February 20, 2014

The key to a good upcycle in my mind is being able to use a lot of the existing structure of the original item such as buttons, hems etc… otherwise it’s really just sewing a new item with previously used fabric.  I have had this old cardigan hanging in my closet for years.  I think I bought it at Forever 21 once upon a time, wore it to death for a season, and then felt juvenile wearing it so it never left the hanger.

My son has been in desperate need of sweaters so I thought that this would be a good excuse to upcycle (or should it be called downcycle if you make a smaller version of something) it into a cardi for my little guy.  The key was to leave all of the hard stuff in tact like buttonholes, buttons, hem, and neckline.  I used a sweater that fit him to get the basic idea of sizing of each piece.  Once I figured out how to cut it out it took a minimal amount of time to put it all back together.

Here is a pic of the pieces once I cut them all:

As far as sewing it up here are the instructions (sorry I didn’t take pictures, but I think it’s simple enough that you probably don’t need them):

1- Sew fronts to back at shoulder seam.
2- Open front and back pieces flat and sew on the sleeves.
3- Starting at the wrist, sew up sides from wrist to underarm to hem (without waistband).
4- Fold back about 1/2 inch on both front ends of waistband.  Keeping them folded, attach the top of the waistband to the bottom of the main cardigan.
5- Now sew the front edges of the waistband to the edge of the buttonband.
6- Turn up and hem the buttonband to be flush with the waistband.

And here is the end result.  A very quick and satisfying project.

And the photoshoot is over 🙁

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  • Reply lisa g. February 20, 2014 at 6:05 PM

    this turned out so cute! what a great way to re-use an old sweater.

  • Reply Kathryn February 20, 2014 at 6:14 PM

    What a great idea! I’ll need to keep this in mind before I go giving any old cardigans to the charity shop!

  • Reply gingermakes February 20, 2014 at 6:26 PM

    Oh my gosh, this sweater is so cute and he’s even cuter! What a sweetpea!

  • Reply Mela R. February 20, 2014 at 6:28 PM

    How cute! And this a nice and quick tutorial. I love fast projects these days.

  • Reply Jenny February 20, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    What a great idea and what a sweetie!

  • Reply liza jane February 20, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    That is the sweetest face I’ve ever seen!

  • Reply Fabric Tragic February 20, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    Thatsa great idea! He looks so dapper!

  • Reply oonaballoona February 21, 2014 at 12:40 AM

    that second to last shot. he rules the world.

  • Reply poppykettle February 21, 2014 at 2:31 AM

    Love it 🙂

  • Reply Clio February 21, 2014 at 10:46 AM

    Awww! Sweetness! Great upcycle!

  • Reply sallie oleta barbee February 21, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    !!! That last picture!!! Awwww, baby! But what a handsome little man in his new cardigan. I love all your upcycling (downcycling) tips. So thrifty and cute and stylish.

  • Reply Heather Lou February 21, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    Hpow has this little dude gotten cuter? HOW? And how does he manage to be EVEN MORE CUTE while crying?!?!

  • Reply beki February 21, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    Ack! So adorable!! I’m about to do a closet overhaul – I’ll definitely keep this in mine while I’m purging…lots of little bodies in my brood to sew for!!

  • Reply pootleandmake February 21, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    Brilliant idea. It’s looks so cute on your little man.

  • Reply Alissa February 22, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    B is so adorable! And so is that sweater – you’re such a sewing wiz!

  • Reply Lisa February 23, 2014 at 2:39 AM

    A most excellent upcycle and a most adorable little boy. That bottom lip!

  • Reply Gail February 27, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    Adorable jacket on a totally munchable little fellow.

  • Reply Risa West March 1, 2014 at 12:41 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Reply Risa West March 1, 2014 at 12:42 AM

    I find I’m a great up(down)-cycler with my daughter but not my son. I love this fabric on him. I think I’ll keep an eye out in my stash for more things I can use for him. I think it’s great what you did for your son.

  • Reply Anonymous March 7, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    You did a great job, and he’s rather handsome in it.

  • Reply loopylulu March 24, 2014 at 2:23 AM

    You’ve inspired me to upcycle some of my old sweaters for my son. P.S. when did he become a total toddler!

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