styles online but don’t like the prices they charge! Thank you for sharing this great pattern!! I have a feeling my DiLs and DGDs are going to be asking for one!!
    Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year

  22. Brenda Thompson says:

    Thank you for the pattern. So nice of you to give this away.

  23. Bobbie says:

    I really like the versatie ways to wear this cardi. Thank you for such wonderful patterns.

  24. What a great pattern, think the thumb link will make this perfect for my wheelchair.
    Thank you so much for your generosity in sharing this and so many patterns for free.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
    Lucy, England

  25. Lodi says:

    I can’t get to the 2nd page to get the pattern…

  26. Rosalie Neufeld says:

    Looks like a great cardigan!

  27. Judy Spooner says:

    Love this cardi and thank you for the pattern. I will be giving it a try in the new year. So much you can do with it and so practical at the same time. Wonderful.

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