HOUNDSTOOTH SWEATER CARDIGAN

HOUNDSTOOTH SWEATER CARDIGAN

Keeping warm, cute and classy, all at the same time? Why, yes, of course! That’s what we do when it’s cold, right? Sewing up a houndstooth sweater cardigan and matching dress was definitely a cozy choice. Because layering one super cozy piece on top of another creates double the warmth. But when the fabric is reversible, oh my goodness! Win-Win! Let’s get into all the details. But first, you may want to grab your favorite drink and a fun snack because this post is long, and filled with lots of photos and information. Then, curl up in your most comfortable spot, and enjoy.

HOUNDSTOOTH SWEATER CARDIGAN
HOUNDSTOOTH SWEATER CARDIGAN
HOUNDSTOOTH SWEATER CARDIGAN
HOUNDSTOOTH SWEATER CARDIGAN

Cardigan Pattern Information

The LONG OPEN CARDIGAN #UP1016, is by a company called Unfettered Patterns. All the PDF patterns on their website are free. I had never heard of them until I did a Google search for this particular cardigan style. When the pattern cover popped up, I gasped because it was exactly what I had in mind.

HOUNDSTOOTH SWEATER CARDIGAN

The pattern is available in Sizes XXS – XXL, and garment measurements are listed in centimeters (cm). If you are accustomed to determining your size inches (in), you can find a metric conversion calculator by typing in “cm to inches in your Google search engine. Then type the pattern measurement in the centimeter box. It will immediately calculate that same measurement into inches.

Before we go any further, let me make something very clear. I DO NOT like assembling PDF patterns. Whenever I order one, I always make sure they have a copy shop print option so that I can send the file out to be printed. This pattern didn’t have that option. I would typically skip it and look for another pattern. However, because this is exactly the style I was searching for, I ordered the pdf. I said to myself, “It’s a simple design, so how much work can it be?” My self said, “Get that pattern, girl!” It’s a miracle that I still have my sanity after putting this thing together. I literally almost threw the pattern in the trash before completing the assembly. At one point, I actually gave up on it and pulled out a different cardigan pattern from my stash. I took a break and decided to give it another try the next day.

I don’t usually share when I dislike a pattern. I never feel it’s necessary because I know that my dislike could be another person’s delight. Also, keeping in mind that this is a FREE Pattern, I don’t want to put the company down. Nevertheless, I’m sharing my experience this time because, although I didn’t like the assembly process and found issues, my garment turned out beautiful. For that reason, I want to make you aware of the issues I had, just in case you decide to use the same pattern. That way you will be prepared ahead of time. However, I will caution new beginners who have never put together a pdf pattern. Don’t use this as your introduction to PDF’s.

The initial issue I had with the pattern was not being able to see the cutting lines at the bottom of the pages. So, I ended up drawing lines where I thought they were intended. The next issue was the absence of symbols to join the pages together. I’m familiar with pdf patterns that include arrows that you line up against each other to make sure the pages are aligned properly. I ended up using the grid lines to match the pages and there were areas where I couldn’t get a good match. With these two issues, a couple of cutting lines didn’t align by the time I completed the assembly. Fortunately, it’s an oversized pattern, so I was able to get away with inaccurate cutting lines in a few places. 

HOUNDSTOOTH SWEATER CARDIGAN

The final issue was sizing. I believe I cut a Medium or Large on the muslin by following the finished garment measurement. I’m really glad I sewed a muslin because it turned out way too big. So, I cut the XXS to get my desired fit. The finished garment measurement is listed as a 34.5″ bust. My bust measurement is 34 inches and I have plenty of room in this garment.

I really love the design and how my cardigan turned out, and I will probably make another one since the pattern is already assembled. However, because of the experience, I don’t plan to use other patterns from the company. If you have had success with Unfettered Patterns, please share so that others can hear about it. My experience could very well have been my lack of experience with assembling PDF’s.

