I’m moving into full Autumn/Winter sewing at full throttle and what could be more of a cold-weather wardrobe staple than a cardigan? After making my sparkly teal knit maxi cardigan earlier this summer I well and truly got into the idea of long cardigans. I think a neutral long cardigan is such a useful wardrobe addition.
My fabric is an 85% wool 15% polyamide blend. It’s a fairly chunky and weighty cable-knit that I bought from Ditto Fabrics at the start of the year. I’d describe the colour as putty grey with a slightly warm tone.
Just like my teal cardigan, I used McCall’s 6886 as my starting point. There’s really no need for a specific cardigan pattern because this is such a simple shaped cardigan. Actually, 6866 is a really useful and handy pattern to have in your collection. A few sewers on Instagram were talking about how versatile it is and how you can hack it into gazillion-and-one different designs. The customising possibilities are endless.
DIY Long Cardigan: My Process
I cut my cardigan out in a size 12, one size up from my usual 10-ish, to leave room for layering and I just folded the front pattern piece of the V-neck variation in half and added a seam allowance on the fold line edge. To get enough body length out of my fabric I had to forfeit some sleeve length but that was ok because I knew that I could use some fabric from the offcuts to make a cuff feature and get the length that I wanted on my sleeves.
On to the sewing now and I literally just overlocked/serged everything together. I used a wide cutting width, a fairly tight tension and my differential feed dial was set on ease.
The tricky part came when I needed to work out how to finish off all of the front edges and the hems. My stash of fabric bits and scraps came to the rescue in the form of some viscose and lycra jersey that I found lurking in my drawer. It’s in a fairly similar tone of grey, yay!
I completely lined the sleeve cuffs with the jersey fabric and then for the hems and front edges I used my walking foot and a slight zig-zag to sew cross-grain strips all the way around. I then hand-stitched everything into place so that the jersey was a finished width of about 1 inch wide. Here’s a couple of close-up pictures for you:
If I felt like spending a bit more time on finishing off the insides (which I don’t LOL! #sorrynotsorry) I could encase all of the side seams and armholes within some bias binding, however, so far it’s just overlocked and looks ok, so I’m good with that 🙂
Finishing off the edges on thick knit fabrics like this can often prove problematic and end up being bulky, so adding a jersey edging as I’ve done is one solution. Other ideas that I thought of are to buy a coordinated ribbing or maybe some fold over elastic. I think either would be a really nice way to finish it off.
I really like the longer length of this cardigan and it’ll no doubt double as a lightweight coat until the weather gets really cold. Unfortunately, I don’t think it will layer well under any of my coats because it’s way too long for them so I suspect it will be mainly for indoor use for when it’s really freezing cold, or maybe I just need to make myself a long topcoat 🙂 Anyway, I’m really loving the proportions of this make worn over my cropped pants or my short dresses. Add some booties or tall boots and I’m good to go.
For now, I think I have enough really warm sweaters and cardis, so I need to concentrate on making some mid-weight cosy tops. Stay tuned. 🙂
Thanks for dropping in for a read. Let me know what you think and tell me if you’re a fan of longer cardigans. It’s a new style for me to try but I’m loving them so far.
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Cute, Diane! Great fabric choice for one of my very favorite sweater patterns. I use it often and am so envious of your lovely fabric! What a great addition to your wardrobe!
Thanks, Linda! It is gorgeous fabric. So soft too.
What a great cozy cardigan. I am envious that you could find some lovely almost pure wool knit for it. Great technique for finishing the edges. I have done similar but used ribbon and that worked very well.
Thank you, Christine! Yes, the fabric was a fab find. Ooh love the idea of ribbon for using as an edging too, thanks!
Super cute. It’s beautiful.
Thank you so much Riesha! xx
Thanks I have some heavy and bulky sweater knit that I knew I wanted to make a long cardigan. I just couldn’t decide what pattern. Well you fixed that for me and I think I have this pattern in my pile of patterns that I’m getting around to selling, some day. Glad I procrastinated.
Ahh, that’s great LoriAnne! Yea, definitely hang on to that pattern because it can be used as a starting point for so many options of tops dresses and cardigans.
Love your “Sweater Coat”. Thanks for the photos and explaining your process for lining cuffs and edge finishing. I have made a few and have the same issue with the length not fitting under winter coats. I did shorten one as I will wear it more often.
Thanks so much, Pat 🙂 I’ll see how I go regarding length, but I do have a purple and a charcoal one so perhaps I’ll leave this one as is.
Hi adore your cardigan, such a good look. How much fabric did you have please? I have always only used my overlocker to finish woven seams but have recently given it a try making the dogs fleece coats, bit scared about wool though. Does it finish neatly on the overlocker please. Would the boucle wool be an easier first go than the cable. Thanks for the post, love your emails.
Hi Trish! If memory serves me I think I had 2 metres of fabric. I had ordered less but was phoned by the company who told me that the batch of fabric arrived in a narrower width than quoted on the website so they sent me a bit more. This wool wasn’t too bad to overlock. It steam-pressed well after a pre-wash and didn’t curl up. I’d advise you to use a two-needle/four-thread set up on your overlocker and get your cutting width quite wide (about 4.5). Try a test piece first. I think perhaps a boucle may be easier to start with as a cable can be a bit bulkier where you get the cross over part of the pattern…I take it you mean a boiled wool boucle? I love working with those.
I love this cardigan, it looks so good on you. The way you’ve finished the edges is really good and I must remember this for next winter when I am sure I will be indulging in a cardigan too. I am so in love with your boots btw!
Ahh, thank you so much, Sue! So glad you like it, I’m really pleased with it :). And I’m in love with my boots too! Hehe.