Saturday, November 19, 2011

{Blogiversary Week} The Bow Sweater


I'm really excited to share my newly refashioned sweater.  I'm especially happy because I made it to match my Mrs. Peacock skirt and my teal Pendrell blouse!

Awhile back (ok, too far back), the folks at Sixth & Spring Books sent me the book Custom Couture to review.  I feel like in order to properly review I need to do one of the projects from the book.  This book includes 32 refashion projects.  While flipping through I saw this picture for the 'Folk Cardigan':


I had a matching black sweater in my closet (except mine was a turtleneck sweater) that was earmarked for the local charity shop.  It's an older sweater (a hand-me down from my sister) and it lacks a bit of shape to look flattering as a main layer.  Plus, the fibers from the cable knit are starting to stretch--just enough that it's slightly see-through.  So as a main layer you'd have to wear something black underneath.  When I saw this project in the book I got really excited because the sweater is a perfect candidate to become a refashioned cardigan.  Cardigans come in super handy in scotland--so I decided to try it out.


First, I marked the centre front of the sweater.  This was very easy because as a cable knit it was perfectly symmetrical.  I also marked and cut around the turtle neck.  The next step was to make binding and sew it around the newly cut openings.


I decided to use some left over fabric from my Mrs. Peacock skirt.  It was really easy to sew the binding on and since the sweater is black--you can see any stitching.

There were a few parts of the book's instructions that I found confusing.  There are a few illustrations included and that was good because it made it very clear but I felt that some of the sections of text could have been clearer.  The illustrations for making the bow were clear but since I was using tweed, I had to adjust the stated measurements to accommodate the thicker fabric.

There's also some very interesting refashions in the book.  Some that I don't think I'd ever do--they are just not my style but I could see that maybe some people could pull it off??  This sweater refashion with bows on the arms is one good example.  I'm not exactly sure what look they are going for or if the refashion is even better than the original (lol):



Despite a few projects like that, there are some real gems in this book, including a few really neat ways to refashion tank tops!  All templates are included at the back of the book as well.



Lots of the projects are simple and are things I wouldn't have thought of.  It helped me to look at my wardrobe in a new way and to use some of their ideas to think about what I could do to change up items that are no longer working for me.


I am very happy with my sweater refashion and I love that it automatically completes this outfit for autumn/winter!  Makes me want to go out and find more sweaters in charity shops to make matching cardigans for all my me-made outfits!!!

The Giveaway
 
 

I'm hosting a giveaway to win a copy of Custom Couture. This giveaway is open to all my readers anywhere in the world. To enter, just leave a comment on this post and tell me about any garments in your closet that are candidates for refashioning.  Is there something you don't want to get rid of but that's not really working for you in it's current state?  Enter your comment by midnight (London time) on Monday the 21st of November for a chance to win a copy of Custom Couture by Helene Le Berre.   

47 comments:

  1. I still have my graduation dress from high school and it is too small..... :( But it's a lovely red floral print on a white back ground and I so want to find something to do with it!

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  2. Debi! What a brilliant refashion, I love it.

    I actually spent this morning altering a charity shop dress down from a larger size to fit me. I have also recently been given a satin dress made by my gran which I will need to alter from floor length (on her - ankle length on me!) to knee length.

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  3. Debi- I am not sure peacock is the right title for this outfit. Phoenix is more like it. I think you have done better that breathe new life into that sweater. You have made it a star. Well done. -cyndi

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  4. Your cardigan looks so great and really pulls the outfit together! I wear cardis almost everyday in the fall and winter because I never know if it will be chilly or too warm inside. Plus they layer well under a heavy winter coat.

    I just got rid of a bunch of clothes, so I don't have anything on hand I could refashion. I do love to thrift shop, though. ;)

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  5. I keep looking in charity shops to find items that I could refashion. I see beautiful transformations on blogs allover the world and I really want to start soing some myself. The thing is , where do you start . I really need to bite the bullet and go for it. I love your sweater it's so pretty .

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  6. I have a beautiful see through blouse that is too big for me and doesn't really go with my stuff that I would love to get some use out of.

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  7. Great refashion, I love people seeing new purpose for existing wardrobe items. As for the bows on the sleeve, it does seem a little 'put a bird on it' doesn't it?

    Very generous giveaway (again) but please don't enter me in for this one, I have so many refashions awaiting there turn that it would only encourage me to go out looking for more candidates to hang there awaiting there turn!

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  8. I love that refashion! So pretty! (I don't need to be entered, either, as I'm afraid I'll do what Brumby will! LOL!)

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  9. What a great idea, well done, it looks so cute!

