I’m sure I start every refashion post saying that I don’t refashion much. The hunt for good candidates can be taxing. If I go with the mindset that I’m treasure hunting, than pouring over racks of old clothes looking for good natural fibers in good condition feels worth it. Especially when new quality, natural fiber sweaters are crazy expensive.
Make a cardigan from an old sweater
On one such trip recently, I was about to pay for my items when I spied a gigantor old 100% cotton sweater. It was just my shade of green and was in excellent condition, so I picked it up. $3 for a sweater knit in my color–yay!.
I cut open everything and used my TNT T-shirt to cut my pieces, preserving only the hems. It is funny but you end up with a great deal less leftover fabric than you would think despite the fact that the original sweater was easily 5 sizes too big.
I cut up CF, making sure to add an extra 3/8″ to accommodate a placket. I had a feeling that this knit was going to grow on me, so I cut two pieces of a quilting cotton to use as a facing so that my buttonholes could go in without drama. This proved a smart move as the cotton added just the stability that I needed to make good buttonholes. As it turned out, after I had finished everything, the whole garment grew a couple of sizes after wearing it (glad also that I stabilized the shoulder with elastic!) and had to take it in at the sides further. Waffled knits ALWAYS grow!
I used the same cotton to make bias strips to finish the neckline. I like the contrast on the inside that this provides despite generally disapproving of finishing knits with bias tape.
I was thinking about embellishing the cardigan, but after I sewed the buttons on, I decided that the buttons were really enough for me. This is a pretty heavily textured knit, so anything I’d do would have to be equally textured, and I’m not sure how to do something that wouldn’t take away from the buttons. I might come up with a solution down the road, but not this moment.
It’s nice having a cap sleeve cardigan. This can be an awkward time of the year in Colorado temperature wise, and this adds just the right amount of warmth without being too heavy a sweater. It will certainly be a wardrobe staple this spring. Now if only I could find an old cashmere sweater…
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