Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day Cardigan

STOP - If you are my Mom - do not read this or it will spoil your Mother's day surprise.

Others may continue.

Today I'm re-purposing an old T- shirt into something a little better that what it was.

Take old jersey T-Shirt that fits or is slightly too large for you & cut off the bottom & sleeve hems & neckline. Then off the button cut a bunch of 1/2" wide strips. I wanted the length of this top to sit about where you pant hit at you waist , so I think I cut 7 strips off the bottom.

Take each strip & give it just a little tug so that the edges start to curl a bit. Jersey fabric curls to the right side. Typically this annoys me. but today I'm using it as a trapuno effect.

I then shaped the neckline to be a nicer curve. The detail I'm adding to this top will be mainly at the empire height (high waist). So the neckline looks really low, but this cardi is not meant to be worn alone.

Try on the top as you have it so far & check the length - is it too long? now is the time to shorten more. Do you like where the neck will hit on you? Is the body width too big? Now is the time to slim it down.

Here is where you will need to mark where your empire waist is. Use this mark & measure how far up it is from the bottom edge & draw a faint line to follow all the way around the garment.

Once that is done, you will need to round off the front at the bottom. Just trace around a dinner plate for a nice curve. You can do this for the neck too if you do not have fancy rulers.

At your machine, take one of the 1/2" wide strips you cut & snip it open at the side seam. You should now have one really long piece. With the right side of the fabric up, lay the edge of the cut strip on the line that you drew at the empire waist. Pin this all the way around the garment & sew down the center of the strip allowing the edges to curl slightly. ( I'm not pinning it... use you best judgement if you want to use pins of not.

Set aside one piece to be the tie.

For the second strip, snip this open at the seam allowance. Flip the bottom edge of the first strip up & align the next strip of fabric right below it. Sew this on all the way around the garment at the empire waist line.

Do this one more time for a 3rd row at the empire waist line.

You next step is to take another strip & sew it on around the edge of the sleeve. Again, align the cut edges together, face side up & sew down the center allowing the edges to curl slightly.
Repeat this on all the cut edges on the entire garment, back neck, front, and along the bottom. When you run out of one strip of fabric, just overlap with another one... the curled raw edges is the desired effect.
When you get to the front empire rows take the tie & lay it on top of the 3 rows extending off the front of the garment. Then that the strip that you are sewing on around the edges & lay that on top of the 3 rows & the tie & stitch thru all layers - remember to back tack!
Finished cardigan. Once you wash it the edges will curl even a but more.

Close up of the detail at the waist.

This was a super simple top that did not take long to sew. Actually, I'm spending way more time blogging about it than it did for me to think about it, cut & sew it up. I think I want to make one for myself in Yellow!


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