Wednesday, May 1, 2013

DIY Cardigan Sweater Refashion


{Gloria here.} I just love cardigans.  I prefer them to pullovers because they're so much easier to put on and take off.  Also, we live in a lovely temperate climate... and sometimes you need a sweater, but then later it gets too warm and that thing just has to come off.  :)

So, this means I love re-fashioning sweaters into cardigans.  Let me show you how it's done! :)



You will need:
  • A pullover sweater
  • Fabric 
  • Interfacing 
  • Snaps
  • Matching thread


  • You will need two pieces of fabric for the binding.  Measure the length of the front of the sweater and add at least 3 inches. My measurement was 23 inches.  I chose to make the binding a finished 1 inch wide so I had to cut it 3 inches to start. You can make it narrower or wider depending on your taste and adjust measurements accordingly. :) My strip was 3" by 23".
  • Cut two strips of fabric and cut two pieces of interfacing the same size.
  • Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric.  Press over 1/2 inch on one long edge.





  • Find the center of the sweater by measuring across it.  I didn't show it in the picture but you might want to slide something stiff like cardstock or a wide ruler in the sweater so you don't pin the two layers together or cut the back of the sweater.
  • Pin the center line.  Cut it open.  This cable sweater made it easy because the cables gave me a nice line to follow.
  • Pin the unpressed long edge of the fabric to the sweater right sides together.  Leave some fabric hanging over the neckline and bottom of the sweater. This will be tucked in later. Sweaters are stretchy so be sure the two edges are the same length after you pin on the fabric strips.  
  • Using a 1/2 inch seam, stitch together with the sweater on the bottom as you go otherwise it will pucker.



  • Press sweater toward the fabric, (make sure the iron isn't too hot).
  • On the piece hanging over the end, turn under the fabric by the seam.   Press.
  • Turn over the fabric to line up nicely with the sweater and press.  (You may want to trim it a little before turning.)
  • Fold the fabric over the sweater so it is past the seam that you just stitched.  Press and pin.
  • Before you start sewing, hold the two threads and pull with a gentle steady pressure as you begin to sew. That will help the machine get started sewing smoothly and not get bogged down.
  • Stitch the fabric down using a narrow seam as shown in the picture.
  • Measure out where you want the snaps so they are evenly placed.  Stitch them on.




Voila!  You are done!!

It is important to use matching thread so that when you sew the sweater, the thread doesn't show.

You could always use buttons and make buttonholes instead of snaps.  Also, I have made several cardigans with zippers and hope to show you that tutorial some time in the future.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.  We are happy to help!

Happy sewing!

 You will find us linked up at some of these fine sites. And at Common Ground. 

58 comments:

  1. Great work, love it!!!Thanks so much for sharing tutorial! Would love to have you visit me sometime.
    Have a fabulous week!
    Hugs from Portugal,

    Ana Love Craft
    www.lovecraft2012.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Ana! Wow, from Portugal? That's so cool! We love hearing where our visitors are from. :) You have a fabulous week too!

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  2. Love this. Thanks for sharing at Trendy Treehouse! I think I have a few sweaters I can do this too!

    xoxo, Tara

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    1. You're very welcome, Tara, and it's our pleasure... we love the Trendy Treehouse! :D Hope your sweaters turn out splendidly! ;)

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  3. Hi~ Stopping by today to tell you that I have nominated you for The Liebster Award~ For more information head over to:
    http://www.turnips2tangerines.com/2013/05/liebster-award-nomination.html

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    1. Hi Lynn! That was so very sweet of you to nominate us, but we've actually decided not to accept blog awards - thanks so much anyway! :)

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  4. That is so cool! I might have to try it one day.

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    1. It's a great way to turn something rarely used into a new favorite piece! We hope you'll like the result if you decide to do it yourself. :D

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  5. Lovely tutorial! Thank you for stopping by my page. I am hosting a link party tomorrow and would love for you to stop by and link up your refashioned sweater =)

    -Amy
    www.thestitchinmommy@gmail.com

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    1. Thanks Amy! We're glad you liked the tutorial, and happy that you came to visit us as well. :) Thanks for the invite, we love linky parties!

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  6. Cute!!! I love the fabric you added to the sweater! It looks great as a cardigan!

    Navy Wifey Peters @ Submarine Sunday Link Party
    http://usscrafty.blogspot.com/2013/04/submarine-sunday-29.html

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    1. Thank you! Oh, I know, Mama is such a genius about pairing fabrics... :D Now I'm hoping to get a few of my pullovers converted to cardigans like this! Adorbs! :D

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  7. Love this.. Thanks for sharing the tutorial, I think I may be able to do this..

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    1. You are very welcome, let us know how you liked it if you decide to try it! :)

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  8. WHat a fun idea! Thx for the tutorial. Happy May :)

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    1. You're welcome, and a very happy May to you too! Isn't May such a lovely month? :)

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  9. Great tutorial! I have a few sweaters that {ahem} may or may not have become a little snug... and this would be a great alternative to keep them while getting a little more "space" ;) Found your link at Happy Hour {Project}Friday!

