Swing Cardi Sewing Pattern

The Christine Jonson Swing Jacket swing cardi pattern is one of my go-to patterns. I’ve made it in full (maxi) length, and standard length. It has pockets!

Let’s dive into this one:

I’ve sewn this 4-5 times and find it’s a go-to in my wardrobe.

What I love about it:

The swing shape starts below the bust, so you still get a nice fitted shoulder and bust and the fun shape is below that. In a stable knit like ponte, or this sweater knit (from Boho Fabrics, in a mystery box, lots of poly/acrylic in this one), the pockets work well. In a softer knit like rayon lycra, the sideseam pockets droop on the sides – I haven’t figured out how to fix this, as it’s the weight of the pocket with the softer knit, not any stabilization, that is causing the problem. I omit them on soft knits.

This pattern is very forgiving – I’ve put this on size 10 models and on size 12 me and it works awesome. I’ve seen this in plus sizes and, same, looks wonderful on everyone.

About this look:

I have it on with a loden green O’Neill palm print graphic tee and Essex linen Pietra pants from Closet Core patterns. If you want an all-knit outfit, try the Perfect Pant Skinny from Christine Jonson – has all the fun pocket and front/back seam as this woven pant shown here, but sew it in a ponte knit, and you can crop the length too. I’m wearing my Teva sandals because, weirdly warm early October!

Design features:

I love the higher back neck and how the shawl collar construction works so nicely. There’s NO BAND on this cardi, and it has a professional look to it when sewn. The center back seam allows for some shaping at the back if you need to adjust. The pattern recommends shoulder pads, and a light pad made from a few layers of interfacing and some fashion fabric works great for this. I often use velcro to attach them so I have options on whether to leave them in or out. Pro tip, use the SOFT velcro on the jacket and the pokey velcro on the pad! I stitch the velcro on right through the shoulder seam and that is it.

I adjusted the sleeve width to be a little wider on this one when I cut it out, you can customize as you cut and sew it. The standard sleeve is narrower at the wrist so you can push the sleeves up and they’ll stay! The customer photo on the CJ pattern website (in gray, with cinnamon colored pants) shows this standard sleeve width, and she has them pushed up. My other versions have this sleeve – it is very flattering and pushing them up works! I roll my sleeves here with the wider width.

Note: For four years I managed marketing for Christine Jonson and still love her patterns. I was not provided with a pattern and this review is my own! You can see more of my versions at the Christine Jonson Patterns blog (including a maxi length striped version with Venetian lace trim!)

Design features you might consider:

I’m kind of obsessed with a curved shirt-tail style hems on cardigans right now and might try it on this one in a stable ponte knit. This alteration would involve a dinner plate, tracing the plate’s curve on the OUTER edge of the front and back pieces (at the center front, they’re still squared off). If you make curved hems, note, that to sew these, you should hem the curved edges before sewing the sideseams! It makes it a whole lot easier.

Make it in midi length – the midi cardigan is a cozy length and great for fall. I will sew one in a sweater knit (maybe leopard!) at this length and wear it with the trendy ripped “mom” (tapered, high waist) jeans that my teenager is wearing right now. I might even make my teen one too!