Deconstruction, Reconstruction: How to make a Draped Cardigan (Mancandy; Behind The Seams)

Hi everyone!

Mancandy - Fall/Winter 10/11

Here is a deconstruction of an inspiration piece by Mancandy. It is a draped cardigan and caught my attention when it featured in Wallpaper magazine's November issue. Its current collection is reportedly based on the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico- creating flowy and loose shapes with its designs. Call me cheap, but I wanted to make something similar to wear myself :)

I will be reconstructing it using a technique shown by Behind The Seams (BTS) as my starting point. There are quite a few DIY projects on this fashion blog, have a look!


From the front the Mancandy cardigan looks like it was probably made from five separate pieces of cloth: the two front torso pieces, two arm pieces, and the back piece.


Step 1:
I usually like to start with something that is already wearable, so I made a draped wrap according to BTS' how-to.
Step 2:
Cut the two front pieces and the back - by slashing two vertical cuts across the armholes.
Step 3:
For the hanging front
1) Grab the two front pieces, shape and cut two wide curves on the hem.
2) Fold the raw edges twice and iron it down, so that the raw edge is hidden.
3) If it's a bit hard to fold a curved edge, you could pinch & fold down any bumps on your seam.
4) Stitch down these fold, you've just hemmed the front drapey part!
Step 4:
1) Using a new piece of cloth, cut two sleeves and sew them.
2) I went for a batwing sort of shape, the wider your armhole the better :)
3) Folding your sleeve piece in half, sew your sleeve closed on the underside. 
4) Do the same for the other sleeve.
Step 5:
Attach the sleeves onto the front of cardigan
1) Measure 9 inches/22.5 cm down from the top of the front piece of the cardigan. 
2) Pin your sleeve there, make sure you only pin one layer.
3) Flip over the sleeve to check that you haven't pinned the other side. You might sew your sleeve closed.
4) Stitch it down, again be careful not to sew your sleeve closed.
5) Do the same for the other sleeve and front piece.
Step 6:
Attach the sleeves to the back of the cardigan
1) Measure 9 inches/22.5cm down from the top of the back piece of the cardigan.
2) Pin the sleeve and again, pin just one layer.
3) Sew :)

Step 7:
Putting the cardigan together/Joining the front & back
1) Line up your back and one of your front pieces together. 
2) Pin, right sides facing, but skip the sleeves. Again 'cos you don't want to accidentally sew them closed.
3) Sew the front and back pieces together. 
4) Try to take your stitch as close to your sleeve as possible to minimise gaps between the separate pieces, but don't sew the actual sleeve.

Finishing up:
1) Hem the top edge (your collar).
2) Hem the bottom, feel free to make your cardigan as long/short as you like. 
3) Hem your wrists too, if you feel like it. I just tucked mine in. 


After I finished I realised that my armholes were a bit tight, hahaha... you might like to make your armholes & sleeves a bit bigger to get that flowy look.

Try wearing this as beach cover-up over your swimsuit, or as a summer night, light jacket. Or during the day with denim shorts!

What do you think?

What variations would you have made?

Was this tutorial easy to understand?


  1. This is really nice! I want one!

  2. aww thanks katie! I can make you one if you like! still owe you a bday pres :)


Hope you feel inspired and creative- thanks for taking the time to read and comment back.