Feathers Flights // Sewing Blog: Tutorial: Color Blocked Cardigan For Stretch Yourself


Tutorial: Color Blocked Cardigan For Stretch Yourself

Today I have a great tutorial to share that is part of the Stretch Yourself Series hosted my Miriam of Mad Mim and Miranda of One Little Minute. I will be teaching color blocking for womenswear and specifically sweater knits. Melissa of I Still Love You is also posting about color blocking today so make sure to check out her tutorial! Want to learn all about knits? Here's a list of all the posts Miriam and Miranda have published!

Stretch Yourself Posts from One Little Minute
Knit Fabrics and Selection
Making a Pattern from a T-shirt
Basic Tee Shirt Construction
Tee Shirt Dress Variation
Drafting and Sewing Leggings
Serger and Coverstitch Techniques

Stretch Yourself Posts from Mad Mim
Cutting Knit Fabric
Drafting a Tee Shirt Pattern from Measurements
Finishing Details for Knit Fabric
Peplum Tee Variation
Drafting and Sewing a Maxi Skirt
Baby Lock Diana Threading and Coverstitch
I've been eyeing the color blocked trend for awhile, but didn't quite know how to go about it. I love cardigans, so I thought I'd try color blocking a cardigan. Luckily, I was able to find two cardigans at a thrift store with the same knit and in colors that I love.
2 Cardigans
sewing supplies*

Easiest: buy two of the same cardigans in different colors. Harder: find or thrift two cardigans that are made from similar knit. If you want to make cuffs like at the end of this tutorial, make sure the knit is a double knit. That means when you stretch the fabric, it doesn't shrink vertically. Read more about knit fabric and selection.

2. If you find two different cardigans, make sure they're the same width. If one is bigger than the other, take the sides in.
3.  Decide where you want the next block of color to start; I wanted an empire line. Make sure it's in between two buttons.
4. Measure up and mark the seam line all the way around the cardigan. Then mark .5" down for the seam allowance line.
5. For the bottom color, I wanted to add as much length as possible. Mark the seam line in between two buttons. Mark both the seam line and seam allowance line all around the cardigan.
6. Baste above the seam line and in between the seam line and seam allowance line. Cut on the seam allowance line. Basting stabilizes the knit while cutting and sewing.
7. Do the same on the top color.
8. Pin the two pieces together with right sides together.
9. Sew them together with a zigzag at .5" seam allowance. I did a 3.6 zigzag width.
10. Take out the four basting stitches.
11. Sew another zigzag next to the first in the seam allowance and then trim closely.
12. With a slight zigzag (I did 1.1 width) and sew the seam allowance down. This will make the seam wave a little, but it can be ironed out.
*Optional Steps (Do these steps if your knit is a double knit and does not shrink when stretched.)
13. Decide how long you want your sleeve cuff, 3", and cut off that much minus seam allowance. I cut 2.5". Measure the width of where you cut. Multiply by .75 or .85 to get your cuff width.
14. Use the sleeves from the unused top cardigan. Make sure it's two parallel seams. Use the width measurement and then for the length, double the cuff amount. So my cuff is 7"= 3 + 3 + 1" seam allowance.
15. Fold cuff in half wrong sides together. Match cuff seam to cardigan seam. Stretch to fit and pin.
16. Sew the cuff to the sleeve with a zigzag at .5".
17. Cut off 1.5" from the bottom of the cardigan. Make a cuff for the bottom of the cardigan by using the leftover cardigan piece. Make it .75x smaller than the cut length of the cardigan. It should be 5" tall.
18. Fold lengthwise and match the ends right sides together. Sew 1/4" from the edge.
19. Turn right side out.
20. Divide both the band and the cardigan into four and match pins. Sew with a zigzag at .5".
21. Fold the seam allowance up towards the cardigan and tack.
22. Add a button and buttonhole to the band.
That's it! You have a fabulous color blocked cardigan! I would love trying this with prints or stripes too. Wouldn't that be fun? I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and got some sewing done!


  1. That is such a cute cardigan. I have been digging on navy lately.
    And that last picture, you look so cute! Your hair is getting long, and it looks so pretty.

  2. Heather I absolutely love this! I do think this would be so amazing with different prints, or maybe solids and prints. Thank you so much for doing this, and thank you THANK YOU for taking the time to put in all those links, you're so awesome! xo

  3. So cute!! I love this idea! Perfect for rehabbing your favorite cardigan that may have a stain on it somewhere. Great tutorial, Heather!

  4. This turned out so great. You are a fiend with the sweaters! Now I need to go thrifting...

  5. Wow!! I love it!!!


  6. This turned out so beautiful! Great job! :)

  7. That is really awesome. I'm totally doing that this weekend!

  8. Hey, that's great! Unfortunately, I don't have similar cardigans at the moment, but I would buy them just to try this :-)
    What did you do with the remaining parts? Did you make a second one, with reversed blocks?

  9. Heather, thanks soooooo much! I've pinned this to "Sew Many Projects".

    I have bunches of simple t-shirts and tanks from just a few years ago that fit perfectly but are way too short for today's tunic style. Since they are the same maker, purchased during the same season, the knits and colors are ideal for piecing together.

    I will totally link back to you if I manage to pull this off and look as great as you do!

    PS ~ my Sew Many Projects pin board is FULL of Feather's Flights tips and ideas.

  10. I love it! This turned out so cute. I will pin it!

  11. Hi There! Stumbled across your blog..I love when that happens hehe
    this looks great, I may have to try it one day:)

  12. What a cute idea! I sew sweater knits too! I like your idea of basting to stabilize the knit fabric while cutting. I'm going to give it a try if a particular knit is giving me the blues. Thanks. :)

  13. I love the color-blocking especially on the cuffs. So great!

  14. Super cute! I can't wait to not be pregnant, I'm totally making one of these.


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