Cardi-a-holic. Yep, that would be an accurate term to describe myself. Nothing beats throwing on a comfy cardigan, fluffy scarf, and a pair of jeans. But who said that cardigans have to be frumpy? Be-dazzle (without the fake bling) an old cardigan with a little bit of delicate lace and you will have a whole new sweater in a breeze.
I found this charming maroon cardigan at my local thrift store. To make matters even better, it only cost a couple of dollars. Maroon is definitely one of my favourite colours, so I couldn’t pass it by. But I didn’t want just another cardigan to fill up my closet–I wanted a cardigan that was special. So I took on the “mullet mentality” (all business in the front but a party in the back, anyone?) and added a little something special.
I was inspired by a DIY tutorial by Kinsey on Sincerely Kinsey for this project. When I began the refashion, I totally intended on following Kinsey’s instructions completely. But in the end, I strayed a bit and did what worked best for me. Her tutorial is a fantastic step-by-step process, though, and I strongly suggest referencing it if you intend on taking on this project.
I won’t go into too much detail about using thrifted materials, but when possible, do your best to do this. It makes this project way more cost efficient and sustainable.
- an old or thrifted cardigan
- a large piece of lace (could be from a thrifted table cloth, curtain, or simply a found scrap)
- a fairly large piece of cardboard
- sewing machine
- thread (in an appropriate colour to match either your lace or your sweater colour)
My cardigan came from my local thrift store and the lace was an old curtain that my mom has saved for the past 10 years.
ONE: Gather your materials. Lay your cardigan out flat so the back is facing up. Lay your piece of cardboard on the cardigan and draw a heart that is appropriately sized to fill most of the back of the cardigan. When you are content with the size of your heart, cut it out.
TWO: Lay the cardboard heart on the lace fabric. Trace around the cardboard heart onto the lace. Cut out the lace heart. Lay it on the back of the cardigan to ensure it is the right size. When you are happy with it, pin the lace heart into place on the back of the cardigan. Once it is pinned, carefully try on the cardigan and look in the mirror to ensure that the heart is centered and in the perfect place relative to the way the cardigan sits on your body.
THREE: When you are happy with the placement, very loosly (and in large stitches) hand sew the heart into place. This ensures that the lace heart stays in place when you run it through the sewing machine. The next part allows you a few options: Using your sewing machine, you can either sew a seam very close to the edge of the lace or you can sew the seam half an inch in and then hand-sew the edges after tucking them under. I personally did the second option, making the lace heart appear a little bit neater. Whichever way you choose to do it, sew the heart on and then cut out the very loose hand stitches that you did earlier.
FOUR: This is where my version and Kinsey’s version differ. If you would like the back to be open through the lace, you can turn your cardigan inside out and cut away the cardigan within the seam of heart. However, on my version, I decided to leave the cardigan underneath the lace heart. The choice is yours–after all, both versions look adorable.
There you have it. It’s easy to do and can definitely be unique-ified and customized. Be creative with the shape of your lace (flowers anyone!?) or the colour and/or pattern of your cardigan. Whether you want to spice up one of your old cardigans or remake a thrifted one, this project is easy, fun, and creatively fulfilling.
There you have it, team. Stay posted for a very special Sustainable Living post coming your way. Happy Tuesday!