Paperback Writer Cardigan – Shwin Designs

One of the things that I am going to focus on this year is sewing through my stash both my fabric stash and my pattern stash.  Over the last year I have amassed a huge collection of pdf patterns yet I find myself making the same patterns over and over again.  That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I absolutely love some of my patterns but it is also fun to stretch your skills and try something new.

To help with that goal I am going to be testing a new pattern every week and giving you my honest opinion of what I thought of the pattern.  Things I liked and didn’t like and things I changed or would change when making the pattern again.

For the first review I decided to tackle a knit cardigan with buttons, specifically the Paperback Writer Cardigan from Shwin Designs.  I snagged this bag boy on the day after thanksgiving sale when all patterns were marked down to $5, such a steal!

Am I the only person who sees buttons and knit and completely avoids the pattern.  I know crazy, right?  I had a bad experience where I didn’t listen to the designer when she said to use interfacing and spent a hour trying to fix the giant hole I created when trying to add button holes.  So I quickly learned that listening to the pattern designer when they say use interfacing is a very important step.

What drew me to this pattern initially was the fact that I can use it for both kids and it has so much versatility for all seasons here in Seattle.  I also love that it can be done in a solid knit, something fun or even a mix of solid and pattern.  There are endless options for this cardigan.

Since I don’t sew things for Ben as often as I do Sophie I took this opportunity to sew a cardigan for Ben.  I decided to use the last of some really great dark grey double knit I had with an accent of olive green for the cuffs and waistband.




The Paperback Writer Cardigan is a well written pattern, from the glossary of terms at the beginning to the pictures with each step.  I liked that I was able to try a new technique of attaching a front facing without it feeling confusing or overwhelming.  One thing I would have liked to see was a better idea of button placement, I couldn’t get a clear idea of whether I should have a button on the waistband or not.  Looking at how the cardigan lays on Ben I think it needs another button at the bottom.

This pattern was a really easy sew, especially if you are using a serger.  Including the buttons and button holes it took me less than a hour from start to finish.  While assembling it I went off book a little when sewing the cuffs and waistband thinking it would be easier.  Looking back now I think the original instructions give you a more polished look than what I did.  So lesson learned it really pays to follow the pattern and not go off book when you think you can get it done your way.

This pattern is a must have for everyone’s collection.  I will definitely be making more of these for both Ben and Sophie.  I just wish it came in my size so I could make one for myself as well.


I couldn’t be happier than how this cardigan turned out, and really could that little drooly smily little boy be any cuter in that cardigan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *