Easy Sweater Pattern for Non-Knitters

easy sweater patternAfter many reader requests, I wanted to come up with a design for an easy sweater pattern for non-knitters.  Knitting is one of my passions but, since I started designing at So-Sew-Easy.com I have had no time for it at all.  But I do miss knitting.  Often, I think of a dress or a top and I could picture it in my mind on a knitted kaleidoscope of colors.  I love the fresh look of a soft cotton long sleeve knitted top, even in summer you can pull this look.  But winter is a special time to wrap yourself in a comfortable but elegant knitted top that won't break the bank.  If you are lacking in time like me, here is an easy sweater pattern for non-knitters.

easy sweater pattern

This is an easy sweater to make, however, you do have to pay special attention to the pattern markings and the symbols on the pattern. There are seven pattern pieces, plus two more you'll need to draft yourself depending on your size.  To save paper and time I have not done this for you.  These pieces are rectangles that will become the ribbing added to the cuffs and to the hemline.  These pattern pieces are very simple to make and would be good practice if you're just starting out in sewing and patternmaking.

Key Features of the Easy Sweater Pattern:

  • Easy to wear and make, yet elegant.
  • Casual kimono style sleeves and a draped neckline that is easily adjustable should you require a more modest cleavage.
  • Can be worn off the shoulders.
  • Perfect for a stroll in the park or tea with friends.
  • Drapes well hugging your curves but not adding any bulk.

easy sweater pattern


  • Sweater knit fabric (1 1/2 yards to 2 1/4 yards depending on size.)
  • Thread to match


Sizing Measurements

easy sweater pattern

Recommended Fabrics

Pattern Download

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Pattern Pieces

Please note:  There is no seam allowance to the pattern.  I recommend a 3/8″ seam allowance if you are using a 4 thread overlocker and a 1/4″ for the ribbing.

  • A:  Front -Cut on fold
  • B:  Back -Cut on fold
  • C:  Sleeve -Cut two (2)
  • D:  Collar -Cut on fold
  • E:  Insert front -Cut two (2)
  • F:  Insert back -Cut two (2)
  • G:  Back Collar
  • Ribbing for hipline -Cut two (2)
  • Ribbing for cuffs  -Cut one (1)

Pattern Layout

Step One:  Sew the inserts

The inserts are two pieces.  One insert is shorter for the front and one longer for the back.

Take pieces A (Front) and E (insert) and pin right sides together.  I have marked the pattern piece so you know what way goes to the neckline.  Sew at 3/8″.  easy sweater

Take pieces B and F, pin to both sides and sew as you did previously.  Use your serger or if you want, zigzag the seam allowance.  Put aside.easy sweater

Step Two:  Sew the sleeves and sides.

I recommend you pin both sleeves first then sew both at the same time.  This is to reduce the risk of the fabric unraveling or losing shape due to excessive handling.

Place the back wrong side up.  You will know you have it right because you can see the seam allowance.  easy sweaterPin the front of the sweater to the other side of the sleeves.easy sweater

Sew the sleeves to the back and front inserts.

Pin the sweater right sides together and sew at  3/8″.easy sweatereasy sweater

Step Three: Sew the collar

Pattern piece D represents the collar.  It is cut on fold which makes a piece long enough to be attached from the front all the way to the back insert (F) and the sleeve seam.  Take pattern pieces D and G and sew at 3/8″.  It is now a band.  Keep seam allowances open.  There is a notch on the pattern to let you know where the halfway mark is.  Fold the collar in half.  Remember to keep the seam allowances open.easy sweater

Mark the front and back.  Align the front and back and the notches provided on the pattern.  Align the front of the collar with the front of the sweater. easy sweater

At first, the neckline will appear to be too big.  Mark the middle of the front of the sweater. easy sweater

Align the notch on the collar to the front insert (E) and sleeve (C).
easy sweaterYou may have to pull the collar to fit the neckline opening just a bit.easy sweater Zigzag or serge the seam allowance.
easy sweaterIf you find the seam allowance standing up just stay stitch it to lay flat.easy sweatereasy sweater

Step Four:  Make the ribbing for the easy sweater

Hipline ribbing:  The hipline ribbing is composed of two pieces: front and back.  When we sew these pieces together the seams will match the sides seams of the sweater.

Measure the hemline of the sweater.  easy sweaterCreate a rectangle that is 7″ x measurement of the hemline – minus 2″= hemline ribbing.  Please add seam allowance on each side.  In my case, it is 34″ plus the seam allowance of 1/4 x 2 = 34 1/2″.  My rectangle then will be 34 1/2″ x 7″.easy sweater

Cuff ribbing:  We need two pieces for the cuff ribbing.  Measure the hem of the sleeve.  Draw a rectangle that is 5″ x the measurement of the sleeve – 1″= cuff ribbing.

easy sweater

easy sweater

Step Five: Attach the ribbing

After cutting the ribbing sides, mark the center on both sides. easy sweaterSew the ribbing band at 1/4″. easy sweater Open the seam allowance and fold in half.  Lay the sweater and align the sides seams of the sweater and front and back of the sweater and ribbing.easy sweater

Pin the side seams of the ribbing to the side seams of the sweater.  Pin the middle front of the sweater and the middle back of the sweater.  You will have to stretch the ribbing to meet the four points.easy sweater Sew at 3/8″. Zigzag or use your serger.easy sweater

Repeat the same procedure to the sleeves.  Sew at 3/8″.easy sweaterOpen the seams.easy sweater Fold the cuff keeping the seams open.easy sweater Align the side seam of the ribbing to the sleeve.  easy sweater

Sew at 3/8″.  Zigzag or serge the seam allowance.

I think this easy sweater pattern will answer a few of the requests I've received recently.  It is casual, yet elegant and good enough to wear with a nice skirt and boots or a pair of jeans and sneakers, jeans and heels, heels and shorts.  It is one of those tops that can be a great traveling piece. Hope you enjoy it, let me know how you find the tutorial.  Until next time!

If you have a couple of rectangles of fabric left over?  Why not try to make a headband that will only take you 15 minutes to sew.

easy sweater pattern

easy sweater pattern

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78 Responses to Easy Sweater Pattern for Non-Knitters

  1. Toni Leggate says:

    Hi Mayra, Just about to order some fabric online but realised you haven’t indicated the width of fabric required – just the 1.5 to 2.25 yards for length. I am tall and need to buy enough by the whole metre (most online stores in the UK only sell in whole metres). Also I already have far too many odd pieces that are too small to use!
    Many thanks if you can help.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      I see you predicament, too much or too little. However the amounts depend on the width of your fabric and the size chosen. The best thing would be to lay the pattern on piece of fabric as wide as the one you need and work out how much you need. Typically the wider the fabric the less you need.

  2. Dawn A Lynema says:

    do you think I could make the cowl thicker or fuller?

What do you think?