The Easy Long Cardigan, A New 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 a 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

Finished Garment Measurements

easy long cardigan

Recommended Fabrics

Pattern Download

Make sure you have the revised version.

Opt In Image
Download the Free Pattern

You can download the pattern for this Easy Long Cardigan from our account at Payhip.

For help downloading and printing PDF patterns, please CLICK HERE.

Step One: Preparing the fabric.

Lay the fabric on a flat surface and let it rest overnight.  The resting time allows the fabric to relax if it is overstretched.  Apply fusible tricot to the armholes, shoulders, and neck.

easy long cardigan

Step Two: Sewing the back and shouldersimg_4082

Place the back yoke print side down, pin the tulle and sew at 5/8″ using your serger.  It is possible to make this long cardigan using only your sewing machine by using a stretchable stitch.  Some machines have a stitch that resembles a serger.  Check your manual for the best stitch possible.

For a bit more background on sewing stretchy knits, please check out our article on the topic linked below:


Step Three: Sewing the sleeves and sides

Before you cut the fabric, measure the sleeves and the shoulder to determine whether you are happy with the length of the sleeve.  I have designed it so it is shorter on the sleeves because of housework and the fact I work with my hands all the time and do not what the sleeves on the way.  Please make the necessary adjustments should you require a longer length.


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 close the sleeve.

Step Four: The neck binding

Cut two 4″ wide strips of fabric the length of the cardigan from the middle of the neck to the hem.  You can measure this off the pieces you have already sewn.

Sew both strips right sides together and end to end at 5/8″ to make one long binding.  Serge the seam allowance to eliminate the bulk. Fold lengthwise and pin the center seam of the binding to the center of the neckline.

Start sewing from the center of the neckline to the hem.

img_4091Step Five: Hemming the long cardigan


Change your machine to a twin needle.  Fold the hem 5/8″ and sew very slowly.  Do not stretch the fabric at all.  Let your machine do all the work.  Or you can use of cover stitch machine if you have one.

If you need some more guidance about how to use a twin needle, please check out our tutorial linked below:


In five easy steps, it is possible to have a very stylish cardigan.  Worn with leggings and a tank top, it has become my go-to outfit to rush out of the house to pick something or someone.  It is the perfect car ride outfit or for a long haul overnight flight.  As for my mother, she uses her easy long cardigan with straight pants or jeans but hiding her bum is no longer the reason.  She is turning 70 in a couple of months and she's no longer concerned about what people think.


easy long cardigan

If You'd Like To Support Our Site

If you want to help us continue to bring you a wide selection of free sewing patterns and projects, please consider buying us a coffee.  We'd really, really appreciate it.

Bookmark the permalink.
5 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

your waist measurements are larger than your bust measurements. I’m not sure if this was a mixup or on purpose, just wanted to make sure you were aware. its the same on here and on the pdf and looking at the pattern the waist seems to be smaller than the bust


Do think this pattern will work if I make it sleeveless? I want to sew a long gilet to wear during Autumn, before the chill sets in? Mostly to be worn over long sleeved tee shirts and leggings around the house. Your pattern seems like it will fit the bill. Thank you.

Leslie Fu
Leslie Fu

Long Cardigans never go out of style as they are the best outfit to wear in any of the occasions. It makes you feel comfortable and confident as it makes you look more bolder.
Thank you very much for sharing this article with us and letting us know more about the long cardigan. Keep sharing more such articles like this in the future also. I would appreciate and surely like to read more such articles like this from you.


I love the look of this cardigan, but why are the arms so narrow and armholes so small? I would like to wear it over a long-sleeved shirt, but it’s too tight, even though I’ve used very stretchy fabric and made it a size bigger than usual.