Monday, March 21, 2011

Embellished Cardigan

Many of my favorite clothes are thrifted, including this 90's vintage cotton sweater.  It's drab, boxy, and has rather hideous yellowed buttons.  On the plus side, it's well-made and just the right length for me.  Maybe that's why I can't get rid of it:

But in the spring, a sewer's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of new clothes, or, in the Micawber household, updated versions of existing garments. Time to give this sweater a facelift with some little fabric roses and stems.  What I had in mind:

What I ended up with:

The flowers were inspired by these gorgeous rolled fabric roses from Portabellopixie.  Since I'm not the large-flower type, I figured I'd scale them down, using bias tubes for flexibility, and tucking the ends in underneath for washability without fraying.

Tiny rolled fabric roses.

I made some bias tube stems as well, and played around with the arrangement until it fell into place.  (The fabric-covered button idea was scrapped at this point):

Funny how designs rarely work out the way we plan.  But I was happy with it.   Got the flowers and stems pinned/basted:

Then set to work blind-stitching them in place.  All the bias tube ends were turned in and stitched to prevent fraying.

Once the flowers were all sewed down, Threads Magazine provided the inspiration for the fabric knot buttons, which also got the turned-in ends treatment:

And the final step:  take the sides in a bit to control some of that boxiness.

When I wore it to work, a co-worker asked if I'd gotten a new sweater. Guess the facelift worked!

P.S.  Thanks to all these GREAT sites for their fantastic sweater remake inspiration:

Thimbly Things
Crap I've Made (and can't we all agree with that name?)
Academic Chic
Wardrobe Refashion
Naturally Inspired Mama
Sew Petite Gal
Adventures in Dressmaking

And to Tip Junkie for her awesome assemblage of fabric flower tutorials.


  1. I'm crazy over your "new" cardigan. You did a knock-up job!

  2. Wow, thanks! I thought this post was buried in blog oblivion. :)


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