Hot! The “Librarian-Issued” Cardigan

The Facts
Fabric: Polyester knit from Jo-Anns ~$3
Pattern: Stretch & Sew 300
Year: 1974
Notions: 10 buttons ~$1
Time to complete: ~3 hours (6 episodes of Parks & Rec)
First worn: Just for pics
Wear again? Every Feb 14th and Dec 1st probably.
Total price: ~$4

I was originally going to sit this week out because I don’t actually wear red that often. But I decided to make another S&S cardigan quickly and try out some new techniques. Also, my outfits almost always include a cardigan strictly out of necessity, so why not start making one in every color.

I shortened the body by about 4 inches because I feel like it better fits my short torso, and shows off skirts nicely. I also did a grosgrain ribbon facing to the button and button hole plackets – which I’ve been wanting to try for a while. I also added a pocket! I don’t remember why I thought this pose showed off the pocket to its full potential. But there it is.

I did the whole thing without the aid of a walking foot (I’m afraid to use it after the needle-breaking incident) and it still turned out ok. The fabric isn’t the greatest but I don’t imagine I’ll be wearing it that often. It’s more for when I need an emergency color injection into my outfit. I also made the skirt in these pics last autumn and never took photos of it for my blog, so I’m checking off that task too sort of. It’s not super visible but it’s just a plain pencil skirt.



Liz has been sewing since April 2011 but has been crafty all her life. Her full-time job is as a museum curator at a smallish institution, where her DIY skills often come in handy. Liz likes to sew while watching TV, which she uses to measure the amount of time it takes to finish.


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  1. Very nice! I’m still a chickens@*t when it comes to knits. I need to conquer my fear. Your cardigan looks great.

  2. I’m a cardigan girl as well. I’m hoping to tackle knits soon so that I can save some money in that department. Yours looks super cute!

  3. Oh I’ve wondered about making cardigans but I still haven’t braved working with knits! I need to look into this pattern – yours turned out really cute! And I love that you made it through six episodes of Parks and Rec. That’s as awesome as DJ Roomba.

    • Awesomesauce!

      This has proved to be a very useful pattern over the 40 years my mother has owned it. I’ve made it, in one form or another, at least 5 times myself. All you need is a simple tee-shirt pattern and with slight changes you can make cardis etc too!

  4. That is so chic! I can’t believe it’s possible to actually make a knit cardigan. I’ve got to look into that. You look great in red, by the way!

    • Thanks! Yeah, I’ve only made jersey knit cardis so far. I’ve seen sweater knits available by the yard but I’m scared to do those without a serger.

  5. I need to find a good cardi pattern and then find some good fabric for just such a thing. I like red cardigans and you are right about them adding a real injection of colour into an outfit.

    • If you can find a simple tee-shirt pattern you can make it into a cardi. That’s basically what this one is; one pattern but instructions for two different end garments.

      All you do is cut the front on the selvedge, instead of the fold. I can’t remember if my instructions say to add extra AND seam allowance to the front edges or not, but that’s what you have to do so that you can close it without it being too tight. Also the extra makes better sized plackets.

      Good luck!

  6. I am very jealous, I have been looking for a cute little cardi pattern and come up empty, this one is just the ticket!

    • Lol this one is my mom’s she bought new in the 1970s. Between us we’ve probably made it 30 times. I know S&S is still making patterns but I don’t know if they still have one like it.

      As I said to Jen above, all you need is a simple tee-shirt pattern and make some adjustments. Good luck!

  7. I love that you made a red cardigan! It’s really cute. I too have a tendency to stick with non-bright fabrics but red seems to be making more and more of an apperance in my wardrobe. You look smashing in the color, btw.

  8. Looks fab, I have a red cardi and I wear it allll the time!

  9. I love that you measure your sewing time in Parks and Recreation episodes!

  10. This is adorable- it’s coming into autumn and I think I will be making something similar. You look fab!

  11. Your lovely cardigan reminds me of how much I need to sew one (rather, many).

  12. It looks great! I adore cardigans – they are so versatile and I probably wear one everyday. Your little pocket is lovely :)

  13. I’ve never thought of making a cardi but after seeing yours I might just give it a whirl. You look smashing in red.

  14. Fabulous! I need to track down that cardi pattern- I wear them all the time but it hadn’t even occurred to me to make them myself. You have inspired me.