It’s That Cardigan Again – McCall’s 6844

There has been a gazillion makes of this cardigan out on the interwebs.   Now there’s a gazillion +1 makes of McCall’s 6844. My main advice on this pattern is to ignore the instructions which make things way more difficult than necessary.

McCall 6844 Front1

Steps to Ignore

Step #1 &2: Easestitching the shoulder edge. This is unnecessary extra work. Am I missing something? It’s a knit. You just stretch the 2 pieces so they’re the same lengths and sew.  If you feel the need to stabilize the shoulder seam use clear elastic but not that awful stuff from JoAnn’s.  Nice soft clear elastic.

Step 3: Staystitching the neck edge. Unless you’re using a 4 way/all way knit I don’t see why you would be concern about stabilizing the neck edge. If you’re stabilizing the neck, what about the rest of the cardigan that will be stretching? This doesn’t make any sense.

Step 17: Seriously why is there more easestitching on the sleeve?! Just stretch the pieces to match and sew.

Step 19: Sew the sleeves in flat after step #3. I don’t see the benefit of setting it in, in this particular case.

Step 10: I didn’t interface the collar/band. I don’t mind the soft drape of the collar. In fact I think it goes well with the drape of the peplum.

Step 12-16: I burrito-ed the collar for a cleaner finish. Ok so this step makes it more complicated but I think the results are nicer. At step 12, sew only one of the collar ends closed. Leave the other end open for unstuffing the burrito. If you’re not familiar with the burrito method, imagine the collar is your tortilla and the bodice being the filling. Place the collar piece with right sides up and put the bodice in the middle. Match up one of the collar edge with the bodice edge and pin. Wrap the collar around the bodice and re-pin so all 3 layers are together.

Catch 3 Layers

It should look like a long, long burrito.

One Long Burrito

Sew the long edge, making sure not to catch anything that doesn’t belong. Then reach into the opening of the collar and pull the bodice out.

Unstuff the Burrito

Voila you have your collar with the edges inside the collar. Nice and clean.

Nice Clean Finish on Collar

Lastly I folded up the seam allowance of the collar’s opened end and sew it closed. I hand sewed using a ladder stitch because I didn’t have the sewing machine set-up. I used my serger or cover stitch for all the steps.

Ladder stitch the collar


More Things to Ignore

Ignore the sizing. According to my body measurements I should be a M in the bust, L waist and M hips. I made a XS based on my really unscientific yet somehow really reliable wrap method. My fabric is the right amount of stretch that the pattern recommends so the sizing difference isn’t due to having a stretchier fabric.

Ignore the petite lines. They are useless. First, they’re essentially the lengthen/shorten lines like on most patterns. And petiting isn’t just about length; it’s also about proportions and narrowing in areas. Secondly, I didn’t even need to shorten the pattern. I would think regular people may need to lengthen.


One More Point for Actual Sewing

Let’s put one more on the score board for actual sewing as opposed to the non-sewing sewing things I’ve been doing. It only took ignoring and/or modifying half of the instructions. Has anyone else sewn a pattern with this much unnecessary steps? I really do like the cardigan and it will be getting plenty of wear coming Fall. It’s still in the 90s/100s here. Ick!

Quick question on middle pic below.  Do I have a future as a catalog model or that street person selling fake Rolex watches from inside of their coats?

McCall 6844 Collage

 Link to my Pattern Review.

Happy Sewing,

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31 Responses to It’s That Cardigan Again – McCall’s 6844

  1. Cynthia says:

    Question: In finishing the front and lower hem edges, did you turn under 1/4 inch and then turn under 3/8 inch and sew? Isn’t there an easier way? Thanks!!

  2. Shaneka Giscombe says:

    This is my favorite cardigan. I will definitely be trying this.

  3. Shira Jacobson says:

    I like your description of the burrito method here – I’d never tried it before, but just finished this cardigan with your directions. Winning!

  4. Arlene McGarrahan says:

    I love how you used the new-to-me burrito method to attach the collar to the main body of your jacket. Did you attach the collar before you sewed in the sleeves?

    • I did already have the sleeves sewn in because I was somewhat following the instructions. But doing the collar before the sleeves is a great idea as there would be less fussing with the extra bulk in your burrito.

  5. Stitchwiz says:

    The beauty of this pattern is that it is flattering to almost all body types. (I haven’t found anyone that isn’t complimented by this style.)
    Thank you for reworking the instruction sheet for me. This is the most time consuming part of any sewing project for me. I can’t remember the last time I followed the instructions as they were printed. 🙂
    Somehow the designers must have missed the
    ‘Knits 101’ course when they were in school.
    I have figured out many shortcuts over the years and it is great to finally have a name for the technique you call the burrito method! I’ve been doing this for 40 years and didn’t have a good way to describe it. (Must be all the snow outside, so I didn’t think about the hot burrito from the sunny south.)
    It’s never too late to teach this gal new tricks!
    Keep it the good work!

    • Oh yes, I think they’ve been copying and pasting instructions for years without rethinking them. I would love to hear any shortcuts you have. I’ll even help you name them or identify their names if they already have one. Fun times.

  6. Gail says:

    Another procrastinator who has not sewn this pattern yet. Love your version & your review is very helpful. I’m gonna get on the bandwagon soon – really! 🙂

  7. Jennifer says:

    You did a marvelous job on your houndstooth print version of this cardigan! I finally broke down today to buy this pattern. Now I just need to decide which fabric to make it out of for the trial version.

  8. Sandra says:

    Thanks so much for the tips, especially the burrito method. I have just purchased this pattern and will consult your blog before I assemble my project.

  9. Karen says:

    Thx so much for the detailed burrito instructions. Can’t wait to try it!!!

  10. aleah says:

    Okay, I totally missed the memo about this pattern, I guess. I’ve just seen two makes of it today and you both said how popular it is – huh, never seen it before today. I must be sewing under a rock. Anyway, it’s cute!
    Love the houndstooth fabric (and very appropriate for you, Det. HT!), it’s basically my favorite print for a jacket. (Especially for one used to sell fake watches on the street.)
    Can you please rip apart all Big 5 instructions on all future posts? So funny! I don’t even have the patience to read and mock them anymore. Still unclear why they haven’t gotten the working-with-knit-fabrics memo!

    • I guess it’s popular based on Pattern Review. It has 79 reviews and is one of the Best Patterns of 2013. It’s only been out for about a year.

      I’m not even sure why I read the instructions. I usually just ignore them outright. But when I started reading it was like a train wreck that you can’t look away from.

      I think you need a houndstooth version and we can both hit the streets hocking fake brolexes.

  11. Raye Ann Clayton says:

    Love it! The fabric is perfect and will be super versatile. Of course I want to make it now! Maybe in 4 years, lol 🙂

  12. Kat says:

    WOW. What a beautiful job. It looks beautiful on you.
    Thanks for all the instructions. I am going to try and sew this. Maybe I will have something that will turn out!

  13. Vanessa says:

    Wow! Your version is nice! I have this on my list to make for Fall, and I will keep your tips in mind.

  14. Mads says:

    Yours is one of my fave versions of this pattern yet–it’s so cool! Love the fabric and your points about the instructions, which I will reference if I ever get around to making this one. Re: that middle photo, I bet you’d be the prettiest fake watch vendor ever! =)

  15. Accordion3 says:

    Your photography and modelling skills have jumped a few levels. I can’t believe you’d sell fake Rolex’s…

  16. Kathy Sews says:

    Love this! I know… there a mega amounts of reviews of this pattern, and I will soon be another. I got on board and bought the pattern last month. I love your hounstooth print and the sneaky collar facing trick.

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