Driftless Cardigan >> MaddieMadeThis.com

Always In Love with the Driftless Cardigan

Driftless Cardigan >> MaddieMadeThis.comHeyyyyyyooooo!  In case you missed it (but really, how could you?), Tuesday was my first Instabirthday!  And to celebrate, I’m hosting a giveaway.  You can win three awesome prizes, including my all-time favorite cardigan pattern, the Driftless Cardigan.  Thank you, Grainline Studio!  In honor of that (and because it’s long overdue), I’m sharing my Driftless Cardigan experience today on the blog.

Because I live in Chicago, and because I’m me, I’m always cold.  I love a cardigan that I can throw in a bag in the morning and bring out at work when I get cold.  I also love it when it fits really well under a larger coat.  The Driftless Cardigan was actually the first pattern that I bought after making an Instagram.  I saw it right after it was released, and knew I had to have it!

Driftless Cardigan Basics

Driftless Cardigan >> MaddieMadeThis.com

The setup for the Driftless Cardigan is pretty low-stakes.  You can get it in PDF or printable format, and I have the PDF.  I cut my Driftlesses out to size 4, even though I hover between a 0 and a 2 in the two other Grainline patterns I’ve tried so far (Alder and Archer).  The roominess of the 4 makes it extra cozy to me.  I also really prefer the split hem, as I think it gives the cardigan more movement.

Driftless Cardigan >> MaddieMadeThis.com

I do make one #sewingtall modification, and that’s to add 3-4 inches to the sleeve length.  It’s a range because the amount depends on the knit for me.  If it’s lightweight with a lot of stretch, I add less.  For thicker knits with less give, I go the full 4″.

Driftless Cardigan >> MaddieMadeThis.com
Clearly I care very little about plaid matching, y’all.

I really never make bodice length adjustments for length, because I have a pretty normal sized torso.   If you do, there are two places you could add length to the cardigan.  The pockets on my cardigans hit just about at my natural waist.  If you feel like they’re in an awkward place for you, lengthen the top portions of the cardigan.  If you’re looking for some extra booty coverage, lengthening the bottom portions might be a better fit for you.  Of course, you can always put some extra inches in both, too!  I’m thinking my next version will be a longer one, because I’m suuuuper into that longline look right now.

Driftless Cardigan >> MaddieMadeThis.com

For those of you unsure as to whether or not you’d need to lengthen it, I’d suggest doing a muslin/toile of just one side of the front of the cardigan.  I think that should be enough to help you find length adjustments.  The shoulder seam is a true shoulder seam, and the bottom of the body pieces (but not necessarily the hem bands) is a straight line.

Driftless Cardigan Hacks

The craziest thing I’ve done to a Driftless cardigan is try them with woven fabric.  The pattern clearly calls for stretch fabrics.  But after I’d made a few and accidentally cut portions the way the fabric didn’t stretch, I figured I was ready for some experimentation!

Driftless Cardigan >> MaddieMadeThis.com

Driftless Cardigan >> MaddieMadeThis.com

Because I already cut a roomy body, I knew that I didn’t need to worry about stretch there.  The problem children were going to be my sleeves and the neck bands.  Honestly, I didn’t even make a muslin for these.  I took some arm measurements and then graded out the shoulder area and sleeves to make sure they’d be big enough.  All told, I think I added 2″ to the sleeves and shoulder.  It’s comfortable, but sometimes too tight for a lot of layering.  For the neck band pieces, I just measured them against the neck area and lengthened them to fit.

Driftless Cardigan >> MaddieMadeThis.com
I don’t know why, but I feel like this flannel Driftless would be perfect for apple picking.

Driftless Cardigan >> MaddieMadeThis.com


Yardage needed: minimally 2 yards, more depending on size.

Level: Advanced beginner

Time: approximately 3.5 hours

General modifications: none!

#SewingTall modifications: lengthening sleeves 3-4″.


I love the Driftless Cardigan so much that I have a whole pinboard of inspiration for future ones on Pinterest.  And because everyone should have a Driftless in their wardrobe, I want to share all that inspiration with you!  All my project boards are mixes of RTW pieces I’d like to emulate and real person versions of the pattern.  Anything look appealing to you?  I’d love to hear about the Driftless Cardigans you’ve made or are planning to make in the comments!

Remember, you can win a PDF copy of the Driftless Cardigan in my giveaway, along with two other amazing prizes!  If you haven’t entered yet, head on over to that post to see all the options for entry.  Good luck!


  1. I LOVE how your woven fabric cardigan looks on you! I use both Instagram and Pinterest for the inspirations/references too. I think it’s very helpful to visualize the ideas when I see more options out there! I have a few upcoming sewing projects, so I’ve been pinning lots of pictures as well. Only if I get my patterns delivered soon! Wish me luck! P.S. I would love to hear your thoughts on making your own lingerie (I saw a recent Instagram post) – it looks so interesting and fun, I’d love to try.

    1. Thank you! I have two posts about lingerie so far, both about bra making. I’m also currently writing a post about the latest pattern I made (that you saw on Instagram) which should be up in the next few weeks!

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