Introducing the Flexigan…
This is a long cardi with big pockets and a nod towards the shawl collar. As the name suggests, it’s flexible. It can be knotted at the front, wrapped over and tied with a belt to create a dress and folded up to be like a shawl! Perfect for layering on a dog walk too.
This tutorial involves the use of a pre-owned cardigan or loose long sleeved t-shirt for the sleeve and armhole shapes. If you know what I mean when I say ‘blocks’, you could use an outerwear one instead too.
- 2m jersey fabric (ie knitted, ribbed)
- Matching thread
- RTW (ready-to-wear) cardigan, loose t-shirt
Cutting out the pieces/drafting the pattern
You will need to cut:
- 2 front pieces
- 1 back piece
- 2 sleeves
- 2 pockets
Use your t-shirt or RTW Cardi to get an idea for general shapes. For more info see my ‘Cloning clothes’ page coming soon… In the meantime check out the tips below the pictures.
The first picture below is the front – note the unusual bulge that has been added (totally freehand, no need for any measuring etc) to give the shawl collar effect.
Tips for using your pre-owned Cardi/loose tee to cut ‘flexigan’ pieces
- Turn the garment inside out, before you start trying to ‘copy’ the pieces in fabric, so you can see the seams.
- Cut around each piece adding on a 1.5cm seam allowance and maybe more at the hem.
- Where possible cut pieces (such as the back piece) on the fold, so the shape is symmetrical. Also double layer the fabric for things like the sleeves (I quadrupled layered as I also cut these on the fold) and pockets.
Sewing the Flexigan
1.Fold over the top 1.5cm of the pocket pieces and sew over in place. You may like to use a rolled hem.
2. Lay out the front pieces, RIGHT sides up. Position the patch pockets where you would like them, ensuring they are in the same position on both pieces with the hemmed part at the top.
Fold under a small seam allowance around the three raw edges and pin in place.
Sew using a straight stitch around the pocket (do not sew shut the hemmed part!).
3. Lay out the back piece, RIGHT side up
4.Place the left front piece on top, RIGHT sides together, aligning at the shoulders. Pin and sew along the shoulder with a narrow zigzag stitch. Repeat for the right hand side.
4. Note: Although this step appears next in the tutorial, you may prefer to do it more conventionally, in which case leave out and complete between steps 10-11.
Create a rolled hem that runs from the base of one front piece, up the opening, around the neckline and down to the other front piece opening. Sew this in place with a zig-zag stitch.
5. Place the cardigan on the floor, RIGHT sides up with both the front and back laid out on the floor.
6.Fold the sleeve pieces in half vertically and mark the centre of the sleeve ‘head’ (bulge at the top) with a pin.
7. RIGHT sides together, pin the top of the sleeve head (marked with a pin) onto the shoulder seam.
8. Continue to pin the sleeve onto the armhole/armscye, working down each side separately. You may need to stretch and ease the fabric a little. Sew along, following the line of pins.
9. When opened out this is what it will look like. Repeat for the other sleeve.
10. Fold along the sleeve lengths and at the shoulder seams, RIGHT sides together, aligning raw edges of the sleeves with each other, and front and back piece. Pin in place. Then sew all along the seam from the sleeve opening to the base of the Cardi.
At this point, do step 4 if you missed it out earlier.
11. Hem the sleeves and base with a roll hem.
All done 🙂
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