Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sweater Refashion: Cashmere Goes 80s

Pink Cashmere Refashion

While we're on the subject of hot pink peplums, it seemed a good time to share this sweater refashion I did at the end of last year. When I was shopping the thrift store for suitable sweaters a couple years ago, I ran across this one. 98% cashmere and hot pink, how could I resist? At first, I planned to keep the neck tie thingy as a neck tie thingy, but move it so that the tie was to the side rather than center. The vaguely sailor-esque thing didn't do anything for me. Then I hit on the idea of using the tie as a waistband and the whole thing came together.

Pattern Layout To shape the bodice, I used the popular boatneck top Burda 02-2009-108. I actually refashioned the sweater before making my ruffle shoulder top of the pattern. I had to cut the front with a scooped neck due to the original design of the blouse, so I widened the shoulders about 3/4 of an inch to ensure the blouse didn't fall off.

Sleeves


I also kept the original sleevecap, as I wanted an exaggerated 80s puffed sleeve. It didn't turn out as puffy as I'd hope, but I think it still looks deliberate rather than just poorly eased and installed.




Neck Tie Becomes Waistband As mentioned, I turned the tie neck into a waistband. The tie was a different weave from the rest of the sweater, ribbed and a little thicker and more stable. Unfortunately, it wasn't woven as a straight piece but had a "bulge" in the middle. I cut it as straight as I could along the "ribs" but it also had a slight curve so that wasn't 100% possible. I gathered the peplums into the lower edge of the waistband.



Neckline Finish Several people asked how I handled the neckline without stretching it. In this case, when I cut off the tie I was careful to cut as small as possible along the stitch line. The neckline next to the tie had been reinforced in manufacturing, and so I just needed to treat it carefully to prevent stretching. To finish the neckline, I used a twin needle and was careful while sewing to position the raw edge of the neckline (down along the feed dogs) so the "zig" would be on the neckline and the "zag" would be just off it. I tried to manipulate the photo so you could see the stitching on the outside and inside; click to enlarge.

If your neckline is not finished in manufacturing, it can still be finished nicely! First, finish the edge. I recommend a zigzag over a serged finish unless you are very confident in the differential feed of your serger. If you use the serger, put it on the most gatheringest differential feed setting. Once the finish is done, you must steam steam steam to get the neckline back into shape. The beauty of working with wool is that it should steam back into a reasonable facsimile of a neckline. Once it's back in shape you can fuse it with a strip of tricot interfacing cut on the bias to keep it in shape. Then sew with a twin needle as I showed above.

Note that I don't have a coverstitch machine, so I can't say how coverstitch would perform versus twin needle.

Belt
It definitely needs a belt. The 80s styling finally got me to add a length of elastic to this belt buckle purchased from Exquisite Fabrics in Georgetown in October 2009 for $5 (the packaging makes me think it was actually from the 80s). I don't know what took me so long to make this considering it took under 5 minutes to thread the elastic through the bars on the belt and stitch it in place. I've worn it a ton since then, it is too fun!


Closeup

I bought five or six sweaters to refashion in late 2009 or early 2010 and realized as 2010 was drawing to a close that I hadn't done any refashions yet that winter. When I bought the thrift store sweaters, I went for 100% wool (or cashmere in this case) only. However, I wasn't really thinking about my taste. Most of the sweaters are a thick wool and I don't see myself wearing something that bulky no matter how cute the refashion. So I think I will be doing a re-donate for most of them. However, this thinner texture is perfect for me, not to mention I love the color! The refashion isn't perfect (the waistband area is truly ugly), but with a belt to hide the imperfections it's a great go-to sweater.

All photos are here.

25 comments:

NancyDaQ said...

Your refashion is sooo much cuter than the original! And cashmere is definitely worth it.

linda said...

Do you know anyone who uses wool sweaters to make hats and mittens? You could give them the sweaters you are not interested in anymore..... Just an idea! Love your refashioned sweater!

Karin said...

This is a very successful refashion! Your version is so cute, and isn't that Pantone's colour of 2011: Honeysuckle?

Karen said...

very cute, who can resist cashmere :)

KID, MD said...

So adorable. The original is truly dreadful, but your refashion is so cute. Love it!

McVal said...

That is so cute! Did you have any trouble with the cashmere unraveling before you were able to sew it together? I always worry about that when dealing with woven things.
It looks like from the pics that it held together really well...

ELMO said...

Oh, that is fabulous!! and I bet it's super soft. Great job!

fabriquefantastique said...

good cashmere is much too good to waste,

Clio said...

Wow, that was one ugly sweater before you got your hands on it! Great refashion!

AuntieAllyn said...

You, lady, are a genius! Your refashioned sweater is truly fabulous!

Venus de Hilo said...

What a great sweater... now! So fun to see the original go from snore to fabulous. Great job!

badmomgoodmom said...

100% wool and thick? Would you consider giving them to me rather than redonating them?

I make these from them.
http://badmomgoodmom.blogspot.com/2008/02/not-minimalist-laptop-case.html

DH is coming to DC soon and can pick them up from you.

Anonymous said...

That's a wonderful refashion - who can resist cashmere?

MushyWear said...

Well you really did a nice job on this refashion. With the belt it is super cute. The neckline is quite flattering on you!

Faye Lewis said...

WOW, that is not a refashion, that's a transformation! Looks good on you too.

Nora said...

Looks great. How did you finish the neckline. I'm afraid to cut up a turtleneck as I don't know how to handle the finishing. Nora

toboldlysew said...

That is an amazing refashion! I wish I had the foresight to be able to look at something like the original and see something completely different in it! Maybe one day.

Jules said...

I think Nora & I have the same question. I tried to refashion a cashmere sweater and the neck kept curling outward. I never could figure out how to make it lay flat. Do you have any particular technique?

victoria said...

Nice work! You did a great job, and I love seeing how you used a pattern to do it. Very inspiring. Now I have to go through my pattern stash.
Hot pink and cashmere are two of my favorites!
I'm planning a trip to Baltimore at the end of this month and am wondering if you have any good suggestions for a fellow sewist?

Michelle said...

I love the idea of remaking a sweater. I always blanch at the expense of cashmere when buying RTW, thrifting and refashioning is a great idea.

I also have a cashmere sweater that I wore so long I wore through the elbows...I will probably try to refashion it as a short-sleeve.

gwensews said...

That's really cute. The belt is perfect!

Nancy K said...

Hard to believe it's the same sweater! From dowdy to chic.

emadethis said...

It's so cute! The neckline is beautiful. What a great idea to find oversized cashmere and chop it down. All other wool makes me itch, and acrylic makes my skin burn, and cashmere off the rack is beyond my budget...I guess I have a project to consider now.

Barbara at Cat Fur Studio said...

Really, really cute. Another great refashion. Color is perfect, too.

a. b. said...

You worked magic on that sweater. It thanks you. You look so cute!