Cardigan Refashion Tutorial

Hello! I’m Toni from Make It Perfect and I’m so happy to be guest posting a tutorial at Ucreate today! I’m a stay-at-home Mum and have three children – Oscar (4 1/2), Lil (3) and Tommy (1).
As well as my children keeping me busy, I am also the designer of a sewing pattern range “Make It Perfect“. My patterns are aimed to suit busy sewers who want to create modern, fresh and funky clothing. And because I can’t sit still, I have recently started to make vintage-inspired hairpins and jewellery which are for sale in my shop, Citrus pOp!


I’ve had this 3/4 sleeve sweater for years and years, but it hasn’t been worn for over 12 months so has been banished to the “don’t wear anymore but think I can refashion it to be something that I will wear” box!

Cardigans are my thing…9 times out of 10 I will wear a cardi over any sweater/jumper type of top, so I decided that I could cut and alter my old sweater and refashion it into a cute cardi that I will wear again.

If I could dress like anyone, it would be Emma Pillsbury from Glee…I LOVE LOVE LOVE her style. Cute and girly, always perfectly accessorised and classy taste in skirts, dresses and of course, cardis. And have you seen the awesome cardi clips that she wears? Check them out…
So, I’m excited to share with you today a tutorial for The Emma Pillsbury-Inspired Cardi Refashion & Cardi Clips.
First of all, you gotta turn on the Glee soundrack with the volume up high :)To make The Emma Pillsbury-Inspired Cardi, you will need:
One sweater you are willing to cut up
A contrasting (or matching) scrap of fabric to use for finishing and embellishing
Step 1.
Take your sweater and find the middle of the front. This was easy for me because my sweater had a v-neck, but will only take a bit of measuring and folding to find the middle. Draw a line down the middle of the front using an erasable fabric marking pen.

Cut straight down the marked line – make sure you cut only the front layer of your sweater!

Measure the length of your two cut edges. This is how long you will need to cut your bias binding strips.
Step 2:
To make bias binding, take your piece of fabric and lay it on your cutting surface so that the selvedge edge is sitting to the left-hand side. Fold the selvedge edge over so that it matches up exactly with the cut edge of the fabric. Press the crease using your fingers.

Open fabric up and cut directly along the folded crease you made in the previous step.

Using this cut line as a guide, continue cutting parallel lines to cut strips 1 1/2″ wide. Cut enough strips so that when they are joined together, they will equal the length of the two cut edges of your cardi, plus about 5″ for good measure :) Sew strips together to form one long strip.
Take strips and make a center fold by folding in half, length ways, so that wrong sides of fabric are touching. Open out and fold both long raw edges of fabric in towards the center fold.

A much, much easier way to do this is to invest in a bias binding maker…they are GREAT! Very affordable and make light work of making binding. I used a Clover 18mm Bias Binding Maker.

STEP 3: Open the binding strip and fold one short edge under about 1/4″. Line up one raw edge of the binding strip with the raw edge of the cardi and pin into place. Make sure the short, folded edge matches up exactly with the top of the cardi front.

Sew binding to cardi by stitching directly in the folded ditch. Continue sewing until you reach near the bottom of the cardi. Trim binding so that it has about 1/4″ overhang and then fold the overhang under to finish the binding in the same way you started it.

Open the binding strip and press.

Fold binding over to the wrong side of the cardi and pin into place, making sure that the folded edge of the binding just covers the stitching line.

Pin into place on the front of the cardi. Sew binding down by stitching down the length of the binding about 1/8″ from the edge of the seam where the binding meets the cardi.

Repeat steps to attach binding to the other side of the cardi.

Step 4:
To make pockets, draft a pocket template which is 4″ x 4″ as seen below:
Cut 4 pocket pieces.

Place two pocket pieces right sides together and sew a 1/4″ seam around the edge of the pocket. Leave a 2″ gap on the side to turn. Clip corners and into curved edges.

Turn pockets right side out and press flat. Position on front of cardi and pin into place.

Sew 1/8″ around the curved edge of the pocket, leaving the top of the pocket open and your cardi is done!

To make Cardi Clips, you will need:
Two self-covering buttons
Fabric to cover the buttons
Two clip-on earring backs
Two jump rings
One desired length of chain
Strong glue

Step 1:
Cover buttons with fabric following manufacturer instructions. Remove the loop at the back of the button so that the back is flat (I used pliers to cut the loop then pull it out).

Using pliers, open a jump ring and attach to the back of one clip on earring. Attach end of chain to the same jump ring and close. Repeat to attach other end of chain to second earring.

Use glue to adhere button to earring.

Open earring while glue is drying to prevent it from sticking closed.

Clip onto your cardi and you have a brand new, one-of-a-kind cardi that I’m sure Emma Pillsbury would be proud to wear :)

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  1. says

    I’ve seen the sweater to cardi thing before and it’s really an easy diy thing. I adore Emma’s style, too! These cardi clips are adorable! Can’t wait to try my hand at them.
    Thanks for sharing this great tutorial.

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