Make a Puff Sleeve Cardigan That Doubles as a Wrap Dress

Jess Dang
by Jess Dang
4 Materials
2 Hours

I love to create things that serve many functions. This puff sleeve cardigan does just that; you can wear it as a cardigan or a wrap dress. Isn’t that great? In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to sew a puff sleeve cardigan in a few simple steps. What’s more, you don’t even need a pattern. Just a handy measuring tape.

Tools and materials:

  • 3 meters (118 inches) wool fabric
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
Sew a puff sleeve cardigan

Measurements and markings

Start by making the body part. Fold your fabric and measure 110cm (43.3 inches) in length, so that the puff sleeve cardigan drapes from your shoulder to over your knee. Measure 70cm (27.5 inches) in width, which is 1.5 times longer than the measurement of my hips. Now, these measurements are true to me, if you are taller, then I suggest you go ahead and measure yourself so you have the exact height and width you desire.

How to sew a puff sleeve cardigan

Measure the width and draw a line in the middle to divide the larger piece of fabric into two.

Make a puff sleeve cardigan

From the middle line, you just marked, measure 10cm ( 4 inches) each side, going up and down, and make a dot on either side. This will be for the neck.

How to make a puff sleeve cardigan

From those two markings for the neck, keep moving either side and mark 15cm (5.9 inches). This will be the width of the shoulder.

Easy puff sleeve cardigan

From the 15cm (5.9 inches) shoulder line, go inwards, and draw a line across. On that line, mark 2cm (0.7 inches) from the edge and make a dot.

Cardigan puff sleeves

Connect the dot you just drew to the dot on the neckline; thus creating the shoulder part of your cardigan. Easy, huh?

Cardigan with puff sleeves

At the bottom line, measure 28cm (11 inches), and from that point, draw a curved line to connect to the line on top of it. This is going to be your hand line. Repeat the process on top, too.

Mark the neckline

Mark the neckline ( the middle line) at 2cm ( 0.7 inches) and using that as a guide, make a curved structure between your 10cm (4 inches) dots to create a curved neckline.

Draw across the fabric

From the 10cm (4 inches) neckline, draw across to the other side, where the middle line ends. Repeat this for the other side.

Make the front part shorter

The front will be shorter than the backside, so mark the shoulder lines at the front part shorter, by 2cm (0.7 inches).

Cut your fabric

Cut out your pattern

Now it’s time to cut out your pattern. You should have two separate pieces. Remember to cut the neckline for the front part, so that it’s a little shorter than the back.

Create the puffy sleeve

Make the sleeve

Cut two rectangles, with 45cm length x 60cm width (17 x 23.6 inches).

Draw an outline

Fold the rectangle in half at the width line, take your shoulder part and draw out the curve on your fabric, as shown.

Measure down and across

On the other side of the fabric, mark 20cm (7.8 inches) down, and from there, draw across so that the line ends where the curve part ends.

Cut sleeves

Now, cut the sleeves.

Pin and sew

Connect the back and front

It’s time to start assembling your pieces! Pin the shoulder pieces as shown, and sew. Don’t forget to overlock!

Gather the loose seam

Make a loose seam on the sleeve

On the curved part of the sleeve, sew a loose seam so that you can gather and pull in the middle of the sleeve to achieve a puffy look.

Sew the whole sleeve

Connect the sleeve

Now, connect the sleeve to the body of the cardigan. Pin and sew both sides.

Sew the sides

Connect the sides and sew

After that’s done, It’s time to connect the sides. Connect the sleeves and the sides of the actual cardigan by first pinning in place, and then sewing.

Create a neckpiece

Make the neckpiece

Cut a piece of fabric that is around 6cm (2.3 inches) in width and 250cm (98.4 inches) in length to connect to the front part of the cardigan. Pin the long piece from the neck of the cardigan and around the whole front part., and sew the first seam.

Fold the fabric twice

After the first seam is sewn, fold the fabric twice and pinned it in place. Next, sew the second seam.

Sew a loose seam

Make a loose seam on the wrist

The sleeves, which look huge by the way, need to be finished too. Stitch a loose seam around the wrist and then gather until it is a little bigger than your wrist. This will also give it a nice, puffy vibe.

Pin and sew the sleeve

Cut a rectangle with 8cm width x 28cm ( 3 inches x 11 inches) length, and attach it to your wrist part. Sew around it. Then pull and gather for a puffy effect.

Sew the sides and sew

Next, take your fabric, flip it up and sew the sides. Fold the sleeve attachment twice and sew in place; making sure it covers the gathering part.

Sew the hem

Sew the bottom part

Yes, this is the last step! Fold the end of your cardigan twice, as in a double fold. Pin and sew all around, thus ensuring a lovely, finished look.

Easy puff sleeve cardigan tutorial

And there you go, look at this beautiful puff sleeve cardigan. I love the flow of it. Bonus- You can also flaunt this as a lovely wrap dress by wearing a belt and wrapping the sides over. I’m super happy with the result. Go ahead and try it yourself!

Suggested materials:
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Pins
See all materials

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Join the conversation
2 of 11 comments
  • Lindalee_47303 Lindalee_47303 on Aug 17, 2021

    Fabulous sweater! I definitely have to use a pattern. If I didn’t, only God would know what I was trying to make!

  • Jenifer Yaggi Campbell Jenifer Yaggi Campbell on Aug 21, 2021

    Couldnt follow the instructions...too many "dots" that didnt really seem to be visible on the pictures...most of the pictures just showed the fabric lating on the table, with the marks she was making at the very edge of the visible space. The dress was cute and seems like a good idea...I just couldnt track her steps.