Wednesday, 10 December 2008

DIY - Cardigan Reborn

EJ certainly raised the bar with her wonderfully executed and amusing Tache Gloves (these would make a great, inexpensive Christmas Gift). For my DIY Project I wanted to create a double layered cardigan because I have been crazing one ever since I saw them strut down the LS Lowry inspired Burberry AW 08 runway but could not find a more affordable version anywhere. The colour palette that Bailey used in that show made me want to rush out and play in imaginery piles of crispy red and brown leaves...and I wanted to achieve something similar. Then I remembered about my well worn Reiss cardigan which was lying somewhat unloved at the bottom of one of my drawers. Susie actually featured this cardigan on her blog long before we started going out and it was the first time that I took notice of style and fashion blog...more importantly it was the first real opportunity for me to speak to her at work (for those of who don't know we used to work at the same office) and of course great things have later blossomed. Therefore, this Reiss cardigan deserved a much better life than the one it had found itself in. So under the guise of the Men Represent DIY Challenge, I just had to breathe fresh life into this special piece of knitwear.

What you will need...

- Two cardigans, preferably battered and old. I actually decided to treat myself to an extra fine Merino Wool Cardigan from Uniqlo in a complimentary shade because my deep aubergine Reiss Cardigan deserved a fine companion.
- Needle & thread
- Pins
- A steady hand and patience...neither of which I have!

What I did...

1) It seemed that the bottom drawer had not been too kind on the Reiss Cardigan and a repair job was needed on a few rips, tears and loose buttons, so out came the needle and thread to make some fat fingered amends.

2) Following the repair job, I carefully cut along the seams of the sleeves to create a sweater vest out of the Uniqlo cardigan. To maximise my thrifty-ness I kept hold of the sleeves because these could quickly be turned into arm warmers.

3) I've really never seen the appeal of sweater vests so continued to cut until all I was left with were the two front panels.

4) Now came the fun part. The joining of the two. I overlapped each panel and played around with it until I was happy with the appearance of the overlap (two inches at the bottom, thinning out to the top) and pinned the garments in place. All that was left now was to sew where the two seams met and the cardigans were now entwined.

Apologies for the brightness in this shot. I will post styled pictures of the cardigans later today...

I'm ashamed to say that this was the first time that I've held a needle and thread since Primary School (we took basic textiles classes in Year Four) and my technique certainly improved as the morning developed. Now that I have awoken my crafty side, I have taken the needle and thread to add leather buttons to my Angels find. Over the course of a few hours, I had breathed fresh life into two garments and hopefully this inspires you to at least think about doing the same.


TheSundayBest said...

I don't think I'd have the courage to cut up a new cardigan to do sir are the bravest. My tailor is currently doing something to a double-breasted cardigan that will either be brilliant...or idiotic.

dlittlegarden said...

Fantastic! The color combination you choose is really tops. Even as someone who is familiar with the structure of knits, I get freaked out at the idea of cutting into a knit sweater, but this might just be worth getting over my fear.

Anonymous said...


I do like the cardi, just read the blog entry Suzie wrote and the comments people added. Did make me smile! You'll be starting your own label next with all this creative energy flowing through the blog this week.

Ca said...

Wow, skils! Haha, it sure looks good and I like the colours.


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