The Fueled-by-Fabric-Shortage Cardigan

Hi, everyone! There’s a reason why serious wardrobe seamstresses are loathe to throw away leftover materials.  Like a quilter; except, a quilter is a whole different animal.

Actually, I enjoyed the fabric shortage part of this project.  Miraculously, there was additional material in my leftover fabric stash that coordinated with the main fabric — as there always is.

Some art-to-wear teachers/designers claim to buy less fabric than needed, on purpose; just so their creative instincts are energized to make the shortage work in a positive way.  What a clever way to force creativity. Can creativity be forced? Thoughts?

I made this longish cardigan and wanted it to be a throw-it-on-as-you’re-going-out-the-door piece.  Of course, the main fabric, a wavy striped knit, ran short, and there I went digging into the stash and coming up with black fake leather (I think it could be “pleather” or plastic leather) and a cobalt blue printed knit to make up for the shortage.


The overall look of my finished cardigan is not too far away from the intention of the pattern, Butterick 6254 by designer Katherine Tilton.


There are no tutorials or lessons in this post, only sharing my make with you.  You can see some close-ups below – because, despite this being an ordinary, everyday garment, you probably want to peek on the wrong side, and inspect the cardigan closely. Because that is what we do. Heh.

Cobalt blue printed knit jumped out from the leftover fabric stash to become front facings and collar facing.


Above: The back yoke and raglan sleeves are cut as one with a center back seam in fake leather or “pleather” from my stash.  I will not buy “pleather” again – it rustles when you move, and doesn’t hold up well. What are your ideas regarding “pleather” (plastic leather)?

sleeve edge
Close up of my wrist —  hahahahaha. Just showing you that the sleeve hem has a wavy raw edge cut with a wavy edge rotary cutter.
Even the buttons are from my button stash.  Perfect color, size and style match!!

Hope you are having a safe, sew-y and happy holiday season.


10 thoughts on “The Fueled-by-Fabric-Shortage Cardigan

  1. oh! I love my things that are “pieced” together due to fabric shortages. They really do turn out more spectacular don’t they! Your cardigan is to die for! Beautiful! The inner lining fabric is really eye catching too! The Runway can’t even compete with your one of a kind creation!


    1. Awww. Thank you for the kind words. Sometimes I think the fashion design industry is sneakily keeping an eye on the home sewing industry — for inspiration, maybe?


  2. Can creativity be forced? I’m not sure, but imposing some limits on yourself — e.g., “I’m going to write a poem in sonnet form,” or “I’m going to paint this picture using only three colors,” or “I’m going to make this garment by using only materials I have already” — is definitely a spur to creativity. I love your coat!


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