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  10. You look grate and the sweater is amazing. I have lost about 10 kg in half a year, so most of my clothes need to be re-fashioned :)

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  11. Oh wow! I la la love what you did with your cardigan, it coordinates so perfectly, I would die to wear something like that to work <3
    It's kind of hard for me to pick just one item as I am constantly looking for new and interesting ways to re-fashion my clothes, I hardly ever throw anything out as I see it as fabric for something else, I'm a bit of a clothing hoarder if you will hahaha :S

    But what immediately comes to mind is a black blouse that was given to me by my sister, it has a very nice fit but I just find it to be very blah

    Congradulations on your blog anniversary :) and great give aways!

    xoxox
    mini-crini.blogspot.com

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  12. Bravo!! Job very well done. I did much the same thing to a Landsend turtleneck when I wanted a red cardi and couldn't find any!! The item in my closet that is well overdue for a refashion is a gorgeous dressy dress that I got for a friend's wedding (and I lost 10 pounds to get into it too!) many years ago. The top is re-embroidered lace and I'd love to do something with that.

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  13. what a perfect refashion! it was totally inspired of you to go to the cardigan as a complement for one of your favorite me-made projects. you also may have just sold a copy of that book...to me :-)

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  14. oh! i love that you made it to match your skirt & blouse! what a perfect little set.

    i love refashioning clothes, but i rarely do it for myself (it's more something i pull together & sell a few times a year, hehe). i do actually have a sleeveless shell top/blouse thing that i want to do something with... it's not my style at ALL (and it's waaay too big), someone gave it to me. but it is 100% silk & it feels divine! plus it's self-lined, so i think i could pull it apart & make something with it since there is so much fabric. can't let silk go to waste :)

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  15. I love how that cardi matches perfectly to the skirt, but it's subtle enough that it won't look odd with another outfit!
    One of the things due for refashion in my cupboard is a summery dress with a black and white print that I love, it just falls at an awkward length - just below my knee, far enough down to look really bizarre. I think I'm going to take the bottom gathered tier off and create some ruffles for the skinny straps up to top, solving the length problem and the shoulders-feeling-too-exposed problem at once!

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  16. Firstly, I love how you resused that cardigan! Great idea! It actually have me a great idea too cause I have tons of old cardigns, most of them are turtle-necks, which I cannot stand, that are waiting to be reused :) I'm planning on adding peter pan collars :)

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  17. I have a giant pile of clothes that's waiting to either be refashioned or go to a charity shop. Sweaters, pants, too short tops, a dress with a weird elastic that's always twisting. I imagine a book like this would be just the thing to get me motivated to tackle some of it. I would have never though about converting an old sweater to a cardigan using bias tape. But, yours is gorgeous! Hmmm...

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  18. I have a hooded long-sleeved top I am not particularly fond of and am thinking it might be the victim for my first attempt at a serious refashion - I think I'd like to turn it into a vest if I can. I also have a beautiful dress that is now too big for me, but I'm wondering if I can adapt it into a skirt.

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  19. I've got a gorgeous peach lace dress that was my MIL's when she was a bit smaller than I am now; would love to do something with that.

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  20. I love the remake you did of the sweater. And I can't think of anyone I know who could pull of the bows on the sweater in the picture.
    I have tons of tanks and other shirts that are too small or just unflattering, but I just can't get rid of them because I love them so much that I won't get rid of them. I'd love to do something to make them wearable.

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  21. Well, I have an enormous pile of thing waiting to be refashioned. Right next to the pile of things waiting to be altered...

    But this book looks great to me!

    erikaahaj at verizon.net

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  22. I love your sweater to cardigan refashion. I follow a couple of "refashion" blogs, but I'll admit I often don't think many of the refashions don't look that great. Your refashion looks gorgeous.

    I have two bamboo tops (same style, one black, one purple) that have a lovely soft drape and this interesting cartridge pleat feature on the neckline. However, they're too wide around the neckline and if I lean forward I expose way more than I intend! They're also loose in the body in a way that isn't flattering to me. I've been trying to think up a refashion that makes use of the pleated neckline detail, but with better fit and structure. I'm lacking in inspiration so that book may be just what I need :)

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  23. I am always collecting clothes from charity shops and vintage kilo sales that I want to make over and revamp, I actually think I have more clothes like this that wearable items! I have a coupe of pretty hideous 1980s dresses that I want to revamp to look like 40s or 50 styles, I have done this before and I wear that altered dress all the time :)

    Thanks for another great giveaway!

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  24. I have a few plain shirts that could need some refashioning.

