Tuesday, November 6, 2012

DIY: Embellished Cardigan with Vintage Fabric Scraps

Yes, it's a DIY...and I am really excited about it because, well, it actually turned out well!  I am crafty, but I am not a super good crafter.  I am not very patient. I am a little clumsy.  So any DIY you see from me is basically a DIY for Dummies project, i.e. if I can do it, anyone can! For those of you who are, like me, craftingly challenged, I hope you can get inspired to try some new things!

This project is awesome because it gives new life to old vintage clothes AND to fabric scraps you might have lying around.

Old Grandpa Cardigan (preferably with pockets!)
Coordinating scrap vintage fabric (enough for two elbow patches and two narrow strips for pockets)
Embroidery floss (one full skein should do, but it's better to have two in case you mess up!)
Embroidery hand needle
Sewing Machine (though the only sewing machine step here could probably be done by hand too)
1.  Cut the elbow patches to desired roundness.
2. Cut two strips of fabric that are twice as wide as and an inch longer than pocket (you want to leave room to hem the edges!)
 3.  Hem three edges on each rectangle for pocket:  Fourth edge will be folded inside the pocket (you can hem it if you want but it isn't necessary!).
4.  Pin fabric over pocket openings.
 5. Pin elbow patches to elbows (use a marker to mark where your elbow is when you're wearing it so you know where they should go!).
6.  Thread embroidery needle (as you would a regular hand needle) and stitch around each patch (I doubled up each stitch so the thread would really stand out!)
7.  Thread the embroidery needle again to stitch pocket rectangles on:  you can do a more basic looped edge, like the elbow patches, but I wanted to make mine a zigzag pattern.

...and there you have it!  I'm so excited to try this on other old cardigans with different fabrics/shades of thread.  I have a light yellow cardigan waiting downstairs--still deciding what color/fabric will look best on it...I'm actually looking forward to doing this again, which tells you just how easy it is (and the whole thing can be done in under an hour!)

What do you think--are you gonna give it a try?



  1. So cute, Manda! I love it! :) I will try it. I promise! :)

    1. Thank you! <3 I wanna see you rockin' some patches!

  2. Replies
    1. ...and I know yours will look even prettier than mine! xo

  3. Aw this is so cute! You did a great job with this! I am totally scared of sewing.....

    1. Thank you! I was scared too...it took me forever to do basic things, but honestly, anyone can do this if I can because I suck at sewing (ask Jayme).

  4. so cute!!! i love it. i am the same kind of diy-er, i always say i have a ton of patience with people, but not with crafts!

    1. That's a great line--I might have to steal it! Although, I don't always have a ton of patience with (some) people either! ha!

  5. I LOVE this. Can I request one (that you make? because let's face it, i'm terrible at this sort of thing)?

    1. Yes, of course! I think a Unique (and coffee...and catch up!) date is in order so we can find the perfect granny cardigan to makeover! I have TONS of fabric and embroidery string here in all colors. :)

  6. Love it. I have tried DIY projects but don't have a sewing machine, and my hand sewing is terrible and uneven. I need a DIY for Super Dummies.



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