Monday, September 14, 2009

Day 14: Alterations

Today in Mrs. Marple's class we learned about transforming the old and boring into the new and fun.

Otherwise known as taking my bland cable sweater that I purchased five years ago from Wal-Mart and converting it into a chic new cardigan.

When Mrs. Marple started the lecture by asking us to think of something that we already own that had perhaps lost its luster, I immediately considered this sweater.

And my recent obsession with ruffles.

She then encouraged us to start envisioning that item as something else. I saw a cardigan with three-quarter sleeves. So, casting fear aside, I took my fabric shears and cut this sweater right down the middle.

Then I rather unceremoniously chopped the sleeves off at the elbows.

And then it was time to embellish. I rummaged through my fabric stash and located this soft gray checkered remnant that I salvaged from Habitat for Humanity's thrift store.

I knew it would be a perfect fit for the ruffles.

After some brainstorming, I decided that the best thing to do was fold under the raw edges on each strip, making sure to sew a zig-zag stitch along the sides to prevent fraying.

Then, after finishing four strips, I tucked and pinned each ruffle into place, which doesn't take as long as you might think. Plus I was simultaneously watching previous episodes of Glee while pinning (have you seen that show!? It's probably my new favorite. And yes--I once was a choir geek.)

I wasn't too worried about perfection here, because really--is someone going to measure my ruffles to make sure they're all the same width? I think not! And if they tried, I'd probably have to harm them, because that's just plain weird.

Consider yourself warned.

Once the ruffles were pinned and stitched onto the cardigan, I sewed the sleeve cuffs back onto the sleeves (cleverly making sure that they could fold up--this took some problem solving and lots of second guessing...) and then I sewed hooks-and-eyes along the middle to close the sweater.

Finally, I finished it all off with a slender belt.

And now that I've finished prancing around the house in my old-now-new cardigan,
and bragging gratuitously to my husband about how I didn't spend any money on my newest fashion find, I should pause and thank Mrs. Marple for having such a good idea.

Frankly I can't wait to hunt through my closet
to see what other cast-offs I can find!

See you tomorrow!

Previous Days at the Institute:
Day 10: the balancing act (as told through vintage advertisements)
Day 9: pink, pink & pink
Day 6: premade hostess


  1. OMG....LOVE IT!!! I think I will do something like this...go check out jcrew...they have soft tees with little flowers...thinking I could do the same with an old shirt and ribbon! Your so creative and crafty!!

  2. I'm madly in love with JCrew's fall line! You can bet that I'll be trying to duplicate their look as much as possible!


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