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Blog + Tips




Pattern Hack: Create a long hooded duster cardigan from an existing sewing pattern

Ann Siegle

Create your own long hooded duster cardigan from an existing sewing pattern! We are going to do an easy modification of the open cardigan-style reversible hoodie pattern from Travel Trio Two to create a long, reversible hooded duster cardigan. This is a beginner-level pattern hack and a great way to get used to modifying patterns that you already have! Plus, we're going to add patch pockets to BOTH sides of the cardigan, because, pockets!

The pattern:

Travel Trio Two Hoodie: a hip-length A-line open front hoodie with neck button/loop closure. Fully lined and reversible. 

The hack:

Lengthen the hoodie to duster length. Check that both front and back pattern pieces retain their hem curve AND are the same length along the sideseams. We'll draft a pocket pattern and discuss what we need to to stabilize the pocket depending on fabric choices.

  1. Using a sheet of large paper (freezer paper, kraft paper or paper by the roll like I have here), lay the back pattern piece of Travel Trio Two with the cut on fold edge on the edge of the paper
  2. Trace the sideseam, armscye, shoulder and neckline on the paper, transferring any markings
  3. Measure your duster length from the bone on the back of your neck to your desired length. To do this solo, I follow the tape measure down the back of my legs with my hand, til I reach the spot I want, then I bend and let go of the tape at my neck and hold the tape to my body. I can then reach back and see what that number is on the tape. Or you can mark a doorway opening with your back neck measurement and your knee or calf with a pencil and measure the door frame using your tape measure
  4. Measure from the CB neckline along the edge of the paper to your desired length (plus hem allowance). Mark that on the paper at the paper's edge.
  5. Using a French curve ruler, lay the ruler long the existing hem shape to transfer the shape to your hem. OR you may simply slide down the pattern to your new mark, trace the shape and slide it back up.
  6. Using a straight edge, lay it on the sideseam of your pattern and bring it down to your hem length and draw straight out. It will be at an A-line angle. 
  7. Cut out your pattern piece
  8. Connect your hem curve to your sideseam by drawing a line between them
  9. Repeat for the front. BUT, be sure to lay the back pattern piece on top of the front pattern piece, matching shoulder seams. Ensure that your sideseam length between your newly drafted patterns match.


To draft a pocket:

  1. You can use your pattern envelope to create a pocket
  2. Trace it onto paper, marking 1" down from one of the short ends. This will become the pocket's folded-over topstitched edge
  3. You can interface the whole pocket with knit interfacing, or you can line it with a woven fabric of similar care (e.g. cotton/cotton lycra, or rayon Bemberg lining/rayon lycra, or poly with poly/lycra knits.) If you line it, you will cut a second pocket but cut it off at the 1" mark. 
  4. Cut out your pocket template, fold over the top and see how you like the size - bear in mind, you will turn under the edges of the pocket 1/2" on the three remaining sides and topstitch the pocket in place on the front of the long hoodie
  5. Pin the pocket template to the unsewn fronts of your pattern, to determine placement that is ideal for you!
  6. Cut out two pockets per side of your hoodie (4 pockets total).
  7. Interface the top 2" of the pocket
  8. Fold the pocket top down 1" and topstitch this in place
  9. Press under the remaining 3 sides. You can secure these with Seam a Steam first.
  10. Using Washaway Wonder Tape or blue painter's tape, tape your pocket down to your hoodie, measuring UP from your bottom hem and in from the center front to ensure you have it in the same place on both front pieces.
  11. Topstitch the pocket in place on all four fronts
  12. Sew the hoodie as the instructions indicate

That's it! an easy pattern hack to make a long hooded duster cardigan that is reversible!

Fabric suggestions:

For cooler weather: lightweight sweater knits, French terry, ITY, Brushed polyester knit

For warmer weather: Haatchi sheer knits, linen knit, stretch mesh (embroidered, printed), crochet knits, rayon/lycra jersey, 

Travel Trio Two 331
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