Feathers Flights // Sewing Blog: Tutorial: Refashion a Sweater Into a Cardigan


Tutorial: Refashion a Sweater Into a Cardigan

I had a great sweater from the blog swap that I had cut the sleeves off to lengthen a coat. I had the sweater hanging around, and I couldn't think of anything to do with it. My sister suggested I turn it into a 3/4 sleeve cardigan. I thought it was a great idea even though I don't look good in mustard, so I made this cardigan for my sister. Thus the lack of pictures of someone actually wearing it.
What I did was cut straight up the middle, add binding to the sleeves and center fronts, add buttons and buttonholes, and then add a gathered piece to the neckline. Today I have a tutorial for the binding.
First, cut out strips of fabric on the bias and sew them together. My strips were an inch wide. Then I pinned a piece to the inside of the front edge lining up the edges.
Sew at 1/4". (I sewed at 1/8", but it's much easier at 1/4"!) Be careful not to stretch or pull the sweater as you sew.
Now to finish the top and bottom, cut the strip so there's about a 1/2" seam allowance past the edge.
Then fold the end into an "M" with the right side of the fabric in the middle of the "M".
Sew straight across lining your stitch up with the edge of the sweater.
It should look like this.

Trim the edge to an 1/8".
Fold right sides out and you will have a clean seam that lines up with the bottom of the sweater. The edges of the binding will be sewn folded inside.
Fold the unsewn edge over at 1/4" and then pin to the sweater.
Do this to the whole front edge and then sew the edge down.
Once you have one side done, do it to the other and anywhere else you might need it like the sleeves. The sleeves you won't have to do the "M" edge though because it connects to itself. Add any other embellishing that you want to for a cute cardigan!
I took my extra bias strip, folded it in half and gathered the raw edge with my serger. I sewed this piece onto the neckline.
My sister was pretty excited when I gave it to her. My mom even wanted one too! My mom's coloring is like mine though, and we can't do warm colors so my sister will get to enjoy the cardigan all by herself.
We celebrated our anniversary by going to breakfast, a farmer's market, the zoo, and getting ice cream at my most favorite ice cream shop. It was an awesome day! How did you weekend go? I hope it was fabulous!


  1. this is adorable! Question: How does one gather on their serger? (I'm sure its easier shown than told, but I thought I'd ask anyhow...) Do you just push it in harder? or pull a thread or something after you serge it?...

  2. so so cute! i love the fabric that you used with that gold, so classy :]

  3. I love this cardigan! I may just go refashioning all my sweaters now..

  4. this is soooo cute and such an awesome idea!!! i love the mustard color too! oh and i have been so super jealous of your bernina! i want one so badly!


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