“Winter” Wardrobe Staple: Striped, Ribbed Knit Long Cardigan.

What was I doing last week when I missed uploading a blog post? Nothing much — Just played hooky from the weekly schedule. I am apologetic. But, did you really miss the post? Probably not since our online-pervasive lives threw lots more sewing content at you. I’m good with that. Let’s move to what I sewed up during hooky week.

No, it’s not a robe…

A striped, calf length cardigan, y’all. The ribbed viscose/polyamide is from Sew Much Fabric, made with a pattern first released in 1998 (or thereabout) by the Fashion Sewing Group designed by Nancy Erickson. Nancy has retired from patternmaking but the patterns may be available for sale. Over the past two decades I used this twin set pattern just a couple of times; one was a pinstriped wool jersey cardigan which was worn to death, literally. Even threw it in the wash (I got tired of dry cleaning and hand washing) where it shrunk to a just-right closer fit — and I happily kept wearing it well into the new millennium. Until it was time to discard it.

That was the late 90s and this is now. This time I extended the length to mid calf and it looks like it’s going to be a staple this winter (depending where you live, you may call it an autumn staple). Did I say it’s ribbed knit? And has cozy cuffs?

Here’s what was forgotten since the first two renditions —

1. As I pulled out the front pattern tissue there was a full bust adjustment already done. Yay me in 1998. However, with some further figure maturity, I might have to do more bust adjustment. The inherent vertical stretch in the fabric was not enough.

2. The sleeve cap is drafted with room for an optional small shoulder pad (this was still the late 90s at which time shoulder pads had almost waned from the preferred fashion silhouette). Plus,I was so into the softly tailored look with small shoulder pads. In 2021, I am not going for any shoulder pad, small or big. Mind you, big shoulders are quite the trend now, but I’m old; let me wear what I want. So, a sleeve cap adjustment might be a good idea.

3. In lengthening the cardigan, I went straight down from the original hip length of the pattern. I would have tapered it out a little, if it were not striped. Do you see how there’s a curved spot on my hip? Next time I’ll use a cool trick I learned from sewing authority Sandra Betzina about slightly tapering out the front edges all the way to the hem — more on that in the next long cardigan.

4. Stripe matching goes only so far. I tried my best. A note here about interfacing the front band: it is necessary to stabilize the band with a light interfacing made for knits, because front bands house buttonholes. Second note: any fusible interfacing will shrink just a bit when applied, and take the fabric with it (knit or woven). So, prepare for stripes to be imperfectly matched. An option would have been to use a solid color for the band.

and style it better, Samina. Jeez 🙄. Higher heel, or low heeled short boots , scarf or statement necklace. Readers, please make styling suggestions!!

So, yes; I am hooked to this long cardigan/duster look with a 70s vibe. It’s a classic and will be a staple in the closet.

Do you see any anomaly in this cardigan that I might have missed? I am so thankful for all of my readers — you’ve deemed my words worthy of a read, and I try every week to live up to your interest in the sewing arts. Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!


8 thoughts on ““Winter” Wardrobe Staple: Striped, Ribbed Knit Long Cardigan.

  1. Very pretty and really useful addition to your wardrobe. Another thought on the front bands… you could run the stripes vertically if you have the fabric. I am short so always look for ways to visually lengthen my look. Age and gravity on moving some things down for me, too, but I still look for opportunities. Thanks for sharing- I know it takes a lot of time to put a post together, so you are just one of the things I’m grateful for this week


    1. Thank you for reading my posts, Chris! And, thanks for appreciating the work that goes into something that SEEMS hastily put together, but it is not .
      A vertical stripe band didn’t occur to me — thanks for the idea for future reference.


  2. Samina, your version of this beautiful duster has me salivating for one of my own this winter! I must own every one of Nancy’s patterns from back in the day and must admit that I have not made many of them up, so I hope to get to it soon.
    Back to my Resource Center . .
    You are spot on with the changes you might make in the next version and, if I may add one, I would consider making the bands with the stripes going vertically for a different look. Maybe side slits would be interesting, too.
    Love this look and your styling with it!


    1. Hi Annie! Always good to hear your feedback. Didn’t think of a vertical stripe on the band; I’m filing it away for the next stripe duster and I’m really into those now. Waiting eagerly for what you one up with from your stash dive and Nancy’s patterns.


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