Transformable Easy Cardigan: Dressing in Layers

easy cardigan

Dressing in layers with an easy cardigan was what was on people's minds the day I took the survey on our Facebook chat group.  With over 32,000 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 is 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 cardigan

I haven't lived in a cold place for a very long time, 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 cardigan

easy 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 or casual depending on the fabric you use.

Materials:

Tools:

Fabric Suggestions From Fabric.com

easy cardigan

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 different 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.

Pattern Download

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You can download the pattern for this Easy Cardigan Pattern for Non-Knitters from our account at Payhip.

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Pattern Layout

easy cardigan

Standard Body Measurements

Use these measurements to choose the right size for your easy cardigan.  It is supposed to be loosely fitted except for the sleeves.  Remember that the front drape can also become a hoodie.

S 6-8
M 10-12
L 14-16
XL 18-20
XXL 22-24

Step One: Preparing the fabric for your easy cardigan

My recommendation when working with knits is always to lay the fabric the night before and work on it the next day.  I find when I do this there are no ripples or bubbles in my stitches.

TIP:  If you are using a super slippery knit like bamboo jersey.  Lay a large cotton fabric, or a tablecloth, and then lay the jersey.  This will stop the slippery fabric from moving around so much.  I know that many people say cut the fabric between layers of paper……I just find that this technique dulls my scissors.  But do what you think works for you best.

Place the front drape of the cardigan on the selvage.  In other words, use the selvage edge at the end of the drape.  We need the selvage to make sure the fabric is going to lay absolutely straight.

Step Two: Sewing the back

We will be starting to sew the cardigan from the back.  Pin the sides and sew at 3/8″.  Serge the seam allowances.  Fuse stretchable interfacing at the shoulder seams.

easy cardigan

easy cardigan

Pin the ribbing to the back and sew at 3/8″ serge or zigzag the seam allowance.

Step Three:  Sewing the front

easy cardigan

easy cardigan

Pin the sides and sew at 3/8″.  Use your serger or zigzag to seal the seam allowance.

The next step might get a bit confusing because of the shape of the neckline.

The part that gathers at the back is also what can be used as a hood.  This is the part that we need to sew before we can proceed.

easy cardigan

easy cardigan

Sew at 3/8″ and zigzag or use your serger.  Notice the seam allowance rippling a bit.  I will use a cloth and a lot of steam to iron my seams but, I will do it at the end to avoid overhandling the fabric. 

Step Four: Attaching the back

easy cardigan

Open the piece you just sewed with the seams showing or right side down.

easy cardigan

Get you back piece and make sure you have applied stretchable fusible interfacing.  Find the middle of the back neckline by folding the back piece and place a pin there.

easy cardigan

Pin the back to the neckline and sew at 3/8″.  Finish the seam with a three-step zig-zag or a serger.

Step Five:  Attaching the sleeves

Attach fusible stretchable interfacing to the hem on the sleeves.  Serge or zigzag the sleeves seam allowances.  Mark the back of the sleeve so you know what way the sleeve must be sewn.  I will use a pin because my fabric unravels very easily so I can't make a notch.

easy cardigan

Spread the cardigan wrong side up, or with the seams showing.  The front and back will be on the sides and the armhole in front of you. In the picture below, the back is on the right and the front is on the left. Pin the sleeve to the armhole starting at the ends. Sew the sleeve to the armhole at 3/8″.

easy cardigan

Step Six: Finishing the easy cardigan

By now you should have one crazy piece of work.  Don't get lost.  I recommend, but it is not essential, to add stretchable fusible interfacing strips 1/2″ wide to the hems of the cardigan.  This is to prevent the notorious wave look of some knit fabrics when sewn.  Please practice on a scrap of fabric to avoid ruining the cardigan at this advanced stage of the project.

There are a few ways to tackle the hem.  Use the interfacing with a ballpoint needle and a straight stitch.  You can also try a walking foot and a regular needle.  Or a twin needle and fusible stretchable interfacing.

Of course, if you have a cover stitch machine, then you are the “Queen of Sewing” already and I've got nothing to say to you as I simmer here in Singapore turning the color of the project.  Pure envy!  Yes I know it's a sin.  Someday I too will get a cover stitcher…

I'm opting for the jersey twin needle, fusible stretchable interfacing, and my serger.  Sounds complicated, but it's not.  The hem will look like I made it with a cover stitch sewing machine (almost..).

easy cardigan

easy cardigan

Add fusible stretchable interfacing on the front and the sleeves hem, as well as the neckline.  1.   Fold the neckline seam allowance 3/8″ and using your twin jersey needle sew the edge of the neckline.

easy cardigan

  2.  Fold the hemline 3/8″ and sew using your twin needle.

easy cardigan

3.  The last seam you are going to make is the side seam.  Start sewing from the hemline to the sleeve.

4.  This step is optional, the sleeves are slightly longer.  So the sleeves and stop 4″ from the hemline.  Leave an opening of 2″, and continue sewing until the hem of the sleeve. 

