3 Quick and Easy Sweaters to Help Keep You Warm





Introduction: 3 Quick and Easy Sweaters to Help Keep You Warm

About: I love DIY! I enjoy trying new projects, dyeing, weaving, cooking, crafting, and doing fun projects with my kids.

I love sweaters!!!

I'm a weaver and enjoy finding things to make using my woven fabric. My favorite thing to do with my woven fabric is to wear it. I have made scarves and shawls, but with winter time here I wanted to try making some sweaters out of my hand weaving to help keep me warm.

One of my main focuses in making these three sweaters is that I didn't want to do a lot of cutting of my hand weaving, so these sweaters require little cutting. I also wanted them to be quick, easy and sewing beginner friendly. They aren't the fanciest sweaters, but they are comfy and a beautiful addition to an outfit.

In this Instructable I will take you through the steps of making three different sweaters; a cocoon cardigan, a poncho, and a draped cardigan. For reference on all of these patterns I am 5'6", and about a size 12 in clothing. If you are smaller or bigger, adjust the sizing to fit you.

Hope you enjoy making something beautiful and cozy for yourself or a friend!

Step 1: Cocoon Cardigan Supplies

-Fabric 46" x 30"- can be bigger or smaller depending on how you want it to fit. My fabric is a beautiful handwoven piece from Barbara's Weave and Wear.

-Fabric Scissors

-Matching Thread

-Measuring Tape


-Sewing Machine (can also be sewn by hand)

Step 2: Cocoon Cardigan Steps

-Hem all 4 of the edges of your fabric- fold over about 1/4 to 1/2 inch and iron, then fold over again and iron. Sew down the hem about 1/4 inch along the edge. Two of the sides of my handwoven piece have finished selvages, so I only hemmed the two unfinished edges.

-Fold your fabric in half lengthwise with right sides together matching up the edges and pin the two halves together along the short sides.

-Mark 6.5 inches from the open edge on a short side.

-Starting at the 6.5 inches mark, sew 1/4 inch seam from the mark to the open end (leaving an opening from the mark to the fold). Repeat on the other short side.

-That's it, turn right side out and wear!

Step 3: Poncho Supplies

-Fabric- 25" x 60"- can be bigger or smaller depending on your size and how you want it to fit. The fabric piece I'm using was handwoven by me.

-Sewing Scissors

-Matching Thread

-Measuring Tape


-Sewing Machine (can also be hand stitched)

Step 4: Poncho Steps

-Hem all 4 of the edges- fold over about 1/4 to 1/2 inch and iron, then fold over again and iron. Sew down the hem about 1/4 inch along the edge. Two of the edges of my handwoven piece have finished selvages, so I only hemmed two edges.

-Fold your fabric widthwise with right sides together and match up there edges.

-With the fold on the left, pin the two sides together along the top edge.

-Measure and mark with a pin the middle of the top edge.

-Sew a 1/4 inch seam from the middle mark along the top edge to the open edge (leaving from the middle mark to the fold open).

-That's it, turn it right side out and wear it!

Step 5: Draped Cardigan Supplies

-Fabric- One piece that is 80" x 25" for the main sweater (I think wider than 25" would be better, 25" was just the width I had available on my handwoven piece), and 2 pieces of 16" x 26" for the sleeves. The fabric pieces I'm using were handwoven by me.

-Matching Thread

-Sweater/Long sleeve shirt that fits you well for making the sleeve pattern


-Sewing Machine

-Measuring Tape


-Fabric Scissors

-Ruler/Something with a straight edge

-Paper for making a pattern- wrapping paper works well. I used old building plans.

This cardigan isn't as quick and easy as the other 2 sweaters, but it's still pretty quick and easy, just with more steps.

Step 6: Draped Cardigan Part 1: Sleeve Pattern

Sleeve Hole Pattern

-Lay out your fabric for your draped cardigan and lay your sweater flat on the fabric centered with the top of the shoulder 6 inches (or more) down from the top of your fabric.

-Mark with a pin the top of the shoulder, and the bottom of the underarm.

-Measure the distance between the two pins, and add an inch to get your sleeve hole length. For me this measured 7.5 inches, plus the inch equaled 8.5 inches for my sleeve hole length.

-Put a ruler straight through each mark then measure across to the sleeve seam, add a half inch, and multiple by 2 to get your sleeve hole width. For me this measurement was 1.5 inches plus a half inch equaled 2, times 2 equaled 4 inches for my sleeve hole width.

-On a piece of paper draw a line as long as your sleeve hole length measurement, and a line across the middle as long as your sleeve hole width creating a plus sign. Draw an oval that touches the outside points, and cut the oval out. This is the pattern for your sleeve hole.

My sleeve hole pattern was more diamond shape with end points. I think a more rounded oval would be better.

Sleeve Pattern

-Lay you sleeve on top of your paper and trace the outside of the sleeve. Use a ruler to get a straight line for the bottom and top of the sleeve.

