Thursday, October 25, 2012

How to Make a Mister Rogers Cardigan for a Daniel Tiger Fan

Fans that my son and I are of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, we've noticed that, on some episodes, there are little segments halfway through the show in which kids get to go on a factory tour, just like Mister Rogers himself used to do.  During these segments, the kids put on (and zip up!) a Mister Rogers sweater.  As far as I can tell, you can't buy cardigans like this anywhere -- regular readers of mine will already know how disinclined the Fred Rogers Company is in licensing their properties to merchandising.  So what to do?  Check it: you can put together a Mister Rogers/Daniel Tiger sweater just like I did for my stylish son (pictured above).  Like most online craft tutorials, this project mostly involves buying stuff.

(EDIT: The following couple paragraphs are out-of-date.  A reader tipped me off that the Heinz Center no longer sells the Mister Rogers patches.  But they can be ordered directly from the Fred Rogers Company here!)

The first thing to do is to head on over to the online gift shop at the Heinz History Center, which has a pretty impressive Mister Rogers section.  (Get the snowglobe while you're at it.  It's awesome.)  A little further down you'll see Mister Rogers trolley patches:

Order at least one, and when you get it, you'll get a Pittsburgh-themed greeting card thanking you for your purchase, signed by an actual sweet older lady (I assume from the handwriting), and here's what the patch looks like:

It doesn't have anything to do specifically with Daniel Tiger, but it's got the iconic trolley on it, and that's probably close enough for your little kid.  I've turned my kid into such a Mister Rogers nerd anyway that it doesn't matter to him.

Now you've got to get your cardigan.  Mister Rogers sometimes had button-up cardigans, but let's face it, that sweater's gotta ZIP. UP.  Land's End has pretty good ones.  Locally, we have a Land's End "Not Quite Perfect" store, where I found a returned, monogrammed cardigan for $22 (you'll see that the new ones online are a bit pricier).

It doesn't matter that it was monogrammed, because the patch goes right over it.  I dabbed some E-6000 glue on the back of the patch, and over the general area under it on the cardigan, just before I sewed it on, as a little extra adherence to the knitted surface (and because I strangely like the smell of E-6000).

Guess what?  Project's done.  Now your kid's rockin' it Daniel Tiger style in his/her own Mister Rogers sweater.

Have you made your own Mister Rogers sweater?  Be sure to let me know if you have!  Email pics and permission to post them to

Here's Sarah in her awesome red Daniel Tiger sweater:

EDIT: Be sure to check out my Daniel Tiger Red Trolley fabric print, now for sale at Spoonflower -- perfect for making Daniel Tiger pajamas!


  1. My daughter loves her "Daniel Tiger" sweater--thanks for the tip! (How can I send you a picture?)

    1. Thanks for writing, frogandtoad! You can email it to:

      Let me know if you want me to upload it to the blog, and how you'd like me to caption it (her name, or just "from a reader"). Either way it'd be great to see!
      Thanks -- Peter

  2. Any idea where we could find adult-sized sweaters that would be appropriate? I've done some searching, but can't find anything just right...

  3. Looks like the patches are no longer on the site :(

  4. Panda -- thanks for the heads up! I've looked into it, and I found that you can order the patches directly from the Fred Rogers Company:

    M. Braden -- I haven't looked for adult Mister Rogers sweaters... doesn't Land's End have anything close enough? Otherwise I'd hit the thrift stores. :)

  5. This is awesome. My 4yo has recently fallen in love with Daniel Tiger and I am going to make him his own sweater. Thanks for the tip. :)

  6. You can order just the Trolley ones by asking for the Daniel Tiger Neighborhood Trolley patch.

  7. Thanks for the sweater & fabric info!!! I am a novice at sewing but really want to try to make the pjs. Which type of fabric (cotton voile? other?) is best for making the pjs with the trolley print? I saw several options on spoon flower. Also, do you have a pattern or tutorial? I've found some online but have never sewn clothing before so I'm a bit intimidated.

  8. Also, are any of the fabric options on spoon flower fire resistant (since I read any pjs for kids should be fire resistant)? I live in a warm climate so I suppose some sort of cotton would be best.... Thanks & sorry for so many questions! This is the Mrs. by the way. :)

  9. Hi,
    I'm trying to make the cardigan for my son. I put the glue on the patch and sweater but it has seeped through and is all over the underside of the sweater that would touch his skin. Granted, he would probably always be wearing something under it, but it looks sloppy and it feels tacky to the touch. Do you have any suggestions? Also, do I need to put some kind of backing on the underside to help give the stitching something to grip, so to speak? I am NOT a seamstress but I really wanted to make this for him and it's just not turning out. :(

  10. Amanda, trying adding a fusable material for inside of the cardigan and stitch the patch (patch on top, cardigan and fusable material sandwich) ask at your local fabric stores they should be able to point you in the right direction.