Geometric Sweater Knit Cardigan: Burda Magazine 11/2012

I’ll be honest with you. I don’t usually care much for sewn cardigans. And, when people were getting on board the waterfall cardigan train three years ago, I happily passed.  They don’t have the fitted look I seem to like in hand knit sweaters. But, I fell for the feel of this Burda waterfall cardigan (they call it a waistcoat) when it appeared in the 11/2012 edition (#137 available on the BurdaStyle website for download for $5.40).

They recommended using a lightweight mohair, but I wanted to use this thick and cozy geometric sweater knit from Mood fabrics. This is a non-knitting sewists dream material! Warm and spongy, with amazing recovery.

The pattern though, is a massive, fabric-eating PITA. You see, I purchased two yards of this sweater knit from Mood when it first went up on the site. Then, a few months later, it was 50 percent off of the original $18! I jumped at the chance and bought two more yards so I could make this cardi.

But, I didn’t heed the Burda directions and decided to cut my back on the fold — unlike the single layer layout I was directed to use (2 yards). Of course, this meant that I could only squeeze one  single ‘front’ from the leftovers (2 yards). So, I had to order another two yards of the knit so I could have all three peices.

For those who may be lost, that means it took me six yards and three orders to make one sweater because I’m an idiot. Pieces of it were laid out in my living room for so long, my Chihuahua Linus took to sleeping on it.

The pattern and sewing are fairly simple at 1.5 dots. I made zero alterations for fit and sewed a 40 to allow for my bust and my lack of adjustments for my wide lower thighs. I also didn’t match the motifs at the side or front.  To finish the edges, I just serged the edges.

Along the neckline and shoulder seams, I used cotton shirting selvedge  to stablize the seams and prevent stretching.

The fabric is thick, so lots of steams and my  clapper was used to open the seams as flat as possible. I loved my fabric choice. This sweater is WARM!! Office peeps loved it and I’ve worn it all weekend too.

Now, the only problem with using the thicker fabric, is that it’s not flattering at the middle. You can see here that the intergrated collar and scarf is already double once, then doubles again when folded.  If you’re at all self-conscious about thickness at your waist — this isn’t the the waterfall for you. I look about four months preggers from the side.

The tie belt does afford some waist definition, but I’ll be on the lookout for a wide, elastic stretch belt to use instead.

Overall, fabric hog but great pattern and super cozy in a thick knit.

The material for this sweater was purchased in part using an allowance from Mood Fabrics for the Mood Sewing Network


  1. Love it!!
    Looks great on you! Color is dramatic.
    I’m not as brave as your when it comes to print

  2. Firstly, I love and you look terrific. Secondly, I love that not everything goes smoothly for you because I get very despondent when this stuff happens to me and think ‘i’m not good at this’. Well, clearly YOU are and it’s okay to be an *idiot* sometimes. Off to the sewing room!

  3. You can’t nitpick about bulk when you’re having historic snow storms :-). And this one looks very warm and cozy, as well as gorgeous all around. But why are you using something stable, hyper-stable, for your seams? Clear polyurethane elastic is what will stabilize your knit seams (even bulky ones) while retaining a functional degree of stretch.

  4. The color is great and I love the fabric, certainly much better than the lavender BS used. I think that it looks much better the way you styled it as well. It’s better for pants or jeans I think. Nice.

  5. All things bright and beautiful! Wear it with the tie belt undone and it won’t look so lumpy around the middle.

  6. I agree with Gail. I think it is very slimming worn without the tie. I love it! These waterfall cardigans have not grabbed me either, but maybe since I have seen yours, I will reconsider. I had the feeling I would feel like I was wearing my blanket out and about. I have never been one to wear the latest trends with ease. It certainly looks great on you.

  7. What a great fabric and what a great look! I”ve always liked the waterfall sweaters even at my 5’2″ height, but I’ve never worn sleeveless. Now I want sleeveless – your sweater is super flattering especially without the belt. Love it 🙂

  8. I think it’s a lovely jacket, but I wouldn’t call it a cardigan, I reserve that for knitted pieces. But it looks great & your sewing is inspiring for me, maybe I’ll drag out some stuff & start sewing again…

  9. Oh, that is lovely. I made a belt for myself a while ago. I bought 5″ wide belting elastic, used some scraps of black satin and heavy interfacing to make a few inches that would loop around either side of the clasp belt closure and voila. I wear it all the time.

  10. I totally love this and will order some of that fabric now that I’ve seen it sewn up. I;m going to buy a new serger – do you have any tips? What do you have?

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