Thursday, April 18, 2013

$10 Revamp to an old cardigan in 30 minutes!

My friend Kara recently dyed one of her stained sweaters and it gave me the idea to revamp some of my old cardigans I wasn't wearing.  I went into SF with my friend Quynh and we stopped by Britex (a super cool but VERY expensive craft and sewing store).  On the third floor I found some awesome gray velvet trim with a lace backing.


The velvet side is the "front" but the lace backing was too beautiful not to photograph.  It's this gray/green color.  I purchased 2 yards for $5/yard--totally worth it!  You could also buy a less expensive ribbon like a thick grosgrain which would be just as cute and cheaper.  Or dazzle it up more with fancier trim.  It's really up to you and your budget.

Supplies:
1)  Old cardigan;
2)  Scissors;
3)  Seam ripper (optional);
4)  Trim (at least 2 yards--measure around the neck of your cardigan and along the lengths where the buttons and button holes are--it will depend on how long your cardi is or what size--measure before you get your yardage cut!!!!!!!)
5)  Sewing machine (you can hand sew too but it will take forever plus a bottle of wine and some trashy tv);
6)  Corresponding thread (top thread should match your trim and bobbin thread should match your cardi);

Instructions:

1)  Select and old cardigan and a trim that you love.  Try the cardi on to make sure it fits.  If you hate the color, dye it first before you do the trim work.

I chose a cheap Old Navy sweater I have two of (you know--just in case I ruined it).


 2)  Start by removing the buttons from the sweater.  I used a scissor but you can also use a seam ripper (which I recommend--I have NO idea where my 52,401 seam rippers are in my craft room--I must buy one every time I go into JoAnn's but honestly, I am not the most organized person so I went with scissors!).
 3)  Once all of the buttons are removed, pin the trim around the neck of the cardigan, tucking about 3/4 of an inch of the trim into the interior of the cardi.
 4)  Sew along the edge closest to the neck edge first.  DON'T FORGET TO USE THE TRIM COLOR IN YOUR TOP THREAD AND YOUR CARDIGAN COLOR IN YOUR BOBBIN THREAD.
 5)  Then sew along the other edge of the trim that is farther away from your neck line.

 Here's what the neck looks like--you could have also kept your buttons on except the top button and just did the neck trim.  It's really up to what you want to do--experiment!  It's great to buy some thrift store sweaters or some cheap sale sweaters to practice on.  This was my first one I did and it did not turn out as perfectly as I wanted it to....but I'm sure by the 4th one it will be fabulous!
 6)  Pin the formerly button side, or button hole side and sew like the neck. 

TIP:  THE SIDE THAT HAD THE BUTTON HOLES PROBABLY HAS SOME SORT OF RIBBON OR BIAS TAPE THAT IS ALREADY AFFIXED TO THAT SIDE WHICH WILL MAKE THAT SIDE ONE LENGTH AND THE SIDE WITH THE BUTTONS STRETCHIER.  MAKE SURE YOU ACCOUNT FOR THE DIFFERENCE WHEN YOU SEW AND TRY AND KEEP THE STRETCHY SIDE TAUGHT SO YOU DON'T END UP WITH TWO DIFFERENT LENGTH CARDI SIDES (ahem yes that happened with this sweater....)
 7)  Here's the final product (without the length discrepancy which I am shamefully hiding from you).
It's such an easy and fun project and can really transform the simplest cardigan to be something special. 


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