31 Days · DIY · Style · Thrifts

31 Days: The Thrift Project – Day 18: The Advanced Placement Cardigan

If Tuesday’s project was an introduction to making your own cardigan, today’s is AP Cardigans – but don’t let that scare you – it’s really not that hard.

I thrifted this sweater last year, and I wore it a few times, but I just don’t love a crewneck sweater. I did, however, love the cable knit and the color of this sweater, so I wasn’t ready to let it go. Could I possibly turn it into a cardigan?

First I measured the front of the sweater and marked the midpoint to cut the sweater into a cardigan.

I knew that the sweater would start to unravel quickly.

I ran a quick stitch down both sides to lock the yarn into place. I knew that just cutting the sweater would make it unravel, so I brainstormed ideas of something to stitch onto the sweater to keep it together. Ribbon? Zigzag stitching?

T-shirt. I decided to make a sort of pocket that encloses the raw edges and adds a little detail as well.

To determine how much t-shirt to cut, I measured the length of the cardigan opening (23 inches) and added 1 inch. I cut out 2 rectangles of fabric, 4″ x 24″. I folded these in half lengthwise and ironed them to create a crease.

This next step was the hardest part of the project. I had to pull out some long forgotten geometry skills to make a template to create scalloping on the mustard yellow fabric. I used a small dish to create a circle (I used an old red folder for this). Then I cut it in half to make a semicircle.

Next I used a piece of thick watercolor paper (the best material I could find around the house to use for the scallop template).

Finally, I played around with the spacing of these semicircles to create a shallow scallop. I cut the template out and used a pencil to sketch this onto the fabric strips, overlaying and repeating as needed until I reached the end of the strips. I used the smallest scissors I could find to cut out the scallops on one side of the strip, leaving the back half of the strip a rectangle.

I pinned these strips in place on the opening of the cardigan, scalloped part on the front, rectangle on the back, leaving about half an inch hanging over the top and bottom.

At the tops and bottoms of the fabric strips, I opened up the crease and folded the excess to the back of the sweater opening, and I refolded the fabric to the back, creating a nice, neat corner, and I pinned it all in place. (See picture above.)

Using a long straight stitch, I followed the edge of the mustard fabric 1/4″ in and sewed the fabric down. The edges are left free and will probably curl a little, but that’s how I want it.

So this was supposed to be the end of the project. It’s cute, I like it. But it was left to hang on the armoire in our living room for a day or two (Husband asked, “Is this the cleaners?” I may have left a few other projects hanging around for a couple of more days, too), and every time I passed by, I kept thinking it needed something else.

So I found another t-shirt, this one in charcoal gray. I repeated the scallop technique above, but this time, I cut strips only 3″ wide before folding in half.

I also pinned the gray piece a little lower, starting below the top, basically because I didn’t want to do another corner. Just being honest.

I sewed these strips down in the same way I did the yellow ones, about 1/4″ in from the edge.

Ahh, much better!

I love the way this one turned out! The mustard yellow between the two shades of gray makes the scallops pop. So fun, and perfect for fall.


This post is part of a 31 Day series. Find all the posts in this series here.


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10 thoughts on “31 Days: The Thrift Project – Day 18: The Advanced Placement Cardigan

  1. I love this one. Looks like you should go into Business. You are good. I always knew you were very smart, Like (
    scrabble) Keep going girl..

  2. Oooooh! I’ve been away for several days, so just getting to read this post. LOOOOVE it and love your 31 days series! Now I am on the look out for a sweater to do the same with! Great job! Thanks for sharing.


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