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  25. Debi. This is so original.... I think I will try to make it too.

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  26. What a cool sweater refashion! That would even work with something that is slightly too small!
    Apart from a couple of dresses I got at the charity shop with the expressed purpose of refashioning, there is my second ever me-made sheath dress that is slightly too short and ill-fitting around the shoulders. I thought I'd turn it into a skirt. I also have a pink, slightly shapeless sweater that I've been thinking of dyeing red and making a cardigan out of.

    Happy Blogiversary!

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  27. Lovely sweater idea, and the teal is such a beautiful color on you. If I ever re-fashioned, it'd be to un-jumpsuit (two-piece) a few jumpsuits that are going unworn.

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  28. Weirdly i did the same thing last week with a strange sweater dress type thing someone had given (was not a good look on me- tight over the arse and loose over the tummy-bad!). It turned into a nice little festive cardi though.

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  29. An Eddie Bauer cardigan that's the perfect shade of olive, but that keeps splitting at the neckline binding.

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  30. My Stunning Laura Ashley Wedding dress. It's been hiding away for the last 18 years - it still fits and is a lovely style. Fitted bodice, box pleated skirt, button back, nice little back detail and scalloped edges on the sleeves. It's a satinised cotton with a self coloured design. I love it and keep thinking about dying it and shortening the skirt, but just can't bring myself to.

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  31. I need to fix up this strappy silver cocktail dress that I bought for my bachelorette party last year. It was really fun to wear that night, but it is too outrageous to see me ever wear it again. I've been sketching out some ideas on how I can tone it down a bit, make it more of a pretty, girly number (as opposed to the word I would currently use to describe it: skankarific!).

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  32. I really like your sweater refashion. I have a couple of sweaters that could use a refashion like this. Happy blogiversary!

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  33. I have a HUGE stack of clothes waiting to be refashioned. Mainly t-shirts, but some skirts and sweaters are also lurking in there too. I am hoping to get more refashions done by the holidays for gifts, so I hope to also post on my progress tackling that stack. :)

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  34. I have this strangely loose but tight satiny tank top that i've been stumped over how to rework it. skirts and dresses i've no problem but shirts/blouses are my Achilles refashioning heel.

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  35. I have some very plain clearance rack dresses that I bought because they fit, but I never wear because they aren't quite my style. I'd love some fresh ideas on how to change that.

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  36. What a perfect refashion! I know what you mean about the interesting styles. Just because you CAN do something (bows on sleeves?!!) doesn't mean you SHOULD.

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  37. I'm about to attempt,my first real refashion. I accidentally semi felted one of my husband's wool sweaters and I'm going to try to turn it into a cardi for me. I plan to cut it up the centre front and around the neckline, then trim with some cute grosgrain ribbon. Here's hopingitvworks out:)

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  38. I've got an old cream coloured sweater from Penguin that's much too short on me that is just dying to be refashioned into a cardigan for the cold weather!

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  39. I have a pink dress I wore for new year a few years back, it's really pretty but it's not my style! I really would like to change it so I fits who I am and so I could start wearing it!
    Thit (thitbirk@gmail.com)

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  40. A few years a ago, I made several oversized kimono style jackets. I'd love to be able to refashion them into something more sleek. I also have several long a-line wrap skirts made from suede that I'm hard pressed to give up. I'd loved to bring them up to date. This is a great giveaway.

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  41. This sweater is so sweet. But I'm wondering: Is the bow permanent or detachable?

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  42. Thanks everyone for the lovely comments! Trisha, the bow is at present detachable. I figured I wanted to test it out a bit first before committing :)

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  43. The only cashmere I own is a little orange thrifted sweater. I've been meaning to do this very thing - turn it into a cardi - for ages, but simply keep putting it off. You've inspired me to whip it up and start wearing it :)

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  44. I have this awesome vintage 1960's dress by the designer George Halley for Saks 5th Ave...it is so awesome, but it is just a bit too big. If it had a more snug fit it would cling as it was meant to and look sleek and sophisticated instead of baggy and sack like. I really want to take it in at the side seams but I am seriously terrified of messing it up. I keep it because I can't part with it and I want to wear it, I just need to bite the bullet and take it in...really what do I have to lose?

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  45. I have a wonderful silk dress that my mother made for my rehearsal dinner that I can't fit into any more. It has such beautiful fabric and memories, I'd love to make it into something new that I could wear.

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  46. All of them. I kinda despise the state of my wardrobe currently.

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  47. I adore your new bow cardigan! It looks fantastic :) Well done on your refashion!

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I read each and every comment--thank you so much!

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