Sew a Buffalo Check Cardigan in just 3 easy steps! It’s warm and cozy, great for those chilly winter days!
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Easy Buffalo Check Cardigan
We recently went on a road trip to the mountains of North Carolina. It was colder than I expected and I didn’t bring a coat. My buffalo check cardigan was plenty warm despite the freezing temps and I have been wearing it ever since! It was an easy item to sew with McCalls Pattern #7262. This pattern is great for sweater knit fabrics, wool or fleece. I used an inexpensive buffalo check fleece from JoAnn Fabrics for this project and a few simple pattern matching tricks.
There are many things I love about this DIY cardigan. The flowing design is comfortable and easy to wear over a t-shirt or turtleneck top. The long length covers any multitude of figure flaws and is very flattering. I decided to simplify this project into 3 easy steps to sew for a very beginner to make!
•3 yards buffalo check fleece fabric
•marking pen and ruler for marking patterns
•serger or regular sewing machine with a narrow zig-zag stitch
Pattern Matching and Cutting Directions
1. Cut out front, back and sleeve pattern pieces and make any needed length adjustments. The pattern pieces are large because the collar is in one with the body of the sweater so they may look a bit odd!
2. Lay out your fabric on the cutting table, pinning selvedges together to match the print every few inches. Be sure that the black squares match and the red squares match EXACTLY on both layers.
3. Lay your front pattern piece on top of the fabric. Line up the underarm area of the front pattern piece with the top of a black or red square. Pin in place, checking to see that the fabric design also matches on the bottom layer of fabric. Mark your position of the print (red square top or black square top) on the pattern piece front and back with a ruler and pen. Pin entire front pattern in place.
4. Repeat for the back pattern piece, matching the print at the underarm seam as before. If you pinned your front underarm at the top of a red square, pin the back piece on the same position in the print at the same underarm point. Pin entire back pattern in place once you are sure the pattern will line up. Do not worry about matching other points in the print. If the prints match under the arms, they will match everywhere else (shoulders and side seams) automatically.
5. Lay out sleeve pattern, matching the same point in the print that you used before at the front and back underarm seams. Hint: It helps to visually line up the pattern piece to see how the print will match. Mark with a marking pen on the tissue paper pattern so there is no mistake where the prints will line up before laying out the pattern.
6. Cut all pieces out after re-checking how the fabric will match a second time.
1. Sew the center back collar seams together.
2. Sew the front and back shoulder seams together.
3. Stitch the side seams.
That’s it! Crazy simple right? So why are patterns always so complicated? Much of it has to do with the type of fabric that is used for sewing. When using fleece fabric you do not need to finish the seam edges. This fabric saves a lot of steps! You can finish the seams if you wish, however, fleece will never unravel and is very stable even after multiple washings. By eliminating the buttons and buttonholes, there is no need for interfacing or facings. I did not hem my buffalo plaid cardigan because it was already the perfect length and will not unravel. This cardigan would also make a great gift to sew for someone.
You can see in the photo that the print matches well at the side seam. By taking the time to match the print when cutting there is no need to fuss when sewing the seams together. It’s a great way to learn how to match prints, without a lot of stress! Fleece is easy to sew because it has some give to it. If you make a mistake and the print isn’t matching the way you want it to, you can pull the fabric a bit as you stitch to fix it. Easy peasy!
Did you enjoy this simple project? Here are a few others you will love:
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