The Classic Cardigan: Timeless, versatile, appealing…what’s not to love? This pattern has been several years in the making. It began with a desire to recreate an authentic-looking cardigan with off-the-bolt knit fabric, but despite several sincere attempts I couldn’t find a solution that really satisfied me. Everything changed when I was introduced to the concept of the Hong Kong Finish! It was the answer to so many problems: scale, flexibility, and most particularly, that four-letter word of the miniature world…B-U-L-K. I’ve adapted the method slightly for this particular pattern, but the method remains true to the basic concept.
If you’ve never used the Hong Kong Finish, stitching and trimming without finishing the edge will probably feel very unorthodox. Don’t worry! Bias-cut fabric frays very little (it’s why pinking shears work), and most knits don’t fray at all. I promise you’ll love this finish once you’ve tried it: it’s an easy, elegant solution that goes together quickly, reduces bulk, and can be made from the same fabric used for the bodice.
The look of this sweater can be changed dramatically with fabric choices, sleeve length, neck style, and contrasting (or not) binding. I’ve included an easier method for dealing with the front closure, as well as a more advanced, authentic-looking choice. This PDF pattern is designed for LIGHTWEIGHT KNITS ONLY with a moderate one-way stretch (no more than 40%). Heavier knits are not recommended.
Recommended Fabrics: Lightweight Knits with a Moderate One-Way Stretch
-A pair of small, very sharp scissors (essential for the Hong Kong Finish trimming process)
-½ yd. of a lightweight knit (58” wide) with a moderate (no more than 40%) one-way stretch
-4-6 ¼” buttons (depending on the front closure length)
-4-6 small snaps OR Two strips of ¼” x approximately 4”- 6” Velcro (depending on the front closure length)
-¼” Stay Tape (available through Joann’s) OR very lightweight interfacing, cut into long ¼” strips, OR ½” Stay Tape cut lengthwise into ¼” strips. Maximum length needed: 22”
-Very Lightweight Fusible Interfacing (one strip approximately 12” long x ¼” wide)
-Glue Stick (Intermediate versions only)
-Optional: graph paper for drawing the bias strip pattern piece OR a rotary cutter and cutting mat.
-Optional: A Ball-Point sewing needle (often used with knits)
Skill Level: Intermediate
What You Get: One 56 page sewing pattern that you digitally download as a PDF file so you can start your project immediately! The PDF sewing pattern provides full color step-by-step illustrated instructions and full size pattern pieces. A PDF reader is required to view and print the files (example: Adobe Reader or Preview for MAC). The download link is received immediately after the transaction is complete. Print copies are NOT available.Download, Print, Sew!