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This time let’s make something super easy and super effective – because that’s what we all like the most, right?  A wrap cardigan, which you can wear in dozens of variations.

I’m sure you’ve seen it before on the internet or somewhere else – a beautiful lady wrapping around herself a piece of garment, making some fabulous looks one after another.  Some time ago Donna Karan has released this type of garment calling it COZY.  The whole idea has been around the internet for a while now but I don’t really know who’s actually standing behind it. Anyways today I’ll show you how to sew something like this yourself :)

The idea of making this tutorial was given by Aga B., one of my boldest course participants. And by saying the boldest I mean that Aga is a willful constructional-sewing experimentalist ( sometimes even disobedient). Such creative people go really far in the fashion world. And Aga has already signed up for the September edition of designing course :) It’ll be fun!

But going back to our garment – I’m making this tutorial according to a small video series, which I’m recording for Dzień Dobry TVN (morning show in polish tv TVN) – they’ll consist of 3 DIY instructions. I’ll be showing there super easy things that all of you can make- some spring/summer handicraft inspirations :) I really hope that you’ll like it. And I can’t deny that I’m being pretty nervous about it since I’ve got no clue  how a wider audience would respond to something like that. But this is the thing I’ll be worrying about after the broadcast. And you, my readers, are the first ones to see this tutorial :) So let’s get it started! This is what we’re going to sew today:



My muse- Justyna, has gone to Asia but fortunately Monika has taken up a challenge of replacing her in the role of my model . Monia is currently finishing her second-degree sewing course. And since she’s  a fashion designer by  profession and wants to develop her skills in this area , we’re going to start a cooperation soon. First  we want to give it a try but I hope  we’ll both enjoy it and stay in the design studio for good. Monika will soon make a tutorial about zipers for you guys. Enough of talking, let’s do it!




You’ll need:

  • the whole secret about this garment is in the fabric- it should be lightweight , very stretchy and resilient at the same time. Use a knitwear which doesn’t unravel and which allows you to leave the edges raw, without finishing them- it’ll make the whole work much easier to do, and also the cardigan will be nice and flowy. There’s only one choice: viscose jersey fabric with an addition of elastane (3-5 %), with a weight of 160-170 gsm. You’ll need 2,5 m of it – that’s a length with a little surplus, which you can use to sew something simple later. If you don’t like to waste fabric, then buy 3,2 m if the knitwear is 1,5 m wide – that’s an amount which will be perfect for making two cardigans- for yourself and e.g. your best friend.
  • Pattern paper, a pencil, a ruler.
  • Your T-shirt, pick a one which fits you well or which is even tight- it’ll be used as a pattern’s base- it’d be the best if it’s made from the same type of fabric as the one you’ll be sewing your cardigan with.
  • Threads, pins, tailor’s tape measure, tailor’s chalk, scissors or a self-healing cutting mat and a round knife.




The cardigan’s pattern:

The cardigan’s shape is a rectangle with sewed on sleeves. The whole secret is about sewing them in the right place, and at an right angle. First you’re going to make a pattern for an opening, which you’ll cut in a rectangle- here’s where you’ll sew on the sleeves later.

1. Copy a pattern from you T-shirt, here’s an instruction of how to do it LINK. The sleeves’ openings should be in a right distance from each other, so that the back body part can fit in between them:

  • A- shoulders’ width
  • B- back’s width
  • C- 1/2 of the bust measurement

2. In order to cut the arm openings symmetrically, you’ll be working with a half of the pattern – outdraw a half of the top part of T-shirt’s back, and thicken the armhole’s line- black line in the picture.

3. Now draw an armhole’s mirror image, so that you’ll receive a teardrop curve – black lines.

4. To make sewing on easier, widen the teardrop curve a little in its upper part and also in its bottom, drawing an ellipse curve ( blue contour). It’s important not to change the back armhole’s shape ! The ellipse curve should be of 7-8 cm in its widest part. When it comes to its height: 15-17 cm would be absolutely enough, unless you’ve got a big bicep ;)

5. The dark grey ellipse curve is a pattern for an arm opening, where you’ll sew the sleeve on. Cut it out of paper along with a piece of T-shirt’s shape – in this way you’ll see in what distance from the edge of fabric it should be placed.

6. Prepare a rectangle of fabric of dimensions:

  • width- 220 cm, fold it in half ( F = 110 cm)
  • height- 75 cm,
  • measure the collar from the top D = 25 cm
  • place the armhole pattern in the right distance from the folded edge ( ½ A, ½ B i ½ C), and at the collar’s height from the upper edge (D).



When you’ll put the ellipse curve in the right place on the fabric, pin both of the knitwear’s layers around the ellipse. Outline this shape with a tailor’s chalk.