Fabric Information

Now, let’s talk about this gorgeous fabric. It’s a REVERSIBLE KNIT JACQUARD that I picked up from my local JoAnn Fabrics. It was one of those moments when I got super excited in the store. The fabric is very cozy and feels amazing against the body. One side has a beige background, and the other is black. I decided to use the beige background for the cardigan and black for the dress.  It’s a 2-ply, medium weight fabric, so your seam allowances will be thicker (having 4 layers of fabric).

While the fabric is beautiful and soft, please be aware that it does peel a bit and gets fuzzy. The black fibers cross onto the beige. After taking photos and wearing the dress once, I noticed a difference. I pre-washed the fabric before using it and everything was fine. I washed the dress after wearing it and disaster. Little fur balls all over as if the dress had been worn a lot. It’s disappointing because I really love the fabric. I will probably make it again with this fabric and have it dry cleaned instead of washing. If you buy the fabric, ignore the care instructions and dry clean instead. I will definitely dry clean my cardigan.

Inside the Garment

This entire cardigan can be sewn on a serger. However, I used all three of my Baby Lock machines: Soprano Machine, Vibrant Serger, and Euphoria Coverstitch. Here are photos of the finished seams on the inside.

HOUNDSTOOTH SWEATER CARDIGAN
HOUNDSTOOTH SWEATER CARDIGAN
HOUNDSTOOTH SWEATER CARDIGAN
HOUNDSTOOTH SWEATER CARDIGAN

Notions Information

The supplies list for the pattern include: Stretch Needle, Twin Needle, and Clear Elastic. You can also find other sewing items in my Amazon Store. I used the Coverstitch machine to hem the garment instead of a twin needle.

Alterations Information

I love the length of the cardigan as it appears on the pattern cover. However, I wanted mine longer, so I extended it into a duster length to meet the vision I had in mind. I extended the length by 12.5″ on the front and back. After I constructed the front and back, I measured around the front and neck to determine the length for the band. I needed a total of 120″, so I added the extra length before cutting out the band. I’ve shared the steps I took to lengthen the pattern pieces below.

HOUNDSTOOTH SWEATER CARDIGAN

When working with fabrics that have bold pattern repeats, I cut the fabric on a single layer to ensure a straight layout. After cutting around one edge of the back piece, I flip the pattern over and cut around the other edge. To cut the front pieces, so that the side seams match I do the following: 

  1. Place the pattern piece on the single layer of fabric;
  2. Place the cut back piece of fabric on top of the pattern, face down, lining up the edges;
  3. Maneuver the pattern piece to align the fabric print, folding edges back to ensure the print is matching at seam allowances;
  4. Repeat for the other front pattern piece.

I always baste the seams together to test for accuracy before inserting permanent seams. This is just one way to match prints. I’ve been able to achieve great results using this method. It’s time consuming but worth the results.

I added patch pockets to the cardigan because you just have to have them. I couldn’t imagine this cardigan without pockets. You can simply cut out a square to the size you want and place it where you want on the fronts. Another option is to use a pocket piece from another pattern you have in your stash. I tried to line up the print when placing the pockets. 

HOUNDSTOOTH SWEATER CARDIGAN

I shortened the sleeves by 1 1/2″ before adding the band because they were too long for me. If you look at the pattern cover, you’ll see that the sleeves are actually designed to be really long so that they will drape/puddle over the band when worn. I didn’t want that design feature and it was an easy length reduction.

HOUNDSTOOTH SWEATER CARDIGAN

To stabilize the shoulder seams on the cardigan, I added CLEAR ELASTIC to the seam line on the back pattern piece. I attached the elastic at the same time while sewing the fronts to back along shoulder seams. See photos below for visuals.

Nikko Bodycon Dress

When I saw this fabric, I knew exactly how I wanted to use it – a cardigan and matching bodycon dress. I used the True Bias Nikko Dress/Top Pattern. For details on this pattern, check out the other versions I’ve sewn in the past, HERE, HERE, and HERE. I closed up the slits on both sides and shortened the hem to midi-length. The dress looks amazing paired with this fabric. Here are photos of the garment both inside and out.

