Sewing cardigans / Sewing knits / work in progress

Next up: Crew neck cardigan


Sewing cardigans is fun, and can be challenging too, since the process is so different from knitted cardigans. So that’s why I’m intrigued whenever I see a RTW cardigan that is sewn together using regular fabrics. Like this cardigan from People Tree that is actually made using regular fabric. In an older post I did some reverse engineering of this cardigan and made some illustrations to show how it’s constructed. So I thought I should share them again to show how a cardigan can be made using fabric.


How a cardigan is constructed




How a cardigan is constructed



The fabric I’m using is a wonderful crimson organic wool double knit. It’s very stable which makes me think that it will be a great fabric for this kind of construction. A flimsy jersey would probably not work as well I suspect.

Most store bought cardigans tend to be fully fashioned (i.e. consists of machine knitted pattern pieces just like a hand knitted garment would be). But this one is sewed of a regular cotton knit fabric and hence why it is very valuable for us home sewists to learn som tricks from.

This cardigan is part of my Back to basics capsule wardrobe where I use only organic fabrics, which I’m very excited about. The fabric is from Swedish vendor Andersson & Hjalmarson, and if you are living in Sweden and looking for some awesome wool knits, they should be your first stop.


  • PsychicSewerKathleen
    January 17, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    I wish I had held onto one of my favourite cardigans – honestly I wore it out and finally let it go but I loved that cardigan! It was made of a nice 100% cotton knit made in Italy. The weight, colour, fit and quality was just right. But now I have no idea how it was put together. I’m pretty sure grosgrain ribbon was used to stabilize the buttonhole placket. I will do this in the future! Thank you for the inspiration even if it comes after mine is long gone 🙂

    • Johanna
      January 18, 2017 at 8:37 am

      Grosgrain is the best way to go when starting out making cardigans! Takes all out all the angst regarding sewing buttonholes on stretchy plackets. These days I mostly use fusibles for that purpose but I love the look of grosgrain, very classy!

  • Esther
    January 17, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    I wonder how you are going to sew the cuffs and the waistband without ribbing fabric! I’ll keep an eye on your posts!
    BTW, I have started my sewing blog. It is in catalan and english and you are very welcome

    • Johanna
      January 18, 2017 at 8:41 am

      The RTW cardigan I’m using as inspiration is made entirely of single cotton jersey, including waist and sleeve cuffs and neckline. I agree it sounds crazy but it actually works quite well as they are the same width as the bodice. I’ll check out your blog!


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