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Sweater Refashion: 80's Oversized Crew Neck to Drape Front Cardigan
Every once in a while, I complete a sewing project from start to finish without a single problem. No ripping out seams, no crying, no screaming, no mumbled death threats at the sewing machine (of course, there was no sewing machine involved here, which may explain a lot).

This was one of those lovely projects that just happened. It started out to be a shrug and morphed into a cardigan. No, it's not absolutely perfect (that little woo-hoo in the back, for example) but, I'm still terribly pleased with the outcome. My last refashion was a bit disappointing, so I'm happy for a successful one.

Posted by Elizabeth A. from Pacific, Missouri, United States • Published See Elizabeth A.'s 19 projects »
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  • How to make a cardigan. Drape Front Cardigan - Step 1
    Step 1

    Before! This was rejected by a local thrift store as unsaleable. It was completely shapeless and extremely unflattering. It also had a stain on the front (now hidden by the draping).

  • How to make a cardigan. Drape Front Cardigan - Step 2
    Step 2

    Revamp How-to:

    For this project you will need a sweater at least one size too large with sewn (not serged) seams and box-cut sleeves (ones that will have a straight edge after being removed from the sweater). A light or medium weight knit would work.

    Begin by removing the sleeves from the sweater by carefully picking out the stitching at the seam.

  • How to make a cardigan. Drape Front Cardigan - Step 3
    Step 3

    Lay the bodice of the sweater out flat and cut a straight line through both front and back just below the collar. The thin collar/shoulder piece you have just removed will be the only part of the sweater you discard.

    Carefully pick out the stitching on ONE of the side seams. At this point you will have a large rectangle. The opened side seam edges will be slightly irregular and the closed side with have the armhole. This is not a problem.

  • How to make a cardigan. Drape Front Cardigan - Step 4
    Step 4

    Try on the sleeves and determine how long you want them to be (you will need to allow enough "sleeve" fabric to meet at the back, between your shoulder blades. Begin ripping out the under arm seam of the sleeve until you are happy with the sleeve length and have enough to meet in the back.

  • How to make a cardigan. Drape Front Cardigan - Step 5
    Step 5

    Lay out the sleeves end to end (as if you were going to make a shrug) and baste* together the back-side as shown).

    *Use a contrasting color for basting to make it easier to remove later.

  • How to make a cardigan. Drape Front Cardigan - Step 6
    Step 6

    Take your large rectangular piece (the one that used to be the bodice) and lay it out centered with each side of the existing arm hole (on the side you did not rip apart) matched up to the portion of the lower sleeve seam you ripped apart earlier). Baste.

  • How to make a cardigan. Drape Front Cardigan - Step 7
    Step 7

    At this point, it should look like this.

  • How to make a cardigan. Drape Front Cardigan - Step 8
    Step 8

    This is your last seam. Baste together the remaining edge of sleeve material to a portion of the long edge of the rectangle. The new seam and the seam you just made will form a right angle.

    Try it one. If you are happy with it, proceed to hand sewing
    the basted seams. Make sure any raw edges are sewn in a way to prevent later raveling out of the knit.

    I chose to roll and hem some of the edges (the neckline and along the front). This is not strictly necessary. This particular knit just looked better that way.

  • How to make a cardigan. Drape Front Cardigan - Step 9
    Step 9

    Finally, while wearing the sweater, pin (or baste) where you want the front draping to be. Hand tack it down.
    This picture shows the right side only with the draping tacked down.

  • How to make a cardigan. Drape Front Cardigan - Step 10
    Step 10

    Closer view of the front draping secured with hand tacking.

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Comments

Slavica V.
Slavica V. · Požarevac, RS
FantasicLove
Reply
Jessamy M.
Jessamy M. · 1 project
I love puss jumping in the pics Happy Happy <3 i am definatly giving this a go soon as i can get down to a thrift shop!
Reply
marija j.
marija j.
I don`t know what to sey ......FANTASTIC .... THANK YOU !!!!!
Reply
emmilou w.
emmilou w. · Wallasey, England, GB · 12 projects
what an excellent how-to...thanks for sharing ^_^
Reply
Jolanda
Jolanda · Nederland, Colorado, US · 54 projects
really nice! do you wear it often?
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priya s.
priya s.
that's a good work keep it up
Reply
Elizabeth A.
Elizabeth A. · Pacific, Missouri, US · 19 projects
Thank you!
Reply
Lovette'sz-xoxo
Lovette'sz-xoxo · 15 projects
oohh myy gaaaadd
thats amazing !
those are so in right now too Happy
Reply