Thursday, September 29, 2011

DIY: Pullover Sweater into a Cardigan

Here is one of my favorite DIY fashion sewing projects: making a pullover sweater into a cardigan. I love cardigans because they are so easy to layer and taking them off means I don't have to take off my glasses or wonder what does my hair look like now! I have broken down the steps so you too can change that lovely sweater you never wear into you new favorite piece of clothing!
This is also just in time for my class ReClaim Your Closet I am teaching at the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn on Saturdays in October. There is still room if you want to sign up and learn hands on sewing techniques to alter your own clothes.

Step 1: Make bias strips from fabric
My favorite technique in making a cardigan sweater is to use a knit fabric and cut bias strips to use as a binding around the cut edge of the sweater. Bias is the true diagonal 45 degree of fabric. You can easily find it by using a a ruler and a square. Draw diagonal lines the length of your sweater from neck to hem plus 2" of seam allowance. Each strip should be 3 wide.

Step 2: Stitch on either side of the center front of sweater
Find the exact center of the front of your sweater by laying it flat on a table and measuring equally from each side seam to center. Make a line of pins from neck line to hem.
Stitch on either side of the pin line with a size 3 stitch length. Then cut directly in between the two stitch lines. This will be your opening of your new cardigan.

Step 4: Bind the cut edges with the bias strips
Start by laying the bias strips face down on the right side of the sweater lining up the cut edges. Pin the strips to the sweater and stitch the bias to the sweater. Stitch about a half inch away from the cut edges.  
Now it is time to bind the edge of the sweater. Wrap the bias strip around to the inside of the sweater and tuck under a half inch of seam allowance. Pin as you fold under the seam allowance, then switch the pins to the right side of the sweater. Pin right along the edge of the bias making sure to catch the bias fold on the inside of the sweater.

Stitch right along the pin line, right where the the sweater and the bias meet. The stitches should catch just the edge of the bias fold on the underside.

Step 5: Last step hand stitch ends of bias
Trim the ends of the bias and tuck them inside. Then hand slip stitch the ends shut and give it a good press with an iron and your done!
Now you have a super cute cardigan sweater!
Stay tuned for more re-fashion DIY tutorials!

posted by Sarah

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