I’ve been really envious of all the cute knitted and crocheted cardigans and sweaters I’ve been seeing a lot of recently. I still haven’t taught myself to crochet or knit so I decided to purchase some chunky, loose weave sweater knit to sew a faux crocheted one.
Can't Crochet or Knit? Sew a Chunky, Loose Weave Cardigan Instead!
I purchased this mottled black and white, chunky, loose weave sweater knit online from Califabrics. It was unlike anything I have used before. It almost felt like one of my Granny’s crocheted afghans. It has amazing drape and looks like it would be thick but it’s actually see through and quite soft. I knew I was going to have to take my time and handle it completely different than any other fabric. Here’s a few tips that may help when sewing with sweater knit.
You can use any cardigan pattern you have on hand for this. The pattern I used is a pdf pattern from my favorite indie pattern designer, Love Notions Patterns. I am an affiliate for them so I do earn a small percentage when someone uses my links to purchase patterns. I will put that info at the end.
Cutting out and Finishing seams
Because this is a loose weave sweater knit I had to cut the pieces slightly bigger than the pattern. I finished the edges with my serger right after cutting each piece out so the fabric wouldn't unravel. I don't think I could have been as successful with this if I didn't have a serger. I paid special attention to the fabric weave, making sure all the loops were caught and secured with the serger needle and threads.
Hemming and Wrist bands
I found it would have been easier if I had some clips rather than pins to hold the hem in place. Some wash away hem tape would have helped too but I didn’t have any on hand. I just went really slow and took care to make sure it was getting hemmed thoroughly For the sleeve hem I found that it kept flipping out because there just wasn’t enough structure and stretch to hold it in place. Also the loose weave made the sleeves feel short. So I ended up making a band for the sleeve. I couldn’t just attach the band like I normally would. I had to cut the band the same width as the sleeve. I also needed to keep the sleeve and the band from stretching out too much as I was attaching them. To do that I did a basting stitch by hand on the band and the sleeve edge. That way I could kind of gather both those edges up while attaching it with a zig zag stitch, then I removed it after the bands were attached. This really helped the sleeves to keep their shape and not lose their shape at the wrists.
The seams were quite bulky and I needed to keep them in place. For this reason, I did a top stitch around the neckband. The seam was hidden in the chunky, loose weave so you couldn't see it. The seam down the center of the back got a top stitch to hold the seam allowance in place as well. Normally I wouldn't do the top stitch like that on a cardigan.
I highly recommend sewing your own cardigan in a loose weave sweater knit. I absolutely loved the results and wish I would have tried it sooner.
Good luck in all your sewing endeavors.
This pattern just got a sizing update as well as a a longer length option.
Here's some info on it.
The Boyfriend Cardigan is the perfect addition to your transitional wardrobe! This open front cardigan features drop shoulders, mid-thigh length, side vents and drop pockets. Choose from either a shawl collar, plain collar or hood. This comfy cardigan will look great with jeans or leggings. This cardi sews up beautifully with knits with drape. Make this in girls and ladies sizes! Now available in sizes
XS-5X with a full bust option and a duster length option.
- Cardigan Pattern (https://www.lovenotions.com/product/boyfriend-cardigan-for-ladies/?aff)
- 2 Yards Chunky, loose weave sweater knit (Califabrics)
- Wash away hem tape (Joann)
- Pins or clips
- Hand needle
Rachel Jonas on Apr 12, 2021
Very cute fabric and so practical :)