This opening is to insert your thumb through it.  Sew a straight stitch around the opening. Fold the hemline of the sleeve at 3/8″ and using your twin needle sew the hemline.

This is how the side seam should look like.

There are at least three ways to wear the cardigan.  I could argue that there is a 4th way, however, I will let you discover it.  Send me a picture and I promise to share it on the site.

Until next time!

Pin-Me

easy cardigan


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Lil
Lil

My upper arms are large in proportion to the rest of me. (I had a gastric bypass a few years ago….lots of “wings” left behind.) How do I modify the top so that the arms are larger? Thank you.

Melissa
Melissa

Could you please please please repost? The link redirects to your home page instead of downloading PDF. Thank you!!

Kim Conner
Kim Conner

The pattern link takes me to https://so-sew-easy.com/?merchantID=29190 The link seems to be broken.

BLAINE A SCHULZE
BLAINE A SCHULZE

My wife would really love to get this pattern, but the link is broken. We’ve tried to download it using Apple and android devices but it will not work. Is there another way to get it? Please help me put a smile on her face.

BLAINE A SCHULZE
BLAINE A SCHULZE
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

Unfortunately, clicking on the link takes me to http://www.so-so-easy.com/?merchandise=29190 which shows other projects but no pattern.

Pam
Pam

Would love to make this, but the download link doesn’t work. Depending on the browser, it either goes to bluprint or to the So Sew Easy home page, neither of which download anything. I would gladly pay for the pattern.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

What is the measurement for the sizes of? Is it the bust measurement or waist?

Nana
Nana
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

Hi Mayra,
I would love to sew the transformable cardigan but unfortunately the link to the pattern seems to be broken. How can I access the pattern?
Thank you!

Nana
Nana
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

Looking forward to it :-))

KathrynB
KathrynB
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

I don’t think the link has been fixed yet?

Celine
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

Hi,
The link still doesn’t work… how can we have access to, please?

Shirene Iesalnieks
Shirene Iesalnieks

Can I use a 4-way stretch sweater fabric for this?

Shirene Iesalnieks
Shirene Iesalnieks
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

Thank you. This pattern looks really fun to try.

Tierra
Tierra

Hi there, is this pattern only available in pdf? Im not able to print it but will love to order it!!!!

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[…] sewing idea:  Transformable Easy Cardigan FREE […]

Verna
Verna

I think I really like the look of this versatile cardio pattern. Can’t wait to make it. Thanks so much for all of your generosity and love Debi too. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Cindi Johnson
Cindi Johnson

I have looked and can’t see the measurements for the sizes. Such as bust 42 is a large

Cindi
Cindi
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

Thank you I did find the sizes I can’t believe I didn’t see them the first time!

Barb F
Barb F

I’d like to see how you styled the back when you wrap it. Is it tied? Is it tucked? Thanks

Barb F
Barb F
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

Right, but can you show it? Thank

PPat
PPat

Love it! Thanks!!!

rach
rach

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!

Sara
Sara

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?

gardenrealm
gardenrealm

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
Sarah
Reply to  gardenrealm

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
Sarah
Reply to  gardenrealm

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!

Vera
Vera

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!

Andrea Letourneau
Andrea Letourneau

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.

Rachie Bull

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 ?

Rachie Bull
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

Thank you for that ? I had a wonderful time making this for my Mother in Law. And she absolutely loves it!!
Thanks so much for the amazing patterns and all the help!

LeeAnne Bradley
LeeAnne Bradley

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

So Sew Easy
Admin
Member

The page numbers are just above the comments section. Unfortunately, this is the default WordPress style but we need to make them bigger. I’ve got someone working on this but won’t get done until after the holidays. In any case, here’s a direct link:

https://so-sew-easy.com/easy-cardigan-pattern-transformable/2/

trackback

[…] the sleeves all the way to your wrists, or the sleeves can push up.  This is an original design by So-Sew-Easy.com and I think it covers a lot of ground which is why I say it is transformable.  Please free to […]

trackback

[…] Transformable Easy Cardigan: Dressing In Layers, by So Sew Easy […]

Carlene Parker
Carlene Parker

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.

Karen Taylor
Karen Taylor
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

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.

Damjana

Mayra,

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!

designbysue

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

Kristina Perrin

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.

Kate
Kate

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!

kathy
kathy

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

Donna Gamble
Donna Gamble

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?
Thanks

carmen
carmen

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,

R L
R L
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

I cannot find the cami sweater to get the size chart, how can I do this?

Juli Simpson
Juli Simpson

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

Juli Simpson
Juli Simpson

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

Jennette
Jennette

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.

Marlette Louisin
Marlette Louisin

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

Brenda Thompson
Brenda Thompson

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

Bobbie
Bobbie

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