The Boyfriend Cardigan from Love Notions has a Women’s and a Girls version and they are exactly the same. The difference is the sizes, of course, but we sew them in exactly the same. In this post, you will see a little girl’s version I made for my niece and 2 versions I made for myself.
Features of the Boyfriend Cardigan
The Boyfriend cardigan has length options: mid thigh length and a longer duster length. The fit is relaxed with dropped shoulders, long sleeves, options of an easy to sew shawl collar, hood with a band or a regular band. On the front, there are patch pockets and side vents for a little something extra.
What I appreciate the most is the beautiful waist shaping drafted into this style. The side seams go in at the waist and the back has a center back seam that also helps avoid the boxy shapeless look.
Best fabrics for the Boyfriend Cardigan
About the fabric, the Boyfriend cardi can be made with a variety of light to medium weight knit fabric and the drapier, the less structured look will result. I would avoid TOO light fabrics like rayon spandex and too structured fabrics like cotton spandex.
My fabric choice for my niece is heavier and will result in a more structured “coatigan look”. I like this! Knowing what my sister-in-law likes, and the fact that my niece has this style of long line cardigan in pink (RTW), I decided that this would be a great present for her. Well, one of them… I’ll likely make her more things. I chose a grey sweat-shirting fabric purchased locally with minimal stretch… on the generous side 10% horizontally.
For myself I have used a light loosely woven sweater knit with an interesting print. The type of fabric is very drapy, hangs beautifully and is perfect for mild winter (like mine), spring and autumn. My second version is a heavier sweater knit that still drapes amazingly.
The Girls Boyfriend Cardigan is available in sizes 2T-16. For my niece’s version, I have detailed updated measurements and even though she is only 5, her measurements put her in a size 7, add another size for growth and hopefully some longevity, I chose a size 8. She is taller for her age and it’s no surprise as my brother is 6ft 4″. The only change I made to size 8 , was making the sleeves a tad shorter.
I have a baby niece who is almost 2yo and will fit into the sizing very soon. I am very excited about sewing this pattern for them both as they grow.
The Ladies Boyfriend Cardigan is now available in sizes XS-5X after having gone through a complete update in March 2021. There is a standard bust and a full bust option. The fit is relaxed and there is no negative ease in the pattern.
I chose a size Large blended to XL at the hips using the standard bust.
Full step-by-step video on my channel
Due to the ease of construction that is so beginner friendly and the style that is so visually rich at the same time, I decided to film the whole sewing process in the hopes to encourage those new to sewing to try a style like this. It looks harder than it is and in actual fact, this is the shawl collar that I find the easiest to sew. EVER. PERIOD. By the way, I chose the shawl collar option 🙂
In the sew along, I go over these aspects: Fabric layout and marking notches, stabilizing shoulder seams, general detailed construction and as bonus: mitered corners on the slits. I’m sure that even if you are not that new to sewing, there will be tips useful for you. This is the video on my sewing channel Lifting Pins and Needles.
If you want to sew the woman’s version, the sew along applies just the same. As I mentioned, they are the same,… even the same amount of pattern pieces.
Let’s see them all!
I know grey is a blahhhh color but it will work with everything and I know all the pink cuteness will be worn underneath will look great. I even put pockets because I know she loves putting little things in them.
Blue tones leopard print for me
I made my first version using the mid-thigh length option, but made it 2 ” shorter in total to be able to get it to fit into my fabric.
I wanted to make the shawl collar option but sadly did not have enough fabric to cut the collar piece twice. This is a regular band instead, and I am still very happy with it.
The following photos are my “casual style“: Grey denim skirt, cami and smaller heels.
I added a self belt and small belt loops to the side seams as decoration only. I like the look of the ties at the back. I never intend to tie the belt at the front. I had a little scrap…. so why not 🙂 The belt is the whole width of the fabric (58″) by 4″. When folded lengthwise, sewn and flipped, the finished width of the belt is 1.5″.
I usually lengthen my cardigans to be mid knee, below the hem of my skirts and dresses. This is an exception for two reasons: Not enough fabric and I don’t want my body covered too much in this striking print.
I love the fit and feel of this garment. Blue is as much of a favorite as red it and is a color that makes me feel great. The dropped shoulders fit well and don’t create excess bulk under the arm. My most favorite features are the beautiful drafted waist shaping, very flattering and perfect for my body shape that needs the definition at the waist.
The video on my channel about my leopard version
I have a video all about my version and share practical aspects of the sewing with this fabric. See it below:
Purple sleeveless LONG duster version with faux leather accents
I had wanted an extra long duster cardigan for a long time and I really wanted it sleeveles. I was able to modify the armhole to be the shape I wanted very easily.
Again, I chose the regular band and used a matching leather-look jersey from my stash.To make the duster length option be extra long, I added 10″ total extra in two different places. See the diagram below.
The Boyfriend cardigan already has a simple vent, meaning you press the seam allowance open and top stitch. I made the seam allowance double for mine at the vent area. Instead of it being 1″, its 2″. See the diagram below. This allows the front to overlap over the back. I added buttons for decoration and no button holes.
I added a faux belt held on to the side seams with a wooden button to match the ones on the vent. I tie it at the back for decoration only. I never intend to tie the belt at the front. I used the same leather look jersey to bind the sleeveless armhole and love the clean look.
The video about the long duster with overlapped vents tutorial
I have a full video on my channel where you can see how to change the vents to be overlapped and have a unique look. You can add this detail to anything, and I think it’s cute. It’s also very easy!
I love how this pattern can be a base for many other styles and it’s very enjoyable to see a vision come true in a garment. Adding my own flair to my garments is what I love the most about sewing!
DISCLAIMER: I purchased my own pattern, fabric and notions for this projecablet. There are affiliate links in this post. If you purchase from these links, at no cost to you, I receive a small commission that helps support what I do.
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