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How To Turn a Sweater into a Cardigan

Dec 14, 2010 by

So I have this problem a lot… I buy Winter clothes because they’re pretty but  you know, living in Australia and all, I don’t have that much use for them. Winter clothes are just prettier though!

Tutorial- Reshaping a Sweater into a Cardigan

This brings me to my current situation, I bought this jumper when I was 16 and living in North QLD (which for those overseas is ridiculously hot. There are pretty much 2 seasons: Summer and slightly more Summer with rain) and it never really fit in the right way. The neckline was really high and the middle had no shape, the shoulders didn’t sit right and generally it just made me look out of proportion… but the pattern was so pretty! So I’ve lugged this stupid sweater around through 3 cities, 7 houses and various different climates. Now living somewhere it does actually get kind of cold I thought “Hey! I’ll finally get to wear it!”… Then I didn’t. I didn’t wear it once through the whole damn Winter.

This time when I decided to clean out my wardrobe it didn’t make the cut… but somehow I still couldn’t let the damn thing go! So I decided to see if I could alter it and make it wearable XD That’s a long intro for this one tutorial but this is going to be the first in a lot of sewing tutorials as I become more ruthless with my wardrobe!

So this is how it started:

Tutorial- Reshaping a Sweater into a Cardigan

I decided to turn it into a cardigan.

So fold the edge over:

Tutorial- Reshaping a Sweater into a Cardigan

Fold it over again so the raw edge in sandwiched inside:

Tutorial- Reshaping a Sweater into a Cardigan

Thread your needle and using a blanket stitch start going down the seam.

Tutorial- Reshaping a Sweater into a Cardigan

This is the close up on what it should look like:

Tutorial- Reshaping a Sweater into a Cardigan

You could easily run down the seam with a sewing machine but this method (if you’re careful) won’t leave visible stitches on the front of the cardi.

Tutorial- Reshaping a Sweater into a Cardigan

Repeat on the other side and you’re finished!

Tutorial- Reshaping a Sweater into a Cardigan

Now you need some way to close it, you could add a button or ribbons very easily but I decided to leave it as-is and make sweater clips. I’ll show you how to make those tomorrow!

Because I took out a good couple of inches in the middle for the seams it’s now a whole lot more flattering and form fitting. I haven’t decided if I want to do anything else with it yet, I’m thinking it might benefit from some pretty embroidery or possibly some more shaping in the arm area. We’ll see! And if I decide to do it I will definitely post photos!

Tutorial- Reshaping a Sweater into a Cardigan

So there you go, first sewing tutorial in ages. More to come though, I’ll be digging out my sewing machine later this week to do some real work on it and everything XD

30 comments so far! Leave another?

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  • http://miniblog.create-magical-nails.com/ Minnie

    Well done Princess!! I love the colour of the sweater too☆ It’s beautiful! It’s true we don’t have much chance to enjoy fluffy cute cuddly winter clothes so often here:)) People wear T shirts during winter, lol!!

    • http://www.violetlebeaux.com Violet

      Hahaha tshirt during Winter is so true! When I lived in North QLD there was no Winter at all *_*

  • http://ricebunnei.blogspot.com/ Eli

    Nice tutorial! I would put this to use but here I’d actually need the sweater! The weather here is either hot and gross or freezing. We don’t really get much of an in between. But thanks for the tutorial! And, I love the colour of it. <3

    • http://www.violetlebeaux.com Violet

      That sounds horrible! I can’t stand the heat at all, I just want to run away somewhere cold so I can have hot chocolate in the Summer!

  • http://www.fyeahlolita.com/ Caro

    Great tutorial! I would love to do something like this, as I’m always in need of cardigans but can never find cute ones!

    • http://www.violetlebeaux.com Violet

      They’re really hard to find here to but thrift stores are alway full of old jumpers like this :D

  • http://biggreendinosaur.blogspot.com BGDino

    Extremely clever sweater surgery!

    • http://www.violetlebeaux.com Violet

      Thanks Dino!

  • http://hearmumroar.com Hear Mum Roar

    I love that idea! I would love to do one with ribbon or bias as edging.

    • http://www.violetlebeaux.com Violet

      That would be completely adorable :D

  • http://nails.blogmesin.com Rabbit

    It is a great tutorial. I never thought that I can do something like this with my sweaters. I already know which one will have a meeting with the scisors :) Thanks for a good idea!

    • http://www.violetlebeaux.com Violet

      Hahaha I would love to see photos if you do it!

  • http://beautymeetskawaii.blogspot.com Melanie

    This is such a great idea Violet! I’ve got heaps of Winter clothes that I just can’t wear. I know exactly what you mean about the two types of Summer – I live in North Queensland.

    Kisses, Melanie

    • http://www.violetlebeaux.com Violet

      I totally feel your pain! I actually bought this is Townsville and I have no freaking idea why, there was no way I was ever going to wear it XD

  • http://angelshinigami.blogspot.com/ Kathleen

    Great Tutorial! Simple and effective. If I wore knits, I would have to try this, and still might if I find a print I like. I can never find a cardigan that fits right…this may just be the solution ^_^

    • http://www.violetlebeaux.com Violet

      :D Good luck with it!

  • http://www.cutexcoco.blogspot.com Tasja

    Great ^^

    and you changed your layout!
    I like it ^^!

    • http://www.violetlebeaux.com Violet

      Yep, it’s a work in progress but I’m loving it so far :D

  • http://riechanster.blogspot.com Riechan

    lovely tutorial!! Oh please make more of these tuts! perhaps some winter ones like you did today ^^

    • http://www.violetlebeaux.com Violet

      It’s Summer here now though so you might need to wait until it gets a big colder XD

  • http://kindafancy.blogspot.com Alisa

    That is such a pretty color. I can see why you didn’t want to get rid of the sweater. What a great transformation. 2011 is the year I will learn to sew. I will be definitely using all of your tutorials! <3

    • http://www.violetlebeaux.com Violet

      Yay! I can’t wait to see what you make, I bet it’s going to be awesome and leopard-print-y!

  • http://cateaclysmic.blogspot.com Cate

    Great idea, definitely something I’m going to do to my sweaters now xoxo

    • http://www.violetlebeaux.com Violet

      Very glad to be helpful :D

  • lilybox

    this is too awesome! :D You’ve inspired me to try it now. :DD The best part is that the cardigan will be one of a kind. :DDD

    • http://www.violetlebeaux.com Violet

      Exactly! I hope you give it a try <3

  • http://www.femininebravery.com/ Charlie

    lovely tutorial, looks simple enough!

    xxx Charlie
    Enter my Christmas Giveaway!

    • http://www.violetlebeaux.com Violet

      Thanks Charlie!

  • http://feastonthecheap.net feastonthecheap.net

    Besides running a food blog with my daughter (link removed, please see comments policy -Violet),I am an avid knitter, and also totally into economy. This is just such a terrific suggestion and I’m already mentally choosing those sweaters that need your nifty conversion! So glad I stumbled on your site. Will be back for more tips of your neat tips. Best, Mary Annee

    • http://www.violetlebeaux.com Violet

      I’m very glad you enjoyed the tutorial ^_^ Come back soon!