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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Shrug life: sweater refashion (and a useful DIY cardigan clip!)

First week of April, and for once in a long time, we cold weather dwellers can safely leave home without mittens. So, Obviously it's just the right time to refashion a warm sweater.
Here's what happened: last week was cold. Rainy and miserable. "I'm tired of all you stupid sweaters!" I cried, before falling upon this one. It was a candidate for refashioning because I haven't worn it all year. "Why not this?" I pondered. Too small and too big at the same time, that's why. But, I'd just done a fresh dye job, so red hair likes green.
I love those big wing sleeves, but the thick band at the bottom was too tight for the area it was supposed to be around. Those pictures make it look ok...but it wasn't! It looked bad!
I mostly wear cardigans. I was thinking I could make this like a big, shrug thing. You know, a sweater that's mostly sleeves? This was a Goodwill find from last year and it was acrylic. I heard that acrylic stuff won't fray up, so this could be a no sew. As I used scissors to remove that band on the bottom, I found some decent looking raw edges.
By the way, if you search Pinterest for sweater refashions, you'll find a lot of this:
 Because, why would you upcycle one sweater, when you can upcycle a shitload of 'em and make them into one wacky, patched up sweater with contrast seams and a felted embroidery! You know what I'm talking about. (Puts head down, shamefully) I make fun...but this kind of refashioning obviously takes a lot of talent and patience, of which I don't have. Maybe I'm just jealous hater, ok!
I began...
Then, I cut it right down the middle, no measuring or anything.

I thought it would look good a little longer in the back. I remembered that to make an even high-low top, you have to fold it vertically and cut it that way. I thought ahead and did something right!

Then, I thought it looked stupid, so I cut it straight. I cut and pinned, thinking that I might want to sew the sides.

I pinned the sides and looked for matching thread. Didn't have it. I'll just used this gold colored stuff and make zig zags. That also looked dumb. So, I thought I'd try that bias tape stuff.

Black bias tape, pinned and sewed...and I hate it!

I don't even want all that much material in front, I want it "shrug" style! Mostly sleeves! I cut that black stuff right off. And left it like that. I'll buy some fray block, bitch. "I ain't sewin' shit," I said, defiantly. I'm not even gonna zig zag the edges...raw edges; that's how I roll.
(one of my favorite internet memes from a couple years back)
I had a good idea. Add something to the sweater to draw attention away from flaws!

A DIY sweater clip! That's actually not clips, they're pins! (As you can tell. The pin backs are visible. I'm ok with that.) I made it with buttons! Look, I'm tired. I''m gonna share that tutorial tomorrow. Although, I'm sure you can figure out how I made it, smartasses.
Here's the thing...I finished the sweater and just put it on over what I was wearing. It was not a good combination because both items were slouchy. My bad, I'll just crop...

Oh. Apparently, my gray jersey sack dress also has a spot or two in front that was only visible to the camera. All right, this is going well. That's just so Moody. There are a zillion blogs out there, and err'ybody's refashioning clothes on them, these days. Some bloggers are actually talented! I ask myself, "What do you have that sets you apart? What makes your blog different?"
This. This lack of "ease" at which others seem to have at completing each project. This propensity to "fail" at each attempt to do what could be a simple task. The unpolished, late blooming, screw up that is me. GET ON BOARD THE TRAIN WRECK, PEOPLE.
 Join me tomorrow, when I show you this glued together, cheaply made sweater clip, where the backs of the pins are totally not even hidden!


  1. Wow, that looks great. I have to admit I just read through a ton of your posts (love your blog, found it through thriftasaurus) and I am so jealous of your ability to sew and alter. Sewing is that one thing that is so hard for me to do. Can't wait to see what else you do.

  2. Wow thanks! Ability to sew and alter? Really? I think I suck! I pretty much stick to very basic stuff. I somehow manage to thread the machine, then cross my fingers in hopes of doing something right. Sewing is really hard!
    But seriously, thank you so much for your comment! I live for positive feedback!