The easy long cardigan, a staple in your wardrobe

easy long cardigan

This easy long cardigan is very minimalistic and streamlined –perfect for the busty girl.  I have used tulle in the back to add a bit of drama but it is completely optional and you could use the same knit fabric to make the project even simpler.  This is a super easy project.  You'll see that there isn't a long tutorial because the design and construction are so simple.

The easy long cardigan is a design that has been around since the sixties.  A favorite of women who have to step out in their pajamas to drop the kids at school.  At least that is what we see in the movies, isn't it?  The fact is that it is a staple in women's wardrobes. Worn with leggings and a tank top or shorts and heels, it is the perfect accessory to hide your bottom.  Yes, you read right.

easy long cardigan

Sydney, Australia

There's a little backstory to this design that I'd like to share with you.  I was living in Sydney, Australia in 2001 when my mother came to visit.  As far as I can recall, my mother never has never worn pants before that.  In Sydney, winter weather is usually glorious except for a couple of weeks when it can get down to 10 degrees C or 50 degrees F and it's often windy.  As you can imagine, coming from tropical Panama, my mom's wardrobe was not adequate, so we went in search of warmer clothes.

I had jeans in mind, but she refused to wear them.  Her reasons shocked me.  She said my father had told her 30 years back that she did not look good on pants.  Determined to prove him wrong, I invited my mother to sit with me at a cafe and watch the people walking by.   The women in Sydney were comfortable in jeans.  That is what she saw and I was pleased.  However, she was still hesitant to give it a try, so I made her an easy long cardigan.  This would keep her warm and provide her somewhat I personally felt was unnecessary– modesty.  It did the trick and she's literally worn that same easy long cardigan (and pants..) ever since.  I wanted to share the concept with you.  Let's call it Sydney.

easy long cardigan

Key Features of the Easy Long Cardigan:

  • Mid-calf but can be lengthened or shortened
  • No buttons or belt giving a slimming and very elegant look
  • Sizes 8 to 18
  • Adaptable to printed or plain fabric
  • Super easy to sew


  • Thin cotton or rayon knit jersey (only).  2 1/2 to 3 1/2 yards depending on size.  Please print the pattern to make sure you have enough fabric.
  • Soft tulle to match the color of the jersey.  1 yard.
  • Woven fusible tricot.  I used Pellon.


  • Sewing machine
  • Double twin jersey needle.  I prefer Schmetz.
  • Jersey needle
  • Cover stitch sewing machine (optional)
  • or Serger

Where to find the instructions

Scroll down to the bottom of the page under the social media buttons, it is a small button shown in the picture below. 

Finished Garment Measurements

easy long cardigan

Recommended Fabrics

See next page for pattern download.

Bookmark the permalink.

173 Responses to The easy long cardigan, a staple in your wardrobe

  1. Caitlin says:

    Hey, just a question, I measure 32″ bust 26″ waist and 37.5″ hips and am 5’5″ 1/2 or 166 cm tall. Would a size 8 be too large or would it be a good fit for me? I’ve never used patterns before so I am not sure.

  2. THILAGAVATHY kandiah says:

    how to assemble the pattern

  3. Ruth says:

    Hi, could this be made sleeveless with a few adjustments?

  4. Lisa says:

    Do you topstitch the binding? Seems like that would help it to lay flatter.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      HI Lisa, I did not, I am using a super soft knit, it lays flat due to the weight of the fabric. You might need to if using a thicker fabric than mine.

  5. Sue Volek says:

    So sorry, but where’s the tutorial? Can’t wait to try this! Thanks

  6. Patricia Regul says:

    In a previous question you mention a video showing how to grade up this pattern to a larger size. I was looking for this but have not been able to find it. Is there a video on this? I am especially concerned about enlarging bust area. Thanks for your help and I just love this site

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi, Patricia, sadly I haven’t edited the video, in the meantime, I just published a new cardigan this one goes up to 2XL, Reply

  7. Janelle says:

    Hi Ijust made this cardigan but found the sleeve length too short. I had to add cuffs which have not added to the streamlined look of the cardigan. I would advise adding two inches to the sleeve length. Also, I needed to reduce the width of both back and fronts…I’m a size 10-12 and found this pattern far too wide, preferring a more fitted streamlined look.

  8. Abby McSherry says:

    hi could you tell me, do you use american sizes or UK ones? if so what UK size is the 18 please

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi, Abby, to determine what size to use please look at the finished measurements chart, it is a better indication of what size to use.

  9. RIrby says:

    Can someone tell me how this can be adjusted to use cotton (Ankara) fabric. And, I would like it to be floor length.

  10. zainabmomoh says:

    Hi, does this pattern include allowance?

  11. Hi, thank you for answering!

    “Place the two notches of the sleeves to the back and align the middle notch of the sleeve to the shoulder seam.

    Sew the sides of the cardigan and the close the sleeve.”

    I am new to sewing clothing, I don’t know how to attach and “close the sleeves”. I will sew more, get experience and come back. Thank you!

  12. Hi, I am newish to sewing knits. I don’t understand before step 3. How do you attach everything, in what order.I don’t see how to attach the sleeves. Does anyone have pictures or instructions for those steps?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi, Jasmine, There are 3 pattern pieces, sew the back first, then the sleeves and then you cut out the neck binding according to the size you have made, fold in half and then you sew it to the cardigan. Step 3 and 4 answers your questions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *