Tag Archives: cardigan

DIY: Elbow Patch Cardigan

I am very pleased and excited to finally be able to share this DIY fashion project with you. I have had this project completed for months but I just couldn’t find the time to get out and take some darling photos of it. Luckily, yesterday graced me with some beautiful sunshine, a beautiful model, and a little bit of free time. I am pleased to share with you this very easy and cute DIY Elbow Patch project.

Ever since elbow patches hit the stores on cardigans, sweaters, shirts, and blazers I was instantly in love. But I could never find the perfect sweater in the stores that matched my budget. For the past four months (since the dawn of the new year) I haven’t been buying any clothing so I decided that I needed to improvise. The original idea came from A Beautiful Mess where they made adorable little heart elbow patches. I opted to stay away from the hearts and instead just adapted their process to create standard elbow patches. The cardigan was one that I already had but found that I wasn’t wearing it very often. However, I can honestly say that since I have given it a little makeover, I have worn it a lot more!

I think that my favourite thing about this re-fashioned sweater is that it is completely recycled. For the patches, I used fabric that was thrifted and the cardigan itself was one that was straight from my closet. For this reason, your re-fashioned sweater will be uniquely original! The actual process takes only half an hour to do. Would you like to give it a try?

  •  an old or thrifted cardigan or sweater
  • a scrap of thrifted fabric
  • a pen
  • a piece of thin cardboard
  • pins
  • a needle
  • scissors
  • thread that matches your fabric scrap

The process of creating these DIY Elbow Patches is really quite simple. It does require a little bit of hand sewing and a little bit of patience. Before I begin writing out the process, I would just like to apologize for the lack of pictures demonstrating the process. Since I completed this project so long ago, I accidentally deleted the “process” photos. However, I am confident in the fact that this project is easy enough to do without the photos. If you really don’t understand something, just ask or reference the original post from A Beautiful Mess.

ONE: Put on your cardigan and mark where your elbows are when they are bent. Place an X directly on the sweater. The patches will cover this area once they are sewed on.

TWO: Using your piece of cardboard, draw an elbow patch in your desired shape. I used a basic oval shape but this can be customized in any way. Cut out the shape and lay it on one sleeve of your cardigan or sweater to ensure that it is an appropriate size. When you are happy with the size and shape of your patch template, trace it twice on to your fabric scraps. Cut out the fabric patches.

Note: It does make a difference which type of fabric you use to make your patches. The fabric I used had a bit of stretch and did not fray when it was cut. This is important because I did not need to take into account a hem and instead could just sew the exact shape onto my cardigan. If you really want to use a fabric that frays, take into account that you will need to hem the edges and therefore it will take a little extra fabric, care, and time when sewing the patches on.

THREE: Place the patches onto your cardigan so that they cover the X’s you marked earlier. Ensure that both patches are placed evenly. Once they are in place, pin them into position. Carefully try on your cardigan to make sure that the patches are placed in the right position for your arms.

FOUR: Thread your needle and begin to sew one of the patches on the cardigan by sewing around the edge of the patch. Repeat for the second patch, ensuring that it is still in an appropriate position.

FIVE: Wear your new elbow-patched cardigan!

Well, there you have it, dear friends. Thank you for reading through. I would love to see some of your DIY Elbow Patch creations if you dare to take it on. It really is a great way to add your own custom touch to some of your clothing, especially if you are getting tired of your boring wardrobe (this always happens to me!).

I would just like to say a very special “thank you” to my lovely sister for modelling for me. Isn’t she a beauty?!

For the record, the whole “no-clothes-buying-challenge” is going great! I am excited to share even more posts very soon with some of the creations that have resulted from it. Stay posted for even more DIY posts coming your way. Many crafting, sewing, knitting, and baking blessings on these beautiful sunny days!

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UPCYCLE: Heart Lace Cardigan

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)
  • scissors
  • a fairly large piece of cardboard
  • pen
  • sewing machine
  • needle
  • thread (in an appropriate colour to match either your lace or your sweater colour)
  • pins

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!

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