The Catherine Cardigan Turned Dress by Sewpony

It's my turn on the Catherine cardigan tour. You can purchase the pattern here, use the CATHERINE15 code to get a 15% discount. I really like the design of the cardigan and was happy to be invited to the tour. However both of my girls have plenty of cardigans for now. My youngest is obsessed with dresses. What a sewing mother to do, turn the cardigan into a dress, of course.

She is just a tad cold, the life of a model. It's tough, lol. It's really easy to turn any cardigan into a dress. Draw a line in the lower third of the back and front pattern pieces. Cut the pieces apart and spread them to make the length you want with the paper underneath the pattern pieces. Tape the pattern pieces to the paper, redraw the seams. Don't' forget to do the same with the placket. Ta-dah! I also made it slightly A-line.  The other change I made is to the sleeves. I made them wider by about an inch.

There are a few construction steps that are done with the sewing machine and not with a serger. The tutorial instructs you to interface the facing and the placket, it's every important to do to get good results. I also interfaced around the neckline and along the front to give some extra stability. My sewing machine doesn't like knits. Let me rephrase it, it can't handle sewing knits, so interfacing is essential for me to get decent results. If you have a temperamental machine and get puckers every time you hem or sew seams, fusible interfacing is your best friend.

I really liked the front bow and wanted to add it as well, however I knew that it would be a resounding no from my machine if I added it where it's supposed to go, because of a few fabric layers. So I moved it down and I think it's cute.

Everything went pretty smooth, until it was the time to top stitch the placket. I tried twice and it was coming out too wonky, skipped stitches, tiny tiny stitches, etc. I couldn't live with sloppy topstitching, so after upicking the stitches for the second time, I decided to slip stitch the placket in the back by hand. It took a bit longer, but I am happy with the results.

The fabric came from my stash, I purchased it at JoAnn's a few years ago to make pjs but never did. Aren't the dancing ballerina mice cute? I think it's adorable. I wanted a really pretty light pink for the trim, but unfortunately I only had fluorescent pink in my stash. Evelyn loves it, of course.

The other small change I made to the pattern is the construction of the placket/hem. I like it when the hem is inside the placket, just my personal preference.

Evelyn loves her dress! It's her new favorite! The fit is spot on too!  Thank you Suz for the invite!

Please check out other incredible sewists on the list.


  1. Lovely dress. I get goose bumps when I look at the photos in the snow.

  2. This is such a sweet dress! My girls would absolutely love it - especially with that dark pink trim. And the dancing mice? Yes! They love Angelina Ballerina, so I would say you can't go wrong with that fabric. Great sewing tips, too!

  3. This is super cute Olga and lots of great tips in this post! Brrrr still so much snow!

  4. Oh she looks so cute with her ballerina mice dancing in the snow storm :)

  5. Very sweet dress! She looks so happy with it! I love this age, when the one moment they look all big and the other moment still so small. Great pictures capturing that!


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