No Sewing Machine Required Refashion – Old or Too Big Sweaters into Cardigans
Sweater season is here! Don’t take that exclamation point as excitement; I actually despise the cold weather. I’m not a big fan of big bulky coats and bundling up, but I do enjoy a cute sweater. Even more enjoyable than sweaters: a super cute cardigan. With the holiday’s just ending, my bank account is not allowing me to go and spend a whole lot, but my taste is a bit richer than said bank account. Sigh… I guess I just have to be creative!
This was a good time for me to take a trip to the back, and I mean the way back of my closet. You know where all those things that don’t fit anymore but you refuse to get rid of them live. Hey if I can’t magically erase some “extra” Tasha to fit into it, I might as well use some repurposing magic and give it a whole new life! If you don’t happen to have this kind of a stash in your closet; a.) You are in need of a trip to goodwill or b.) If you happen to still look great in everything you have ever bought, then bravo to you and buy yourself something expensive and shiny because you deserve it!
Now I did happen to find a couple of sweaters in my closet that would do just the trick, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying a trip to Goodwill! Goodwill is a magical place for crafters like me. Everything can be turned into something fantastic, and it is super cheap!! Well on this particular trip I didn’t happen to find any refashionable sweaters, but I did just so happen to see this gorgeous beauty.
A Vera Bradley messenger style bag, seeing that it was legit Vera Bradley I expected a good chunk of change to be on the price tag. Oh but fret not my dears, that beast was only $3.99!!!! I am pretty sure some of you may have audibly said “Shut the front door!” or something to that nature; because I surely did! Ok enough showing off my great find back to the cardigans.
Here are the supplies you will need for this:
· A sweater ( or two or four or nine)
· Heat n Bond Iron on Adhesive Hem tape
· Measuring tape
· Scissors and/or Rotary cutter
· Lace or Bias tape (Optional)
· Iron and Ironing board.
To get started I turn my sweater inside out. That way any marks I make on the sweater won’t be seen.
Then measure the width of the sweater to determine the center.
Once you have that, mark down the middle.
I then take the cardigan and place it over the edge of the ironing board.
I have electric scissors (call them what you will, I totally know they are the lazy man’s scissors, but oh well I like them) that I use for things like this. That way I am only cutting just the side I want and it is a straight line. You can take a larger quilting square and put it down the sweater and cut down the line with a rotary cutter too if you prefer.
Once the sweater has been cut down the middle you will take the iron on adhesive and cut a strip to the length of the front of the cardigan and place it along the edge.
There is usually a smooth side and then kind of a gripy side to the adhesive. It really doesn’t matter which side you lay flat, because you are going to fold the edge over. Then take your iron and iron flat the new hem/edge.
Repeat this process for both sides. This gives the cardigan a nice clean edge.
I know it is hard to tell in this picture, so here is another view of the edge.
Now you can determine how many buttons you want to go on the front of your cardigan. I debated between 3 and 4 and eventually 4 won.
I am kind of OCD about things and wanted to measure down the front of the edge so I could evenly place my buttons.
I absolutely hate math, but when it comes to crafting I all of a sudden remember it all and feel like a math genius. It usually doesn’t last long and then I have to go back to adding with my fingers and toes :) .
Before you sew on your buttons, if you have any lace or bias tape or ribbon that you might want to add to the edge to pretty it up a bit, try it out. I didn’t have a lot that I liked with this sweater so I tried out this lace.
It is a pretty lace but with the busyness of the button’s I didn’t want it to compete. If you happen to have just plain buttons then adding the lace or ribbon might be just what you want.
Hand sew on the buttons where you marked. If this is a too small sweater that won’t be a cardigan that buttons up you are finished! If you want to add button holes you can. You can do one of two things to figure out where your button holes go, 1.) Put on the cardigan and butt up the edges and mark it. Or, 2.) Overlap the button hole edge over the edge with the buttons and make a mark. I chose option 2.
Once the marks have been made I found the easiest way to cut the button holes without them looking jagged (you have to remember that the edge is now thicker and has the strength of the adhesive on its side, so it may not be easy to just cut with scissors) is to fold the mark in half like so,
And then take your rotary cutter and cut the edge. It isn’t easy to take a picture and cut with the same time… unless I wanted to lose the tip of one of my fingers (and I just had my nails done so I would rather not have nice pretty nails and a nubbin), so I couldn’t get a picture of that process. Because of the knit of the fabric the clean slice can be well hidden and looks nice.
After all button holes are cut to size, test it out. Button that baby up and see how it looks!
Here is my finished product!
And here is the other sweater too! This one wasn’t too small it just fit really funny and now it works great!
If you are wondering how long it took to make these, from start to finish maybe 15 minutes. That is the great part about them being no sewing machine required. I’m pretty sure it took me longer to write the blog… and get distracted with looking at old pictures on my computer… whoopsie, than it did to make one of these! If you try this out please feel free to let us know how yours turned out. We would love to hear feedback from you guys!