Maybe Matilda: Button Up Cardigan Cowl (Old Sweater Refashion)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Button Up Cardigan Cowl (Old Sweater Refashion)

(My poor little guy has been all sorts of pukey and sick the last few days. Two nights ago, he threw up in his crib and cried for a few minutes, so we went in and cleaned him up and put him back to bed. Last night, he threw up in his crib again . . . and didn't seem to mind it as much, because we didn't know until this morning, when we got him up and saw the sheets covered in crusty vomit (not to mention his jammies, his hair, his favorite blankie . . . ). Imagine how gross it would be to sleep in a bed covered in your own barf. Poor Gooby. I'm also feeling guilty that I am kind of, just a tad, enjoying having him a bit under the weather, because my normally independent child is so much more cuddly than usual. Mother of the Year, right here. For the talent portion of this contest, I'll push my baby down, then snuggle him better when he cries. So, while you send nice, happy, healthy thoughts our way, enjoy this post that was on Whipperberry a few weeks ago!)

I love to crochet (enough to fill up an etsy shop and still not be tired of it!), but it is, admittedly, a bit of a slow craft. And sometimes you really just want to have a project started and finished within a few minutes so you can sit back and bask in the warm glow of instant gratification. With that in mind, here's a cute winter cowl for the lazy crocheter!

I think it's a really fun piece for fall, and adds so much personality to an otherwise boring outfit (translation: all my outfits are boring, so I'll take all the cute accessories I can get my hands on).

And here's the best part--it's made from an old, unloved cardigan. Don't we all have a few of those lying around?

My sister gave me this sweater that she bought a few years ago but hasn't worn in a while:
It's so cute--I love the big buttons, the chunky cables, and the beautiful aqua blue color--but there were a few problems. First of all, it was kind of short and very boxy . . . the feminine figure I'm shooting for doesn't involve any squares, so I doubted I'd ever wear it. Also, it's a size XS . . . that's a size or two away from what I normally wear, so I really doubted I'd be able to wear it as is. I thought a little button-up cowl would be the perfect way to repurpose this sweater! Just grab a cardigan you don't expect to wear again (the smaller size, the better!) and button it up, then slice it to the length you want it to be as a cowl:

(The poor thing never saw me coming.)

I cut my sweater off about two inches below the armpits. Now, if you have a larger sized sweater, you may want to taper the sides in so it's a bit more fitted toward the top--just turn it inside out, pinch the side seams together, and sew a new side seam, angling in towards where the neck used to be. Since my sweater was pretty small to start with, I just took the sides in a teeny bit, and even that probably wasn't completely necessary (and I of course forgot to take a picture of this step).

Set your sewing machine to a zig zag stitch and sew close to the cut edge to prevent it from fraying or unraveling with wear--as you can see, I didn't sew directly along the cut edge, just pretty close to it to seal the cut side of the knit:
Now fold the cut edge over towards the wrong side of the sweater about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch, and sew it down with a straight stitch (if your sweater is a thinner knit, I would suggest folding it twice before sewing, to hide the cut end--unfortunately, the sweater I used was extremely thick and it was difficult enough to sew through just two layers, much less three if I folded it again!):
That's it! I told you it was quick! The trickiest part about this project for me was maneuvering the very bulky sweater through my machine--do your best not to pull or tug as you sew; you don't want a big stretched-out neckline on your cowl.

It's even got some versatility to it . . . you can wear it partially unbuttoned to keep your shoulders covered:
Or button it all the way up to keep your neck extra cozy:
You've not only cleared out some closet space, but you've got a cute new fall/winter item to wear. 

(Well, that was a fun break from nurse/mom duty! Now back to wiping runny noses and, let's be honest, putting Baby Einstein on repeat.)

20 comments :

  1. I really love this refashion idea. And it's perfect for someone like me who has a ton of old clothes sitting around waiting to be made into something else. Maybe after making a few of these I'll look less like a hoarder lol

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  2. oh and by the way, I saw this over at Grosgrain today and thought of you :)

    http://grosgrainfabulous.blogspot.com/2011/10/tutorials-steampunky-ruffle-boot-spat.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2Fgrosgrain+%28Grosgrain%29

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  3. I love this idea. It is so quick and fun.

    Ruth

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  4. So sorry to hear about your little one. It is so tough when they are sick and can't tell you what's wrong. My other comment cut short and posted before I could finish.

    Ruth

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  5. What a cute idea! I love knitting, but sometimes it's fun to up-cycle ;)
    Thanks for sharing!
    ~Kelly @ Corner of Main

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  6. I have guiltily admitted the same thing... my wee one never wants to cuddle or snuggle--so I take advantage of her neediness when she's ill. I soak it in and enjoy it... because as soon as she's better she's pushing me away. Maybe my next one will be a cuddler.

    Hope your little man gets better soon... you painted a sad picture.

    Also, love the cowl, but dang, I liked that sweater, too!

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  7. It was a cute sweater . . . but not on me :-/ Yikes!

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  8. I really love this! What a fun refashion! Sorry about about that sweet little guy of yours. Hope he feels better soon.

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  9. Hope he gets to feeling better soon! Enjoy your snuggles too :) Take advantage while you can, right? Love the cowl - great idea for a revamp of something you probably would never use.

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  10. so cute! great for the lazy knitter too, especially when you have a cabled scarf glaring at you from the knitting basket. sends a little bit of a warning. hope your son gets better soon :)

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  11. Love love love this idea! And I might I add you look lovely in it! I'm just finding my way around the sewing machine so I'm definitely going to try this one soon! Thanks for sharing the idea!!

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  12. this is such a great idea! I love the way it came out - looks great on you too :)

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  13. Love it! What a super idea! Me Sew Crazy posted this on Facebook.I'm glad I found it. Hope your baby feels better soon.

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  14. This project is crazy cute!! Thanks so much for the tutorial. I hope you little man is finally feeling better.

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  15. This is adorable. *Almost* makes me wish AZ got cold so I could sport it! ;)

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  16. Super cute! Too bad it doesn't get cold enough for cowls in my neck of the woods, so jeoulous of the cute cold weather gear.

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  17. How about using a junior size or children sized sweater for a narrower fit. Cute idea. Thanks.

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  18. this is an great idea to work on after the hollidays. Off to the Good Will and etc. to fine the sweater.

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  19. What an awesome idea! I have a too small sweater that got shrunk in the dryer that would be perfect for this! It doesn't have any buttons though, so I will have to see how it looks without, or maybe add some "dummy" buttons for sure. Thanks for sharing!

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Thanks for commenting!

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