Refashion / Sew / Upcycle

Pullover to Cardigan Refashion

I love this pullover’s bright colour and the merino wool fabric. Value village (VV) score for 8 bucks, with no holes, no stains, and most importantly coming from a rookie thrifter, NO MOTHBALL SMELL. On the same VV run when I got this sweater, I also managed to acquire a genuine leather skirt….and with this genuine leather skirt, I tainted the washing machine and a whole bunch of other clothes with mothball stench. Ugh! You’re probably wondering why I put leather in the washing machine in the first place. I thought I would “vintagize it”…rough it up a bit, but no, not even that was achieved. After running baking soda through the washer and then a couple cycles of vinegar after that, the washer was left open for a few days and was declared cured of its mothball status. My other clothes were hung for days. I haven’t put them through the wash again but I hope that the water won’t re-release hidden mothball scent!! The merino wool sweater was thankfully not affected by this whole shenanigan as I carefully hand washed it separately. And as for the leather skirt….it is in the garbage, sadly! There was no way that 50+ years of mothball stench would ever come out of that thing. I was going to use the fabric to make a bag or add to some refashions. Ahhhhh well…I’m sure there will be more thrifted leather to come. And so I’ve learned to carefully smell all thrift finds before purchasing.

I find that I get more use out of cardigans more than pull over sweaters. So, here goes the pullover sweater to cardi transformation…

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ummmm what kind of face is that?!

Chopped it right down the middle. I would have gone asymmetrical, however I didn’t want to mess with the collar.

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This fabric will not fray. Hooray!

I wanted to add something to the middle. Not a button placket, though. I looked through my fabric stash and found this fabric which picked up some of the blue in the sweater.

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I cut two long pieces of fabric the same size. I knew I wanted to ruffle or pleat the fabric, so it had to be longer than the cardi but I wasn’t sure exactly how long. Ahhh well, I took a wild guess!!

I folded these pieces in half, right side to right side. Then stitched them down to make tubes. Matthias had a marvelous idea- forget the old safety pin method of pulling the fabric through…we used a small wooden dowel with the fabric taped at one end. It took about 5 seconds whereas the safety pin method takes at least 5 minutes!

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you can’t see the dowel but it is in there and it is doing a fine job of expediting this process!

After struggling with ruffling (the thread kept breaking), I decided to do pleats instead. Pin pleat, pin pleat, repeat, repeat, repeat….and didn’t even think about allocating the material evenly until I got near the bottom and realized that WOW- this material was, by coincidence, the right length! Lucky.

Annnnd then sewed those pleats down:

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At this point I tried it on and realized it needed some sort of closure at the top. My button hole foot was NOT playing nice. I did THREE perfect practice runs on scrap fabric and then when it came time to perform…look what happened! I have no idea what went wrong. But obviously something did!

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uh oh!

Well it was definitely a deformed button hole, but button holes are covered by buttons…so it only needed to be functional (and thankfully it was). Next was hand sewing a vintage button of choice on (from nonna’s stash).

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Thanks nonna for the great buttons!

And what would a refashion be without a bit of lace? I added some to the sleeves.

Annnd here’s the final product:

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Not bad!

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Love the gold button!

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The lace is from a tank top I cut up for a previous refashion

I definitely think I’ll do this again to thrifted merino or cashmere pullovers! Of course, I will smell them before purchasing 😉

BEFORE                                                  AFTER

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4 thoughts on “Pullover to Cardigan Refashion

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