March 9, 2020

Fuller Cardigan Sewalong Day 1: Sew Darts and Assemble Bodice

Welcome to the Fuller Cardigan sewalong! Our fabric and pattern are both prepped so now it’s time to start sewing.

If you’re just joining us, make sure you’ve picked out your size, prepared your pattern pieces, and cut out your fabric. Or if you’re still in the decision paralysis state, check out our ready-to-wear cardigan roundup as well as our fabric inspiration post!

I’ll be sewing up a Fuller View A (the v-neck, mid hip cardi) in a cozy gray rib-textured sweater knit (we have a few kits left with this fabric if you want some for yourself!), and a Fuller View B (the jewel neck, cropped cardi) in an olive green ponte.

Today, we’re going to focus on sewing our bust and shoulder darts, and assembling the bodice of the cardigan. The steps are the same for both View A and B so I’ll be showing you these steps on my View A cardigan. Whichever version you’re making, let’s get started!

Sewing the Bust Darts

We’re going to start by sewing the bust darts. It’s rare that we use a straight stitch when sewing knits, but this is one of those times. Set your machine to 2.5 mm straight stitch right now before you forget.

Using your pattern piece, mark your dart on the wrong side of one of the front pieces.

Fold the dart in half and pin. It helps to make tiny snips into the dart legs in the seam allowance so that you can know that you’re lining them up properly.

Sew the dart using a straight stitch. Start at the side seam and sew towards the point of the dart, leaving long tails and tying them off to secure.

You’ll notice that I’m using a contrast thread here. That’s so you can see what I’m doing more easily, but you should go for a complementary thread (unless you like that contrast thread look).

Once that’s sewn, we can press the dart up. Use a ham if you have one to preserve the shaping you’ve just created.

Let’s do the same with the other front piece.

Sew the Shoulder Darts

Two darts down, two more to go. Do you ever put off sewing your darts as long as possible when starting a sewing project? I find that I always get so worked up about sewing some darts, but then when I finally do them, I wonder why I bothered stressing. They’re rather quick to sew!

Let’s sew the darts on our sleeves next. You may be wondering why there are darts in the shoulders. Raglan sleeves can be notoriously tricky to fit, and the shoulder darts provide much-needed shaping and ensure that the shoulders of the garment lie flat when you wear it.

Using our sleeve pattern piece, we’re going to mark the shoulder dart.

Now we fold the dart in half and pin it.

Again with the straight stitch, we’re going to sew this dart.

Press the dart towards the back of the sleeve. And then we can do the same thing with the second sleeve!

All the darts are done, and now we can start assembling.

Assemble the Bodice

First up, we’re going to sew one of the sleeves to one of the fronts. Pin the two pieces right sides together at the armscye, making sure you have the right sleeve (check that you’re lining up with the single notch of the front with the single notch of the sleeve).

Let’s sew that seam using our 3/8” (1 cm) seam allowance. You can use a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine and then finish the seam (or not, if your fabric doesn’t unravel), or if you have a serger, you can sew and finish the seam in one go.

Again, I’m using a contrast thread on my serger so that you can better see what I’m doing.

Press the seam allowance towards the sleeve.

And now we can do the same with the other sleeve and front piece.

Now let’s attach those to the back. Grab one of the assembled front/sleeve and pin to the back armscye, right sides together, then sew that seam.

Repeat with the other side, and voila! Our bodice is assembled.

If you’re sewing View B, here’s how it will look:

And that’s all for today, folks! Pretty quick and easy, right? That’s the magical thing about raglan sleeves—they’re a breeze compared to set-in sleeves.

We want to see your beautiful Fuller Cardigans, whatever stage of the process you’re in! Be sure to tag your makes with #FullerCardigan and join us next time as we sew our side seams and get the facing ready.

3 thoughts on “Fuller Cardigan Sewalong Day 1: Sew Darts and Assemble Bodice

  1. Christi says:

    I was surprised to see that you said to iron the dart up. I was taught to iron it down. Does it fit a fuller bust better up?

    1. Ayelet says:

      Hi Christi,

      We always recommend pressing the bust darts up when you’re curvy; it fills out the hollow above the boob rather than adding bulk to the bottom of the boob. It’s different than what most folks have been taught because they were likely learning with B cup sewing patterns.


      1. Christi says:

        Thank you very much for repliing and your explanation. I never thought about the fit now that my measurements are bigger, just doing it how I was taught! I love learning new things on your site!

Let me know what you think!