From Start to Finish: Cardigan to Sweater Vest

Read on to learn more about the process:

I started with an extra long cardigan sweater I’ve had for quite a while.  I chose it because a) it was big – lots of material to work with and b) I wasn’t too concerned about ruining it.  The first thing I did was remove the sleeves. 


Next, I added ribbon to serve as a facing.

I attached the ribbon with a serger to finish off the raw edge.  The ribbon was pressed to the inside of the arm opening along with the 1/2 inch of sleeve I left.  I used the seam where the sleeve had been attached as a guide.

I sewed around the arm opening with cordonnet thread using an extra long stitch length. (4mm)

Later, the ribbon was whip-stitched in place.

I wanted the overall piece to be smaller, so I removed the extra length.  I saved it to use for the collar later.

I also trimmed the existing collar/trim to 3/8 inch.

Wanting a softer look, I rounded the front corners using a plate as a guide.


After measuring the length needed to make the continuous collar, I had to do some math.  I discovered that the extra length I had removed was not going to be enough the construct the collar.  I needed to use the sleeves as well.

I cut the extra length into two 5 1/2 inch strips, then I pieced them together along with the strips cut from the sleeves to get a length long enough for the collar.  After that, I pressed the entire length in half to make it 2 3/4 inches wide. The raw edges were then serged together to make a long tube.

I pinned the collar around the vest. I had to piece it together at the bottom of the back and at the center neck.  I did this the same way I would a quilt binding.

Finally, the entire collar was stitched to the vest using a narrow zig-zag stitch.

I pressed the seams open and gently stretched the collar to curve around the rounded corners while it was warm.  I also added a hook and eye closure in the front.



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