I first did this hack last year after realizing I had no cropped cardigans and decided I needed one. This is a great option if you want a little less bulk in a sweater, it’s also an excellent compromise if you have the perfect brushed sweater or faux cashmere fabric but not quite enough fabric for a top or tunic length garment. The one pictured here is a size L and I managed to squeeze it out of a cut that was a yard and a quarter!
First, you will need the Chapman Cardigan pattern. I own the curvy fit version, but the hack is the same whether you use that one, the kids or straight fit, either will work just fine. I can see this working well with Be Mine, or Cardigan Love, as well.
To make sure the crop is to your desired length, measure from your shoulder to where you want the crop to sit. When I made mine, that measurement was 18 inches. I wanted mine to sit a few inches below my bust line, but you can adjust that measurement to wherever you want yours to fall. Don’t forget that the hem band will add some length to that initial measurement.
All you’re going to do is cut the bodice and back pieces of the cardigan according to that measurement. Since I use a projector, I just measured with my measuring tape directly onto the projected pieces, but if you have a paper copy you can cut it shorter, draw a new cut line, fold it up, or however you feel it’s best to adjust your piece.
Your neckline banding obviously will be shorter. I measured around my neckline and cut a band that length, maintaining the original width. I cut the hem band just a little shorter as well.
The assembly is exactly the same! After completing it and trying it on, I decided I needed a few buttons. I went back and forth over whether or not to do it because buttonholes are my nemesis, but in the end I just had to do it and I’m so glad I did. Since they were a last second edition, I didn’t put any stabilizer in that part of the neckband, but if I do this again I absolutely would.
That’s really all there is to it. This cropped sweater is so nice. I traveled with mine last year and it was so nice to have something with a little less bulk than a traditional length sweater or cardigan.
If you’d like to take this hack in the opposite direction, check out Sonia’s hack on how to turn it into a duster. Because let’s face it, sometimes it is nice to have the reduced amount of bulk that you would find in a crop sweater, but the drama of a duster is appealing as well. We sew because we need alllllll the options, right? If you do this crop, tag me in the FB group, I would love to see it!
(Written by: Michelle Eisele)