Boring sweater hack

February 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

If I had an infinite number of shirts, I think cutting them up would now be my new hobby. This is Cardigan Attempt No.3. Well technically No. 2 since I started this before the cardigan from scratch. But I realized it wouldn’t be as warm as I needed it to be so I set it aside for a bit.

I bought this sweater just because it was going for 20 AED when its original price was 165 AED. I got home and realized it didn’t really go with anything but it was too thin to wear alone. At least not while it’s still winter in the Sand Globe. So what to do?

Cut it up, of course, especially now that we’ve learned we could put two shirts together and make them into a drapey cardigan. 

This is a project you can do when you’re having an especially bad day. Cutting things up seem to release endorphins and make me happy. It could help you too 🙂 So cut up an old shirt at the seams, remove the neckline and the bottom hem and pin along the newly cut up middle of your sweater. See that extra bit of fabric hanging at the end? Cut that away but keep it. We’ll use it for something else. Sew both tops together.

Remember that bit of t-shirt left over that we cut away? Grab that and make circles. Small ones, big ones, whatever floats your fancy. You could also add circles from other fabric scraps and make a petal neckline like Lindsey’s on The Pleated Poppy.

Once you’ve sewn the petals in place, you’re done. Yay 🙂 I’ve been timing myself because I’ve noticed that I spend waaaaaay too much time crafting and have to cram in everything else in my life in whatever time I have remaining. Thankfully this one only took me half an hour to do. Not bad, eh? Three down, one last garment for the week to go.

And demmit, I can’t believe my weekend is over 😦


First cardi (and garment) from scratch

February 25, 2012 § 2 Comments

My friend and I have been looking forward to this weekend since December. And while we thought we were all set to see James Morrison, we hadn’t planned on Dubai’s unseasonably (and unreasonably) cold February. Since in my newfound ready-to-wear garment snobbiness (oh all right, just being downright cheap) I had not bought a new jacket, I really needed to make something warm for me to wear to see James.  I found so many ideas on the internet that I ended up working at four things at the same time. Hey, a girl’s gotta be able to choose what she’s gonna wear, right?

So you’ve seen the first one, the drapey cardigan. I took it out on a test run, and while it garnered me a lot of interest (and “orders,” I have now become a Salvation Army of sorts with old shirts from people requesting me to make it for them), it did not keep me warm at all. Enter the Billy Cardigan tutorial. I looked at this and thought, I can do that. And surprisingly, I did 🙂

Yes, from scratch! I just used a favorite sweater as a “pattern” and ta-dah, 2-hour cardigan. Do you know how awesome it is to make something in two hours and go out with it immediately after?

I look kinda touched in the head in the picture, but hey, I was warm and toasty in my first garment making success and high on good music and my 5th pint of beer 😀 you can excuse me, right?

Since I didn’t have a pin, I MacGyvered one with a scrap of felt and a safety pin 😀

And yes, I’m using the wrong side of fleece as the right side, but you won’t call the technicality police on me, will you?

Drapey cardigan

February 22, 2012 § 4 Comments

As I promised myself, this week is going to be garment making week. Most importantly, Make Lee Something Warm to Wear That is Not a Blazer week. I found so many great ideas on the web that didn’t mean me having to copy patterns carefully or measuring myself (I so love you, online crafting family!). I finally settled on four must-do projects by Tuesday.

For the first one, I was so excited by this drape cardigan from Urban Threads and realized I had just the stuff for it. You can check out the original tutorial here. I wasn’t supposed to start posting stuff I made this week till Friday but I was so happy with how this came out that I just had to post it now.

This is the first project I spent zero on. I had two old shirts that I loved for softness but never quite fit me right. A friend gave me a fabric panel even though I have no clue about quilting. And even the yarn I will use later on was a surprise gift from my favorite craft store. So I just followed the instructions for prepping and sewing the cardigan together as shown in the link above. And ended up with this:

I now realize you don’t see the drapeyness clearly but you’ll get the picture 😀 I was too excited to put on my fabric panel. The original idea was to machine embroider a design on the back of the cardigan but machine embroidery is a skill I’ve yet to learn. So enter this beautiful fabric panel I had no idea what to do with.

This is a huge panel, about a yard I think. But the real focal point (and most beautiful part) were the Kamakura Sisters. So I cut that out to fit the back of my “new” cardi and pinned in place.

So I visited my favorite (actually, the only one in Dubai) craft shop just as they were celebrating their birthday. I got to pop a balloon and discover a “prize.” I got a bag of blue yarn, yay. Except I don’t knit. Then I thought of this project and there was my yarn, perfect for handstitching my fabric patch on the cardi. I would probably have done this in a contrasting color, like red, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Now cut out the design as close to the stitching as you dare and artfully fray the edges. Or do like me and just fray, in keeping with the raw, handmade look of the whole cardigan. And you’re done! First project I did in just an hour and had me feeling like a rockstar instantly!

Love, love, love. And yes, I was actually distracted by something on TV when the camera went off. And here’s the back.

Yay! Now off to Garment Project No. 2 😀

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