Thursday, 30 April 2015

Wool sweater to cardigan refashion

I just love wool sweaters. Last year I was give a large mans wool sweater. I originally planned to boil it and felt the wool, but on closer inspection it was actually in good contition.
I adore wearing cardigans, they are great for layering and fab for spring when a jacket is too heavy but it's still too cool to go with short sleeves.

I used the pattern from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual. It was my first make from the book, and it won't be the last! I cut a size 6. I kept the original hem and cuffs, but had to find a way of binding the neck edge.

In the end I cut a strip of the sweater and treated it like I would a jersey binding. the results were great.

To prevent the neck and front edges stretching out of shape I applied a thin strip of interfacing. I also used ribbon to form a button band.

Wisely I tested the buttonhole first on a scrap, and it's a good job I did, as the knit fabric jammed and got caught in the button hole foot on two tries. I ended up folding a piece of baking paper around the edge and sewing the button hole over the top. this worked very well. It stabilised the fabric and was easy to tear away afterwards.

It's actually quite a while since I made this and I have worn it LOADS. It's a good basic cardy and great for layering. I need to make more of these.


  1. Exactly what I want to do! I was looking for someone who had done it and shared hints! :)
    Question. When you say you treated the strip of sweater applied to the neckline "exactly like a jersey binding," what exactly do you mean? Thanks! :)

  2. Ahh, I found this on another page: "The bindings for the neck and armscyes are cut at 95% of the required length and sewn in the round, folded over to completely seal in the raw edges. It gives a great finish but is a little bulky, i'd make this a single fold next time."

    Do you have any more hints for someone who has never done it before? I do know how to use binding, but have never done it with stretchy knit fabrics, much less with a big knitted loose-weave sweater I'm cutting down. Anything will help unless it's so simple my question is silly. :)

  3. I find this tutorial is useful. It's where I started when I first did this sort of finish.


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