DIY Cardigan | Tutorial

Aug 28, 2012

You know how you have a pile of clothes somewhere that you’re going to “eventually donate to Goodwill”?  Or perhaps the clothes that you have stuffed in the back of your closet that you can’t seem to throw out but never wear?  Why not do something with them??  Winter is swiftly approaching and I’m DETERMINED to revamp all of my old clothes and create myself a new wardrobe.

My first upcycling adventure started with a desire for a new cardigan.  Cardis are perfect for the colder months because they’re cute, versatile and comfortable.  But I hate clothes shopping and spending money…and both of those things would be required in order to rebuild my closet.  So a-sewing we will go!

I dug through my closet and found these bad boys:Working with a t-shirt (jersey) material is desirable to me for a few reasons.  Mostly it’s because I don’t have to worry about it fraying and hemming can be overlooked at times.  Basically, I’m lazy and don’t like to have to deal with extra work when it comes to sewing.

–Turn your long sleeved shirt inside-out and draw a line in the front, middle of the shirt.  I don’t have many sewing tools around, so I just used some chalk that I borrowed from my son’s art supplies to mark the shirt.  {Don’t use a pen or anything that could possibly be permanent, you might regret that later!}–Cut the front of your shirt right down the line that you just drew.  Make sure you’re only cutting one piece of fabric!  You just need to cut your main shirt open to create your “cardigan”.

–For some reason, I forgot to photograph this next step.  But take your second shirt (in this case, the yellow tee) and cut it into two 2-inch strips.  The length of each strip needs to be around 2x {twice!} the length of the front of your newly made cardigan base.

–The next step requires you to “gather” your fabric, in order to create that ruffled look.  Sew a large, straight basting stitch straight down the middle of both strips of fabric and then pull the bobbin side to gather in the fabric.  You can find a tutorial for this method here:—Pin your gathered strips to each side of your base shirt and then sew back over the middle stitch that you created for your gather to finish it off.  Be sure to backstitch a couple of times to secure your ends.  I like my handmade items a little less than perfect (because it saves me a lot of headaches) so I didn’t even try and fold down the ends or do any hemming.  It’s jersey fabric – it won’t fray and if you like how it looks, save yourself the effort.You’re done!  Once you get a handle on the gathering of the ruffled fabric, it’s easy-peasy.  I promise!!  Now get ready to rock out with some stylish, upcycled awesomeness this fall and winter. :)And yes, I’m wearing a tank top and shorts for my modeling act.  Haha.  I only ever get to create at night and I like to do it while I’m wearing my jammies.  Try not to judge! 🙂


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Welcome to Wild+Wanderful!  I’m Katy.
Momma. Wife. West Virginian.
Dreamer. Coffee Consumer.
Craft Beer Enthusiast.
Purple Obsessor. Lover of Handmade.



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