-Using a pin, poke through the seam of your sweater from the shoulder to the underarm making dots through your paper underneath. Continue to poke holes all down the seam.

-Remove the sweater and trace along the holes to create the shoulder of the sleeve pattern.

-On the line that goes from the top of the shoulder to the wrist write "Place on Fold".

-Extend the line from the underarm to the wrist out an inch, and the shoulder line 2 inches (I only did 1 inch on mine, but I think 2 inches would work better). Do not extend the line that goes from the top of the shoulder to the wrist.

-Cut out your sleeve pattern.

Step 7: Draped Cardigan Part 2: Cut the Sleeve

-Lay your sleeve hole pattern on your fabric with the top at the shoulder mark pin, and the bottom at the underarm mark pin (see Part 1 Sleeve Hole Pattern bullet point 2 for the pin markings), then move it a half inch out (away from the middle), and pin the pattern in place.

-Cut out the sleeve hole following the pattern.

-Fold your sleeve fabric pieces in half with right sides together and lay your sleeve pattern on top of your fabric with the "Place on Fold" line on the fold, and pin the pattern to the fabric.

-Cut out the sleeves following the pattern. (I decided to do some shorter sleeves than my other sweater.)

Step 8: Draped Cardigan Part 3: Sew

-Hem around the outside of your fabric. If you're using knit fabric you don't have to hem. I'm using handwoven fabric that has finished top and bottom edges so I didn't hem them, and I decided to fringe the two ends so I sewed a small zig zag line (a short straight stitch would also work) across the width of the fabric about 3 inches from the edge to secure the weave, then removed the weft yarn below this line to create the fringe.

-Fold the sleeve in half with right sides together and pin along the edge from the wrist to the underarm.

-Sew a straight stitch along this edge with a 1/2 inch seam.

-Open up the seam allowance and using a hot iron press the seam open.

-Turn the sleeve right side out and place against the right side of your sweater fabric.

-Set and pin the sleeve to the sleeve hole matching the raw edges and matching up the sleeve seam with the bottom of the underarm of the sleeve hole, and the top of the sleeve hole with the top of the sleeve. Pin all the way around the sleeve easing the fabric to fit.

-Sew a half inch seam around the matched up sleeve and sleeve opening.

-Sew a rolled hem around the bottom of the sleeve. (Try your sweater on before hemming to make sure the sleeve length is where you want it.)

-That's it, enjoy wearing your new sweater!

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    20 Discussions

    How gorgeous!!! Love those hand woven fabrics, too. Makes me want to break out a loom :D

    1 reply

    Thank you so much! I love the hand woven fabrics too!

    Will try to cocoon cardigan tomorrow! I have a wool/acrylic knit skirt (straight sided) and if I unpick it, will have a very handy "warmer" to wear over clothes for indoor use. What I like about the design is no fuss (I am over 70 and do not need fringes, dangley bits hanging off clothing etc., getting in the way of doing things in the house. Benefit of warmth on my back, and surely I can curl up on sofa and curl my arms back into the sleeves to be truly comfy! Looking forward to sitting like this and watching tv.
    thank you for this pattern.

    1 reply

    That's such a great idea to turn a skirt into a cocoon cardigan! I like the no good part of this design too. Let me know how yours turns out and if you have any questions.

    Really like these, I hope to make the first and second ones for a swim cover. Took up swimming last summer and some days getting from pool to warm towel was excruciating. Wanted something to throw on fast. If I swim on a cooler day and any wind, very cold until I can towel off. These would stop the wind from hitting my wet body quickly.
    On to the 3rd item. Sewing in arms in scary. I did not understand how to find the placement of the arm holes on the main part of the fabric. Can you help?

    1 reply

    These would make great swim covers. It is so cold getting out of the water, these would be great to throw on quickly.
    I answered your question under your other question post, I hope my answer is helpful. Let me know how your swim covers turn out and if you have any other question.

    I'm not understanding how to place the hole pattern to the garment. Can you be more detailed on that part?
    Reference 1st photo in this sequence.

    1 more answer

    Great question, I'll update that step to be clearer. In part 1 of the draped cardigan you mark with pins the top shoulder seam and underarm seam of the sweater you used as a pattern on your fabric. These pin markings are where you place the hole pattern on your fabric in part 2.

    Excellent Instructable. Lovely garments, very wearable. Your step by step method was easy to follow and encourages less practiced sewers to have a go. I'm off to look at fabrics for the Draped Cardigan. Perfect for the colder weather. Thank's.

    1 reply

    Thank you so so much! I was really hoping the instructions would be encouraging for less practiced sewers. Let me know how your draped cardigan turns out and if you have any questions.

    For the first two designs can you use other fabrics like flannel? I don't really know what fabric this is you are using but I think they would be nice because flannel is soft and warm.

    1 reply

    Flannel would work great. I think any fabric can be used for these, but fabric that is not stiff and will drape well work best.

    I especially like the second one. The fabric is beautiful as well as the simple design.

    1 reply

    Thank you so much, I love that fabric too!