Cut out an opening, adding a 1 cm for seam allowances. NOTE! The seam allowance should be added inwards to the ellipse curve –  look at the picture. When you’re done with cutting it out, measure the opening’s circumference- in 1 cm distance from the cut off edge – there, where the stitch will be placed. So it means it should go after the line drew with chalk. Try the cardigan on and check if the openings are not too small. If there will be a need then extend them downwards, while not changing the back panel’s shape.




Sleeve’s pattern:

  1. Copy the sleeve’s pattern from your T-shirt, following the same instructions like in previous step LINK. Copy only sleeve’s front part- when it comes to T-shirt sleeve’s caps, the front and back one are almost the same and you’re going to sew the cardigan from a very elastic fabric anyways, so the caps can be completely symmetrical.
  2. Add a mirror image to the copied half of the sleeve.
  3. Measure the sleeve’s cap circumference to check if it coincides with the circumference of the armhole opening in the cardigan.
  4. If the sleeve’s cap requires some corrections then: mark its center point in the vertical position (H), and its horizontal line which combines the widest parts (I). Divide the missing amount of centimeters into 3 parts (J) and add them to the sleeve’s cap : height ( lengthen the H line) and width ( lengthen the I line on each side). Draw a new shape of a bigger cap, trying to copy the curves of the original one. If you need to reduce the circumference then direct the J dimensions in the opposite direction and draw a smaller cap.
  5. In the end figure out the sleeve’s length (K). Keep in mind that you’ll add the cuffs later, so subtract their length from the desired length. Figure out the sleeve’s width in the bottom part (L)- it  should be same as your palm circumference, so that you can slide your hands in easily. Measure it in such a way, that the center sleeve’s line (H) will be in the middle of the sleeve’s bottom width. Draw new lines of sleeve’s sides- they should be symmetrical. Make a pattern for cuffs- it’ll be a rectangle of:
  • M = 2 x of desired cuff’s height
  • N = the width of sleeve’s bottom L – 3 cm

Cut out the sleeves and cuffs with 1 cm of seam allowance all around.  The knitwear should stretch across the sleeve and cuff.





Sewing a lightweight, stretchy fabric is way much easier with an overlock. If you don’t have this machine you can sew on the regular one using  a zigzag stitch. If your machine doesn’t lock the threads make sure that the needle doesn’t require changing – it should be really sharp ( when it comes to this type of fabric using a ballpoint needle will not change much here). Another step is to increase the upper thread tension. If Machine still doesn’t lock threads, lay a half-parchment paper underneath the fabric  to firm it up and make the needle pop through the fabric strongly. After making a stitch, remove the paper gently.

Start with sewing the cuffs and sleeves.  Fold them in half, so that right side of the fabric will be inside now. Sew together only bottom edges (in the picture below  the bottom edges of folded in half elements).




Roll out the cuff halfway. On the picture below the left edge is where the fabric is folded, on the right edge we’ve got raw edges of both layers. Leave the sleeve wrong side out and slide the cuff inside of it, so that the raw edges of cuff and sleeve will touch.




Pin all around, making sure taht you distribute the differences between circumferences of the cuff and the sleeve evenly between pins. Sew with the presser foot placed inside of the sleeve.  Stretch the cuff very gently to the sleeve’s width while sewing, but don’t pull the sleeve.




Turn the sleeves right side out- done. They are both symmetrical so there is no left or right one.




Lay the cardigan flat on the table with its wrong side up. Slide the turned right side out sleeve to the opening. The sleeve’s stitch should be placed on the ellipse curve bottom now.




Pin the sleeve’s edge (sleeve’s cap) on  to the opening. Place the pins on the inner side of the sleeve, 1 cm from the edge- only in this place  the circumferences of opening and sleeves cap are equal.




Sew the sleeve on to the cardigan, placing the presser foot inside of the sleeve. Pay attention especially while sewing  at the bottom and at the top of ellipse, since it’s got some sharp curves in those places – make sure that the fabric won’t be coming out from under the presser foot while sewing those curves.




The cardigan is done- the sewing took about 20 minutes :)




And here Monika shows you how to wear it, in my opinion those are 5 most interesting ways, but below the photos you will find the video with more draping instructions.  HAVE FUN!

OPTION 01 – a typical throw/cardigan long in front, short in back.




OPTION 2 – my favourite :) it’s a blouse with wide panel on shoulders, tie on front and a V-neck in back.




OPCJA 3 – an envelope top with tie on back.




OPTION 4 – a blouse with a lot of draping on front, it looks best with belt in waist.




OPTION 5 – probably the most beautiful one – simple throw, but this time twisted on back – which makes it drape beautifully on the back. If you add belt in waist, it will look more like a dress.




And here is Donna Karan’s instructional video. It shows all the above drapings and a few other, but I am sure it is not all this cardigan has to offer. Maybe you can create your own way?




This post was prepared for you by Janek


He was using BROTHER overlock 1034D

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