Sewing the Perfect Cardigan & How I Learned to Match Plaids

Sewing the Perfect Cardigan & How I Learned to Match Plaids

I am so very excited because I finally completed a project for ME! Sewing for my girls (and nieces) has been my focus for the past five months, so it was enjoyable to switch it up. I honestly couldn’t love this plaid cardigan more! I am going to give you all the tips and techniques I used to match the plaids and complete this pattern. It was an easy pattern to put together. 

Learning to sew has been so much fun, and I love submerging myself in patterns that interest me. I have realized that you can create gorgeous clothes all while learning new skills along the way.  So, don’t wait until you are a pro! Instead, get out there and learn while creating new things. I am here to help you do just that!

If you are here for all my plaid info, then scroll on down to that section, but if you are interested in learning about the whole project, then start right here!


As many of you already know, I just adore the patterns at Violet Field Threads. I couldn’t pass up a chance to have this cardigan. I mean, come on, IT HAS POCKETS! I love how simple it is to make. Therefore, I bought it in every size they had available: Misses, Tweens, and Girls.  Patti includes a dolman sleeve that falls over the shoulder. The pattern has options for both long sleeve or sleeveless, and there are two length options: bottom of the hip and knee length.

Disclosure: Keep in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a small commission. I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The choice is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something that is entirely up to you.

Sew Many Pins is also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This post contains affiliate links.


 What Will You Need?

Well,  purchase the pattern of course.  You can find the patterns and directions for Patti here. Read over the instructions several times, and write down the amount of fabric you will need based upon the size you are making (all of those directions are in the tutorial). Also, jot down any other notions/materials you will need, and take it with you when you shop. Stumped? Check out these posts:

The Best Sewing Supplies for Beginners






Measuring is key to getting the absolute best fit. You can even mix different sizes if you feel that will be best, which is what I did for my Patti. Violet Field Threads have a video that shows the best way to measure. They also have a beautiful printable on their website for keeping all your family’s measurements organized.

P.S. Violet Field Threads offers a lot of getting started video tutorials on their website and YouTube channel. Check them out, because you may find answers to many of your questions there.

Preparing the Pattern

Print out the pattern pieces, tape together, and cut out the size you are going to make. Save some money and ink by following along with colorful instructions on your computer, tablet, or phone, rather than printing out all the pages.

Fabric and Notions

According to the directions, Patti looks best in a sweater knit or a flannel. I haven’t sewn with knits yet, so when I found this flannel, I knew I had to use it to make a Patti. Look at that silly girl! 


So, I was lucky enough to see this soft and gorgeous flannel at a local shop in their clearance bin a few months ago.  There was no information available as to where it came from, but I could tell it was a good quality fabric. It was only $1 per yard, so I should have bought all that was left!

I searched high and low to find the same plaid for sale online, but I did not see it. Nonetheless, here are some similar patterns; You can click on the photos, and they will take you directly to the shop.

Kaufman Highlander Flannel Plaid Black FabricYarn Dyed Flannel Plaid Blue/Red Fabric
Windstar Tartan Twill Flannel Navy Fabric
Kaufman Mammoth Flannel Plaid Red Fabric


 Thread & Stabilizers

Here are some more great places to buy fabric online:

  2. JOANN Fabric & Craft Stores
  3. Hobby Lobby


Violet Field Threads suggest using this thread: Aurifil Cotton 40W Thread in a coordinating color  You can find a large variety of it here! 

Of course, there are plenty of options out there. I used this thread. Remember to match the appropriate color thread to your fabric.  I used black for the whole project, which blended in perfectly with my mostly black fabric.

Tracing and Cutting Out the Fabric

Wash and iron your fabric before anything else. Yes, you should prewash!

After your fabric is clean and pressed, you will want to make sure your fabric is straight.  The wrong cut can change the way your fabric drapes among other fit issues. Check out this post on how to prepare your fabric for cutting.

Now you are ready to trace and cut out your fabric. Follow the detailed instructions that came with your pattern. They are very easy to follow, and you will get your cardigan together in NO TiME!

Here is a simple version of the Clara Pattern from Violet Field Threads that I made for my oldest daughter in December. This was my first experience with plaids.

Matching Plaids

So, I LOVE plaids, but I knew I would need help with matching up the seams perfectly.  I went right to Pinterest and found some amazingly awesome articles and tutorials that were jam-packed with great tips and information. For instance, did you know you should purchase more fabric than you need? Why? Well, because it will give you room to match up the plaids? I didn’t even consider it until I read all about it. From prepping to placing patterns on your fabric, to cutting, to sewing it all together. I will share THE BEST sites I pinned on my own Pinterest board. 

  • Please do not get discouraged. There will be areas that are super difficult to match up, especially in curved spaces. My sleeves are the only area that I completely struggled with and lost the battle. No biggie, because the rest looks good to me!
  • Match the most visible seams first. 
  • When pinning your pieces together, place pins at the major plaid lines making sure you are matching them up as you go.  Take your time to ensure that your fabric pieces are perfectly aligned and you will be ready to sew. 
  • Basting seams first can be very helpful in keeping the plaids lined up. 
  • Sometimes your fabric may shift while you sew. Using a walking foot will help keep those plaids perfectly matched up because both layers of fabric will go through the machine at the same time.

Need a walking foot? Click on the pictures below! Please check to make sure you purchase one perfect for your machine. 

Where to Find SEW MANY More Amazing Tips


Honestly, this first article is jam-packed with so much fantastic information.  I learned a lot, and I think you will too!


Another amazing resource! 



Here is my finished cardigan. My girls decided they wanted to get in on the picture taking fun! How could I resist? 

I am here to help you with your journey by sharing some tips, advice, and tutorials that helped me learn so much along the way.  My sewing is not perfect yet, but my skills are a continuous work in progress and get better every day.  I am enjoying the process so very much.  My products will only improve the more I practice, right?

I KNOW you can do this too and I cannot wait to create SEW Many More amazing things with you!


Sewing the Perfect Cardigan & How I Learned to Match Plaids

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