So you’ve been perusing Pinterest and you see all of those must have, trendy fringe cardigans. Now you’re looking at your library of sewing patterns and wondering which one can you easily hack into one of those gorgeous cardigans for yourself? Well here is a tutorial to show you how to easily transform the Patterns for Pirates Carefree Cardigan into a DIY fringe cardigan! Follow along to find out how easy this look is to achieve. At the end I have added the option to attach a button closure too!
First things first, which fabric should you use? My favorite knit fabrics to use for this purpose are knit fleece, closed weave brushed hacci sweater knit or a light-medium weight poly rayon spandex french terry. That said, you could do this with pretty much any knit. Be careful of really loose weave sweater knits though (the ones you can see through). They may fall apart on you during the fringe creation.
Step 1: Whatever you do, DON’T SKIP THIS. Before you make your fabric selection and begin cutting out your garment pieces, test out how the fabric is going to look once fringed. To do this make a few ½” wide by 6” deep cuts perpendicular to the selvedge edge. Tie a couple of these strips into a knot together just as it will be done on the finished cardigan. Some knits will stay structured; some will come close to falling apart. It is important to test the fabric to determine if your chosen fabric is going to give you a desired look.
Step 2: Cut out all pieces of your Carefree Cardigan for a ‘neckband only’ version, except for the neckband. For the neckband you are going to cut out a band half the cut chart width plus a seam allowance of 1/2″ for hemming.
Step 3: Assemble your cardigan as directed by the Carefree Cardigan pattern tutorial with the exception of the neckband. You are attaching the neckband without folding it in half to form a closed band. You want an open raw edged band.
Step 4: Using your sewing or coverstitch machine, you will then hem the long exposed edge of the neckband and along the bottom hem. Use a 1/2”” hem width here. You want it thin so that it doesn’t become bulky when you create the fringe. Lastly, hem the sleeves as directed by the pattern.
Step 5: Lay your cardigan out on your cutting mat, lining up the unfinished edge along a straight measurement line on your mat. Decide how wide you would like your fringe to be. Take your scissors and cut strips about 6” deep along the entire length of your cardigan front, every ½-1”. I chose to cut ½” strips. Go back and seam rip the hems on the bottom and top strips that you have now cut into fringe strips. You may want to add some reinforcement stiching to the hem stitches at the beginning and end just before it turns into fringe.
Step 6: The last step is to finish the fringe edge. This is done by tying the base of the strips into knots all down the front. Decide how many strips you would like to be knotted together to create some separation. I chose to knot 2 strips together down the entire length of my cardigan.
If you choose not to add a button closure you are now all finished!
OPTIONAL Button Closure
Step 7: Following Judy’s lead in her Carefree Cardigan Button blog tutorial, I chose to add a button to mine to finish off the look. To do this I put on my cardigan and played with different variations of button placement; to decide how I wanted the cardigan to be styled. I settled on adding a 1” shoulder button.
[center button placement]
[shoulder button placement]
Step 8: Once you have decided on placement, mark it. A lot of the time I like to use dry erase crayons to mark placement. The mark is easily visible on any fabric and it stays put until you throw your garment in the wash. Mark the button location both on the overlapping bodice front and the under lapping bodice front.
[dry erase crayon]
Step 9: Use your sewing machine to create a buttonhole on the overlapping bodice front in the top corner. If you are using an oversized button or do not have an automatic buttonhole presser foot for your machine see Judy Hale’s post HERE. Carefully cut open the buttonhole with your seam ripper.
[automatic buttonhole presser foot]
Step 10: Now attach your button with your sewing machine or by hand on the under lapping bodice shoulder where you have placed a marking. Try it on and adjust button placement if necessary.
Keep your eyes peeled for some other fun tutorials the ladies at Patterns for Pirates have prepared for you this week! Be sure to read all the way through the end of this post to find out about the contest we have running this week!
P4P Blog Contributor
Take a look at our jam-packed schedule of cardigan love!
Saturday, January 21: #P4PCardiWeek Announcement
Monday, January 23: Ribbon Tie Closure Hack
Tuesday, January 24: Carefree Cardigan Fringe Hack
Wednesday, January 25: Duster-Length Adjustment
Thursday, January 26: Kimono Ruffle Sleeves + Hem
Friday, January 27: Varsity Sweater Style Hack
Saturday, January 28: Carefree Cardigan Flannel + Vest Hack
Monday, January 30: #P4PCardiWeek Winner Announcement
You can follow along on the blog here, or in our Facebook group. Search #P4PCardiWeek to be able to find our posts all over social media. And please feel free to sew-along with us on one or all of the days. The more the merrier!
But wait, there’s more! We wanted to create a friendly pirate-y competition with our P4P Cardi Week!
Between tomorrow and Saturday, January 28, sew up a Patterns for Pirates cardigan using one of our hacks, or by keeping the pattern as-is. Share your photo with us on Instagram or in our Facebook group and use the tag #P4PCardiWeek. We will pick our favorite and the winner will win a free P4P pattern of choice AND be featured on this blog. Fun right?
To make it even better we have put all the cardigan patterns in the shop on sale all week (no code needed)!
Now get out there and sew some cardigans, matey!