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Sweatshirt Cardigan

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Wear your heart on your sleeve...and anywhere else!

Quilt blocks aren't just for bedding anymore!

When you're on the go, take your favorite quilt blocks with you on this colorful cardigan made from a plain sweatshirt. Use a new sweatshirt, or salvage an old one to make this a recycled treasure.

For this bright and colorful project, we used designs from the quilting collection at Embroidery Library.


Supplies needed:

  • 1 sweatshirt

  • 2 packages of wide single-fold bias tape

  • 4 fat quarters of your choice

  • 2 yards of trim

Embroidery designs from Embroidery Library:


Designs Used

Preparing the sweatshirt

Mark a line down the center front of the sweatshirt.

Cut the front of the sweatshirt  in half along your marked line.

Working close to the ribbing, trim off the bottom band, the cuffs and the neck band.  Trim off the top corners to create a more comfortable, curved, neckline.

Rip out the bottom 6 inches of each sleeve seam.  This will allow you to easily finish the cuffs, and apply the sleeve appliques.

Unfold one side of the bias tape and line it up with right sides together on the cut edges of the sweatshirt.  Stitch in the fold of the bias tape. You will do this on the front, bottom, and cuffs of the sweatshirt.

Flip the bias tape to the wrong side of the sweatshirt fabric, and stitch the bias tape down to form a small facing. It worked well for me to stitch down the bottom facing first, then the front facing. Don't forget the sleeves!

Preparing the appliques

On 3 fat quarters sew out two 5" blocks of your choice.  And on one fat quarter, sew out two blocks and two half-blocks. Make sure there are a few inches separating each sew-out.

Mark a 6" square around each block, and a 4" by 7" rectangle around the half-blocks. Cut out each of the blocks and half-blocks along your marked lines.

On all sides of each block and half-block piece, fold 1/4" over to the wrong side of the block. Press the folded edges with your iron.

Stitch the trim to the front of the sweatshirt, and around the back of the neck.

Position each block along the bottom hem of the sweatshirt, distributing them evenly. This XL sweatshirt required eight 5 1/2" blocks, but you may need more or less depending on the size of your sweatshirt.

Position the half blocks at the center of each sleeve cuff.

Using fusible web, or temporary spray adhesive to hold the applique pieces in place, use an applique stitch of your choice to sew the blocks into place.