How I made a casual cardigan from a dress pattern

How I made a casual cardigan from a dress pattern

I wasn’t going to blog about this recent quick make, but then I thought that my process, might be of interest because I did a really easy pattern hack from the same pattern that I used in this sweater dress post. I generally prefer less casual wear but sometimes you just want to have a lazy weekend and pop a casual cardigan on over a tee and a pair of jeans, and potter about the house.

How I made a casual cardigan from a dress pattern

The fabric I used in my cardigan was gifted me by a lovely sewing friend that I made on Instagram and it’s possibly a cotton blend. I only had 1.2m as I was originally going to make a sweater, so had to do some inventive layout tweaks to get the cardigan cut out. Nerve-wracking stuff but I managed it.

So as I said I used a dress pattern for this garment. The original Lekala pattern has an angled section at the front lower side so first of all I just joined that pattern piece to the main front piece and I basically cut two front sections with a grown on facing down each leading edge and creating a gentle sloping ‘V’ neck shape. The back was just cut all in one on the fold. As I hadn’t got enough of a length to cut a complete sleeve, I had to put a deep cuff on it which is simply a narrow piece of fabric folded up double. All seams were sewn on my overlocker. The shoulders were sewn first followed by sleeves and finally underarm and sides in one go. Cuffs were added afterwards…

How I made a casual cardigan from a dress pattern

To give the front grown-on facings more body and less sagginess, I got a bit inventive and cut a long piece of viscose/lycra jersey of about 1.25” wide. I cut it across the grain for added elasticity and I stitched it on by hand as you can see in the photo on the right. As I stitched the jersey in place I put a slight tension on it so that it eased a little and helped the facing roll under to the inside. For the back neck, I used a band of fabric and just stitched and turned it to the inside. After doing this it was straightforward to just overlock all raw edges, mitre the front lower corners and stitch a hem all the way around the cardigan in one pass.  Viola…quick casual weekend and lounging cardigan.

How I made a casual cardigan from a dress pattern

So, next on my to sew list is something a lot more complicated…a knockoff of a vintage Vivienne Westwood jacket in pure wool tartan…I suspect it may be a slow process, so perhaps a couple of quicker makes on the blog might be mixed in between, but check my Instagram posts for future jacket updates and hopefully a future blog post.. ‘Til next time…


How I made a casual cardigan from a dress pattern



  1. Monika
    February 17, 2017 / 7:21 pm

    so clever. it drapes beautifully! looking forward to VW style jacket ❤ Monika

    • Diane G
      February 17, 2017 / 7:36 pm

      Thank you Monika! Yes, the fabric handled really nicely when I worked on it…nice and fluid.

  2. Suzy
    February 22, 2017 / 11:20 am

    This is a great post Diane. So helpful, I think I might try this for a cardigan. xx

    • Diane G
      February 22, 2017 / 11:27 am

      Thanks Suzy. I’m so pleased you find it useful. I invented the techniques on the fly and they seemed to work 🙂

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