Sewing: Granny Sweater


My dermatologist says I need to wear long sleeves more often. And by more often, he means all the time. That’s right. A little nuts perhaps? Maybe. But if it can make my skin look awesome when I’m 40, I’m going to give it a try.

Over the last 6 or 7 years, I’ve started taking better care of my skin. I should’ve started doing it 13 years ago before I went tanning in a tanning booth for the first time, but late is better than never. I’ve really come to embrace the pasty skin I was born with.


With that in mind, I’ve been on the look out for fun light-weight sweater knits. I found this funky grandma-esque sweater knit (similar here) and knew I wanted to make something with some serious length in the back. Last night as I got started, I thought I should really make a test muslin first but the part of me that was looking for instant gratification won out. I had to make it now, I could alter the fit later.


I used an old sweater of mine as the “base”, and sort of winged the details. Miracle of miracles, the sleeves were¬†perfect¬†as was my pattern matching. This project couldn’t have gone any smoother. Really.

I also wanted it to be loose, but still have some shape to it, so I sewed a leather “belt” of sorts on the back. I think it’s a nice detail.


The odd thing about this fabric was that the most stretch occured opposite of what you would assume. I liked the horizontal chevron more than a vertical zig zag, so I just ignored where the stretch went. It’s a slight issue at the sleeves, as I wanted a tighter fit, on the arms, but not that noticeable.


Originally I had front hemline at a point with the high-low, but it looked funny, so I rounded off the bottoms. I think it drapes better this way. I also wish the colors in here were less subdued, but they’re still lovely. I love the coral in there. And browns look pretty good on me. I think. Now that I have a pattern I know that works, I really want to make more of these. Making this cardigan (drafting the pattern, included) was just over 3 hours. I’m sure I could whip one up much faster now.


Outfit details:


Sweater knit provided by Fashion Fabrics Club.


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    1. kristin says:

      this is awesome, love the shape! and haha, it’s not a “granny sweater,” it’s a “missoni-inspired sweater!” ;)

    2. Joy says:

      That sweater is so cute! Is it hard to sew sweater knit like this? I saw some cute stuff at Joann’s the other day, but didn’t buy it.
      On another note, I’m also embracing my pastiness. At 34, I can already see a difference between my skin (that never did tab well anyway so why bother?) and that of my friends of similar age who go to tanning booths and lay out. I’m choosing to call it “alabaster” or “porcelain” rather than pasty, though. ;-)

    3. Lauren Lou says:

      So Missoni! And so beautiful! Bravo, it’s gorgeous! xx

    4. Jeannie D says:

      This is stunning, Melissa! Drapes beautifully and looks great on you…I want one!

    5. Jams says:

      Those shoes are amazing!

    6. Haylee says:

      Love this soo much. I can’t believe you just winged the pattern it like it was no big deal. You seriously are amazing, and I’m loving that cute bow in your hair too! I never would have thought you made it because it looks so well made, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since all your stuff looks like that!

    7. Shawn says:

      You are adorable pasty included!!!!!

    8. Lindsay says:

      I love the sweater — and the shoes are awesome, too! I also wish I could pull off a bow in my hair without looking cutesy (since you wear them brilliantly), but since my hair is curly, I look a bit too childish. :)

    9. Jacinta says:

      Ok I love the cardi , perfect drape and cute with the fake belt.

    10. […] used the pattern I made for my cardigan, but lengthened it so it would go past my knees. It turns out I had just enough fabric for it, too. […]

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