STYLING OPTIONS

1st Styling Option - Cardigan/Dress/Boots

After finishing both pieces and seeing them next to each other, I decided that wearing them as a pair might be too busy. I may wear them together a few times but for the most part,  I plan to wear the pieces separately. Let’s take a look at different styling options, beginning with the cardigan and dress together. First I styled them with tall, black boots, matching handbag, stud earrings and a long, silver necklace.

HOUNDSTOOTH SWEATER CARDIGAN
HOUNDSTOOTH SWEATER CARDIGAN

2nd Styling Option - Cardigan/Dress/Sandal Heels

Next, I styled the pieces with a pair of high heel sandals, matching handbag, gold stud earrings, two gold chains, a ring and gold bracelet. 

HOUNDSTOOTH SWEATER CARDIGAN
HOUNDSTOOTH SWEATER CARDIGAN

3rd Styling Option - Cardigan/Jeans/Booties

Breaking up the pieces, I styled the cardigan with a pair of black skinny jeans, turtleneck sweater, black booties, silver stud earrings, black belt, and silver chain. I like the casual vibe of this look. There are so many styling possibilities with this cardigan.

HOUNDSTOOTH SWEATER CARDIGAN

4th Styling Option - Dress/Sandal Heels

I think this is my favorite Nikko Dress so far. I styled it with a pair of black leather booties, black velvet clutch, stud earrings, silver bracelet and ring. I love the way the booties look with the dress.

HOUNDSTOOTH SWEATER CARDIGAN

5th Style Option - Dress/Sandal Heels

When I saw the fabric as a bodycon dress, this was the vision. I styled it with a pair of high heel sandals, black matching handbag, and gold jewelry. Oh my goodness! I love it!

HOUNDSTOOTH SWEATER CARDIGAN

6th Styling Option

Finally, I styled the dress with a pair of tall black boots and black velvet clutch, silver tear drop earrings, silver ring and bracelet. The dress will look amazing with pops of color too. 

HOUNDSTOOTH SWEATER CARDIGAN

What do you think?

Did you learn something here today? What’s your favorite styling option? I would love to hear your feedback. Scroll to the very bottom of this page to leave a comment.

HOUNDSTOOTH SWEATER CARDIGAN
HOUNDSTOOTH SWEATER CARDIGAN

Thank you for stopping by today! 💕

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This Post Has 36 Comments

  1. Deborah Hill -Queendeb

    Thanks for the pattern tips. The dress & cardigan look fantastic.

  2. Morlina

    Anita, what can I say wow! You did it again. I love that dress and cardigan. You make sewing so beautiful. Keep doing what you do best, and thanks for inspiring us. I love the style with the black boots and black bag. I bought the Nikko pattern and planning to make it soon. Thanks for the inspiration

  3. Tawanna Craig

    Anita, my friend, you never cease to amaze me. I think this is one of my favorite pieces. Of course there have been many others that I’ve loved. This year is just beginning. Wow!! Mind Blown!!

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you so much, my dear Tawanna! I can totally see you wearing these pieces.

  4. Pauline from Belgium

    Love the dress! What a beautiful figure you have, and a stunning result. I’d love tou wear these kinds of fitting dresses, it looks amazing on you 🙂

  5. Joyce Trammell

    Your designs are absolutely stunning Anita. I wish I had the talent and eye for sewing as you do! As always, beautiful work! God bless!

  6. Kim

    Beautiful. Now you needcto make a black cardigan.

  7. Sheila

    Anita, your work is just beautiful. You did an awesome job on both pieces. I love the different variations showing how you can dress it up or dress it down. Either way, it’s SHARP!!! The fabric is beautiful. I tell you; it makes me want to head straight to Jo Anns. LOL

  8. Tamyco

    This is an amazing sew. I LOVE ALL OF IT. I got the pattern right after you posted on Instagram. It was a callange to
    Put together however I did it and I also downloaded the pants wide leg sweater knit as well. I know I will put together soon so I can show you I will post on in Instagram. I follow you there as well. Wish me luck but my Viking 95q and my cover stitch should do the trick! Fingers crossed

    1. Anita Morris

      Tamyco!!!!!! OMGosh! I’m so excited and can’t wait to see your cardigan. 💕💕💕

  9. Lynette Roberts-Patrice

    Oh this is one sharp outfit!! I love how you paired it with the skinny jeans. I love love houndstooth fabric. In fact, I have four skirts in different colors that I brought from QVC. Now that I’m seeing that Joann’s has this fabric, I’m going to make a longer skirt 😊.

