Fall is my favourite season. It’s when magazines are the thickest, you can start to get excited about Christmas, and best of all you get to layer! Hot summer days can be great but by September I just want to be able to wear a sweater and jacket without sweating like crazy. I saw a kimono cardigan in a store and loved it. It looked so simple yet cozy and fashionable so I figured I would try DIY’ing it.
You will need *fabric *thread *sewing machine *bias tape (optional)
After dissecting the cardi at the store I realised it was made of 2 squares for the front and a rectangle for the back. Now the challenge was to figure out the correct measurements that would give enough drape without looking like I was wearing a sheet. After trial and error these are the measurements that looked the best on me. I’m 5’10” but my model Christa is a couple inches shorter and it works for both of us. Because the back piece is double the front pieces I only cut one 23”x23” square of paper and cut it on the fold for the back.
The best fabrics to use are light to mid weight because you want your cardi to drape nicely. This plaid doesn’t have much stretch but I’ve also used a cotton jersey to make a kimono cardi and both turned out great. Keep in mind if your using a patterned fabric you might need more if you want to match up the pattern at the side seam and shoulders.
Once you cut out your three pieces, with right sides of the fabric facing each other, pin the shoulder seams together. Where the front pieces meet is where you neck goes. I’ve found it works best if you pin both the right and left side of the front to the back piece and sew it in one continuous line. I used a serger to sew the shoulder seam but if you don’t have one you could use a french seam, pinking shears, or a zig zag stitch to finish the seam and keep the fabric from fraying.
Using bias tape on the side seam and armholes is a easy way to finish the seam and add a nice feature. I made my own from micro suede.
Before you sew the side seams you can try the cardi on and see how the drape is. If it’s too long or wide it would be easy at this stage to cut some off the bottom or sides. Measure 7” down each side staring at the shoulder seam. This will be the armhole. Sew the bias tape around the armhole. You’ll need about 15” of tape per armhole since you want there to be some overlap when you sew the side seam. Now pin the side seams with the wrong sides together and sew the bias tape from the bottom hem to about 1/2” over the armhole bias tape. If your worried about the fabric slipping when sewing on the tape just do a basting stitch first. Then all you have to do is hem the bottom and up the center and your finished! After making the pattern this project took me about an hour to complete.
Thanks to Christa for being such a great model!
I love quick and easy projects! You can be cozying up in Kimono cardi in no time.