    Jill @mamaging.com

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    1. I hear ya, Jill! I found the cutest peach pullover sweater for a steal at a thrift store, only to get home and realize it wasn't quite as big as it looked on the hanger... I think it needs this refashion. :D And lace. :D
      Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  10. sweeet! It look terrific. Thank you for sharing at the hop my sweet bloggy friend xo

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    1. Thanks Katherine!! :) We love blog hops. ;)

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  11. Gloria! This is so cute! What a beautiful repurpose. Thank you for sharing and thank you for the visit and sweet comment at The Dedicated House. Would love it if you would share this great post at my Make it Pretty Monday party which goes live at 8am CDT on Monday. Here's this week's link if you want to check it out. http://thededicatedhouse.blogspot.com/2013/04/make-it-pretty-monday-week-47.html I also have a series on Before and After where this sweater repurpose would be great. Anyhoo, hope to see you at the bash. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

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    1. Thank you! :) I'll be happy to share the post on Monday and thanks for the invite! I'll check out the Before and After, too! You have a great site!
      See you Monday,
      Gloria

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  12. Hi! Found you via the Nifty Thrifty Things linky party! This is such a great idea. I have a very similar sweater in yellow that I should do this too! I'm pinning for future reference.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Cheers,
    Julia
    It's Always Ruetten

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    1. Hi Julia! Haha- it's too fun meeting other people who share my name. This would be really cute and spring-y in yellow! Thanks for pinning our post!

      ~Julia

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  13. Your sweater make over looks wonderful, cute fabric you used with it!

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    1. Thanks Krystie! I agree, Mama's choice of fabric was FAB. ;) Lol!

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  14. This is great. Thank you for sharing. I have a sweater that would be perfect for this.


    Handmade at Warratahstree

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    1. Awesome! Let us know how you liked the makeover for your sweater! :)

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  15. Hi, I'm a new follower and new blogger! I found you on Inspire Me Monday and I love this post!! How creative! Thanks for sharing... Please follow me on my blog at http://mybutterflyhaus.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for following us, Elizabeth, and we're happy you liked the post. :D You have a cute blog! I followed you on Bloglovin'. :)

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  16. LOVE it Julia!! So original!!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer... From Dream to Reality! Can't wait to see what you share tomorrow evening!

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    1. Hi Christine! Thank you!! It's actually my sweet mom Gloria who deserves all the praise for this project. ;) But she reads all the comments too. ;)

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  17. What a great idea. I have to try this soon.

    Lindsay
    Thegigsdigs.blogspot.ca

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    1. We hope you enjoy your refashioned sweaters, Lindsay! :D Thanks!

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  18. This is nice, love it!!!! :-)

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  19. I'm super impressed!! We live in Hong Kong, so I know what you mean about the temperate climate. Emily @ Nap-Time Creations

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    1. Hong Kong! WOW! :D Too cool! Thanks for stopping by! :) Yes, cardigans are great choices for warmer climes. ;)

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  20. Ladies
    What a Great Idea! I have a few sweaters that need this treatment. I'm visiting you today from Sugar Bee. I co-host a Linky Party Tuesdays and would LOVE for you to add this. I hope you get a chance to stop by my blog, leave a comment and Link Up, too!
    ~ Megin of VMG206
    Join me each Tuesday for Brag About It Link Up Party

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    1. Hi Megin! Nice to have you come by again!! We'd love to join your linky party, thanks for the invitation! :)

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  21. That is so smart!! Thank you for linking up at SHOW-licious Craft Showcase!

    http://sew-licious.blogspot.com

    Marti

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    1. Hey Marti! Glad you liked the idea, we love the way it makes a little-used sweater into one of our fave grab-n-go's. :D

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  22. This is genius! I have a few freebie sweaters laying around that I might have to rethink sending to Goodwill.

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    1. Never donate what you can re-purpose, I always say! :D Of course, not everything can be refashioned... but this is a great way to save those pullovers you never wear. :D

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  23. Such a great and fun tutorial. I like it so much that it is being FEATURED at Tasty Thursdays this week. Thanks for linking up!! Nichi http://mandatorymooch.blogspot.com/2013/05/tasty-thursdays-40-and-giveaway.html

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    1. Yippeeeee! We love getting featured! Thanks so much! :)

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  24. Would love for you to share this at my link up where we pin all that join
    http://myfashionforwardblog.com/2013/05/09/all-things-pretty-number-7/

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    1. Hi Leslie, thanks for the invite! <3

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  25. Thank you for sharing! You will be one of the features tomorrow at the Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Pop on in and grab a feature button for your blog! Hope to see your prettiness again at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

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  26. I love this tute (and the cardi too), tx for sharing it :)
    MammaNene

    SergerPepper

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  27. Yes, how resourceful you are! I love your idea and will be copying it. Love, love, love it!
    His blessings,
    Kim @ Curtain Queen

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  28. Absolutely fabulous tutorial! If I didn't know better, I'd think you described Colorado with having to dress in layers! I love cardigans for that reason and I never thought about refashioning one! I will now!

    Jaye@justtryintomakecentsofitall.com

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  29. Absolutely fabulous tutorial! If I didn't know better, I'd think you described Colorado with having to dress in layers! I love cardigans for that reason and I never thought about refashioning one! I will now!

    Jaye@justtryintomakecentsofitall.com

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  30. I am very much into make do and mend and also love cardigans. This is a great idea. Thank you for sharing. I am now following and have pinned it. I am visiting from the dedicated house. :)

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  31. Great refashion! Pinning this. I am a fan of cardigans over pullovers too.

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  32. What a fun re-fashion! Love the pretty print you chose to go with the sweater. I'm thinking maybe ruffles on the edge for my own sweater re-do... Thanks for the great tutorial! Catherine (newest follower of your blogging adventures!) : )

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