slouchy cardigan tutorial

Soooooo. here’s that tutorial I promised you from way back when. I made my first version for Project Run and Play, but this one is a simplified cardi with no tie or pockets. (though those are easy to add!)

I love the grandpa style cardi on kids-and it’s so easy to make you’ll want to whip up one in every color knit you have! These are great for upcycling old cardigans too-but look for cardis that have the band around the bottom and neck so that you can reuse that.

Another note: I’ve used this exact method to make cardis for myself!

So grab some knit and let’s go! I used some jersey knit (this color, from Girl Charlee), but my practice cardi for PR&P was in interlock and it worked fine, too.

read on for the tutorial!

 First: the pattern. You can trace around a tee or other cardigan for the back pattern piece. (fold on the left) For the front pattern piece, draw a curved shape like so…you could use another cardi to get the right curve, or just go for it. (my main MO) Also make a sleeve pattern with the length you prefer. (see this tutorial for instructions.)

Then cut one of the back on the fold, two of the front, two sleeves on the fold, and two long strips of fabric, one 2″ wide, and the other 2.5″.

Next sew the front and back pieces right sides together at the shoulders.

Next fold under and press the sleeve to create the  hem, then sew with a double needle. (tips here) 
Repeat for other sleeve.

Then pin the curved part of the sleeve into the armhole of the cardi, right sides together, and sew. Repeat for other sleeve, then sew the sides and bottom of the sleeves together. (guess I missed a pic of that step, sorry!)

Next, take the wider strip of fabric and press it in half lengthwise, wrong sides facing.

Pin and sew it to the bottom of the cardi and press.

Press the other strip of fabric lengthwise as well, wrong sides facing. Then at one end, flip around the edges so the right sides are facing.

Sew along the end like so, back stitching for durability.

Flip it back right sides out and press.

Then, lining it up with the bottom of one side of the cardi, pin around the neckline like so.

Continue around the other side, then make a mark when you get to the other end, then do the same thing you did at the beginning, flip so right sides are together, sew, trim, then flip back and press.

Then sew around the neckline and press! You can also top stitch around the bottom and neckline if you wish.

Add a tie, pockets, buttons…embellish however you like!


  1. Oooo yay, you did a tutorial! Thanks Jess! Love this.

  2. Ooh! I love this Jess! Thanks so much for sharing… I can see me making a few of these 🙂

  3. So simple, why bother buying them! Thanks for the tutorial .

  4. Wow! This turned out super cute and actually looks pretty easy. My daughter could use a new cardigan (and me too). I’m going to have to try this out!

  5. Ooooh thank you!
    I love that mustard yellow knit.

  6. wow!!!
    A big “THANK YOU” for this great tutorial 🙂

    pipa from Germany

  7. It was worth the wait – so cute! Thank you!

  8. Thanks for the tutorial, I love the result!
    Hope I can find time to make one myself…


  9. So thankful you posted a tutorial on this adorable cardigan! love this one, and the color you used is fantastic! thanks so much for sharing:)

  10. But I want one for myself!! 🙂

  11. So cute! Love the mustard cardigan. 🙂

  12. Jess, this is fantastic! Thanks so much for the tutorial, I was just thinking about making one of these for myself, actually. Ha. When I saw this I was thinking I should pin it for back to school time, but really I should start making them NOW because I sew on that much of a time-delay. And I love that yellow!

  13. Super cute! Thanks for the tutorial. Definitly going to make one for this fall. I hope there are more tutorials coming from your project run and play looks!!

  14. Love it!

  15. Cute cardigans! I really should make some of these for my little girls… but in a few months, when it isn’t so hot here. =)

  16. So super cute! Thanks for making it easy for us!!

  17. I’ve never been a sewer, but I like how you’ve made the tutorial look so simple.

  18. LOVE! Great tutorial! Is this super similar to how you made your striped cardi? I’ve been meaning to make one for about a year and a half now but I keep getting distracted. . . .

  19. Love it !!

  20. Love it, thank you! This will be perfect to add to my DD’s wardrobe

  21. Ann Gaddie says

    I just wanted to know what kind of sewing machine you use that works so well on knits?


  23. Where can I get the pattern at? The only link Im seeing for downloading a pdf to doc program.


  1. […] is two, I fully intend to indoctrinate her into the wonderful world of cardis – and this Slouchy Cardigan from Craftiness is Not Optional is just the thing! It’s the perfect mix of girly and grandpa cardigan. I love that it’s […]

  2. […] Slouchy Cardigan Tutorial from Craftiness Is Not […]

  3. […] Slouchy Cardigan via craftiness is not optional […]

  4. […] Jess from Craftiness Is Not Optional shows how to make a little girl’s slouchy cardigan.  It’s made from t-shirt knit so it’s a lightweight layer to wear on a cool evening or in an air conditioned restaurant.  Go to her blog for the tutorial. […]

Speak Your Mind