Cool Weather Series: Button-Up Cardigan
I made this white cardigan as part of my Sew ‘n Style mini collection and was so happy with how it turned out. It’s one of those pieces that I’ve wanted to make for the longest time, but kept putting off, so the little push from entering the contest was great.
With just a couple small modifications to the Brynn Sweater pattern, or a shirt pattern of your choice, you can make a cardigan. I used a sweater knit from Sincerely Rylee and added a woven placket from fabric I picked up at Jo-Ann’s.
Here’s how I made this cardigan.
What you Need
1/2 yard of fabric (I used a sweater knit, but you could also use other kinds of knit)
A strip of woven fabric that is 2″ by the length of the front bodice (neckline to bottom of shirt)
Another strop of woven fabric that is 3″ by the length of your front bodice
The Brynn Sweater pattern or a similar pattern. The 18 month size can be downloaded here: Brynn Sweater Pattern
First you will need to slightly modify your pattern. Cut 2.5″ off the bottom of the sleeve pattern piece. We will be adding a cuff to make up the length.
Then, cut 3″ off the front and back bodice pieces. We will be adding a band.
Last, you will need to add 1/2″ to the front of the bodice piece along the side that says FOLD. You will not be cutting this piece on the fold, you will be cutting two mirror images instead.
Here is what the bodice pieces will look like after they are cut. The blue line is where the original pattern piece would have ended and the extra 1/2″ added on.
Cut the back bodice piece and sleeves out on the fold like you would normally.
Lay your front pieces on top of your back piece with right sides together and sew along the shoulders using a stretch stitch (a regular zig zag stitch will work)
Next, open up the cardigan with right side up.
Lay your sleeve right side down, so right sides are together, and pin the middle of the sleeve to the middle of the arm opening.
Next, pin the edge of your sleeve to the edge of the arm opening.
Take about a 1/4″ piece of your fabric and fold it back toward the center pin and pin in place.
Repeat until the rest of your sleeve will fit smoothly against the opening without bunching. (I usually have two folds on each side of the center pin)
Continue pinning that side of your sleeve, and then repeat the gathering on the other side of the sleeve. Sew along the raw edge. When you get to the center where you have all of the pins, sew as close to the pin as you can, remove it, and sew up to the next pin. Once you have one sleeve sewed on, repeat for the other sleeve.
With right sides together, sew from the sleeve down to the hem on both sides of the cardigan.
Now we are going to sew on the button placket. With your cardigan right side out, take your 2″ placket piece and place it face down on the left side of your cardigan with raw edges lining up and right sides together. Sew down along the raw edges.
Open up your placket piece and press, and then fold it in half toward the inside and press again.
Fold and press one more time right along the edge where the woven and knit fabric meet, so that you can only see one fabric on each side.
Sew your 3″ placket piece to the other side of your cardigan the same way you did the first side. Press open the placket and fold back halfway toward the inside and press.
Fold one more time just over the seam so that it is enclosed. Press.
This is what your placket will look like at this point. The left side will be hidden from view and the right side will be showing.
Now we are going to add the neckband. Measure the length from one edge of your cardigan to the other around the neck opening. Take that measurement and add 2″. Cut out a strip of fabric that is 1 3/4″ x the measurement you just took. Fold one edge of your strip over 1/2″ toward the wrong side of the fabric.
Fold your strip in half lengthwise, with wrong sides together.
Pin your folded in edge so that it matches the edge of your cardigan. Make sure that your placket is tucked in on the left side and out on the right side. Sew a little along your neckband to get it started, then as you continue to sew, stretch the band slightly as you go, being careful not to also stretch the cardigan.
When you get to the other end of the cardigan cut off the excess band, leaving a 1/2″ overhang. Tuck that 1/2″ inside itself, like you did on the other side, lining up the edges. Finish sewing on your neckband. Trim your seam and press it down toward the hem.
For the band along the hem, measure the length of your fabric along the hem and add 2″. Cut out a 4″ x your measurement strip. Sew the band on the same way as the neckline. Trim your seam and press up toward the neck.
For the cuff of your sleeve, measure along the width of the bottom of your sleeve, double that number (so you will have enough to go around the front and back) add 2″. With wrong sides together, fold your fabric in half lengthwise and pin one edge 1″ past your wrist seam.
Sew your cuff onto your shirt stopping 1″ away from the wrist seam on the opposite side. Line up the overhanging cuff strips and pin where they should meet at the wrist seam. Push the sleeve fabric out of the way, and place your cuff down under your sewing machine foot, so that your needle will follow the path of the pin. Remove the pin and sew your cuff together. Trim off the excess and continue to sew the cuff to your sleeve. Trim your seam and press up.
This next step is optional. You can just choose to topstitch your neckline. We are going to enclose the top seam for a neater look. Fold your neckband down, so that the raw edge is up.
Cut a strip of fabric 3/4″ by the length of your neckline plus 1″. Lay the strip face down on along your neckline with a 1/2″ overlapping on each side and pin in place. Sew along the seam you already have from attaching the band to the neck.
Press your strip of fabric down and tuck in the overhanging piece.
Fold the strip around the seam so that it is enclosed.
Continue all the way down the neckline, pinning as you go. Sew along the very edge of your trim being careful that your fabric is not bunched on the other side as you go.
Topstitch along your bottom band and your sleeve cuffs.
The last piece is to add your buttonholes. Your first buttonhole will go horizontally along the neckband. From there, measure 2″ to 2.5″ along your placket, marking with chalk or a fabric marker.
You’ll want your last buttonhole to fall somewhere close to the middle of your bottom band. Sew your buttonholes, sew on your buttons and you’re done! Craftsy has a good tutorial for sewing on shank buttons, like the ones I used. Who knew there was a “proper” way to sew on buttons? Everyone but me? The tutorial is HERE.
If you made it this far, thanks for following along! Let me know how it went if you tried out this tutorial by commenting below. Also, follow me on Facebook through the link on the side of the page to stay up-to-date on my projects.