    You were so detailed in what you did for the alterations. The pictures really helped a lot. I know you are not a fan of putting together PDF patterns, but I’m glad you did. This is simply perfection at its’ finest. I also know you enough that you do not talk bad about people or companies, but thank you for your honesty and I will definitely check them out just to see 🤷🏾‍♀️.

    Thank you so much for sharing everything with us sis. It is truly appreciated more than you know.

    1. Anita Morris

      Oh my goodness, Lynette! Thank you so much. I’m glad you appreciated the details I shared in the post. Yes, you know my heart. I appreciate you more than you know.

  10. Rebecca

    Ms. Anita, This is absolutely Beautiful 😍

  11. Marilynn

    Hello Ms. Anita,
    I have been viewing your makes for a while and each and every one have been beautiful. Such a talent. Keep up the wonderful work that keeps me inspired, though I am no way close to you talent. The sweater, superb!!

  12. Hettie Hogan

    Absolutely gorgeous! Your patience really shows in your garments. Thank you for sharing your experience with this fabric and this PDF pattern. Your styling choices are great. My favorite is with the black jeans and booties.

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you Hettie! I love the cardigan with the jeans too. 🤗

  13. Carla

    Hi Anita, all of the hard work you put into these pieces really paid off! Both are gorgeous. Using both sides of the fabric shows just how exceptionally skilled and stylish you are.

  14. Delores

    Excellent job!

  15. Gwendolyn Styles

    Hey Anita! I pray all is good with you. Anita I love the outfit! but I really like that dress, stunning! You go girl!

  16. Jan

    How utterly chic !!!! Not only would i have never even noticed that bolt of fabric in the store, but i would also have stampeded from a pdf 🐎 🐎
    But you turned it into a classy, sizzling outfit !!!
    Its awesome. 😁😁 Reversibility is mind boggling !!!

    1. Anita Morris

      You’ve got me cracking up, Jan! 😂 Thank you, sister! 💕

  17. linda

    You betta come on through Sista Anita! Absolutely beautiful!
    You really do a great job of creating a look that’s so perfect for you. It also encourage your community that we can do it too🙂

    1. Anita Morris

      Yeeess!!! You can do it too! I love inspiring my sisters. 💕

  18. Donyale

    I really like the houndstooth dress and cardigan together. I also like the cardigan with all black. Your tips regarding the pdf pattern and the fabric are really appreciated.

    1. Anita Morris

      Awesome! I’m glad you appreciated the information about the products.

  19. Victoria Holman

    I love the fabric you chose for this outfit. Thank you for sharing. I would like to make one for myself. Continue to bring in your fabulous ideas and suggestions. Much love 💕.

  20. De

    Wow! So many looks – and you look great in each! I like them all but I think my favorites are the cardigan + dress with the tall boots; the dress alone with the ankle boots; and the black slacks with the cardigan. If I was taller, I would opt for a long cardigan like yours; but due to my height, a knee-length version would be my best look. As always, your sewing is impeccable! I admire your high standards and attention to details. Thanks for sharing the pattern site you discovered; I had no idea it existed. This is info I plan to pass on to my sewing group. Without a doubt, you are an excellent ambassador for the products you highlight in your blog. Bless you for sharing the Word of God, your creativity, knowledge and inspiration so freely. Happy sewing!!!

    1. Anita Morris

      Thank you so much, De! Yes, this cardigan will look good in a shorter version. Thank you for sharing with your group.

      1. De

        I was wondering. How would the cardigan look if it had the same background as the dress – black rather than beige?

  21. Lisa

    The black outfit with cardigan was my favorite! Your work is beautiful, Anita!